Crassula tetragona care infographicThe Crassula Tetragona looks almost like a pine tree, only smaller. It serves as an outstanding substitute with its narrow stems and leaves that you can nurture indoors.

Enjoy the feeling of being close to nature with this tiny pine tree in the comfort of your own home. This article will give you details on properly caring for your plant.

What Is a Crassula Tetragona?

Crassula Tetragona is a tiny succulent plant with thin, narrow green stems and leaves that appear like needles. These succulents can reach up to about three to four feet in height, and they are locally found in South Africa.

Crassula tetragona miniature pine tree

Crassula Tetragona Care

The Crassula Tetragona is fairly affordable and easy to maintain. However, despite the simple care needs it has, if you are not in a position to offer the appropriate care conditions to your plant, you may jeopardize its well-being. 

– Water

The available climate in the area you live in plays a crucial role in watering your Crassula Tetragona. Despite the high adaptation to dry weather conditions, these plants flourish when you provide them with enough but not excessive amounts of water.

It is better for you to water your plant once every seven to 10 days, sometimes increasing your regularity during a heatwave. When the weather gets cool, cut back on your watering to about once every ten to fourteen days as well as once a month during winter. 

Humid Environment

If you live in a region that is highly humid, you should water your plant less often, even once in more than 10 days. If you keep your plant indoors, much less watering is required, specifically if your Crassula Tetragona is not receiving adequate light. A combination of excessive moisture and insufficient light is disastrous for these plants. 

Pay close attention to your plant’s appearance to know when to water; shriveling indicates that you must water your plant. If the top inch of the soil feels dry, go ahead and water your plant.

If you are unsure whether to water or not, you can underwater and gradually increase the amount of water as per need. Tools such as moisture meters and hygrometers can help check for moisture in the air and soil. 

– Light

The lighting conditions necessary for the well-being of this plant differ when it comes to indoor and outdoor garden plants. Outdoors, Crassula Tetragona will do great under fractional shade to full light. The plant may experience mild sunburn under excessive heat conditions. Please transfer your plant to an area with shade to avoid damage from too much sunlight.

Baby plants need to be initially adapted to the full sun by introducing progressively increasing amounts of light rather than exposing them to full sunlight at once. For Crassula Tetragona to grow well, it needs abundant light for up to six hours a day.

Window Position

It is better for you to place your plant close to a window that faces the east, though a west- or south-facing window will also do. We recommend that you rotate different sides of the plant to provide the necessary light conditions.

Failure to rotate may cause the plant to stretch towards the light, thereby leading to an uneven growth that will jeopardize its outlook as an ornamental plant. If you have poor or inadequate indoor lighting, consider investing in a grow light.

Other Light Option

Fluorescent lights are also another option. These will work well, especially if you do not receive sufficient sunlight or have long, dark winters in the region where you live.

– Soil

Crassula Tetragona is succulent, so it needs well-draining potting soil. For the best drainage, combine a solution of cactus mix and perlite at a ratio of 2:1, respectively. Another potting mix that you can use is made by mixing coarse sand with potting soil or cactus mix in the ratio of 1:2.

– Temperature

Crassula Tetragona prefers temperatures ranging from 59 F to 77 F. As long as it is not for long periods, the miniature pine tree can survive mild frost and freezing temperature conditions.

It is best to grow these plants indoors in cases where you experience extreme winter conditions in your area. If you have Crassula Tetragona in your garden and you cannot bring it indoors, you can assist the plant to get through the cold winter by using mini greenhouses or frost cloth.

– Humidity

Crassula Tetragona requires low humidity levels, with the average relative humidity requirement being less than 50 percent. If your miniature pine tree is not doing well, you can raise the levels of humidity around your plant by misting it every day with spray bottle water.

To increase the humidity, you can use a pebble tray. Fill the tray with a layer of pebbles, then add some water so that it rises halfway up the stones. Now, place the pot of your plant on top of the tray and let your plant enjoy the increased humidity.

– Fertilizer

For a beautiful and healthy potted Crassula Tetragona, you should fertilize your succulent plant. The best time to apply fertilizer to the miniature pine tree is during its growing season, in late spring.

A balanced liquid fertilizer is great for fertilizing your plant as long as you dilute it to quarter strength, which is half the recommended dosage. Prior to fertilizing your plant, be sure to water it thoroughly.

Any slow-release, indoor-safe houseplant fertilizer that is not very strong can be used to fertilize Crassula Tetragona. Only make sure it does not contain too much nitrogen because your plant prefers phosphorus and potassium instead.

Adjustments

The amount of light and water that your Crassula Tetragona receives and its age have an impact on the frequency at which you should apply fertilizer. 

For young plants, start by providing them with half-strength doses three times per year. You can make suitable adjustments as the plant ages.

– Pruning

Crassula Tetragona grows very slowly, and it usually does not need much pruning unless it has overgrown. When you trim your miniature pine tree, ensure that you cut back the newest growth near where it joins with older stems. It is also wise to remove diseased, dead branches, as well as old and damaged leaves.

When trimming off this miniature pine tree succulent, it’s better to cut from the branches at the bottom. Also, cut off long stems that have overgrown to maintain a good plant shape. Please note that the branches of Crassula Tetragona will initially be sharp but will soften with time. Take care, do not over-prune this plant.

– Repotting

If the miniature pine tree has outgrown its pot, it should be repotted. Repotting may also be done after every two years. It is best to repot Crassula Tetragona during the warm seasons

Ensure that the potting soil is dry prior to repotting, then carefully remove the pot. Gently free the roots by shaking them off from the old soil and removing any dead roots. It will be helpful to use a fungicide in treating any cuts on the plant.

While backfilling with well-draining potting soil, put the plant in its new pot, and be sure to spread the roots as you continue with the repotting process. Let the pot remain dry for about a week; then, you can start lightly watering the plant so that you protect it from root rot.  

 

Propagation

Crassula Tetragona is very easy to propagate, and propagation can be done through stem cuttings, leaves, seeds, as well as offsets. 

– Stem Cuttings

Being succulent, the miniature pine tree is a simple and low-maintenance plant that can easily be propagated from stem cuttings. Here are the steps and tips you need to follow:

  • Select and cut a healthy piece of the stem before letting it dry for about a day. For faster root development, you can place the cut end in the rooting hormone. Please note that this is optional because roots will still develop, though at a relatively slower pace, even without the rooting hormone.
  • Upon healing and drying, plant the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix. Avoid direct sunlight at this stage and water the plant when it feels dry or every few days. 
  • It is important to keep the plant at room temperature. New roots will start forming approximately after a fortnight. You will also notice growth in four to six weeks.

– Through Leaves

Crassula Tetragona can be propagated through leaves by sprouting the leaves. Leaf propagation is best in warm regions of the globe. Cut your Crassula Tetragona’s leaves into sections of three to four inches. For the leaves to sprout, place them in a well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents.

Avoid watering the plant until after two weeks, when new shoots show from each cutting site. At this stage, you can lightly mist your plants with water after every few days. You should see observable growth within two months if the plants are in conducive conditions. However, it will take six months to a year for significant roots to form.

– Through Seeds

Sow Crassula Tetragona’s seeds in a well-draining planting mix and moisten with water. For excellent results, place in indirect light. In two weeks, your seeds should germinate. However, if conditions are not suitable enough, it could reach up to three months before the seeds begin to sprout. To know if the seeds have sprouted, you will notice green leaves growing out of them.

When sprouting has occurred, it means that your plant now has roots. Once the mini pine tree succulent plants have reached a few inches tall, you can individually transfer them into separate pots. Remember to use well-draining cacti and succulent soil for the efficient growth of your plant. 

– Through Offsets

You can propagate the miniature pine tree succulent from its offsets. To carry out this process, remove an offset from the parent plant using a sharp knife. Clean the extra soil from the offset and let it dry for a few days. Replant the offset using well-draining soil.

Do not forget to water the plant when the soil dries out. Also, be sure to disinfect the knife that you use for cutting off the offset from the mother plant. You can use 70 percent alcohol for this. Remember to wear gloves when you handle your plants to reduce the chances of microbial contamination.

Problems

Crassula Tetragona has its own share of problems that affect it. The most common issues that hinder the well-being of this plant are pests and diseases. The diseases include shriveled, brown, and mushy brown leaves. The most common pests include spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale. 

– Pests 

Pests can cause serious damage to your plant if left unchecked. Scales infest the mini pine tree succulent to eat the leaves and stems of your plant. The scale is quite problematic because it has a waxy coating, making the pest slippery and challenging to handpick.

Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can damage your Crassula Tetragona by sucking the sap of the plant. This robs your beauty of its vitality over time.

Mealybugs have a tendency of sucking sap from your plant such that the growths or flowers will no longer be able to support themselves. In addition to sucking sap, aphids invade the roots and inject viruses into the plant. All this results in stunted growth. Spider mites suck sap by digging small tunnels into the plants with their mouths.

Intervention

Pest invasions can be controlled by methods such as handpicking, using pyrethrum-based sprays, horticultural oil, and spot treating by dabbing Crassula Tetragona with isopropyl alcohol. Organic pesticides like Neem oil are also effective solutions. Also, consider using insecticidal soaps, whether commercial or homemade.

– Shriveled Leaves

Crassula Tetragona gets shriveled leaves due to underwatering. The miniature pine tree’s leaves will look droopy, shriveled, and dried up when they lack water. When you touch them, you will feel the leaves deflated and flat. To correct this situation, water the plant, and it will pick up within a day.

– Brown Leaves

Sunburn causes the Crassula Tetragona’s leaves to turn brown. As mentioned earlier, a heatwave can cause sun damage or sunburn. On a short-term basis, sun damage and sunburn do not result in internal injury to the plant. Still, extended exposure to extreme heat can scorch your Crassula Tetragona to death.

If you see that the plant regularly gets sunburned, put the plant in a spot that has shade. Alternatively, place your plant under taller plants, sunshades, or furniture. Should you make any adjustments pertaining to the care of Crassula Tetragona, or any other succulent plant, avoid making drastic changes but instead gradually introduce any alterations. 

– Mushy Brown Leaves 

Mushy brown leaves on the miniature pine tree are a result of overwatering. If the soil contains too much water, root rot is more likely to occur. The leaves will start developing fungal infections or turn brown due to being regularly damp. In addition to being soft and mushy, the plant will have a dull appearance. 

Intervention

To correct this problem, just reduce watering and permit the plant to entirely dry out to recover from excess water. Avoid watering the plant until you are entirely sure that the plant has dried out. In cases where the soil is not quickly drying out as expected, change to one that drains fast.

Upon realizing rot, cut off all the plant’s dead parts so that you can save it. Anything that looks green and viable may well be used for propagation in another pot. This is a good option if you discover that you cannot salvage your plant from the effects of root rot. 

Features of the Crassula Tetragona

– Name

The common name of Crassula Tetragona, which is a Miniature Pine Tree, simply points out its appearance.

– Stem

The stem of the miniature pine tree becomes harder, darker, and ‘woody’ as it matures.

– Flowers

Crassula Tetragona produces tiny flowers that are cream to white in color. These flowers develop at the plant tips in dense clusters during summer and spring.

Conclusion

Crassula Tetragona - succulent plant with thin

Crassula Tetragona thrives well both indoors and outdoors, provided you provide it with conditions that are conducive to its growth, including well-draining potting soil. Let’s make a quick run-down of the takeaways for your reference:

  • Crassula Tetragona is a succulent plant that looks like a pine tree.
  • The mini pine tree prefers a temperature range of 59 F to 77 F.
  • Watering frequency ranges from once every 10 to 14 days up to once every month during winter, depending on the area where you stay.
  • You can apply fertilizer to Crassula Tetragona in its growing season, which is late spring.
  • It is best to repot Crassula Tetragona every two years or if the plant has outgrown the pot.

Using all the information you learned in this article, you will surely be an expert in caring for Crassula Tetragona. We wish you all the best!

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