Crassula Muscosa (‘Watch Chain’ Succulent/ The Rattail Crassula/ …)

Crassula Muscosa Image

Have you been blown away by what the succulent world has to offer? Think again. Each day brings the possibility of encountering another new (and fascinating) plant.

Today, our object of admiration is the Crassula muscosa, otherwise known by the common name watch chain. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Yes? No?

It doesn’t matter – This piece will give you all you need. The watch chain succulent is an attractive ornamental plant. You might want to consider adding it to your collection.

But before you make this decision, dive in below and learn all, there is about it.

Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula muscosa)
The Watch Chain succulent held by hand @evyesili


Crassula muscosa isn’t much of an upward grower. It reaches just a height of about 12 inches (30cm). This lack in height is compensated by the numerous branches the stems put out. This gives the plant quite a broad frame, sometimes extending up to 8 inches (20 cm).

The stems are completely covered by close-cropped rows of narrow faint green interlocking leaves. The arrangement and size of the leaves give the stem a zipper-like appearance, which has earned it another common name – the zipper plant.

The plant has quite a bit of unconventional flowering – instead of throwing up blooms at the tips of stems, they (blooms) appear along the stem with the leaves. They are green-yellow and come out mainly during spring or summer. The blooms may also appear during other seasons after rains or watering.

This zipper-like beauty is a native of several (3) countries in the southern part of Africa. That is Namibia, Lesotho, and South Africa.

Aside from the above two familiar names, it also goes by:

  • Rattail Crassula
  • Lizard’s tail succulent
  • Crassula princess pine
  • Clubmoss Crassula

Crassula Perforata Care

Being a succulent, you can guess the conditions the watch chain will thrive in. They aren’t precisely conditions that will require your attentiveness.

Just a bit of attention, and you’ll have a fantastic plant letting out lots of stems. Here are some pointers for you.

1. Cold hardiness

The bad news is that Cmuscosa isn’t a fan of shallow temperatures. Leave it out during winter, and all you’ll have are tales of a zippy plant you had.

But that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of growing it outside. Well, that’s if your USDA hardiness zone falls between 9a and 10b – average minimum winter readings of 200 F (-6.70 C). If the minimum temperature in your area is below this, you can still set it up in a container and have it indoors during the cold season.

Check out “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter” to see more tips on taking care of your succulent during the cold season.

2. Watering requirements

Like most succulents, if you want a healthy watch chain plant, going easy on watering is a must. You know the drill when it comes to succulents, right?

Always let the soil completely dry out before you water again. This mimics the water availability in the natural habitat – occasional heavy downpours. The plant is adapted to this, so it will keep beaming with life.

You’ll find that you have to increase the watering frequency in summer if you’re raising this succulent outdoors.

Make sure to not underwater your succulent and check out “Dangers of an Underwatered Succulent” for more on leaving your succulent too dry.

3. Soil

We should mention: that the zipper plant grows in rocky quartz fields that hold water only for a short period. They’re well-draining, that is.

So as the watering, make sure that whatever soil/medium you put your plant in is in line with this property of the natural habitat. And that means regular potting soil doesn’t cut it.

To be safe, use a cactus/succulent mix. Alternatively, you can enhance the drainage of regular potting soil by adding sand and perlite/pumice.

Well-draining soils complement the once-in-a-while watering routine. This way, the plant isn’t held in soggy soils for prolonged periods. The rot has no chance in such a case.

4. Lighting

Full to partial sun is perfect for this cutie. How you meet this demand depends on whether you’re growing your plant indoors or outdoors.

Indoors, be sure to have the plant near the brightest window. On the other hand, if your baby is outdoors, have it in a spot that receives six hours of sunlight.

As much as the watch chain loves sunlight, things can get out of hand when exposed to the afternoon summer rays. They’re too intense and are sure to burn your plant. So keep this in mind if you decide to nurture this succulent outside.

Check out other succulents like little to no light here: Low-Light Succulents For Insufficient Light Environments.

String Of Buttons Propagation

Crassula muscosa is pretty easy to propagate. With such a heavy branching tendency, you’ll need to cut off a few (or many as you please).

Like the parent plant, you should plant the cuttings in a well-draining soil mix. Place the resultant setup in a sunny location and water as soon as the soil has dried. The watering shouldn’t start immediately, though. Let the cuttings be for a day or two.

Need more tips to propagate your succulents? Check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for our complete guide.


You may have to repot your succulent after some time, especially with its typical dense branching. Here are a few points to note when carrying out this process:

  • Don’t try to repot when the medium is still wet. Let it dry out completely.
  • Make it all fresh. Ensure you rid the roots of any previous soil.
  • See any sickly or damaged roots? Cut them off.


Watch Chain Succulent (Crassula muscosa)
A person holding a potted succulent @plantaloon

Happy Planting!

Succulent City chief editor


Succulent City

Hey everyone! Welcome to Succulent City! We are all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, we began the journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, our fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and we gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents