Crassula ‘Imperialis' or also called Giant Watch Chain, is a mat-forming succulent known for its gentle overlaying stems, which can reach up to 8-inches tall and has compact interlocking leaves. And once it starts to trail, this plant would make an impressive “spiller”, making it very ideal for hanging baskets or even in rock gardens.
On top of that, caring for this wonderful succulent is not that hard at all! Not convinced yet? Read on to learn more.
The biggest threat in growing Crassula ‘Imperialis' is overwatering, as they can easily develop root rot, especially when left sitting in cold, wet soil.
So to avoid killing your Crassula ‘Imperialis', a good rule of thumb to follow is to water thoroughly (until the water flows down the pot's drainage hole), at least once every 7 to 10 days, then reducing to at least once a month in cooler months.
If you are a beginner and not sure whether your Crassula ‘Imperialis’ already needs some watering or not, then you may use a tool like a moisture meter to help you. You can also use your finger in determining this. You just simply need to stick it into the soil and feel if the top 1 to 2-inches is dry. If it's, then it's time to water. Otherwise, don't.
When it comes to light exposure, Crassula ‘Imperialis' can do really well under more sun than most houseplants. So if you have a spot outdoors where it gets a bit too much for your other succulents, like on your deck, porch, or even in your yard, Crassula ‘Imperialis' can definitely take that spot without any worry!
To be specific, the ideal spot to grow this succulent outdoors is in an area where it can get at least 6 hours of full, dappled, or even partial morning sunlight a day. If grown as an indoor houseplant, simply ease it in a spot with lots of sunlight, like near a south-facing window. You may also use a grow light to supplement its lighting needs per day, in case you don’t get much sunlight in your home to prevent it from stretching out due to lack of light.
When it comes to temperature, Crassula ‘Imperialis’ can be grown outdoors all year round as perennials in USDA zones 9a to 10b. This means that, elsewhere, you'll have to carry this succulent indoors for the winter, or better, just grow it as a houseplant, especially if the temperature around your area tends to hit below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, as it can quickly lose its color and turns yellow and mushy in cold and damp weather.
Since Crassula ‘Imperialis' can easily get root rot when overwatered, so a very well-draining soil mix in a container or pot with drainage holes is essential to help this plant live longer and grow stronger.
You can either buy a ready-made soil mix formulated especially for succulents at a local store near you or create your own soil mix by blending 3 cups potting medium, 3 cups sand, and to help with the aeration and drainage, add 1.5 cups perlite or pumice.
Crassula ‘Imperialis’ can be propagated easily from leaf cuttings in early Spring to late Summer, and can be performed with just 4 simple steps.
STEP 1: Get a few healthy leaves from the mother plant by either pulling them or cutting them off using a sharp and disinfected knife or a pair of scissors.
STEP 2: Allow the cuttings to dry out for at least a day or until they formed a callus before placing it on a surface with soil mix.
STEP 3: Keep the soil a bit moist by watering or misting only when it’s dry, and make sure to place it in a spot away from direct sunlight.
STEP 4: Once your cuttings have become well-rooted, you can now transfer them to a pot filled with dry well-draining soil.
Just like with any other succulents, you can feed your Crassula ‘Imperialis’ using a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half to promote healthier growth. You can apply this at least once every other week when it's actively growing, which happens from Spring to Summer season.
Crassula ‘Imperialis' has no serious issues with pests or diseases. But they are still susceptible to mealy bugs, aphids, and fungal diseases, and overwatering can definitely cause their roots to rot.