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How to care for Crassula Ivory Towers

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How to care for Crassula Ivory Towers

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Crassula Conjuncta, commonly known as Ivory Towers, is a lovely succulent plant native to South Africa. The plant has silvery-green leaves that are fleshy and grow in a compact rosette pattern. The leaves are small and round, with deep red margins that intensify with exposure to sunlight.

The Ivory Towers succulent plant is sometimes confused with the Crassula perforata string of buttons because of their similar appearance. However, the leaves of the Ivory Towers are fleshier and grow more compact than the String of Buttons. This unique appearance makes Crassula Conjuncta a popular choice for succulent gardens, rock gardens, and container plantings. During the summer months, the Ivory Towers plant produces clusters of tiny white flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Crassula Conjuncta is a versatile, hardy plant that can grow in a range of conditions. This adaptability makes it a popular choice for both indoor living spaces and outdoor landscapes. They look stunning in succulent arrangements, rock gardens, and container plantings.

Succulent arrangement
Succulent arrangement

Toxicity

Crassula Ivory Towers is not known to be toxic to humans or pets. However, it's still a good practice to keep plants out of reach of children and pets to protect the plant’s foliage. Some people may also have allergic reactions to the sap or latex of succulent plants, so it's best to handle them with care.

General care

Light

The Crassula Conjuncta Ivory Towers plant thrives best in bright, indirect sunlight, although it can tolerate some direct sunlight during the morning and late afternoon hours. However, excessive exposure to direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn. Therefore, if you are planting the Ivory Towers plant outdoors, it is advisable to provide some shade during the hottest part of the day when the sun's rays are strongest. For indoor growth, placing the plant near a south or west-facing window can provide sufficient bright light for healthy growth. To filter out harsh direct sunlight, you can use a sheer curtain.

It is important to note that the Ivory Towers plant can become leggy or elongated if it is not getting enough light. This can cause the plant to become weak and prone to falling over. Therefore, it is essential to provide the plant with enough light and supplement it with a grow lamp to encourage healthy growth. 

Watering

Ivory Towers can store water in its leaves and stems and it has a low watering requirement. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other problems, so it is essential to water the plant correctly. When watering the Ivory Towers plant, it is important to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. You can do this by checking the soil's moisture level with a moisture meter or by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it is time to water the plant. When watering, give the plant a thorough soaking, but avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can lead to rot and other issues. Allow the excess water to drain away completely, and then empty the saucer to prevent water from sitting in the pot and causing root rot.

If grown outdoors, this succulent can usually survive on rainfall alone. However, if the climate is hot and dry, or if the plant is grown in a container, it may require occasional watering.

Soil and Fertilizer

As a succulent, Ivory Towers thrives in well-draining soil. Any high-quality succulent and cactus soil would do, or you can make your own soil using general potting soil and perlite, and coarse sand. Avoid using heavy, dense soils that can retain moisture and cause the roots to rot.

This succulent does not need regular fertilizer, if at all. However, if you want to encourage faster growth and improve the plant's overall health, you can use a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Be sure to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength and avoid getting it on the leaves or stem, as this can cause damage. Do not fertilize during its dormancy in the cold months. 

Temperature and Humidity

Crassula Conjuncta Ivory Towers plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, but it prefers warm temperatures and moderate humidity. The ideal temperature range for the Ivory Towers plant is between 60°F and 80°F and it can tolerate temperatures as low as 40°F and as high as 90°F for short periods of time. However, it is best to protect the plant from extreme temperature fluctuations and frost, which can damage or kill it.

Crassula Ivory Towers plant prefers warm temperatures and moderate humidity
Crassula Ivory Towers plant prefers warm temperatures and moderate humidity.

This succulent is adapted to arid conditions and can tolerate low humidity levels. It does not require high levels of humidity and can actually suffer from too much moisture in the air or soil. You should provide good air circulation around the plant to prevent excessive moisture buildup.

Extra Care

Potting and Repotting

To ensure healthy growth for Ivory Towers, it is essential to use a pot with adequate drainage holes and a well-draining soil mix. Choosing a container made from porous and breathable materials like concrete, terracotta, or ceramic can improve airflow and drainage. In addition to proper potting, enhancing soil aeration is also important for the plant's health. This can be achieved by regularly loosening the soil around the roots with a shovel on a weekly basis, which creates air pockets that allow the roots to absorb water, nutrients, and oxygen more effectively.

Repotting should only be done when the plant has outgrown its current container or the soil has become depleted of nutrients. This can be done once every two to three years, preferably during the spring or summer months when the plant is actively growing. To repot, choose a new container that is one size larger than the current pot.

Pruning and propagation

Regular pruning is not required for most succulents, including Ivory Towers. However, you can trim off leggy stems to promote bushier growth. You should also remove damaged parts of the plants to prevent pest infestation and diseases. To ensure a successful pruning process, it is important to use clean and sharp tools, such as scissors or pruning shears. It is best to prune during the growing season.

Crassula Ivory Tower can be propagated with stem cuttings. Follow these easy steps: 

  • Choose a healthy stem with at least two to three sets of leaves.
  • Snip the stem between sets of leaves using a clean, sharp pair of scissors or knife. 
  • Allow the cutting to callus over for a few days, which means to let the cut end dry and form a protective layer over the wound.
  • Once the cutting has callused over, plant it in fresh, well-draining soil. Place the cutting in a bright, warm spot without direct sunlight.
  • Water the soil sparingly and only when the top soil is dry to the touch.

Alternatively, you can propagate this plant in water using similar steps, just replace soil with water. Don’t forget to change the water every couple of days. 

Blooming and Dormancy

This Crassula may produce small white flowers on tall stalks during the summer months, generally from June to August, attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. However, the primary allure of this plant is its appealing foliage rather than its blooms.

Crassula Ivory Tower Flower
Crassula may produce small white flowers on tall stalks during the summer.

Similar to many succulents, Crassula Conjuncta may undergo a period of dormancy in the winter months, which could require less water and nutrients. During this time, the plant's growth may slow down, or it may even cease growing altogether. To accommodate the plant's dormancy, the watering schedule should be reduced, and it is best to avoid fertilizing the plant entirely if it is not actively growing.

Common Problems

Overwatering is a common issue that can harm your Crassula, as it can cause root rot and fungal diseases. It's crucial to let the soil dry out between watering and to avoid letting the plant sit in standing water.

Another problem that can arise is the infestation of pests like mealybugs, scale, and spider mites. You should regularly check your plant for signs of infestation.

Moreover, exposing the plant to too much direct sunlight or high temperatures can scorch its leaves, whereas low light can cause the plant to become stretched out and leggy.

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