Miniature pine tree is a native plant in Southern Africa and it is scientifically know as Crassula tetragona . This plant belongs to the family Crassulaceae.
It is unique since it carries lime green upward curving leaves. It makes this plant an unique one. Even though this is not a colorful or exotic plant, what makes this plant more elegant is that it remembers us a pine tree in its own way.
How do I identify a Crassula tetragona (miniature pine)?
Miniature Pine could grow up to a height of 3- feet and they usually create shrubs and tend to grow like trees once they mature. The stem gets more thick , hard and darker in color once it gets older. It could get woodier as well.
They bloom with white flowers which you could spot at the tips of the plants. Their leaves will also look like narrow needles. An important fact about Miniature Pine Trees is that they require easy and minimal maintenance. You could Propagate them through stem and it is very easy.
How do you take care of a Crassula tetragona (miniature pine)?
This is a plant which you could grow both indoors and outdoors. refrain in exposing this plant for temperature below 28 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plant this in winter conditions, you should move it inside to stop the frostbite. This will be one of the finest options for you if you are a fresher in gardening succulents since it needs only a little care.
You should provide full sunlight to partial sunlight. Morning sunlight would suit them the best. Just as the other succulents, you should provide well-draining soil and moderate level of water when you are growing these succulents. Leaving the soil with too much moisture could cause root rot just like in the other succulents.
It could be 3-5 feet tall once it matures . Their stems will be about 60 cm tall. If we consider the size of the leaves it will grow up to a length of 4 cm.
Miniature Pine trees could grow up to a height of 3-5 feet and they usually create shrubs and tend to grow like trees once they mature. The stem gets more thick , hard and gets darker in color once it gets older. It could get woodier as well. They bloom with white flowers which you could spot at the tips of the plants. Their leaves will also look like narrow needles.
Indoor Sun Light Requirement
This is a plant which would suit both indoors and outdoors. If you grow them indoors, you should provide the best possible level of sunlight. In fact, ayou should give them sunlight for 4-6 hours per day for them to survive. Plants may lean towards where they get sunlight and that is what we call etiolation.
This is what they do when they lack sufficient sunlight. This will cause their slow growth. If it’s not possible for you to provide sunlight naturally, you have the choice of using a grow light which could make conditions better artificially.
Outdoor Sun Light Requirement
They will be happy with full sun light to partial sunlight when they are outdoors.
Temperature and humidity
Miniature Pine trees are tolerant of mild frost , freezing temperatures but not for a longer period. Further it can withstand the rainfall during the winter times .
However having said that, if you live in an area where you get too much freezing weather conditions for longer periods , you should not expose these plants for temperature under 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best thing to do is to grow them in containers so that you could relocate them indoors in case the things get worse. In addition to this, you have the choice of using frost clothes and mini green houses which will encourage them to thrive during the difficult weather conditions.
Is it cold hardy
This type of succulent could thrive in mild frost conditions and freezing temperatures , However not for a prolonged period .
Ideal zones to grow mini one succulents would be hardiness zones 9-11. Here you have the option of leaving the plant outdoors for the whole year and you could consider growing this outdoors as well. If you have grown it somewhere else , you could bring it indoor when it is winter time.
Watering requirements could change depending on the place where you live as different places will have different weather conditions. Despite the fact that they do well during dry conditions , providing them some water on a moderate level could help them to stimulate their growth process. Be careful not to over water them as that will be harmful just like the other succulents.
You cannot keep a particular schedule for watering . However during summer, it is advised to water them from 7-10 days and you could increase it more if the plant is going through a heat wave. On the other hand, you can minimize watering during winter months, ideally from once every two weeks.
You should be vigilant in watering this succulent if you are living in a humid location. Further if you have grown the plant indoors, you do not need to water them as much.
If a Miniature Pine tree is getting both Over watering and insufficient sunlight those will be quite harmful for its growth. During rainy seasons, you could depend on the rain fall and can cut over in watering externally as appropriate.
If they don’t still get water during winter months, the best thing to do is to water them once a month or once every three weeks to two weeks. Make sure that you check on the soil whether it is dry enough before watering.
You can inspect the soil type and decide whether it is the right time to water. You could simply check the dryness of it. The top surface of the soil needs to be dry for us to water them again. In case you are a beginner in growing these, the best is to first underwater them and gradually increase watering after regular check ups on the plant.
Tools to utilize during the watering process.
If you wish you can utilize tools related to watering such as hygrometers or moisture meters which could assist to check the moisture in the air as well as in soil. They will be productive particularly if you wonder when to water these succulents.
Soil Requirement Type / pH
Miniature Pine plants would want to have a well draining soil which is of course a common requirement of any type of succulent . We could use a cactus potting mix along with perlite at a ratio of 2:1 for better drainage.
Further you could use sandy soil too. You could use a . a mixture of cactus mix or potting soil with coarse sand at a ratio of 2:1. Soil should be Neutral.
Flowering and Fragrance
They bloom with white flowers which you spot at the tips of the plants and they could be visible in late Spring and in early summer. Sufficient light could enhance the blooming along with other appropriate conditions. Their flowers are not carrying any fragrance.
Pot size Potting and Repotting
Pot size ideally should be small and shallow . Further you should be able to move it easily when it is essential.
You should do repotting if it is essential only. You should do it in spring which is known for active growing Just as in the other succulents, make sure that the soil is dry enough before repotting. In the meantime, take off the pot and remove the old soil around the roots and plant it in a new container or in a new pot together with fresh potting soil mix.
Where to Plant
This could grow well both outdoors and indoors. However , we have to ensure that they get sunlight and a proper level of heat.
Fertilizer and time of year
Just like some other succulents such as Jade plant, these succulents will not depend on the fertilizer. Having said that they would still love the nutrients they require which will cause their proper growth and for flower blossoming. These plants want immense energy for flower blooming and giving them that extra stimulation during flowering season will give you good results.
Best time to fertilize them is their growing season. You could do this in spring or in summer months. we can use a properly balanced mixture of fertilizer for houseplants . If not we can use a fertilizer which is available for cacti and succulent as well. We would recommend applying fertilizer at a quarter or half once every two weeks.
These succulents would go dormant during the winter season.We have to be very careful when watering them during their dormant season.
Other plants Pairs Well With
Senecio genus like the Woolly Senecio would make a great pair with Miniature Pine Tree succulent
Can be toxic to pets
This is not harmful for dogs or cats or for any of the domestic pets.
Handling the plant
This does not require any special maintenance process or more attention. We only have to provide them with proper lighting ideally from bright sun light to partial sun light particularly on the baby plants. Further we should provide other necessities as appropriate.
Common bugs and illness issues
These plants will mainly have issues like brown leaves, shrivelled leaves, mushy brown leaves etc.
Brown leaves occur mainly due to the sunburns. Though this plant is a succulent which can withstand direct sunlight and heat, exposing them to scorching sun for too long and leaving them ignored during a heat wave could cause them brown spots on the leaves.
Luckily, this will not badly affect the plant if we take necessary steps to halt it. Sun burn for a longer period could result in the whole plant deteriorating unless we do not treat it. . Ideally, just as in the other succulents,we should take immediate action to move it to a shady place. Instead you could provide taller plants or even furniture as shades for them. When you are relocating the plants, ensure that you do it in a gradual manner without giving it a sudden shock.
Underwatering cause the shriveled leaves on Crassula Tetragona. The leaves will tend to look shriveled, droopy and dried up. Once you touch the leaves you will feel like they are flat and deflated. This indicates that the plant’s conserved water is not enough for the proper growth. Hence it is important to supply water adequately so that it could bounce back and look fresh. . This will not take much time and it will take approximately about one day.
Mushy Brown Leaves
overwatering could cause mushy brown leaves to occur on miniature pine succulents. Once it is going through this condition, it will tend to look like it is unhealthy. When we try to touch it we will feel like it is soft and mushy. It indicates that the plant is struggling due to overwatering.
Without hesitation, you should refrain in watering at this point and let them dry out totally. If it takes too long to get dry, you should change the soil and instead you should provide a well draining soil. Don’t forget that if you leave your plant in too much moisture for a prolonged period, it will cause more damage such as root rot.
In case you spot any root rot, better to cut off the relevant parts and protect the rest of the plant so that you can propagate and repot.
Be mindful specially in overwatering since it will be relatively difficult to fix an overwatered plant rather than an under watered plant.
Keep in mind about the common bugs / pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites which could badly affect the growth of this succulent.
Special Care tips
You should grow them in a well draining soil and supply them with an adequate level of sunlight. Further ensure in watering them as appropriate . They need only a little care and little maintenance and little pruning. However keep a close eye on the plant so that you would spot if there are any changes on the plant.
How do you propagate a Crassula tetragona ?
One unique thing about Crassula tetragona miniature pine is that they are very easy to propagate. You could use the stem cutting method here.
Propagating from stem cuttings:
First, grab a stem cutting and place it somewhere it could dry for a couple of days. Usually they get dry faster since they have thin stems.
Then dip the cut edge in rooting hormone. This is not mandatory to do , however if you wish you could do this since it will give you the best results within a short period of time.
When the cut edge is dry enough and when it has healed , you should stick the cutting in a potting mix which contains a good drainage system along with sufficient draining holes.
Refrain in placing them where they get direct sunlight. You can water them once every few days. However you have to ensure that soil is dry enough between one watering session to another.
You can spot the new roots growing after about a couple of weeks.
It will take about approximately four to six weeks to form roots .At this point of time, you can see how the new growth has come out
Propagation through leaf cutting
You could propagate them through the leaf cutting method too. However, that requires more time and we have to be very patient until we get the results from that. If we are doing the propagation through leaf cuttings, we have to ensure that we use the entire leaf including the base to get the best results.
We have to follow the same process as stem cutting and the only difference is it takes a little longer compared to the stem cutting propagation. Literally, place them in the potting mix at first, then it is better to cover it until they sprout. n.
How do you repot a Crassula tetragona (miniature pine)?
You should do repotting only if it is essential only. You could do it in spring which is known for their active growing . just as in the other succulents make sure that the soil is dry enough before repotting. In the meantime, take off the pot and remove the old soil around the roots and plant it in a new container or in a new pot together with fresh potting soil mix.
Crassula tetragona (miniature pine) plant benefits
It could be a great house plant which grace the atmosphere especially when it’s grown in a cute looking container.
It requires minimal maintenance and care. Hence it would be hassle free for you to take care of it
Is Crassula tetragona (miniature pine) an indoor plant?
You could grow this as an indoor plant. You could grow this outdoors as well. If you grow this indoors, , you could grow it in a cute ornamental shaped pot or in a container.
Is Crassula tetragona (miniature pine) toxic?
No.Crassula Tetragona is not toxic for dogs or cats or any of the domestic pets.
Do Crassula tetragona (miniature pine) need direct sunlight?
It is not mandatory to give them direct sunlight right throughout.. This is a plant which would suit both indoors and outdoors. You have to provide the best possible level of sunlight if you grow them indoors.. In fact, best recommended is to give them direct sunlight for 4-6 hours per day for them to survive. After that you could it to a shady place
|Botanical Name||crassula tetragona|
|Common Name||Miniature pine tree / Mini pine Tree plant|
|Mature Size||3-5 feet tall once its matured|
|Sun Exposure||Full Sun to Partial Sun|
|Bloom Time||Late Spring in early summer|
|Hardiness Zones||hardiness zones 9-11|
|Native Area||Southern Africa|
Average price – $ 10