Crassula marginalis rubra 'Variegata'
This tutorial shows how to boost Crassula marginalis rubra 'Variegata' growth with Keiki paste.
Crassula marginalis rubra 'Variegata' is a bushy, trailing succulent with long delicate stems and rosy, heart-shaped leaves.
I bought mine at the wonderful Rassell's Nursery in West London, an understated garden center with a large stock of houseplants.
It is currently winter here, which is normally when this plant stops growing. However, my Crassula is pushing out lush new stems thanks to indoor warmth and a bright position. I’m going to use Keiki paste to maximise new leaf production.
Keiki paste can be very useful for grooming unruly trailing succulents like Crassula marginalis rubra. Once you’ve cut off any straggly stems, you might want to encourage new growth elsewhere on the plant to maintain overall volume.
Step 1: Finding nodes
First, select ‘nodes’ where you want new leaves to form.
Nodes are parts of the plant where new leaves emerge from. Keiki paste contains growth hormones that give dormant buds a boost.
On the Crassula, nodes are located on the stem just above existing leaves.
Here is a close up of some nodes on my Crassula:
Step two: Applying Keiki paste to nodes
Dip a cotton bud in the Keiki paste. Dab the paste onto the nodes, just where existing leaves emerge from the main stem. Be gentle so you don’t snap the thin, delicate stems.
Crassula is a dense tangle of stringy stems - you probably won’t be able to treat all the nodes on your plant with Keiki paste. To keep the nodes to a manageable number, target the Keiki paste on areas of the plant with thinner foliage.
Step 3: Wait
The Keiki paste can take up to a month to work. During this time, place the plant in optimal light conditions. Crassula does best in bright indirect light or bright light, so place next to a South, West or East facing window.
Like other succulents, Crassula does not need much fertiliser, particularly in winter. If you have already given your plant a dose of fertiliser for the winter season, you do not need to feed your plant after applying the Keiki paste.
Soon, you will see tiny new leaves emerge from nodes where you’ve applied the Keiki paste.