Shark’s Tooth, often called Crassula red pagoda or Crassula corymbulosa is a beautiful succulent with a stalk and towering stacks of thin, pointy foliage that becomes red when moderately stressed by dehydration and sunlight.
Shark tooth is among one hundred fifty species in the Crassula genus. Shark tooth is known as a low-maintenance and drought-tolerant plant. However, specific considerations or requirements must be met to ensure it stays in optimal condition. Let’s discuss some shark tooth care requirements below.
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Shark tooth fern originates from South Africa and grows naturally on rocky slopes. The plant’s tooth-shaped leaves are where its unique name comes from. The beautiful pointy leaves of this succulent, which may reach a length of 8 inches, are green at first but become red when exposed to direct sunlight, making it an attractive plant.
The Shark’s Tooth will swiftly fill a hanging basket or planter and thrive with minimal maintenance making it the ideal plant choice for beginners. The succulent produces small white flowers during the summer months.
Crassula Sharks Tooth Care
Here are a few crassula red pagoda care tips that one can follow to ensure their plant thrives all year round.
Water Only When The Soil Becomes Dry
Sharks tooth is a drought-tolerant species that can comfortably go without water for long periods. Therefore, letting the soil dry in between waterings is the best way to ensure you aren’t overwatering the plant. Make sure to water deeply so that it drains down the drainage hole every time, and then wait until the soil is completely dry before watering it again.
Taking care of this factor is crucial for the health of your shark tooth plants since overwatering can result in root rot, which can be detrimental to a plant. Overwatering can also cause mold and bacteria growth on shark tooth plants. Therefore, when watering shark tooth plants, remember that less is more.
In the winter, it is advised to water the plant every three to four weeks; however, in the summer, you may need to water the plant every one to two weeks if the soil appears dry.
Important Tip! When watering your shark tooth plant, ensure it does not hit its leaves since it can attract pests and cause mold growth on your shark tooth ferns.
Fertilize in Growing Season
Even though shark tooth ferns do not require added nutrition from a fertilizer to grow since a quality potting mix is enough for them to grow optimally, it is advisable to fertilize it with a liquid fertilizer in the growing season. Doing so will help your shark tooth fern grow rapidly.
Offer Direct Sunlight
When a succulent doesn’t get enough sunlight, a problem called etiolation occurs, which forces it to expand or grow taller. It starts to extend in search of whatever light source it can locate since it yearns for sunlight.
Therefore, at least 6 hours of direct to indirect sunlight is essential to ensure your shark tooth succulent grows happily and does not show signs of stress. As discussed above, the beauty of shark tooth plants comes from their red color, which appears when the plant is exposed to sunlight.
So the more a shark tooth plant is exposed to sunlight, the brighter will its red color be. One way to know if your shark tooth is happy with the sunlight it’s getting is to focus on its coloring. If the plant looks pale and doesn’t look how it looked when you first bought it, then this indicates that it is not receiving enough light.
If this happens ad you are growing your succulent indoors, moving the plant to an east-facing windowsill in your home can help you solve this issue and bring the vibrant colors of your shark tooth back. Taking action quickly is essential since if a shark tooth is deprived of adequate sunlight, it may split in half due to overstretching.
Additionally, even though a shark tooth thrives in full sun, too much sun may cause the plant to burn and die. Therefore, avoid leaving the plant in direct sunlight for more than six hours. One way to know if your plant is getting excessive sun is to focus on the color of the leaves. If your shark tooth fern has yellow leaves, it is highly likely to get too much sun exposure.
If the afternoon sun in the summer is scorching hot, try to place your plant at a distance from the window or try to shelter it from direct sunlight by offering partial shade through light curtains to ensure it does not get burned.
Use Succulent Soil for The Potting Mix
One of the common reasons succulents succumb to death is root rot, and a common mistake new succulent owners make is not using well-draining soil when planting succulents which can lead to root rot. Therefore, choosing an appropriate and well-draining soil mix when planting a shark’s tooth is essential to prevent rot.
If well-draining soil explicitly designed for shark tooth ferns is unavailable, consider well-draining cactus or succulent soil or make a DIY blend of 60% ordinary potting soil and 40% gravel, coarse sand, peat, or perlite.
Select a Pot With Drainage Holes
Choosing the correct-sized pot for your shark tooth fern also plays a critical factor in how your succulent will do. Since succulents are more miniature, succulent pots work well for shark tooth plants.
If you have purchased a 3-4 inch shark tooth plan, then the size of your pot should also be, at most, the size of the plant. Moreover, ensuring that the pot has appropriate drainage holes for the excess water to drain out is essential to prevent the plant from drowning or suffering root rot due to the accumulation of excess water.
Store in Appropriate Temperature and Humidity levels
Shark tooth plants enjoy warm environments, and they are not cold-hardy. As a result, they make the perfect houseplant and grow well at average room temperature. Shark tooth plants prefer temperatures over 55°F and do well in normal indoor humidity levels.
Since shark tooth ferns are not cold tolerant — if you keep them outdoors — bringing them inside for the winter season can help protect them from winter damage.
Winter damage, like frostbite, can quickly cause the plant’s condition to deteriorate and eventually lead to its death. If you live in freezing climates, shark tooth ferns will benefit from the warmth of artificial lighting.
Lookout for Pests and Fungal Diseases
Succulents like shark tooth ferns don’t typically attract pests or become diseased, but you must constantly watch out for scale, aphids, and spider mites that could try to settle on the plant. Try to spend a couple of minutes checking for bugs or fungus during regular watering sessions to avoid regret and hassle later.
Separate the affected succulent from the rest of your plants to prevent it from infecting them all, and treat it with a homemade pesticide if you notice any insects or fungus on your shark tooth. Avoid applying commercially marketed pesticides since they could contain excessive chemical constituents and cause more harm to your plants than benefit.
Crassula Red Pagoda Propagation Guide
Anyone may easily grow a variety of shark tooth ferns with guidance and patience. Start by gently detaching a plantlet that has roots attached to it from the mother plant. These plantlets grow at the bottom of mature leaves and resemble smaller duplicates of the adult shark tooth plant. You can also use leaf or stem cuttings to propagate shark tooth fern.
You must use sterilized shears or a sharp knife to secure the leaf cuttings from the main plant. Before sticking the leaf cuttings into the ground, wait for one to two days to let the ends of the cuttings develop a callus. To accelerate the process, apply the rooting hormone on the calloused end. Next, you can place the leaf cuttings in the succulent pot and cover it with a well-drained soil mix.
Since the development is so slow and it would take months before you detect any progress, not many people propagate Sharks Tooth plants from seeds. If you still wish to attempt growing shark tooth plants from seeds, you should put the seeds in a quality soil mix in the fall after combining the seedlings with some coarse sand and evenly distributing the sand over the soil covering.
Until the plantlets develop, irrigate once every several days and maintain a moist soil wet. After that, let the soil become dry naturally before you water again.
Shark tooth ferns are beautiful succulents that will make a lovely addition to the collection of plant and succulent lovers. The plant is easy to take care of, and all you need to do is appropriate amounts of water, sunlight, and well-draining potting mix for the plant to flourish.
So what are you waiting for? Bring a shark tooth fern home and use the tips mentioned above to care for it.