Ultimate Guide: How To Care For Buddhas Temple

This plant, also known as a temple tree, comes from South Africa. It has striking leaves that usually range from red to pink to white and are either solid or variegated. In their native habitat, they grow on cliffs and rocky areas in the winter months and are deciduous. They prefer partial to full shade and well-drained acidic soil, making them a wonderful choice for bonsai culture in the home.
Buddhas Temple plant

The Crassula cv, also known as the Buddha’s Temple, is native to South Africa, and this plant resembles a Buddhist temple.

This evergreen plant’s leaves are folded at the edges and densely stacked, forming a unique wonderful square-shaped column similar to a buddha’s temple. 

To have the plant and let it thrive, caring for it requires some gardening knowledge related to the plant. Taking care of a Buddha’s temple will ensure it thrives well and blooms.

What Do You Need to Plant Buddha’s Temple?

Before purchasing your buddha’s temple for planting, ensure you have the following ready in case you are planting the plant indoors and some of the items for outdoor planting:

  1. A container for planting with drainage holes about one quart in size, or a potting container made for planting succulents and cacti.
  2. Coarse sand, enough for the surface of your container to be about ¾ full (about 1 quart)
  3. Perlite, which will help maintain the soil’s excellent drainage. Mix enough perlite with coarse sand, so it makes up about 50% of what you make into a potting mix; this would equate to ½ cup (100 ml) of coarse sand and ½ cup (100 ml) of perlite.

How to Plant Buddha’s Temple Plant

There are various ways you can plant your Buddha’s temple plant. You can purchase seeds, stem/leaf cuttings, or offsets. 

Many of us are used to planting common household plants from the leaves and stem cuttings, but you can also plant buddha’s temple from seeds, amazing right? Another thing, you can plant it any time of the year.


Here are the right procedures to propagate an offset and care for your new plant buddha’s temple to sprout:

  1. Mix 2 parts coarse sand with 1 part perlite to create a potting mix for succulents and cacti. Make sure there’s plenty of drainage in the soil, and it won’t cause water retention.
  2. Fill the container ¾ full with the potting mix, make a hole deep enough to support the original plant’s roots, and fill it with water until it’s soaked through; then let stand for 15 minutes to allow excess water to drain away.
  3. Plant the succulent in its new container using the soil mix. Make sure that the succulent is placed in a pot just a bit larger than its original pot. Also, ensure that the soil level in the new pot will accommodate all of its roots.
  1. Water thoroughly, allowing the water to soak into the soil and drip out of the drainage hole.
  2. Lastly, place the potting in bright sunlight (no direct mid-day sun). Keep soil moist but not soggy or wet!

How to Propagate Buddha’s Temple Plant From Seeds

  1. Purchase your seeds and prepare your potting mix. Proceed to water the potting mix and let it drain off excess water to leave the soil moist. 
  2. Take your seeds and place them on top of the soil with a little compost to help boost the soil nutrients for growth.
  3. Well, buddha’s temple might take some time before they germinate. Therefore you ought to be patient. During this period, do not water the soil until you note sprouting. It might take four weeks before you note sprouting from your seeds.
  4. Once the plants germinate, start exposing them to sunshine and care for them until they grow and bloom.
Seeds in the palm.
It might take four weeks before you note sprouting from your seeds.

How to Propagate Buddha’s Temple Plant From Cuttings

You can make a cutting from the stems or leaves and always make the cutting at the base of the leaf. It is also possible to cut a stem part and propagate it. Here is how to plant a Buddha’s temple from a scutting.

  1. Make a cutting and let your cutting stay for three days to dry and form a callus.
  2. Prepare a potting mix, and using a pot or your garden, water it to have it moist before the planting time. Ensure the area does not receive direct sunlight during the early stages of growth.
  3. Now, go ahead and place the stem or leaf cuttings one inch into the soil upright. Lastly, wait for your buddha’s plant to form new leaves and roots before repotting them onto their new home.
A group of buddha's temple plant in one pot.
You can make a cutting from the stems or leaves and always make the cutting at the base of the leaf.

Healthy Requirements for Your Buddha’s Temple Plant

Watering

like many succulents, Buddha’s temple does not require much water when growing. However, you should water it to ensure its growth does not stagnate. Water a buddha’s temple at least once every month during winter and twice a month in spring and summer

In spite of needing water to grow, you should be cautious of the amount of watering necessary for Buddha’s Temple plant. Too much water in the soil will damage your plant. Plenty of water will have the soil wet, and this will result in the roots rotting.

A boy watering the plant gently.
Buddha’s temple does not require much water when growing.

Before watering the plant, make sure it needs water by looking at how dry the topsoil is to avoid causing damage to the plant. 

Water the Buddha’s Temple after planting it, water at least once a week when fully grown also, you can use a humidifier always to let the soil be moist but not wet.

Sunlight

The variegated leaves of the ‘Buddha’s Temple are extremely delicate and require bright light for them to bloom and thrive. Growing this Crassula Buddha’s Temple in a garden ensures it receives plenty of sunshine. The ideal amount of light for its development is full to partial sunshine, or at least six hours a day. Therefore it is better to grow the plant outdoors.

A plant receiving a sunlight.
The ideal amount of light for its development is full to partial sunshine, or at least six hours a day.

Insufficient light or sunlight might cause the plant’s stem to weaken, and you don’t want to see your beautiful plant crumbling down after working hard to let it thrive. The plant will elongate in search of light, and in return, its stem might grow thin, making it weak.

Temperatures

The crassula Budda’s Temple thrives in a warm climate.  It may survive temperatures as low as 25°F and as high as 50°F but protect it from frost. If you reside in a chilly climate, it’s preferable to grow Buddha’s Temple indoors. The plant will thrive if given enough sunshine.

Fertilizer

You can use compost mulch to provide the plant with additional nutrients. Getting the plant to grow and thrive is something you don’t want to take a chance with.

For vital nutrients, use gardening fertilizer and ensure the fertilizer has the core nutrients:

  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen

Follow the recommended dosage and add fertilizer to your plant every three months.

Pests

It’s susceptible to mealybugs. The Buddha’s Temple has a nice uniform structure, especially after new growth during the Spring and Summer months, and it is these leaves that make it hard to spot the pests.

Mealybugs are a problem with these plants since they have a tightly held together leaf structure, so if you get some mealybug caught in there, the only thing you can do is soak it in alcohol or dip it in alcohol and hope that they come off.

Pruning

Prune a  buddha’s temple when it has dead leaves, overgrown leaves, or to shape it. Also, you should prune the plant after blooming to help keep it healthy to thrive again. 

Discard the removed leaves to keep them away from contaminating the healthy plant. You can use them as an addition to your compost and for future use. 

Other Common Factors Affecting Buddha’s Temple to Note

Root Rot. When you overwater the plants or don’t let the potting mix dry before watering again, the plant’s roots will start rotting. To prevent root rotting, make sure the potting mix drains fast and effectively. Another thing for outdoors potted buddha’s plant, you are better off using clay pots. In case you have other pots, ensure they have good drainage.

Anchor Support. Buddha’s Temple doesn’t like going long without water. Since they’re not particularly succulent, there is so much moisture in the main stem; therefore, the plant is susceptible to decay. But the plant does not like going without water for long, which you will notice straight away. 

Once it loses water, they become difficult to support, and the rooting system is not as strong as other succulents, so you’ll need some anchor stones and bind them in place whenever they lack water, and the stem fails to support the whole plant.

Heat Sensitivity. Because they are sensitive to heat, forcing them to sit in direct sunshine all day is not a good idea. If exposed to too much sun, they will suffer burns, so keep them out of the hot sun for long periods. If you don’t provide consistent lighting, you’ll notice unevenness in how the plant grows.

Final Thoughts

Taking care of a dying buddha’s temple plant can be difficult, but why let your plant suffer? This plant requires little care, making it easier to look after and bloom. Besides, when it lacks water or sunlight, which are the core requirement for growing, it shows the signs earlier.

A buddha's temple plant.
This plant requires little care, making it easier to look after and bloom.

You can plant this evergreen plant in your garden or have it sit in your living room and brighten the space when it blooms. Note that it will reach 0.3m after ten to 20 years.

Last update on 2024-02-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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