Crassula perforata, commonly known as the String of buttons, is one of those succulents that you see absolutely everywhere.
This Instagrammable succulent will make a perfect addition to your windowsill or bookshelf and this might be a sign for you to give this succulent a chance and maybe even start a succulent collection!
The low-demanding nature of Crassula string of buttons and unique appearance will turn this plant into one of your favourite companions in little to no time.
The String of buttons originates from South Africa, growing mostly in the Cape Provinces and KwaZulu-Natal. It usually occurs on rocky slopes and thicket vegetation. Because of this, the plant will tolerate a wide range of conditions when it comes to sunlight exposure and temperatures.
And if you find the perfect soil for your String of buttons and adopt a suitable, but simple watering routine, you will have this succulent around for as long as you dream of!
About String of Buttons
- 1 About String of Buttons
- 2 String of Buttons Features: An Overview
- 3 Growing String of Buttons
- 4 Planting String of Buttons
- 5 Watering String of Buttons
- 6 Propagating String of Buttons
- 7 String of Buttons Common Problems
- 8 In Conclusion
- The String of buttons succulent belongs to the well-known Crassula genus that contains about 200 species of adorable succulents. It is also a member of the Crassulaceae family.
- There are some variations of the String of buttons that will also win your heart as soon as you see them. They are all as easy to grow and care for as the main Crassula perforata species.
- The cultivars include C. perforata variegata, which develops rainbow-like colours on the margins of its leaves; C. perforata subsp. Kougaensis, which is a more basic type of this succulent that features pinkish or reddish edges; C. perforata ‘Ivory Towers’.
- The String of buttons is an excellent addition to different landscape uses, such as rock gardens, succulent gardens, ground covers, containers, beds, borders, hanging baskets, or Mediterranean gardens.
- Thanks to their easy-going style and superb appearance, these ornamental plants will fit best with other interesting species that can bring lots of ornamental value to your garden. Some of the best companions for Crassula String of buttons include Agave ‘Blue Glow’, Blue Chalksticks, Euphorbia tirucalli (Sticks on Fire), and Stonecrop succulents.
String of Buttons Features: An Overview
- The String of buttons is a sprawling succulent species. This plant has a shrubby overall growth habit. It grows and spreads at a fairly fast pace, forming small, cute colonies.
- This succulent can reach up to 1 to 2 feet (30-60 cm) in height and about 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) in width. This happens only in proper environmental conditions and can grow a bit smaller indoors in pots.
- Its succulent foliage consists of numerous tiny leaves that grow in whorls on long, sturdy, unbranched stems. The leaves are fleshy, triangular, grey-green, and show up with pinkish-red margins when it grows in full sunlight for an extended time.
- The String of buttons usually blooms in spring. During this season, it can show up with clusters of small, starry, and pale yellow flowers.
- It is very important to mention that although this succulent looks harmless, the String of buttons contains a sap that is specific to Crassula succulents and that can be mildly toxic to animals and humans in terms of touching and ingesting. Place yours in a spot that is out of reach for your kids or pets.
Growing String of Buttons
Thanks to its native habitat in South Africa, String of buttons has adapted to grow just fine in a wide range of conditions in terms of lighting. This succulent can thrive in harsh full sunlight, but it will not have any problem growing in the shadows of other plants or objects.
Whether you grow your String of buttons in an indoor or an outdoor setting, it will not turn into one of those picky ornamental plants you know.
You will still have to pay a little extra attention to its demands, though! Although this succulent can handle partially shaded locations, it will perform best in sites that provide it with plenty of light. In general, when the String of buttons experiences a period of shade that lasts for too long, its foliage will lose its vibrant green and the pink edges may disappear with time.
If kept indoors, it is wise to ensure that Crassula String of Buttons gets as much light as possible. In general, these succulents require at least 4-6 hours of light per day to grow healthy and happy. If your home does not receive adequate natural light, your String of Buttons plant might become leggy as it stretches out towards the light.
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- SIZE: Succulents come in 4"-6" pots ( Depending on your desired selection from above) fully rooted in soil. Plant measurements will vary as different species grow in different ways: for example, some grow wider, shorter, taller, trailing etc.
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- IMPORTANT INFO TO CONSIDER: Succulents may vary from pictures shown as they are living plants and grow differently throughout the year. Most Succulents leaves are very fragile and occasionally may fall off during transit. If your plant is missing some leaves upon arrival, just know they will grow back and most of the time pretty fast so there is no need to be alarmed.
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- 『𝗜𝗡𝗖𝗟𝗨𝗗𝗘𝗦』 (1) Beautiful live String of buttons Crassula perforata. It has a very distinctive look with thick, triangular leaves stacked snugly around the stems. The leaves are pale green with reddish edges that change to a deeper red shade when exposed to bright sunlight. String of Buttons is a relatively fast-growing shrubby succulent that is perfect for terrariums and hanging baskets.
- 『𝗙𝗟𝗢𝗪𝗘𝗥𝗦』In spring, String of Buttons produces unscented star-shaped yellow flowers.
- 『𝗣𝗟𝗔𝗡𝗧 𝗛𝗘𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 𝗔𝗧 𝗦𝗛𝗜𝗣𝗣𝗜𝗡𝗚』 Approximately 5-7 inches tall, measured from the bottom of the grower pot to the top of the plant. Ships in a 4 inch diameter planter.
- 『𝗪𝗔𝗧𝗘𝗥』Only water when the soil is dry to the touch. Water thoroughly and drain well after each watering.
- 『𝗟𝗜𝗚𝗛𝗧 & 𝗧𝗘𝗠𝗣』String of Buttons needs at least 6 hours of light daily. It tolerates different lighting conditions, from full-sun to partial shade, but it grows best under very bright, indirect light.
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Last update on 2023-02-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
This process is called etiolation and it occurs whenever plants do not receive enough light. This phenomenon can lead to weakened stems and insufficient growth. If you notice that your succulent is doing this, it’s time to find a brighter location for it. The best location for sun-loving succulents is an east-facing windowsill.
A lot of succulent growers complain about the fact that their succulents don’t do very well during the winter. The most common cause is poor lighting conditions that come with bad weather and shorter days.
To avoid losing your succulents due to insufficient lighting, you can invest in grow lights, which are especially useful if you live in a region with long, dark winters.
Crassula String of Buttons will thrive both indoors and outdoors. Whether you can grow this succulent outdoors will, of course, depend on your climate. This succulent can withstand various degrees of sun exposure, and they will do well in sunny environments with mild winters.
Before moving your Crassula outdoors or before you increase the amount of sunlight it receives, don’t forget to acclimate the plant first to avoid temperature shocks and sun damage. Increase the amount of sunlight your succulent receives slowly and remember that even plants that thrive in extreme heat and love the sun can get sunburned.
Temperature-wise, the String of buttons behaves like most ordinary species of succulents. You can grow it without any trouble in a variety of temperatures indoors.
If you want to keep it outdoors, however, you can do it only if you live somewhere in its hardiness zone that ranges from USDA 9 to 12. In case frost or temperatures below 32 °F (0 °C) are a thing in your region, it would be wise to grow your String of buttons in a pot to keep it indoors or move it inside in autumn when the weather begins to show signs of cooling.
Planting String of Buttons
The ideal growing medium for your String of buttons would be a substrate that can mimic its native habitat as much as possible. Finding this particular type of soil is not difficult at all, as you can prepare your own at home by combining sand, bark, and pumice.
The resulted substrate is well-draining, so it will help you keep your succulents safe and protected from fungal problems. If you cannot prepare this mix by yourself, you can always opt for a ready-made cactus & succulent mix which you can find in garden supply stores, markets, or nurseries.
Since String of buttons grows naturally in places with poor soil, it does not need lots of nutrients to grow healthy and happy. This means that you can skip fertilizing this succulent and it will not get upset or show less growth.
Of course, you can give your plant a bit of boost once in a while if you want to make sure that it shows the best results with the minimum amount of effort. If this is the case, feed your String of buttons with a fertilizer designed for houseplants after you dilute it at half strength. It is best to apply the fertilizer in early spring.
Like most fast-growing species of plants, String of buttons tends to grow in all directions and maybe become a bit out of shape with time. If you want to grow this succulent in a hanging basket, you don’t have to worry about the cascading overall look of this plant.
You can just leave it alone and enjoy its presence. But if you are looking for a more tidy look, you will have to prune the leggy long, weakened, or old stems using sterile gardening scissors. You can even remove some of its unhealthy leaves if they seem to affect the general picture.
Watering String of Buttons
The String of buttons is a friendly succulent that will not require your constant attention regarding watering to grow nicely. In fact, this succulent does not appreciate having its roots constantly waterlogged. The easiest way to avoid this is by adopting a watering technique that suits its needs, such as the “soak & dry” one.
All you need to do is simply soak the growing medium of your String of buttons until the water runs out of the drainage holes of its pot. This is when you know that the soil is fully damp. Make sure you do not touch its foliage while watering your succulents, as this can lead to fungal issues later. After all of this, you will have to wait for the soil to dry out entirely before soaking it again. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Wondering how often other gardeners water the String of Buttons? While it usually depends on the environmental conditions and on how fast the soil dries, in most cases, gardeners will water this succulent once a week during the warm summer months and a little less the rest of the year. During winter, succulents don’t require a lot of water and will do just fine if you water them once every 15-20 days.
Propagating String of Buttons
Propagating Crassula String of Buttons through Offshoots
Since String of buttons is a plant that grows pretty fast, it tends to produce many offshoots with time. These lovely offshoots can serve as a very nice propagation material if you think about making more String of buttons at home.
If not for your needs only, a String of buttons is surely a great companion for one of your succulent-loving friends or family members. The great news is that you will save extra money in this process, as you will not have to go and spend anything on new String of buttons specimens. It is also a simple method, whether you have some experience or not with succulents or gardening in general.
Propagating Crassula String of Buttons through Cuttings
The greatest, most effective method to propagate your String of buttons is through cuttings. Although some growers try to propagate this beauty from leaves too, we would not recommend you to do this as it does not usually show the same results if any. You can take cuttings whenever you want from spring to autumn, but the best time would be in spring when the plant begins its active growing period.
Once you have decided to go for it, you should first look for as many average-sized offshoots on your succulent. When you have spotted them, you can cut them off the mother String of buttons with a sharp and sterile knife.
After this, remove all the bottom leaves from each cutting by loosening them gently, then sliding them off the stem. Allow the stems to dry a bit for a day or so before you get to the planting part. This tiny detail of the process will help your pups root successfully because it will form a callous that can hold in water better.
Now you can prepare the propagation medium, which you can generally do in the blink of an eye. Take as many clay containers as you need for each cutting and fill them with a well-draining potting mix designed for cacti and succulents.
Place each String of buttons cutting in its individual pot, move the pots to a well-lit spot, and try to water the growing medium once every week or whenever it seems dry. If you are following these simple steps carefully, the String of buttons plants should produce roots in a few weeks.
String of Buttons Common Problems
Luckily, String of Buttons is not that type of plant that attracts too many pests. There are a few unwanted visitors that might be attracted to your succulent such as such as spider mites, mealybugs, or scale insects, but invasions are not common. If one of these pests decides to infest your beloved plant, there is no need to worry! You can easily eliminate the pest by applying neem oil on your String of buttons weekly until you see it gone.
Another common problem that Crassula String of Buttons growers might encounter is brown leaves. The most common cause of brown leaves is sunburn. As mentioned above, this plant can take full sun, but it can still suffer due to extreme weather conditions or sudden changes in weather or in the environment. If your succulent develops brown leaves, a heatwave might be the culprit.
The good news is this is an external problem that does not fatally hurt the plant as long as the problem is temporary. If you manage to rescue the plant before it is completely fried, you can move it to a shadier location or provide some shade until it recovers.
Mushy Brown Leaves
Mushy leaves that turn brown are another common issue in Crassula succulents and the main cause is generally overwatering. If your succulent starts to become translucent, soft, and mushy you are most likely drowning your plant.
The best way to avoid this is by using the ‘soak and dry’ watering technique and always allowing the soil to dry out completely. If you’ve already overwatered your plant, cut back on watering. If you notice that the soil is not drying out fast enough and your plant is sitting in moist soil for too long, it might be best to switch to soil with better drainage.
Mushy brown leaves can be a tell-tale sign of root rot, which is a more severe issue that most succulent growers face every once in a while. Fungal diseases and root rot can occur if your String of buttons grows in too much humidity or receives too much water.
The best way to avoid these issues is through prevention and adopting a perfect watering routine for your succulent is key. If you suspect that your plant is affected by root rot, you can try to save the plant by removing the dead parts and saving anything that looks green and viable to propagate and move to a clean container with fresh succulent soil. Learn more about root rot from our complete guide.
It is important to remember that when it comes to succulents and cacti, it is much easier to save a plant that is underwater than an overwatered one. So, if you want to be on the safe side at least until you become more familiar with the growing requirements of your Crassula String of Buttons, opt for less water rather than more.
Finding a succulent that will match the cuteness and friendliness of the String of Buttons won’t be easy! This low-maintenance succulent will surprise you with its easy-going nature. If you are looking for a cute succulent to grow on your bookshelf or on your desk, Crassula String of buttons is the perfect candidate.
As long as it gets plenty of natural light and a well-draining soil mix, this succulent won’t need a lot of attention. Furthermore, if things go well and you decide that you want more succulents in your home, you can even propagate it as often as you want to keep it around or share this exciting experience with your beloved ones.
Are you growing Crassula String of Buttons? Share your experience in the comment section!