The String of Buttons (Crassula perforata) is the typical succulent plant that you buy when you start to be curious about these plant beings.
And reasons are not lacking: it turns out to be very curious since it is composed of thin stems from which the leaves sprout forming rosettes.
It is sold at really cheap prices, something that is undoubtedly very interesting if we take into account that it is easily cared for. Yes, yes, this species of succulents is suitable for beginners and for all those people who are looking for easy plants that take care of themselves almost. Let’s get to know it better.
String of Buttons: Origin and Characteristics
Known as Crassula perforata, it is a non-cactus succulent plant native to the Cape, South Africa. It can reach a height of about 45cm as a general rule, although it can exceed them and reach 50-60cm. It develops stems that, over time, become woody, and that grow more or less erect.
The leaves are wide ovate and opposite , with striking games of colors of which the following stand out:
- The greyish-green embroidered in pink with small whitish dots;
- Apple green with reddish border and gray lines;
- And of the most desired, for example, the greenish-blue with purple edges.
As for its flowers, we can say that they do not have great ornamental value, since they are very small. Its appearance is star-shaped and white in color.
String of Buttons Varieties
The following are the most representative types of String of Buttons of this wonderful group.
The different types of String of Buttons have trapped many people with their magic, for this reason, today it is very common to find them on terraces, balconies, gardens, patios, and interiors in many areas of the world.
These are some of its more well-known common names:
- Baby’s Necklace
- Necklace Vine
- Pagoda Plant
- String of Buttons
- Jade Necklace
- Chinese Pagoda
- Worm Plant
How to Care for String of Buttons
The String of Buttons is a species that can be both outdoors in full sun, and in a very bright room.
The land has to have very good drainage, so:
- Pot : highly recommended to fill with pumice or akadama, but it also has no problems with black peat as long as it is mixed with 50% perlite.
- Garden : you must make a planting hole of about 50cm x 50cm, cover it with shading mesh and then fill it with the substrate mentioned above.
Read more about the best soil for succulents in our detailed guide.
Like other succulents in general, the String of Buttons rarely needs to be watered. During the summer you do have to water an average of 2, maybe 3 times a week, but the rest of the year once every 10 days may be enough. It is important that you know the following to avoid problems:
- If one day you have to water and there is a forecast of rain or frost, do not water.
- You must let the substrate or soil dry completely between waterings.
- If the water does not penetrate the soil when watering, take the pot and put it in a basin with water so that it moistens well.
- Never water from above, that is, by wetting the leaves, as otherwise, you could cause burns and even rot.
From spring to the end of summer it is advisable to fertilize Crassula perforata with specific fertilizers for succulents following the indications specified on the product’s packaging, or with blue Nitrophoska, the dose being a small spoonful every 10-15 days.
Although the String of Buttons produces seeds, it is rare to see them in cultivation, so it is multiplied more by cuttings. Anyway, let’s see how to proceed in each case:
Seeds in spring-summer
The seeds should be sown in pots with drainage holes filled with a universal growing medium mixed with perlite in equal parts, and covered with a thin layer of previously washed river sand or fine dust. Once watered, it can be placed outside, in semi-shade (but having more light than shade) and keep the substrate always slightly damp.
Thus, if all goes well, they will germinate in about 15 days.
You can also read our guide on “Growing Seeds from Succulents Indoors“.
Cuttings in spring
This is the easiest and fastest way to get new plants. You just have to cut a stem, let the wound dry for about a week in semi-shade, and finally, plant it in an individual pot with succulent soil with pumice for example. You can, before that, impregnate the base with rooting hormones, something that will undoubtedly help it to root better but is really not very important since this species tends to root very well.
It will take about two to three weeks for the cuttings to root.
Pests and Diseases
The String of Buttons is a very strong and resistant plant. However, in the rainy season, snails and slugs must be controlled, as they tend to eat their leaves and stems if they are tender.
The plant will only have a disease if it is watered excessively, which will be when the roots are affected by opportunistic fungi. To do this, there is nothing like controlling watering and not wetting leaves or stems.
When to Plant or Repot String of Buttons
The best time to plant or repot String of Buttons is in spring, when the minimum temperature is 15ºC or higher.
If you have it in a pot, move to a larger one each time you see roots coming out through the drainage holes, or when you notice that their growth has stopped. More or less, every 2 years, until it reaches its final size.
The Crassula perforata resists weak frosts down to -3ºC, it can reach -5ºC if it is sheltered and with dry soil. Anyway, the ideal is that it does not drop below 0 degrees.
What do you think of the String of Buttons? Do you have or are you going to have any?