String Of Buttons Crassula: What Is A String Of Buttons Succulent

String Of Buttons Crassula: What Is A String Of Buttons Succulent

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Stacked crassula plants, like the string of buttons, exhibit an unusual form as gray-green leaves spiral from the plant. Adding the string of buttons plant to your home increases interest in your collection or mixed succulent container.

What is a String of Buttons Plant?

Crassulaperforata, also known as string of buttons succulent, is a sprawling and shrubby plant that reaches 18 inches (46 cm.), beginning as an upright specimen. Later, this plant becomes prostrate due to height and weight. Short stacks of triangular leaves often turn pinkish red on the edges, making the plant stand out. Small, white,star-shaped flowers blossom on the well-placed and happy string of buttons. It is most attractive when it cascades from the sides of a pot.

The plant usually grows in colonies of three or more. When transplanting, keep the colony together for a full look. Some define them as “scrambling” in the sense of aggressive growth. You’ll love their multiplication, especially if you separate them for propagation.

Growing a String of Buttons Crassula

When growing a string of buttons, babies spring from the bottom of the plant. Divide and repot in spring, when possible. If you want to keep them upright, prune from the top and root the cuttings for more plants. You may also remove the babies with a sharp cut.

You can grow this great plant outside in the ground if you live where temperatures don’t dip below 50 degrees F. (10 C.), typically in USDA hardiness zones 9-12. This is the best opportunity for them to scramble, through your other succulents and flowers planted in the same bed. In other areas, you may put containers of them outside in morning sunlight in appropriate temperatures.

Care of a stacked crassula starts with planting it in appropriate soil, fast draining with amendments to ensure no water remains on the roots. Don’t water often. You’ll find most crassula, including this one, are often watered too frequently. If you can, collect rainwater for infrequent watering of this and other succulent plants.

Avoid hot afternoon sun in summer. Even crassulas, among the hardiest of these plants, don’t like too much heat and hot sun in high 80- to 90-degree F. (27-32 C.) range. When moving these plants outdoors in spring, acclimate gradually to full morning sun. Once you find the proper spot, leave them there until time to bring them inside in winter.

Succulents are usually not prone to insects and disease, but may sometimes be affected by mealybugs and fungal issues. Move the infected plant out of the sun before treating with 70 percent alcohol. More than one treatment is usually needed for this pest.

For minor fungal issues, sprinkle cinnamon on roots and in the soil. If this does not correct the problem, use an organic fungicide.

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String of buttons is a succulent plant native to South Africa. In its natural habitat, it usually grows through and over other shrubs.

It is a succulent plant with a truly curious appearance. The leaves grow stacked around the stem in such a way that the stem pierces them (hence the name, perforata).

In fact, because of this perforation, the leaves can be rotated, but you should not do it, because you break the union of the leaf with the stem and it ends up rotting.

The leaves are light green although they develop reddish colors at the ends to protect themselves from the sun. They are also covered with a light whitish coating.

Houseplants forum→String of buttons brown spots

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Aerial roots are fine. It is actually a nice guide to use if you want to propagate or control its growth. Cut one node under those roots, apply light cinnamon on the cut end and stick the cutting with roots in well draining media.

tarev said: That is lack of good airflow around it and poor light. If your weather permits it, and it is not too rainy on your side, I would allow that plant to grow outdoors and then generously water it often. Crassulas love a good water cool down. Outdoors, there is more constant airflow and warmth, so the plant will enjoy it. Give it better light access too, it should be growing more upright, and it is also the time of the year when it blooms. Positioning it outdoors where it gets good morning sun and filtered light during the hotter afternoons is quite good for its overall growth.

Aerial roots are fine. It is actually a nice guide to use if you want to propagate or control its growth. Cut one node under those roots, apply light cinnamon on the cut end and stick the cutting with roots in well draining media.

Thank you so much! We haven't had a sunny day in nearly a month so that makes sense. I read somewhere aerial roots are a sign of underwatering, good to know it's okay!

Care for crassula perforata

To care for the crassula, it means that you will be careful with the type of soil where you plant it. You will also consider soil nutrients and water. Climatic conditions do matter a lot as far as caring for the plant is concerned. Here are the precautions that you will be considering.

Soil and fertilizer

The best soil that will enhance the growth of crassula perforata is well-draining soil. Well-draining soil that you may consider is the sandy soils, though they may have little nutrients. Add a soluble fertilizer to speed up the growth of perforata.

Sun-light, and water

On the part of sun, light, and water, crassula perforata will need all optimal conditions from the moderate sun, indirect to direct sunlight depending on the area you live in. the succulent plants are highly adapted arid environment.

Therefore, you can expect better growth when you supply them with sufficient water. Watering will depend on the prevailing weather conditions.

Humidity and temperature

Like any other succulent plant, Crassula perforata will do well under low humidity conditions. It means that it won’t be affected by high temperatures even if it exceeds 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Though, you may need to keep it indoors when the temperatures are extreme.


Your crassula plants will be growing, and it will be prudent to repot it during warm seasons. Always confirm that the soil is dry before you begin repotting. Be gentle when removing the pot. Make sure that you get rid of any rotting roots.

You can treat them with fungicides. You can then transfer it to a new, bigger pot to allow for better growth.

Pruning and propagation

Pruning and propagation are not the same as repotting. When pruning, you will be removing the offsets. Notably, the offsets can be useful for propagation. You can use the leaf cuttings, though the stem cuttings will deliver better results.

Propagation methods are similar. You will remove the stem cuttings then dry them for at least 24 hours. You then place them in the pots. You can water them when it dries out.

Pests and diseases

One of the Diseases that can affect the crassula perforata is stem and root decay. You can protect your plant against root decay by applying fungicides.

You will also try to minimize watering for they are the risk factors. Pests such as weevils, aphids, and mealybugs can also infest the plants.


A variety of the Pagoda Plant called ‘Giant’. Source: Zruda

Crassula perforata has its share of problems just like every other plant. That’s why preparedness and a sharp eye is vital for keeping your succulent happy and healthy.

Growing Problems

Etiolation is when a plant stretches out in search of light. Because succulents are valued for their plump and compact leaves, this can mess with their look. If your Pagoda Plant is starting to stretch, gradually move it to a sunnier spot. If the plant is already stretched more than you like, you can prune back the long stems.

In the summer, you may find brown spots on the leaves. This is usually sunburn caused by too much heat and direct light. If you adjust the plant’s location right away, the damage will most likely be external only. Crassula perforata should be moved gradually so it can adjust to the light difference.

As mentioned, shriveled leaves and a drooping plant are symptoms of underwatering. Mushy, brown, or translucent leaves usually mean you overwatered. Adjust your watering and soil as needed.


Aphids are tiny pests in a variety of colors. You’ll usually find them on the underside of leaves – their food sources. The honeydew they secrete can grow black mold and attract ants. If there’s a large number of aphids in one spot, you can simply prune the leaf. Insecticidal soap and orange guard spray will control them also. To prevent aphids, try using Diatomaceous Earth, neem oil, or Ladybugs.

Crassula perforata is also susceptible to Vine Weevil, a flightless black beetle. These pests are nocturnal, but the damage is clear during the day. You’ll see C-shaped holes and wilted, yellow leaves. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth or grits at the base of the plant to prevent them. Because Vine Weevil is fairly resistant to sprays, remove them manually at night.

Mealybugs are another pest to watch out for. They’re small, white bugs that drain the sap from plants. Remove them with insecticidal soap or a mix of liquid dish soap and water. You can also attack them individually with a q-tip dipped in 70% rubbing alcohol.


Root rot is the most common threat to String of Buttons. It usually starts at the roots when the succulent is overwatered. You may also see it in the stem and leaves. Rotted sections will turn brown or black and be mushy. Root rot makes them more susceptible to bacteria, so they need to be treated early on.

Remove root rot by cutting off the infected sections. Let the wounds callous over before replanting in new, well-draining soil. After replanting, don’t water your Pagoda Plant for a few days so it can recover.

If your Pagoda Plant’s roots are too rotted to save, take a cutting from the top to propagate. Then you’ll get a fresh start with this succulent!

Q. Is Crassula perforata toxic to pets?

A. Neither PetMD nor American Veterinarian list String of Buttons as toxic to pets.

Q. Can you save an overwatered succulent?

A. Usually, you can! Repot the succulent in new and completely dry soil. Remember to brush off the old, moist soil from the roots first. Don’t give the plant any water for a few days or until it recovers.

Q. Why are the leaves falling off my succulent?

A. Old leaves at the bottom of the succulent fall off naturally. If newer green leaves are dropping, you’ve probably overwatered.

Watch the video: Succulent Propagation Secrets for Stacking Crassula