Crassula Perforata – The String of Buttons Succulent

Crassula Perforata Image

Have you ever noticed how succulents look like nature’s art pieces? Firstly the magnificent array of leafy hues ranging from deep olive green to silvery purple or blushing pink, succulents come in amazing colors to blend into any environment. Further, these vibrant leaves can be smooth, hairy, prickly, soft, tough, oddly shaped or geometrically correct. That being said, we can’t get enough of these breathtaking creatures.

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
String of Buttons @terravitac

Crassula perforata

Speaking of succulents that are literally out-standing, allow us to introduce you to a plant that is full of charm and character, looks great in an indoor decorative pot or basking in the sun by the window ledge – the great Crassula perforata.

Where Does This Succulent Come From?

The Crassula perforata is originally rooted in the soils of KwaZulu-Natal and Cape provinces of South Africa. It is a succulent shrub that grows long, rambling fleshy stems, developing between 4 and 6 feet tall. Native Crassula Perforata has been seen to grow long stems reaching up to 30 feet in the air, but these are the wild ones.

Be sure to also check out “Where Do Most Succulents Come From?” to see from where most succulents originate from.

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
Close up Crassula perforata @dabriplants

Stunning Looks of Pasta and Necklaces

The Crassula Perforata has triangle-shaped leaves that grow in a spiral fashion, opposite each other. The leaves tend to be grey-green in color and they may have some small pink or white dots along the margins. The leaves grow on the stem-like tightly stacked rosettes and depending on the amount of sunlight, the leaves develop a pink tint at the edges. From a distance, the leaves of this special succulent have a distinct look of green pasta spirals, giving way to the other names String of Buttons, Necklace Vine and Pagoda Plant.

This succulent has a thick, outward spreading stem, a strong root system and it is basically un-branched. It grows upwards, making it a great house plant but with the right conditions. It can also spread out as interesting ground cover. Between the months of November and April, the Crassula Perforata produces tiny, star-shaped flowers that grow to be about a quarter of an inch in size. The flowers may either be pink or pale yellow in color, but they do not produce a scent. This succulent also has a long inflorescence. Take a look at “The 11 Best Trailing Succulents” for more interesting long succulents to choose from.

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
String of buttons in a pot @learn_suculentas

Favorable Settings for Crassula perforata

Being a member of the succulent family, the Crassula perforata stores water in its leaves and can tolerate drought conditions. This evergreen can handle direct sunlight but it prefers bright, filtered light. As an indoor plant, it thrives with 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight, but it is not a fan of humid areas. The Crassula perforata can cope with mild frost, but they cannot come to grips with severe freezing temperatures for weeks at a time. Wondering how you can take care of your succulents in the winter? Check out “How to Care for Succulents in the Winter” for a full guide.

Although this succulent is drought resistant, it needs to gradually adjust to weather and temperature changes. Weather phenomena like heat waves have been known to cause Crassula Perforata sunburns and sometimes, completely toast the plant dry. When the weather starts to change, it is advisable to move your plant to either a shady area or a bright area for a few hours at a time and about three times a week. The plant needs to gradually adapt to its environment because quick changes will shock the plant and can even kill it.

Looking for more from the Crassula family? Be sure to also read then “The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent“.

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
Indoor String of buttons @atolye_22

Best Water Conditions

Even though the Crassula Perforata are highly adaptable to long periods without water, it does require a good drink of water or a soak once in a while to restore and rejuvenate the roots and leaves. Depending on the weather, you can water your Crassula Perforata every 7-10 days during the summer, every 10-14 days during spring and autumn and once a month during the winter.

Looking for more of a guide for watering your succulents? Then check out “When You Should Water Your Succulents“.

Best Soil Conditions

This succulent is also very picky about the soil it prefers. The Crassula Perforata fancies well-draining cactus mix or a two-to-one consistency of regular potting soil and sandy soil.

To ascertain that you do not drown your plant by mistake, always ensure that the soil is completely dry before you water the plant again. You could also invest in a plant moisture meter or hygrometer to confirm the wetness and humidity in the soil and air.

Best Lighting Conditions

If your plant is staying indoors, place the pot somewhere near a window. When the plant is not receiving enough light, it starts to etiolate or stretch out, looking for the sun. Move the pot to the south facing the window and during the winter. You could mimic the sun with grow lights.

Find out the reasons why succulents reach for that sunlight so much in “Do Succulents Need Sunlight?


The Crassula Perforata can be propagated from the leaves, but for gardening beginners, we suggest propagating using a piece of the stem. With a clean knife or plant scissors, cut from the mother plant a healthy piece of stem that is not less than 4 inches long. The cutting should not have dehydrated or stressed leaves. Let the cutting dry in the sun for about 24 to 48 hours, and then place the cutting in well-draining soil. Position the cutting in a sunny area, but not in direct sunlight and keep regularly misting the plant. After about two months, the plant should start to take root. With new growth developing on the sides or at the top of the stem, showing that the cutting is ready to be transplanted. Need more tips on propagating your succulent plants? Then check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for a full guide.


Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
Outdoor succulent planter @mysucculentaddictionisreal

Guidelines for a Healthy Crassula perforata

Fortunately, Crassula perforata rarely fall prey to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. The biggest health hazard they face is overwatering. If your plant starts to develop translucent, mushy brown leaves, this is a sign that your plant is drowning and you should reduce the amount of water your plant is getting. You could also check on the soil to make sure it is a fast-draining soil as constant wet soil can lead to root rot. You can trim off rotting roots as well as untamed leaves to maintain the healthy glow of your plant. Check out this fast-draining soil we just for these purposes.

Every three years, it is advisable to re-pot your string of buttons plant to get rid of old soil and replenish nutrients. The best time to do this is early springtime, just before the plant embarks on its growing season. When growing, feel free to add liquid fertilizer, every two weeks.

Also, check out “Repotting Succulents— the Right Way” for full instructions on repotting the right way.

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons
String of Button Jungle @earthwindandcactus

So, what looks like green pasta needs a little TLC and can easily become your best friend? The Crassula perforata or the string of buttons, makes the perfect addition for any plant-loving novice or connoisseur. Let us know, if would you prefer the Crassula Perforata in a pot or a hanging basket. Let us know in the comments below!

Enjoyed learning about “Crassula perforata – String of buttons”? If so, you’ll enjoy our ebook “The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully“. With this ebook, you’ll find more detailed answers to help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy Planting! If you are looking for the next read on SucculentCity, here are my suggestions:

Succulent City chief editor


Richard | Editor-in-chief at Succulent City

Hey everyone! I’m Richard. Welcome to my blog, which is all about succulents, cacti, and a bit about air plants. Ten years back, in 2013, I began my journey with succulents. It started as a simple hobby, crafting and selling charming succulent-themed pins and decorations. But as time passed, my fascination with these remarkable plants grew, and I gained extensive knowledge about them. Therefore, Succulent City is the blog as you see it is now. Enjoy your visit and happly planting!

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Posted in Succulents