The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent

Would you like to grow your very own natural pagoda?

Yes, that’s right. In the heart of the wonderful world of succulents is an eye-catching perennial with multi-colored bright red and green leaves that appear like a tiered tower of a pagoda. This fiery evergreen makes an attractive garden focal point and creates a gorgeous border around the edge of a sunny rockery. Meet the Crassula Capitella, the small but striking succulent that also goes by the names Red Flames, Red Pagoda and Campfire Plant.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Red and green succulent. @mes_succulentes

Origins of the Crassula Capitella

Crassula Capitella is natively rooted in South Africa, vibrantly thriving in the provinces of Transvaal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. It is also prominently featuring in the landscapes of Namibia and Botswana. The plant is well known to the indigenous people of South Africa as a herb whose roots are dried and crushed into a powder that is used to heal wounds.

This succulent derives the name Crassula from the Latin word “Crassus” which means ‘thick’. This is referring to the size of the chubby leaves. The word Capitella relates to a specific epithet drawn from the Latin word “Capitellum” which translated means ‘small head’.

Be sure to also check out “Where Do Most Succulents Come From?” to see the origin of the rest of your succulent garden.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Succulent in well-draining pot. @myfellowfoliage

Crassula Capitella Succulent

This evergreen succulent has small, pointed, thick leaves that are firmly stacked on top of each other, attached to a stem. The leaves are narrow and tend to resemble a propeller. As the plant grows, the leaves start off as a bright, apple-green color. After that, the more sunlight the plant receives which makes for the leaves to form highlights at the tips and edges that range in shades. From deep purple, to blush red and intense orange.

The different hues are emphasized during the winter as the perennial takes advantage of bright sunlight and cool, long nights. When grown in shaded areas, the leaves of Crassula Capitella remain olive green in color, all year round. The leaves grow in the shape of a rosette. With larger leaves tightly packed at the base of the stem and smaller, spaced-out leaves at the top tip of the stem.

Interested in these colorful succulents? Make sure you check out “5 Succulents with Red Flowers” here.

Crassula Capitella is an upstanding member of the plant society, in the sense that it tends to grow standing upright, ranging from 15 to 40 cm tall. Given the right conditions, this succulent can also spread around a 1-meter radius. But the tips of the stems will always try and face the sun.

Once a year, mostly during the summer, the stems sprout clusters of tiny, star-like, white flowers that become the feature attraction for bees and butterflies. This succulent also produces an elongated inflorescence forming from the stem. The roots appear at the plant’s internodes, making rooting effortless if the stem is lying on the ground.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Crassula capitella with blueish hue. @dr_succs

Best Watering Conditions

No matter how faithful we try to be with our evergreen friends, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. For example, they may end up with no access to water for a short time period. The ever-forgiving Crassula Capitella turns out to be a super succulent! In addition, to storing water in the leaves like other succulents, it also saves water during the day. Thanks to the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), the succulent is able to open its stomata at night to absorb carbon dioxide, instead of during the day, which helps the plant reduce internal moisture loss due to evaporation. The plant’s hardiness enables them to thrive and survive in drought-prone areas.

That being said, however, the Crassula Capitella still requires a drink of water now and again. Try these water bottles out when its time to water your succulent. Likewise most succulents, one of the greatest dangers to these plants is over-watering. To be on the safe side, you would rather your plant be too dry as compared to too wet. Not sure why your Crassula Capitella is dying? Check out “Why Are My Succulent Leaves Falling Off?”. Anyways, that is to say, a good drink of water every fortnight should be sufficient and the timing can alternate depending on the weather. This succulent does not like bath time and would only require a short 10-minute soak in a saucer of water, then shaken off to drain excess water.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
stunning decoration @succulentsssss

Best Lighting Conditions

To bring the best out of the leaf coloring, Crassula Capitella will do well with at least 6 hours of sunshine in a partially shaded area. The plant prefers light or porous, well-draining garden soil, like this one. Crassula Capitella can withstand some level of frost, but it does not do well in freezing temperatures. When small, brown dots start to appear on the leaves, this could be a sign of frost damage. If residing in areas with cold climates, place the plant in a container that can easily be relocated indoors during extreme temperature changes.

The Crassula Capitella is susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. It should be checked on regularly. This succulent can also fall prone to foliage edema which occurs from rapid changes in moisture. The plant is safe to have around curious animals. To clarify it does not fall under the list of toxic succulents.


The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Crassula capitella in the garden. @cactinaut


This branching succulent propagates through offsets of leaf, root, and stem cuttings. To propagate the plant using a part of the plant, ensure that your cutting is approximately 130 mm long. Try these shears for those tricky cuts. After that, place the cutting in a tray with succulent potting mix or soil that is moist but not waterlogged. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the cuttings to take root and show new growth. During this time, it is advisable to occasionally water the plant to establish an extensive root system. After that, you can reduce watering to every fortnight.

Also check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for a more in-depth look at propagation.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Light green capitella succulent. @adelicadezadoamor

Pruning and Fertilizer

To elongate the life of the Crassula Capitella, firstly it’s suggested that you prune and replant your succulent after it flowers. Secondly, this succulent could do with an organic compost fertilizer, twice a year or if the soil is impoverished. Old foliage can be taken off with a sharp, clean knife before the new leaves start to emerge to maintain the pleasant and delightful look of your succulent. To really keep your Crassula Capitella thriving, every two to three years, especially in the early springtime, you could divide up the clumps and direct the succulent to grow in the direction you would like.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Stair pattern on crassula capitella succulent. @replantnl

Depending on your location and where you buy your plants from, Crassula Capitella range in price from $3.00 to $20.00. With a wide variety of colors available at select supermarkets, online, and at your local farmers market. Their intriguing shapes have become the latest trend for wedding planners and interior designers. They make absolutely brilliant ornamental gifts in an indoor container plant or hanging basket.

Thanks for reading! If you have a minute, drop us a line letting us know where you get your succulents from. Maybe we could compare notes, leaves, and succulents!

Also if you liked this post, make sure to check out related content like “What is a Cactus Plant?” or “5 Office Succulents You Wish You Had at Work”. And Be sure to join our ever-growing succulent community on  Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Happy Planting!! ?

Crassula Perforata – String of Buttons Succulent

Crassula Perforata – String of buttons

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? That’s right, the Crassula perforata or the string of buttons makes the perfect addition for any plant-loving novice or connoisseur. Let us know, 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 really enjoy our ebook about “The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll 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! ?