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?

Propagation

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 repot your 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 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! 🌵

Crassula Ovata— the Jade Plant Succulent

Ever heard of the phrase, “money doesn’t grow on trees?” I know I have…

Well, as per old Chinese divinity beliefs, it can grow money— at least on succulents. According to Feng Shui lore, simply placing some plant at the entrance of your house, office or business is what it takes to make big bucks.

The Jade Plant

The jade plant is widely associated with luck, riches and prosperity in the Asian communities. In China, you’ll find it mainly at the entrance of shops, restaurants and offices to attract customers and good fortune. The jade plant, also known as the dollar plant, is believed to attract riches due to its small, round-like leaves which resemble jade coins symbolic of wealth and success.

So serious is the belief, that the jade plant is usually placed on top of stocks and investments certificates during Chinese new year celebration for higher stock value in the incoming year. (Talk about a bullish method).

Crassula Ovata the Jade Plant
Crassula Ovata— the Jade Plant @farmer_chui

In most countries where these beliefs are upheld, this “good luck” plant is usually given as a gift in weddings, house warming and during a launch of a new business.

The Feng shui philosophy has it that the jade plant will attract money towards your house, office or business due to its “positive energy” emission.

Though multitudes may dismiss that as a myth, misconception or a Chinese fad, be that as it may, the jade plant is a popular household plant, not only in China, but globally. You’ll find it in Asian countries and even here in the United States.

So will a jade plant placed at the entrance of your house increase your bank balance, clear your credit cards, help you pay your mortgage quicker or grow those savings? Well, that’s quite iffy. One thing for sure, it’ll make a remarkable house plant in your living room.

Crassula Ovata

The jade plant is scientifically referred to as Crassula Ovata. Though previously known as Crassula argentea, it belongs to the genus Crassula and the Crassulaceae family. This particular succulent is loaded with hordes of common names: money plant, lucky plant, dollar plant, friendship plant, jade plant and pink joy.

Crassula ovata shares the name “money tree” with Pachira aquatica which also goes by the same nickname and both are believed to attract money according to Feng shui folklore.

Origin of the Jade Plant

Native to South African and Mozambique, this supposedly auspicious succulent has found its way around many households all over the world.

It does well both indoors and out in the open garden or landscape. The jade plant is mainly grown in temperate and tropical regions.

Characteristics of the Jade Plant

Crassula ovata jade plant
Crassula Ovata Succulent @little.greenery

Crassula ovata is a slow-growing, ever-green and thoroughly branched succulent that can last for generations under good conditions. It’s mainly recognized for its glossy, spoon-shaped, jade-green leaves that grow in opposite pairs. When grown in abundant light, the leaves become tinged with red.

Stems start off as green and fleshy but as the plant grows, they turn to brown and become woody. Mature jade plants have a miniature tree-like appearance, which makes them very aesthetically appealing as decorative houseplants.

The jade plant produces small, star-shaped, white or light pink flowers that are arranged in round clusters. The blooming takes place at winter or spring. The flowers are lightly sweet scented and attract butterflies, bees and flies.

The following features make the jade plant unique…

  • Its miniature tree-like appearance makes it a charming indoor ornamental.
  • It’s very easy to propagate jade plants through stem and leaf cuttings.
  • Crassula ovata requires minimal care.
  • It is a disease-free succulent.
  • It can thrive when both grown indoors or outdoors.

How to Grow a Jade Plant

Crassula Ovata jade plant
Crassula Ovata @alexisandherplants

This South African succulent does not need a lot of attention. It’s an easy grow plant, pretty forgiving if denied water once in a while and loves lots of sunlight.

To end up with a healthy jade plant, observe the following…

Light Requirements

Jade plants flourish in direct sunlight as well as bright, indirect light. The recommended light dosage for the jade plant is a minimum of four hours.

Insufficient light will cause it to have droopy stems and you clearly don’t want such morphology. Place it near a window or anywhere it can busk in the sun for healthy stem and leaf formation. Or you can use these indoor grow lights we found to be very popular.

It’s also worthwhile to note that during its growing stages, avoid placing it in the afternoon hot summer sun as this will lead to leaf scorch.

Ideal Temperature & Climate

The jade plant can tolerate a wide range of humidity and temperature, and even light frost. However, they can’t stand freezing – they’ll die.

They mainly love room temperature and during winter it should not be less than 10°C. They also prefer a well ventilated area.

Watering a Crassula Ovata or Jade Plant

Crassula ovata, like many other succulents, is “easy to care and hard to kill.” Hard to kill because of one thing – overwatering. Contrary to what you think, succulents don’t need a lot of water, much more every week. These are xerophytic plants that have adapted to surviving in desert conditions by storing water in their leaves.

Therefore, when you feed them water every time, their roots fail to take up the water leading to a damp soil – a disaster for their roots. Damp soil will cause their roots to decay and death will be inevitable.

So how often should you water your Crassula ovata?

It depends on three things: the weather, soil and the water storage capacity of the plant.

Crassula ovata jade plant
Jade Plant @pottedfriends

The best way to know when to water your jade plant is by sticking your finger into the soil. Check whether it’s completely dry, in that case, it’s time to water the plant. If it’s damp, don’t water it. Wait till it dries out completely. Easy peasy.

While watering it, give it a generous pour and let the water drain in the soil.

Of course, you’ll water it very less frequently during winter since the plant is semi-dormant. Leave the soil mostly dry during this time.

If you notice foliage spotting and dwarfing in your jade plant, that’s an indication that you’re giving them less water than is recommended. However, as mentioned above, you can never go wrong with waiting for soil to dry out in-between watering.

Best Soil for Crassula Ovata

Crassula ovata flourishes on fast draining soil preferably specific to succulents and cacti. Wet soil is injurious to the plant as it makes it susceptible to pests, diseases and root rot.

It is possible to make a home-made cacti mix for planting the jade plant.

Simply mix portions of garden soil with equal amounts of pearlite or pumice to end up with well-draining soil. Here’s a great bag of soil we’ve found highly rated.

Also, jade plants can do well without a fertilizer. However, if you want to accelerate the growth process, then feed it every two months using liquid fertilizer during the growing season. (Be sure to follow the directions on the bottle of any liquid fertilizer you use, some are concentrates which need to be diluted before use. Otherwise your plants may be heading to the wrong direction before you can help save it).

Jade plant crassula ovata
Jade Plants @homebyfousna

Propagating the Jade Plant

When it comes to propagating the jade plant, nothing could be easier. This can be achieved either through stem or leaf cuttings. Propagation through leaf cuttings is the easiest but stem cuttings might be quicker and with a higher success rate. Regardless of the method you choose, you should end up with healthy little jades in several weeks.

To propagate through leaf cuttings, simply pluck a healthy leaf from the base of the stem. Allow the cutting to dry for a few days. This is to avoid it to rot after you’ve planted it. You can alternatively dip it in rooting hormone. Stick the dried cutting in a commercial cacti mix soil that is well draining. If you don’t have access to a commercial cacti mix, simply mix garden soil with equal amounts of pearlite or pumice. Do not place the propagates in direct sunlight. Water them every few days.

In about two weeks, you’ll notice roots begin to form. Increase the sunlight after the plants are established and decrease watering to three times a month once the plants are mature.

The procedure is the same for stem cuttings. Cut out a stem from a mature jade plant, give it a day or two for the wound to dry. Stick it up in a well-draining cacti mix.

Stem cuttings will take between 6 to 8 weeks for them to be fully rooted. Leaf cuttings take longer, about 8 weeks to a few months after propagation. This is because you need to leave the plant to sprout and also to grow bigger.

Repotting the Jade Plant

Crassula ovata can remain a long time in pots and become root bound. You can repot a jade plant once in every two to three years or when it outgrows its pot.

You also want to repot your jade plant to a larger pot or container to prevent it from tipping over when it becomes top-heavy.

succulent planters
Succulent Planters @bebe_federmann

Crassula Ovata Pests & Problems

Mealy bugs

The jade plant is not susceptible to many pests. The most common insect pests attacking jades are mealy bugs. They harm the plant by deforming new growth. Use cotton wool dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe them off and do this for several weeks until you eliminate all the pests.

Aphids

These pests set up huge colonies and when not dealt with, they can get out of control and spread disease. Check the leaves for aphids and hose them off or use rubbing alcohol.

Drooping stems and a lanky morphology

These problems are as a result of insufficient light. If you notice any of these, quickly move your Crassula Ovata to a well-lit area, preferably next to a huge window.

Rotting roots

The usual suspect is overwatering. However, it can also be caused by cold conditions or a combination of both. If your plant is rotting, cut out the root before it spreads.

Shriveled stems and leaves

An indication that your Crassula ovata is clearly parched. Give it enough water and wait for the soil to dry out between watering.

Poison / Safety

Jade plants are mildly toxic to humans and poisonous to dogs and cats. (See more poisonous succulents to dogs and cats here). The toxic compound in jade plants remains unknown. When ingested, it can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.

Where to Buy Jade Plants

You can get yourself a Crassula ovata at plant nurseries or home garden centers near you. Online stores such as Etsy and Amazon can serve as great alternatives too.

Better still, you can receive it as a gift from a close friend or family member. Take a look at our article for more information on where you can buy a variety of succulents from online to your local stores, it’s helped a lot of people.


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 complementary guide. 

There you have it, everything you need to know about the unique characteristics of the jade plant, or the crassula ovata for you scientific growers. Be sure to share this with a friend if they need some information on this succulent plant.

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