Crassula perforate (String of buttons)-[Ultimate Guide For Care & Growth]

Crassula perforate is native to South Africa and commonly known as a string of buttons or necklace vine plant.

This is the most popular succulent of the crassula family with an attractive look and easy to grow and care.

The string of buttons appears like a shrubby and sprawl succulent with a height of 1-2 feet (30-60cm). width 2-3 feet (60-90cm).

The stems of this plant erect firstly and become flat and woody over time.

The chunky triangular-shaped leaves of the necklace plant look like stacked on the top of each other and spiral around the stems.

These fluffy leaves have light-toned grey-green or blue-green color with pink or reddish edges. The pink color may sharpen with the expose of more sunlight.

Additionally, it has thick square-shaped foliage, most peoples called it buttons or beads that’s why it is known as a string of buttons and necklace vine plants. 

It may bloom in spring with very small and beautiful star-shaped flowers containing white to light-toned yellow color or pink to light-toned yellow.

String of buttons is drought tolerant and fast-growing succulent with the ability to survive in the desert-like areas.

crassula perforata (String of buttons)

  • String of buttons
  • necklace vine plant
  • pagoda plant
  • stacked crassula
  •  crassula perforata thunb. 
  • Family: Crassulaceae
  • Genus: Crassula


 Hardiness Zone:  USDA hardiness Zone 9a 20oF (-6.7oC) to 11b 50oF (+10oC). 

 Origin:  according to biodiversity education and research greenhouses crassula perforate is the native to South Africa and mainly found in Cape province.

 leaves shape and size 

leaves shape of crassula perforata

string of buttons has triangular-shaped leaves up to 2cm long and 1.3 cm wide with gray-green color and pinkish border.

like campfire crassula the border of leaves becomes reddish due to the long exposure of light.

The stacked leaves of this succulent grow in pairs opposite to each other.

 Flowering and fragrance  

Pagoda plant produces tiny star-shaped flowers of 0.4 inch with white to pale yellow colour or pink to pale yellow.

Keep in mind pagoda plant doesn’t bloom always it depends on the maturity and other factors, so don’t get nervous if your plant does not bloom in spring, it will bloom at the right time.

However, these flowers don’t have any fragrance.


The most trusted and authoritative site like petMD, ASPCA, and American veterinarian does not list this plant as a toxic plant yet.

However, if you feel that this plant is poisoning for your pets you can contact the nearest veterinarian hospital. You can also contact ASPCA (animal poisoning control system) Tel: 888-426-4435.

 Desired planting Area  

crassula perforata is not a cold hardy it can’t bear the temperature below 20oF (-6.7oC).

on the other hand, it can’t survive the harsh heat waves.

luckily if you are living in zone 9a-11b then you can plant it outdoor otherwise I advised you to plant it in a container.

Planting in a container will provide you major advantages like you can move outdoor when you feel heat waves are mild. Move it indoor when you feel freezing temperature.

It needs 5-6 hours of light every day otherwise it will not groom well.

 Frost Tolerance 
  • The string of buttons is not a cold-hardy succulent it can’t survive the freezing temperature for a long time.
  • Fortunately, if you are living in USDA hardiness zone 9a or 11b. Then you can plant it outdoor all year.
  • if you are living in an area where winter is real, then you can plant it in a container (pot). Bring it indoors whenever you think the temperature is dropping.
  • However, greenhouses and shades may help you to save your plant in real winter. 

how to care for Crassula Perforata

  • how to water crassula perforata “string of Buttons”
  • Lighting requirements of crassula perforata.
  • soil requirements.
  • pot or container.
  • fertilizer requirements.
  • repotting process.
  • Propagation of Crassula Perforata (String of Buttons)
  • pest and diseases care

how to water crassula perforata “string of Buttons”

Watering is the most important and crucial step to grow your plant because there is no any proper formula to water your plant. You need to identify yourself, whether your plant needs watering or not.

Watering mostly depend on the humidity, seasonal variations, outdoor and indoor.

Crassula perforata needs frequent watering in summer as compared to the winter.

It needs watering after 7-8 days in summers some times more often when heatwaves become harsh, and in winters it needs watering after 2-3 weeks.

if you are living in a humid climate then your succulent requires less watering.

Also, if you want to grow your succulent indoor then it needs less water as compared to outdoor.

Make sure to water it properly, overwatering may destroy your string of buttons within a few months because it leads to root rot.

How can we identify whether our plant needs watering or not?

I suggest you use a 2-inch finger rule to identify watering needs.

Simply you have to dig a hole of 2-inch with finger or hygrometer in the soil of your necklace vine plant and observe the moisture of the soil.

If the soil is dry, then water it otherwise doesn’t water it.

Here is the step by step guide to water your pagoda plant

 STEP 1:  select a well-drained potting mix soil and an appropriate size container with a drainage hole at the bottom.

 STEP 2:  water the soil of your necklace vine plant don’t water the leaves because it can cause several diseases and leaf rot.

 IMPORTANT: STEP 3:  water you plant 2-3 times and keep examine that water drain out properly from the bottom hole.

Lighting requirements of crassula perforata.

Like all crassula succulent it needs 5-6 hours of lighting either direct light (Outdoor) or filtered light (indoor).

Lighting plays an important role in enhancing the colour of string of buttons.

The more it gets lighting the more it will be vibrant and bright in colour.

More exposure to lighting will sharpen the pink colour of edges and appears like a sharp reddish pink.

indoor lighting requirements

If you are growing your pagoda plant indoor, you have to select a bright place where an adequate amount of filtered sunlight falls.

Generally, the southern window is the best place for growing this plant if you are living in the northern hemisphere.

Provide lighting to your string of buttons as much as you can. Typically it needs 4-6 hours of indoor lighting otherwise it will stretch out.

If your necklace of plant does not get the required amount of lighting, it will be stretching out with small leaves weak stems and a pale yellow color this is called etiolation.

If you observe that your plant suffering from the same conditions, then you must select the bright and dry place from immediately. We do this to get vibrant and bright colors. 

Make sure to produce a light and bright environment for your pagoda plant in order to make it happy and healthy.

If you don’t have any bright spot for your plant, consider using the grow light.

Grow light especially work very well in the long and dark winters.

NOTE: if you are growing you necklace fine plant indoor keep maintain the temperature 65-70oF in summers and 45-50oF in winters.

Outdoor lighting requirements

Though Crassula perforate thrives well in full sun, but it needs some safety precautions.

Luckily if you are living in a zone 9a-11b then you can grow it outdoor, otherwise, it can’t survive the harsh heat waves in the afternoon and freezing temperature at night.

Since this not a cold hardy it can’t survive the temperature below -6.5oC, on the other hand, it can’t survive the harsh heat waves.

Some tips to grow your spring of buttons outdoor

  • if you really wanted to grow your succulent outdoor then you have to select a bright spot that gets shade in the afternoon.
  • You can also use various greenhouses and shades to filtered out the light.
  • Keep in mind crassula perforate is sensitive to sudden light and temperature changes. If you want to make some changes and adjustments make sure to adjust it gradually so it can acclimate properly.
  • Before planting your string of buttons outdoor increase the amount of lighting it gets, it is best to acclimate your plant slowly it helps to prevent your plant from any sunburn or sun damage.
  • Slowly increase the exposure of lighting until it becomes fully acclimate.
NOTE: Even a fully acclimate succulent may burn out with the exposure of harsh heat waves, make sure to use a balanced amount of sun exposure.

Soil Requirments

Soil selection is the most crucial and important step for your succulent. good soil will help your succulent to grow well and poor soil will destroy your succulent within weeks.

The Soil is the most important ingredient for all most all succulents not only for a string of buttons, make sure to select a well-drained soil which is slightly acidic pH= 6.

Make sure to check out the drainage of soil first if it can drain out the water properly then you can use it.

If the soil holds too much water, then it can rot the roots of your necklace of vine.

Pot or Container

there are plenty of pots or containers available in the market but you have to select a pot with an appropriate size and a bottom hole at the bottom.

Plastic pots will work fine for your crassula perforate if you are a beginner.

Select a plastic pot and make a hole at the bottom with a drill if it does not have any bottom hole.

if you want to check out my detailed guide about Crassula rogersii click here

Fertilizer Requirments

The string of buttons does not require any fertilizer for growth you can grow it naturally without any fertilizer. If you want to increase the growth rate and want to flower your plant, then fertilizer is the best choice for you.

in growing season fertilize your necklace vine plant with balance dosage of fertilizer like 1/3 to ¼ strength fertilizer can use after 10 -12 days.

If your succulent is young, then nitrogen fertilizer will be best for it otherwise you can use ordinary fertilizer for a mature plant.

TIP: mix some amount of natural cow dung powder in the soil it will improve the strength of your succulent and also increase the growth rate.

NOTE: Don’t over-fertilize your plant it will affect negatively, make sure to use balance dosage of fertilizer (this article may helpful for you to fertilize your plant).

Repotting process

Repotting is necessary for all succulent not only string of buttons, because with the passage of time soil losses nutrients by the watering process.

Also it will give you a proper visualization and measurement of roots. It will help you to identify the dead roots and health status of your plant.

Make sure to repot your pagoda plant in the warm season when its soil becomes too dry.

Here is the step by step guide to repot your string of Buttons.

 STEP 1:  gently remove the old pot and soil from your plant.

 STEP 2:  Remove all old soil from the roots of your plant by shaking it.

 IMPORTANT: STEP 3:  Remove all dead roots with a knife or hands.

 STEP 4:  treat all the cuts with neem oil or any other fungicide.

 STEP 5:  if the roots of your plant become rot then remove the infected area.

 IMPORTANT: STEP 6:  place the plant in the new container with an appropriate size and fill it with new potting mix.

 STEP 7:  don’t water it for 1 week until the soil becomes too dry.

 STEP 8:  after 1 week, water it slowly because overwatering leads to root rot.

Propagation of Crassula Perforata (String of Buttons)

Propagation not only multiplies your succulent but also can further enhance the beauty and health of the mother plant.

It is necessary to propagate your string of buttons when it becomes leggy and irregular.

Like all crassula succulent the propagation of this succulent is very interesting and easy. It can be propagating from both leaf and stem.

 Stem Propagation of string of buttons 

Stem Propagation of string of buttons

 STEP 1:  select a healthy offset of string of buttons and cut it off at least one inch below the rosette and remove the bottom leaf if present, so that at least half-inch of stem become naked to plant.

 STEP 2:   allow the cut to heal and dry for 2-3 days in a dry and bright place, make sure don’t expose it outdoor.

 IMPORTANT: STEP 3:  when the cut becomes heal and dry plant it in a well-drained soil and mist some water when the soil becomes dry.

After 2-3 weeks you see the new roots of your offset and after 6-7 weeks you will notice new growth in the offset.

 STEP 4:  once it forms full roots then start proper watering and increase the exposure of lighting.

 leaf propagation of string of buttons  

leaf Propagation of string of buttons

leaf propagation of string of buttons is a little bit technical because it’s leaves spiral around the stem and grow in a pair opposite to each other.

 STEP 1:  gently remove the pair in one piece without leaving any part on the stem.

 STEP 2:  allow the leaf to callous for several days, make sure to place leaf at a dry and bright place.

Rooting hormone powder is optional if you want then simply dip your cuttings. 

 IMPORTANT: STEP 3:  Place the leaf on the top of well-drained potting mix and mist some water, make sure to keep away from direct sun rays.

 STEP 4:  plant it in a well-drained soil once it forms full roots and starting watering and caring.

 Pruning of crassula perforate 

The string of plant can be prune due to several reasons like stems become dead, excess amount of honeydew present on the stem, cosmetic reasons, if the plant becomes leggy, etc.

This is a very simple process you must cut down the infected stem without losing the green area.

You can prune back your plant once it becomes leggy.

Common Problems and Diseases

Sometimes your crassula perforate faces negative impacts due to low light of exposure, full sun exposure with harsh heat waves, under watering, and overwatering.

You need to balance these things in order to keep your succulent happy and healthy.

 Problems due to the low light exposure 

Crassula perforata is popular for its plump and compact with vibrant and bright colours.

If it’s not getting required amount lighting, then it may be stretched out, develop week stems, small leaves, and dull colour.

Due to Poor lighting, your string of buttons may suffer from etiolation (the process in which plant does not get an adequate amount of lighting and become unhealthy and stretched).

However, if your plant is already stretched more then you need you can prune some stems according to needs.

 Problems due to full sun exposure in summer 

Though crassula perforata native to warmer and rocky places and can survive in extreme weather still long Exposure of direct sunlight in summers may burn your plant, you may find brown spots on the leaves or stems of your necklace vine plant.

if you simply adjust the location of your plant by placing it in a shade where filtered lighting falls then your plant may be recovered and secure from internal damage.

Make sure to adjust the location gradually because the pagoda plant is sensitive to sudden light changes.


Due to deficiency of water, the leaves of your plant may be dropping or become shriveled.

if you found that the healthy leaves of your plant become shriveled, dry, deflated and some of them start dropping then this is a sign that your plant needs a good drink.

However, some of the old leaves dropping naturally, but if newer green leaves start dropping then you have to balance watering according to needs.

A good drink will refresh your plant within 1-2 days.


The main cause of overwatering is root rot, also you may observe mushy brown leaves due to overwatering.

You may find black and brown spots at leaves and stems once your plant is infected.

Once you found root rot (brown or black spots on the roots) you must remove it with a knife and plant it again. Leave it for 2-3 days without water.

if your plant is to rooted to save, the only way to save your string of buttons is to propagate all the leaves and stems save green as much as you can and allow the cutting to callous and plant it in well-drained soil. 

NOTE: once you found the healthy leaves of your string of buttons become soft and mushy then immediately cut back the watering and don’t water it until it becomes too dry.

Also, check the bottom hole of pot some time water can’t drain out properly.


mealy bugs, Aphids and vine weevil

sometimes your string of buttons can’t Survive the attack of several pests like mealybugs, Aphides and vine weevil.

You need to have some techniques to keep away these pests from your string of buttons.

 How to keep safe your pagoda plant from Aphids 

Aphids are common pests with various variations and colors some common aphides are known as greenfly and blackfly.

Generally, they hide at the undersides of leaves, and release a waste called “honeydew” a black ball of waste that attracts several fungal diseases and ants.

You can save your string of buttons from aphides by using insecticidal soap, neem oil, homemade insecticidal soap, and ladybugs 

Recommended insecticidal soap – affiliate link

 How to keep safe your crassula perforata from Vine weevil 

Vine weevils are a nightmare for your string of plants they can destroy your succulent within weeks.

Vine weevil looks like a blackish-brown insect; the female vine weevil doesn’t require male vine weevil to reproduce.

Adult vine weevil feed on the leaves you will see clear holes on the leaves of your succulent and grubs feed on the roots, which is more dangerous for your succulent.

You can kill adult vine weevil manually just you have to keep open your eyes and grab every vine weevil your find.

Mostly adult vine weevil tries to eat your succulent at the night it is best to find vine weevil at night with a torch.

Also you can use vine weevil killers or Diatomaceous earth to kill vine weevil.

 How to keep safe your necklace vine plant from Mealybugs and other insects 

Sometimes a string of plant may not survive the attack of mealybugs and other large insects.

Mealybugs are very small white bugs they love to drain the sap from succulents.

Mostly mealy bugs love to hide between the leaves of the string of button because it has very tightly compact leaves.

If you find that the healthy leaves of your string of buttons become curled and find some cottony type material on the leaves then your plant must be attacked by mealybugs.

You can remove mealybugs insecticidal soap, neem oil, or a spry which contains 70% isopropyl.

(Visit this article to get detailed guide about mealybugs).

 How to encourage your crassula perforata to bloom? 

How to encourage your crassula perforata to bloom

Every succulent lover wants to bloom their necklace vine plant; it will be a proud moment for them when their plant flowering.

It produces very beautiful tiny star-shaped flowers with white and pale yellow color.

 Here are some tips to bloom your string of buttons 
  • Your plant should be mature enough to bloom because the only mature plant has the ability to reproduce.
  • At least your plant should be 3 years or more than 3 years to bloom.
  • Fertilize your pagoda plant especially in the growing season it will encourage your plant to bloom. Your plant needs a lot of energy to bloom. Therefore use a balanced blend of fertilizer to improve the energy of your plant.
  • Your plant also needs plenty of bright light throughout the year. You need to place your plant at a bright location.
  • Slightly temperature difference?


Crassula perforata is a very impressive and beautiful succulent. Most of the succulent lovers use this succulent as a border plant.

The chunky triangular multicolor leaves of this succulent will enhance the beauty of your garden.

The string of buttons is very flexible and can be adjusted at any planting area like hanging bosket, ground, ground pots, and especially in terrariums.

This forest jewel is ideal for beginners because it can easily with a little bit of care.

Moreover, it is ideal for those who like hummingbirds and butterflies in their garden because the pagoda plant has a quality to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Necklace vine succulent is an ideal houseplant you can grow it indoor with a little bit of care.

Thought this succulent is defensive less against some challenges like intense coldness, harsh heat waves, overwatering, and pests, but you can make it happy with a little bit of effort.

After all, beauty achieves with efforts,

Once your string of buttons become enough mature it will bloom and it will be a proud moment for you.

guys, we have prepared a detailed guide about the jade plant if you are interested Click Here 


why the leaves of my string of button become Shriveled
The main cause of shriveled leaves is under watering, if the leaves of your string of buttons become shriveled then your plant must need a good drink of water.
why the healthy leaves of my necklace vine become Brown
Brown leaves are the sign of sunburn; this may happen to your plant when it exposes to direct harsh heatwaves for a long time.
why the healthy leaves of my pagoda plant turn Soft and Mushy brown
Overwatering is the main reason behind mushy brown and soft have to use balance watering according to need in order to prevent this.
why my crassula perforate Dropping leaves
Crassula perforata may be dropping its leaves due to over water, but this is not the only reason. Though sometimes when your plant becomes mature, it drops bottom leaves naturally
Why my string of plant become stretch
Poor exposure of lighting is the main reason behind the stretching of your plant. Make sure to move your string of button at a bright place.
why is my string of button dying
Due to various reasons, your pagoda plant starts dying most common root rot.Rot root occurs when your plant sits in the water for a long time. It is ok to pour the excess water but it is very important to drain out whole water properly.

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