Crassula perforata is among the easiest succulents to grow. The spiral pattern of the leaves of this succulent gives it a beautiful appearance to boost the look of your home.
How do you grow and care for this plant? Read this guide and see how easy it is!
- What Is Crassula Perforata?
- Crassula Perforata Care
What Is Crassula Perforata?
Crassula perforata is an African succulent that is native to Cape Provinces and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa that is also known as String of Buttons. This succulent is one of the easiest to grow for beginners as it is disease-free, drought-resistant, and fast-growing.
Some uses of Crassula perforata include planting it as a border plant because it is deer-resistant and using it to train first-time succulent gardeners as it is very easy to grow and care for. The String of Buttons plant is also very suitable as a potted plant. Whatever the use, it is gaining more popularity in the succulent world.
Crassula perforata is very beautiful because of its appearance. Check out the plant description below.
Some ways to quickly identify Crassula perforata are:
- Size: Crassula perforata can grow 18 inches tall. The clumps and stems can spread up to 24-36 inches wide.
- Stem: The String of Buttons plant has long, unbranched, and rambling stems. The stems first grow erect and then become pendants as they age.
- Leaves: Crassula perforata has triangle-shaped leaves that grow in a spiral pattern around the stem. The leaves look stacked. They are usually grey-green and have a bright pink edge when grown in bright light.
- Flowers: This special succulent has so many tiny cream-colored flowers. It blooms between November and April, especially in spring.
Crassula perforata is related to the popular Crassula rupestris, but Crassula perforata plants have a longer inflorescence. This species also has a very beautiful cultivar called Crassula perforata variegata.
Crassula Perforata Care
Many experts recommend Crassula perforata for beginners as it is very easy to care for. This plant is native to rocky slopes and very poor soil, so it is low-maintenance. This does not mean, however, that you should abandon your plants. Use the care tips below to effortlessly grow and care for Crassula perforata :
– Getting Your Crassula Perforata
Crassula perforata plants are very easy to get. You can find them in succulent gardens and shops. While you can start your Crassula perforata through the seeds, seedlings, cuttings, and pups, you should start with seedlings as they are the easiest to grow and care for.
You can find Crassula perforata seedlings in nurseries as well as online shops.
– Suitable Potting Mix
The suitable potting mix for your String of Buttons succulent is well-drained. It is made of two-part sand and pumice with one-part loam and bark. You can use a standard cactus or succulent mix for your Crassula perforata, but you should consider adding more sand or perlite.
Make sure that the container to grow your plant in has multiple drainage holes. You should place rocks in the pot before pouring your potting mix into it. This will help prevent the buildup of moisture.
– How To Plant
When the potting mix is ready, you can transplant your Crassula perforata seedlings into it. Make sure that the potting mix is dry. Place the seedlings on the potting mix and bury them with two inches of potting mix.
Wait a day before watering the seedlings.
In their first eight weeks, you should water your succulent plant seedlings by misting them. Mist them so that they do not break when you water them. When they are well-established, you can start watering them by soaking them. Soak the entire potting mix of your Crassula perforata with water until water starts to drip from the drainage holes below.
Water your String of Buttons every seven to ten days or immediately the potting mix is dry. Water the plants especially in summer when water is lost easily. In autumn and winter, you do not need to water your Crassula perforata.
– Light and Humidity
Crassula perforata requires full sun (over six hours of direct sunlight) but can tolerate partial shade. The plants will grow quickly and healthier when they grow in full sun. Also, the pink edges of your Crassula perforata leaves become brighter in bright light.
The String of Buttons can tolerate average humidity, but you can grow them in up to 70% humidity.
Crassula perforata grows best in USDA Hardiness zones 9 to 12. In these zones, you can grow your String of Buttons outside year-round. Well, no matter your location, make sure that your Crassula perforata is never exposed to temperatures below 32 F. Always remember that Crassula perforata is a tropical plant and prefers warm temperatures to cooler ones.
You do not need to fertilize your String of Buttons as they grow in a nutrient-poor substrate. To encourage faster growth in the growing season or for the sake of blooming, however, you can fertilize your Crassula perforata with a houseplant, cactus, or succulent fertilizer (quarter-strength) once monthly in the growing season.
You can also use an organic fertilizer such as worm casting and compost for your Crassula perforata. Just make sure that the fertilizer does not affect the drainage ability of the soil as String of Buttons plant always prefers well-drained soil to those that retain moisture.
You do not need to prune your Crassula perforata. The stems do not have branches and the leaves are always beautiful to watch. Sometimes, however, your Crassula perforata clumps may grow out of control and you might find more stems than you actually need. You should prune your plants so that they will always look beautiful.
The most common reason why you should repot your String of Buttons is because of the potting mix. When the potting mix of your plants starts retaining more moisture than needed or when you have to wait for up to 14 days before you water your plants, you need to repot your Crassula perforata and plant it in a new well-drained potting mix.
You can reuse the old potting mix, but you have to amend it by using materials such as sand or perlite. Also, remove every decaying root and bark from the potting mix and bake it before use.
– Suitable Mulch
Using mulch is not so necessary for Crassula perforata as mulch can cause moisture build-up in the soil if not used appropriately. Well, mulch is important to germinate your Crassula perforata seeds as well as prevent weeds from competing with your plants for space and nutrients.
You can use inorganic mulch such as sand and rocks. For organic mulch, do not use sawdust or wood shavings. Instead, use tree bark and other types of materials that are way larger than wood shavings.
– Caring for Your String of Buttons Bloom
Sometimes, your Crassula perforata flowers can die without pollinating. To help your plants pollinate successfully, use the tips below:
- Fertilizer: Give your String of Buttons a balanced fertilizer or one rich in potassium and phosphorus when it produces flowers.
- Sunlight: Make sure that the plant has just the right amount of sunlight (about six hours of direct sunlight a day).
- Temperature: Do not expose your Crassula perforata to an immediate change in temperature as it can lose its bloom.
- Water: Water your Crassula perforata just the way you are meant to (i.e. immediately after the substrate is dry). Do not overwater.
- Pollinators: Butterflies, hummingbirds, beetles, and bees are examples of pollinators for different types of succulents. Make sure that pollinators or wind have access to your Crassula perforata.
Now you know how to maintain the bloom of your Crassula perforata. How can you propagate them? Continue reading.
When your Crassula perforata become mature, you may want to propagate them so that you can have more plants. How can you propagate the String of Buttons plant? Here are some methods:
Propagating succulents such as Crassula perforata by their leaves is very cool and educative. New plants can grow from the leaves of matured plants. To propagate your Crassula perforata by leaf, search for a matured lead and cut it out.
Place the Crassula perforata leaf on a surface where it can become dry. Let the leaf callus for three or four days. On the fourth day, place the leaf on a suitable potting mix. You should notice new plants growing attached to the edges of the leaf.
You can thin the plants if you have more than what you need. Note that you should water the new plants by misting for a month or two until they are well-established and can then be watered by soaking.
– Offsets (Pups)
When your String of Buttons is matured enough, it can produce offshoots, offsets, or pups. These little plants grow attached to the root of the mother plant. To collect the pups, brush away the surface substrate to reveal the String of Buttons roots (where the mother plant is attached to a pup).
Collect the pups by twisting them out of the mother plant. You can use pruning scissors to cut off the pups. Place your Crassula perforata pups in the sun and allow them to callus for two or three days. When the wound is no longer fresh, plant the pups in a suitable potting mix.
Water the Crassula perforata pups by misting them until they are well-established in the substrate.
Cut off at least 6 inches of Crassula perforata stem and allow it to callus for a few days. After three or four days, dip the stem cutting into a rooting hormone for two minutes, and then plant it in a suitable potting mix.
To note that the cutting may not quickly grow roots, so you should resist the urge to remove it from the substrate to check the progress of rooting. Remember to water the Crassula perforata stem cutting by misting until it is well-established.
Did your String of Buttons pollinate successfully? It will produce seeds afterward. Collect Crassula perforata seeds from overripe fruits for planting. To know when the fruit is overripe, wait until the fruit is about to fall off from the plant.
Plant the seeds by keeping them on a suitable potting mix and covering them with mulch or sand. Water the seeds by misting. In less than a month, you should see that your Crassula perforata seedlings have germinated, continue misting the seedlings every three to four days until they are well-established.
Note that Crassula perforata seeds do not have a 100 percent germination rate, so you should plant more seeds than you actually need. Every method of propagating the String of Buttons is fun. Which method do you like the most?
Do you know that Crassula perforata plants are free from diseases? Well, no disease has been recorded in the String of Buttons so far. This, however, does not mean that the plant is problem-free. Listed below are some challenges that you can encounter when growing Crassula perforata:
As a succulent, Crassula perforata does not want moisture build-up in the substrate. Remember that you should only water Crassula perforata when the soil or potting mix is completely dry. If you give too much water to your String of Buttons plant, it can suffer from root rot.
Root rot can kill your plant. In fact, root rot is responsible for the death of a lot of succulents. Even though root rot in Crassula perforata is caused by some harmful fungi species, you can prevent it by watering your String of Buttons only when the substrate is fully dry.
If your Crassula perforata has root rot, you should remove it from the pot, prune away weak roots and leaves, and leave the plant in the sun to dry out for two days before planting it in a new potting mix.
Make sure that your Crassula perforata potting mix or substrate is well-drained and does not retain a lot of moisture.
– Not Watering Enough
What happens when you do not give enough water to your String of Buttons plant? The leaves start to wither and fall off. Of course, this rarely happens as Crassula perforata is drought-resistant. If your plant starts showing signs of water deficiency, it means that you have abandoned it for too long in its growing season (spring and summer).
Even though Crassula perforata can stay a long time without water, you should remember to water it when the growing medium is dry.
– Insufficient Light
When your String of Buttons does not receive sufficient light, they can develop chlorosis. Chlorosis is the loss of pigmentation (color) in the leaves of plants. To help your Crassula perforata heal from chlorosis, take it outdoors if it is not out already and keep it in a location where it can receive close to seven or eight hours of direct sunlight daily.
Asides from chlorosis, the stems of your Crassula perforata can become etiolated (long and weak) when there is no sufficient light. Make sure that your plants receive as much light as they need.
– Sunburn (Too Much Light)
Do not expose your Crassula perforata plants to more than eight hours of direct sunlight, especially in summer, as they can get sunburnt. You will notice brown leaf tips and withering leaves if your plant has sunburn.
If you live in warm regions, give your String of Buttons around six hours of direct sunlight. You can plant your Crassula perforata in the south-facing parts of your home.
– Over Fertilizing
Crassula perforata can live in a nutrient-poor substrate. Fertilizing the plants is just to encourage them to grow quickly. If you over-fertilize, you may burn your String of Buttons as they will get dehydrated quickly.
When fertilizing your Crassula perforata, use a water-soluble fertilizer. You can use a cactus or succulent mix (quarter-strength) for your Crassula perforata during the growing season.
Now that you know some problems to watch out for, you will surely grow your Crassula perforata effortlessly.
String of Buttons is among the easiest succulents to grow. Here are some useful reminders for you:
- When your Crassula perforata produces flowers, you should make sure that the light, temperature, water, and nutrient conditions are just right.
- Crassula perforata does not require a lot of water. Only water when the substrate is dry.
- You can propagate your String of Buttons with the leaves, stem cuttings, offsets, and seeds.
- The most common problems you can face when growing Crassula perforata are caused by too much water and nutrients.
- Crassula perforata cannot withstand frost, so you should take it indoors in winter.
When will you start your String of Buttons care journey? Don’t forget to use this easy and helpful guide, and make this beautiful succulent thrive in your home garden!
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