How to grow and care for String of Nickels Plant Indoors

Houseplant, String of Nickels Plant

Botanical name: Dischidia nummularia
Family: Apocynaceae

String of Nickels Plant also called Button Orchid is a trailing succulent plant which forms a dense mass of greenish-yellow foliage. The stems can grow upto 3M long. The leaves are opposite and round and look like numerous coins, hence the common name "String of Nickels". The young leaves often have a powdery bloom. The flowers are white to yellowish-white. String of Nickels is native to India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Australia where it grows as an epiphytes on trees.

How to Grow String of Nickels Plant


String of Nickels Plant prefers bright light away from hot direct sunshine; some morning sunshine is beneficial to this plant. Low light results in a leggy plant. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants


Water String of Nickels Plant moderately during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole and the soil is free-draining to avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting. Learn more on how to water houseplants.


Average warmth between 18-260C during the growing season is ideal for String of Nickels Plant. Keep the plant away from draughts; it does not like sudden changes in the temperature. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.


Average room humidity is ideal for String of Nickels Plant. It has no need for high humidity. Ensure good air circulation for String of Nickels Plant to prevent fungal diseases.


Feed String of Nickels Plant twice during the growing season with a succulents fertilizer. This plant is not a heavy feeder so be careful when feeding. Withhold feeding in the cold season as growth is minimal. Find out more on how to feed houseplants.


String of Nickels has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot the plant at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot. Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging as it can lead to rotting. Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting. The best soil should be loose and free-draining like bark soil.


Pruning String of Nickels Plant involves removal of any dead leaves and stems to keep it neat and tidy. Trim the stems at the beginning of the growing season if they become straggly to rejuvenate growth.

How to Propagate String of Nickels Plant

String of Nickels Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

Propagating String of Nickels Plant from stem cuttings
Take 3-5 in. of String of Nickels Plant stem cuttings. Ensure each cutting has at 2-3 leaf nodes. Allow the cuttings to dry (callous) for about 7 days to avoid rotting. Press the cut end into moist free-draining soil or lay the string on top of the soil and lightly press the leaf nodes into the soil. Place in a warm place and maintain the soil moist until they are rooted. Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new plant.

Common Problems in Growing String of Nickels Plant

  • Sudden leaf loss
  • Watering String of Nickels Plant with very cold water is one cause of sudden leaf loss. Use water at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant. The other cause of sudden leaf loss in String of Nickels Plant is underwatering. Water String of Nickels Plant moderately and allow the soil to dry out between waterings but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

  • Brown dry spots
  • Brown dry spots in String of Nickels Plant are due to underwatering; water String of Nickels Plant moderately during the growing season while allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

  • Leaves wilted and discolored
  • Overwatering during the cold period is the cause of wilted and discolored leaves in String of Nickels Plant. Reduce watering in the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist.

  • Rot at base followed by stem collapse
  • Rotting plant base and stems collapse in String of Nickels is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions. Avoid overwatering during the cold season. Use the upper stem to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts.

  • Elongated stems and misshappen
  • Elongated stems and misshappen in String of Nickels plant during the cold season is due to too much water; water less and maintain the soil barely moist. If it happens during the hot period, the cause is too little light; String of Nickels Plant prefers bright light with some direct sunlight. Too little light will cause the plant to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.

  • Diseases
  • Common diseases in String of Nickels Plant are Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in String of Nickels Plant are Mealy Bugs, Aphids, Scale Insects and Spider Mites.


String of Nickels Plant (Dischidia nummularia) produces a milky sap which can irritate the skin. Always wear gloves when handling. The plant is non-toxic to both humans and pets if ingested.

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