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Did you know that the String of pearls is popular among gardeners because of its gorgeous, pearl-like leaves that hang like a curtain of beads?
Other growers consider this outdoor plant low-maintenance since it doesn’t require much watering, and thrives with neglect in some countries with less monsoon season or dry climates. To some, just like myself, I would categorize this cutie as high-maintenance which describes its fancy, pearly name. The type of maintenance of this plant really depends on how solid you replicate its native habitat to thrive.
Guess what, I will not stop buying this gem until I will successfully grow and display these little, gorgeous suckers in my south-facing window ( that’s the only accessible light window I have in my home. Can you forgive me? 😉 )
The green “pearls” that hang from the stems of this succulent plant are the main attraction. You can easily recognize this plant because of its small, irregularly shaped pods. Another exciting feature of this beauty is that their ‘pearls’ are made to store a lot of water.
This String of pearls plants has long vines that can reach 90 centimeters (35 inches) in length. If you provide this succulent proper care, it will give you back white flowers with crimson stamens. Interested to know how to take care of this String of pearls plant? All the information you need to know is down below. Enjoy!
The String of Pearls Plant Care Basics
Don’t worry if this is your first time hearing about this kind of plant. Plantly will guide you all throughout. First, it’s essential to know the general knowledge of the primary care tips of the String of Pearls. Here’s a quick overview of it.
Botanical name: Senecio rowleyanus (also referred to as Curio rowleyanus)
Other names: String of beads, rosary plant
Plant Type: Trailing plant, Succulent, Houseplant
Exposure to Sunlight: Bright indirect light, can tolerate moderate direct light
Soil type: Porous, Rocky, Sandy
Favorable Temperature: 70° – 80°Fahrenheit (21 – 26.6 °Celsius)
Preferable Fertilizer: Fine, coarse gravel that contains phosphorous
Propagation: Stem cuttings
Toxicity Warning: Toxic to humans and pets
Height for mature plants: 1-2 ft.
Origin: South-west Africa
Don’t stop here yet! Now that you have an overview of the String of pearls care let’s learn more about many tips on how to take care of it efficiently.
A String of pearl plants requires good aeration and drainage in their soil. Good ventilation in the soil allows excess water to drain away. This keeps the roots healthy and free of root rot.
Look for potting soil made for cacti and succulents. Or, if you have sand, pumice, or perlite, you can mix them, and it will suffice your succulent. You can also add bark that will provide nutrition to the plant when used in organic potting soil with peat moss.
Important to note: Using regular potting soil is not a good idea. It is a big no-no. Many inexperienced gardeners have done that and it’s ineffective. Regular potting soil tends to hold more water and keep the roots wet for longer than necessary.
If you worry that you can’t water your plant on time, well, this drought-tolerant string succulent can go without water for long periods! Yes. In addition, the plant’s ability to store water allows it to be watered intensively for one week and then almost wholly neglected the next week or two.
Be aware that root rot can be caused by excessive watering. Always allow the soil to dry out for at least half an inch (1 cm) between waterings.
Throughout the spring and summer growing seasons, keep the plant’s soil mildly moist. Then, reduce water during the winter months.
Note: If you see that the spherical leaves of this succulent are flattening down, this is a sign that it needs more water. You’ll also need to water your indoor plant additionally if it’s in terra cotta or clay pots. Just make sure it’s a well-draining pot.
During the milder morning hours, they should be kept in direct sun. Then, you can transfer it to a position with diffused, indirect light during the hotter afternoon hours.
Consider moving them to a more brilliant spot or closer to the window during the darker, cold months to ensure they get enough light per day.
Pro tip: If your String of Pearls isn’t getting enough light, consider placing them 6 – 12 inches beneath a fluorescent light fixture.
The String of succulent beads should be kept at a temperature of 70° to 80° Fahrenheit (21 – 26.6°Celsius) indoors. Reminder, this plant isn’t frost-resistant. So, you’ll need to bring them indoors throughout the winter. During winter, keep your plant around 55°–60° Fahrenheit (12. 7 – 15.5°Celsius).
Pro tip: Keep them away from drafts such as air conditioners, and open windows. Cold air might cause the leaves to drop.
A low-humidity environment is best for the String of pearls. Because this succulent is native to dry climates, it would still grow and be unaffected by dry air. They can also thrive in any normal household humidity condition (about 40% relative humidity).
Please don’t attempt to mist your succulents because it might result in the growth of pathogens. But, you can lightly mist it while propagating until the root system develops.
It’s necessary to fertilize your String of pearls yearly. This will guarantee that the plant receives adequate nutrition and that the roots are robust enough to support the developing mass. Most experts recommend using very little fertilizer on your Pearls plant.
When looking for the perfect fertilizer, fine, gritty gravel containing phosphorus is one of the most frequent types of fertilizer for your String of pearl plants. This form of fertilizer will provide enough phosphorous to keep it alive and healthy and avoid plant pests and diseases.
This String of beads is easy to propagate. A perfect choice for a beginner like you! Stem cuttings are the simplest and quickest way to reproduce this amusing succulent. Cuttings should be taken when the plants are actively developing, best from spring to late summer.
Here’s how to propagate your String of pearls plant:
- Remove 4 inches(10 cm) of terminal plant material to establish new plants.
Cut between the pea-like leaves to produce a 2-inch (5 cm) length. Just make sure the stem is green, free of blemishes, and not dried out or damaged in any way.
- You can then coil the cutting on top of the soil, lightly forcing it into contact with the growing medium. Or you remove the bottom leaves and cover the cleared end in the soil.
It can take several months to root your String of beads. Keep the container warm and under bright, indirect light during this period. Just as we told you previously, a little misting for the new cuttings every few days is good. Always make sure not to overwater the cutting since this can cause it to decay.
You can only grow the String of pearls outdoors in growth zones 9 to 11 unless the plant is brought inside before the first frost. The plant will often grow in the shade beneath other plants and rocks to avoid direct sunlight in the wild.
The String of pearls plant is a beautiful plant with shallow root systems. As a result, if you find that the plant is still growing nicely, you don’t need to repot it yearly.
However! repot your String of beads if:
- You notice that the strand of pearls is outgrowing its container, and
- Your String of pearls doesn’t seem to be growing as it used to.
Pro tip: Consider using a hanging basket or pot to allow the tendrils to flow downward. Because their roots are shallow, they should be kept in a shallow pot with a good drainage hole.
You may have to prune an aged String of pearls plant to freshen it up again. Or you may need to give it a “haircut” to keep its size in order. Pruning can also encourage new growth, resulting in a fuller plant.
Search for a pair of clean, sharp scissors to snip off any dead sections or parts that have grown “leggy.” Meaning the string is longer but has fewer pearls, giving it a poor appearance.
Other Similar Plants
This growing string belongs to the daisy (Asteraceae) family. However, no other plants grow close to it, and it’s more often known as “String of Pearls” than by its botanical name. There are a few different succulents in the same family that are as impressive as this. And these are:
This variety features tall and trailing stems that are covered in large, teardrop leaves. It has little white flowers that bloom from late summer to early winter.
This cultivar has tendrils with banana-shaped leaves that are fuller and less trailing than the String of pearls. It’s also known as a Banana string or a Fishhook string.
This trailing plant, is also known as a String of watermelon or String of beads. It features tiny melon-shaped leaves with purple stripes.
String of Pearls Diseases & Pests
Although this is a low-maintenance plant, unfortunately, it is also prone to pests and diseases. And if you do not have a proper care guide, your plant will eventually die.
- Aphids are tiny, annoying, and ravenous for pearl juice. An infestation of these pests will sap the life from your Pearl string, leaving it discolored, wilted, and eventually dead.
- Mealybugs are similar to aphids in that they wreak havoc on plants and attract ants. Another sap-sucking bug, you can recognize them by the white waxy substance they produce.
Insecticidal soap or neem oil helps keep aphids and mealybugs away. Beneficial predatory insects, like ladybugs or lacewings, can also be used.
Succulents are constantly threatened by root rot. It’s caused by an excess of moisture in the soil, which creates the ideal environment for fungal growth. The rot can also spread up the stems and leaves.
If your String of pearls has serious root rot, take cuttings from the healthy parts and propagate them to establish new plants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Prune your plant down and increase the cuttings to the top. In a few weeks, the stem cuttings will root and begin to develop like regular plants. And there you have it! A fuller, healthier-looking String of Pearls plant.
The most prevalent indicators that a String of pearls isn’t doing well are: the stems and pearls are thinning out, pearls are slowly rotting, and stems are fading and dying.
You may be confused between these two succulents. That is why we compare and contrast them both for you to be familiar with them.
String of Pearl
- A String of pearls is distinguished by its small, pea-shaped succulent leaves and a taller stem that can reach a length of 1-3 feet. Gray-green stems with succulent light green leaves make like the String of pearls. They also have white blossoms grow at the end of the pearl strand.
String of Tears
- The characteristic of a String of tears is the small, teardrop-shaped succulent leaves that tip upward. The stem can reach a length of one foot. The tears are a delicate green to a deep green tint, with translucent stripes running lengthwise. The String of tears flowers is tiny pale cream heads on wiry stems.
Though this beautiful succulent is hard to find, you can now buy this here at Plantly! We offer a swift flow of transaction processes without any inconvenience. Reach to us directly and have your Pearls plant!
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!