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Caring for String Of Pearls

May 6, 2022

LEARN HOW

To Care & Grow

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus, sometimes sold as Curio rowleyanus) is a show-stopper. Its trailing stems have pea-like leaves that look like beads – hence its common name. In spring, the plant may produce small white, cinnamon-scented flowers.

It’s a a rapid grower, which makes it easy to fill your pots with vibrant greenery. You can even propagate your plant to make more.P

Sunny Location

It looks beautiful trailing across a desk or bookshelf or even hanging in a sunny window, where the vines can trail down for interest. Although these plants look delicate, they’re part of the succulent family—a generally easy-to-care-for group of plants. This one, in particular, is a sure winner for a special space by your window.

String of Pearls
String of Pearls Care

The Right Light

String of Pearls plants need to be placed in a spot where they can get at least 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day indoors or outdoors

This plant needs strong natural light inside your home, like near an east-facing window. Growing it near a South or West-facing window will also do, as long as you place the plant about 5 to 10-inches away from the window.

If you choose to keep it outside, the plant needs some light and some shade. Find a spot with direct morning light and afternoon shade for the best results. In direct sun, the string of pearls will burn. Bring inside during winter.

If your home doesn’t receive enough light for your plant, you can make it work. A fluorescent light could give you enough light to keep your plant happy. Just make sure it gets about 12 to 16 hours of light each day.

Bring on The Heat

If you keep your home between 70 and 80 degrees, your string of pearls will be content. It will tolerate temperatures as low as 50°F, but to encourage flowers in spring, keep it at a temperature of between 55-60°f in winter. 

When the weather changes, be mindful of how drafts could affect your plant. It cannot handle cold drafts from air conditioners and windows. These plants aren’t tolerant of frost, so keep yours inside for the winter weather.

String of Pearls does not require a lot of humidity to thrive. In fact, this succulent is native to dry areas, so dry air wouldn’t do any harm to it. Plus, it can enjoy in almost any standard household humidity setting (about 40% relative humidity).

When to Water

Water thoroughly once the top inch of compost have become dry (stick your finger in to check). Ideally, water from below, by placing the plant in a shallow dish and allowing it to soak up water – this means that the ‘pearls’ at the top of the plant won’t get wet or remain sitting in soggy compost. Allow any excess to drain away. Water very sparingly in winter.

The Right Soil

Any regular succulent potting soil is acceptable for your string of pearls plants, but sandy soil is best. A good choice for this plant is a cactus potting mix. Alternatively, you can use a 3-to-1 mixture of potting soil to sharp sand. These plants are susceptible to root rot, so make sure their soil is well-draining. Plant them in a container that boasts ample drainage holes at its base. Terra cotta or clay pots can also help wick away excess moisture from the soil.

string of pearls

Fertilizer

Feed your string of pearls plants biweekly during the growing season with a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to about half strength. During its dormant winter period, only feed the plant every six weeks.

Potting

Pearls Plant like any succulent need well-draining soil to thrive. Hence, choosing a well-drained pot is the first step to make your spring of hearts happy. Terracotta and unglazed ceramic pots are the two most popular choices thanks to their extraordinary drainage.

Choosing the perfect size of the pot is another important factor for succulents to grow well. The pot need to be big enough to let them fill to the brim, as if the pot is too big for the plant then the soil will stay wet for too long and the pearls resting on that wet soil will get rot. And String of Pearls have very shallow roots so they don’t need a deep pot as well.

Another important thing is to make sure the crowns of the pearls stay at the same level as the top of the pot or at most 0.5 – 1 inch lower than the top, otherwise, the aeration will decrease, and together with wet soil, the crowns and stems of the plant will get rot easier.

String of pearls are pretty easy to take care of so you can literally start with any kind of succulent potting soil, but sandy soil or cactus soil is preferable. You can follow this mix with 3 parts good potting soil and 1 part sharp sand.

Propagation

String of pearls plants propagate easily via stem cuttings. To keep your plant alive for years, you’ll want to take cuttings and make new plants. Spring, summer, or early fall (in warmer climates) are good times to propagate string of pearls plant. It can take three to four weeks for the plant to take root. 

To propagate string of pearls plant, you will need sterilized pruning snips or scissors, a 4- or 6-inch pot, and cactus or your sandy soil mix.

Cut several 4- or 5-inch stems just below a leaf node. Remove the last two leaves. Lay out the stems for about one to two days before planting. The cut ends and areas where the leaves were removed need to callous over and get dry.

Fill a pot with soil. In the center, make a hole where you will plant the stems.

Place the cut ends into the hole about at least an inch deep. All leaves should be above the soil. Pack the dirt around the stems. Wait a few days before watering thoroughly.

If indoors, place it in a bright spot. Outdoors, the plant does better in partial sun. Water the soil when it dries up.

Repotting

The ideal time to repot your string of pearls plant is at the beginning of spring. Use a fast-draining succulent or cactus soil mix. Get a well-drained pot with ample drainage holes. Terra cotta and unglazed ceramic pots are ideal for succulents. The pot should be the next size up from the pot you currently have, usually 2 to 3 inches larger and deeper. Add the soil to the bottom of the pot, gently remove the root ball from the old pot and center it on the bed of fresh soil. Fill the soil around the root ball up to 1-inch below the lip of the pot.


You can repot these plants annually but only a few times before they eventually begin to die back. After a few years, it’s better to propagate a plant from new cuttings rather than trying to preserve and replant an older plant.




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