- How to Care for String of Pearls
- Soil & Pot
- How to make String of Pearls bloom
- How to propagate String of Pearls
- String of Pearls Plant
- Buying Tip
- String of Pearls Plant Care Tips
- String of Pearls Care Guide (Senecio rowleyanus)
- String of Pearls Backstory
- String of Pearls Care
- Propagating String of Pearls
- Buy String of Pearls
- Senecio (String of Pearls / Beads / Bananas)
- Senecio Care Guide
- Senecio Plant Problems
- Community Comments
- String of Pearls Care Instructions
- String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
- My String Of Pearls succulent didn’t visit a spa or take a sabbatical but it’s on the road to recovery
- String Of Pearls Care: How To Grow A String Of Pearls Houseplant
- What is a String of Beads Houseplant?
- How to Grow a String of Pearls Houseplant
How to Care for String of Pearls
String of pearls is a beautiful, cascading succulent that will add that little quirk to any house. The plant grows fast and propagates easily and can grow both indoor and outdoor. If you are looking for a beautiful succulent to grow, Senecio Rowleyanus Strings of pearls is a great choice. And there’re a few care tips that you need to know to care for String of pearls properly.
String of Pearls plant like bright indirect light, if they’re outdoor they like shaded area with some morning direct light or bright indirect light, if they’re indoor they like to be near the window with strong natural light. They don’t like direct sunlight, they will get burnt easily. Depending on how hot your area is, indoor String of Pearls should be kept near South or West window or in hot, desert-like area, 5’ – 10’ away from South or West window to keep it from sunburnt. In darker, cooler months consider moving them to a brighter place.
If your place doesn’t have enough light for them, then consider putting them 6 – 12 inches under fluorescent light fixture and give them 12- 16 hours of light per day.
String of Pearls Plant |
String of Pearls succulent should be kept at average indoor temperature of70° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit. During winter, keep the plant at cool temperature – around 55° – 60° degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t keep them in drafty areas, or areas with air conditioner and open window as cold air may causes the leaves to drop.String of pearls aren’t frost-tolerant so they’ll need to be moved indoor in the winter.
Soil & Pot
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 with the top of the pot or at most 0.5 – 1 inch lower than the top, otherwise the aeration will decrease, 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 is preferable. You can follow this mix with 3 part good potting soil and 1 part sharp sand.
String of Pearls Succulent |
String of Pearls are very sensitive to overwatering, so make sure that you give them just enough water. Recommended amount is once every two weeks. One tip to make sure you don’t overwater your plant is to check if the soil is half an inch (1.2cm) dry before the next water. During winter time, cut back watering to once per month.
String of pearls are often grown indoor, but it does not mean it can not make a great outdoor plant. For outdoor String of Pearls, it’ll depend on how hot the area is, that you can adjust the number of times to water the plant or you can let the rain does the job for you.
Succulents usually don’t need a lot of fertilizer and too much fertilizer can kill Pearls Succulent too. During growth time, they might get fertilized once every 2 or 4 weeks in spring and mid-summer. And no fertilizer is needed for fall and winter. And the fertilizer should be weakened to not overwhelm the plant.
How to make String of Pearls bloom
String of pearls bloom tiny white flowers with scent like cinnamon. To encourage spring flowers, cut back on watering and keep the plant in a consistent temperature of 60 degree during winter. Cool and dry condition during winter often promote blooming during summer. The blooming period will last around 1 month.
Senecio Rowleyanus Pearls Plant |
How to propagate String of Pearls
Propagating String of Pearls is easy because they have very shallow root and grow new root easily. The easiest way is to use cuttings. You just need a healthy 3-4 in long cutting to start propagating, just lay the cutting down on the soil and press down lightly, root will gradually grow out of the cutting. Or another way is to strip some leaves off the cutting then put that stem in the soil so that the soil covers the growth nodes (where the leaves grow), then the roots will grow out. From this rooted cutting give the soil a little misting to keep it moist until the new plant is established and starts to grow.
String of Pearls sap can be toxic to humans and pets. It can cause dermatitis or skin irritation to humans and lethargy or drooling to animals when they consume the plant. So if your house have small children and pets, keep them away from the plant.
See more about my blog Common problems of String of Pearls and how to fix them
to get all the details.
For Types of Succulents Careguide. Read more information here.
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String of Pearls Plant
Botanical Name: Senecio rowleyanus
String of Pearls plant looks just as it sounds, with round, succulent leaves carried down long, slender stems. They look more like peas than pearls, but this succulent is definitely a gem.
Pot your String of Pearls succulent plant in a hanging basket to show off its trailing strands of bead-like leaves. Plant several young plants together for a full, attractive display.
Despite its delicate appearance, this unusual succulent house plant is a vigorous grower, quickly creeping across the surface of the pot, then cascading down the side. Its trailing stems can reach 2-3 ft (60-90 cm). If long stems become straggly, you can cut them off. Poke healthy stem tip cuttings back into the soil to create a full, lush plant. (See propagation tips below.)
String of Pearls has such unlikely relatives as Cineraria, with broad green foliage and bright, daisy-like flowers…and German Ivy, a trailing plant with lobed ivy-shaped leaves. Although the Senecio genus includes more than 1,000 species of leafy annuals, perennials, succulents and shrubs, what many have in common are rayed flowerheads.
Make it bloom. Give your String of Pearls plant a cool (55-60°F/13-16°C) rest in winter. Cut back on watering during the winter months, but don’t allow the potting mix to dry out completely. These cool, dry conditions may promote blooming in spring. And the flowers are spectacular — clusters of small, white trumpet-shaped flowers studded with colorful stamens.
Wondering whether to repot? This succulent has small roots, so you won’t need to repot often. Keep the crown of the plant at the same soil level as it was in the old pot — the stems will rot if they are buried. Use a sandy mix for fast drainage and a pot with drainage holes.
You’ll find String of Pearls for sale at online nurseries. This succulent grows quickly, so you can buy a small plant.
String of Pearls Plant Care Tips
Origin: Southwest Africa
Height: Trails 2-3 ft (60-90 cm)
Light: Bright light with some direct sun
Water: Keep your String of Pearls plant lightly moist during the growing season (spring through fall). Cut back on water in winter, watering just enough to prevent the soil from drying out. Beads that look flat are a sign that the soil is too dry. Give it a good drink, but take care not to overwater. This succulent will not tolerate soggy soil.
Humidity: Average room humidity (about 40% relative humidity) or lower. Dry air won’t hurt this succulent.
Temperature: Warm spring through fall (70-80°F/21-27°C). In winter, cool (55-60°F/13-16°C). Want to move String of Pearls outdoors for the warm months? It can take the heat, but keep it shaded from the hot midday sun in summer, which will burn its foliage.
Soil: Fast-draining potting medium, such as cactus potting mix. Wet potting medium will likely cause root rot.
Fertilizer: Feed once a month spring through fall with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer specially made for succulents. I usually use half the amount recommended on the package. String of pearls plant isn’t a heavy feeder.
Propagation: Take 4 in (10 cm) stem tip cuttings in spring or summer and insert them in moist potting medium. Press them into the potting mix until the leaves are almost covered. Keep the medium lightly moist. They will root quickly from the axils where the leaves are attached to the stem.
- Houseplants A-Z
String of Pearls Care Guide (Senecio rowleyanus)
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An unusual succulent, Senecio rowleyanus, or String of Pearls, has long vines with nearly spherical leaves cascading from it’s stem.
It is an eye-catcher and conversation starter! The multiple masses of trailing stems with almost perfect spherical beads every few inches are very cool to see. Plus, it’s fun to say that you have multiple strings of pearls on your plant stand.
Table of Contents
String of Pearls Backstory
This native African species was discovered by British botanist Gordon Rowley. While originally classified in the Senecio genus, it has recently been moved to the Curio genus and is part of the daisy family. It grows naturally in the hot dry areas in the eastern part of the Cape of South Africa.
The surface roots of this plant are weak and don’t need much soil to get started. They produce long, elegant, string-like, trailing stems, up to 3 feet long. They can produce dense mats that cover the ground as their stems take hold wherever they touch the soil.
In their natural environment, they stretch out and cover the ground like a thick carpet. To protect themselves from the intense, hot African climate, this succulent often grows and winds it’s way around rocks or between bushes to gather whatever shade they can.
Their spherical leaves, the size, and the shape of small peas are used to hold water. Each leaf has a narrow dark green stripe down its side and a pointed tip at the end, creating an unusual and spectacular display of uniform almost perfectly round beads.
Hence, the name, String of Pearls! The circular nature of the leaf reduces the surface area exposed to the hot desert sun. This minimizes water evaporation, which is a vital adaptation for anything living in the desert!
String of Pearls Flowers
The String of Pearls produces ½ inch compound flowers that are conical and similar to a daisy. They are white with bright yellow anthers and long red stamens and will last for about a month.
Their scent is rather unexpected, most often being described as similar to cinnamon. They have quite a pronounced and unusual sweet and spicy fragrance, that’s for sure.
A Perfect Hanging Basket Plant
This succulent does well being grown and displayed in a hanging basket so that the stems can cascade down the sides, showing off its gorgeous pearl shaped beads.
They also can be grown in a flat dish, mimicking more their natural environment, allowing the stems to stretch out or curl around your growing container.
String of Pearls Care
You can grab this String Of Pearls basket at the Succulent Source!
The String of Pearls, as with most succulents, don’t need much in the way of care. They need bright light, infrequent watering, and well-draining soil.
Potting and Soil Requirements
When you pot these succulents, as with all succulents, use a quality, well-draining soil mix with some inorganic materials added, such as small pea gravel, sharp sand or pumice, up to a 1:1 mixture. The most common reason for this plant not thriving is root rot, caused by over-watering.
If you want to make your own soil, look no further! Here’s everything you need to know about soil.
When choosing a planting container, clay or terra cotta is the best choice since it encourages evaporation. Avoid plastic containers; the soil in plastic containers tends to dry out slower.
The potting soil should dry completely between waterings to prevent any problems.
They are happy to be planted in a shallow container since their root system is also shallow.
Sring of Pearls Succulent Watering Requirements
A good rule of thumb is to water your succulents about once a week (when they’re not dormant in the winter). However, many String of Pearls owners finds that these guys can be a little more thirsty than other fat plants.
So here’s a pro tip:
- The best indication that your string of pearls needs watering is that the leaves will start to look a little shriveled. Don’t wait until they’re completely shriveled though, as that might be too late! Just when you see a little shriveling, get out the watering can.
- If you find after a few weeks that your new store-bought succulents leaves are turning yellow and shriveling up and its stems are disappearing, then root rot has already taken hold and there isn’t much that can be done.
- You can try removing all the dead and dying bits and expose the plant to light and air and maybe, just maybe, it can be revived. Fingers crossed!
Light Requirements of String of pearls
We’ve talked about how, in their natural habitat, String of Pearls hangs out in or near the shade. You should strive to emulate this in your house, too.
They can certainly tolerate direct light, but you’ll find your Pearls will thrive if they’re in bright, indirect light.
I know, bright and indirect light sounds like an oxymoron, but it is achievable! Try a south-facing window, or a grow light.
Sring of Pearls Succulent Pests
Thankfully, these succulents rarely have pest problems. They are slightly toxic to humans, though. Yikes! If the leaves are ingested, they may cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Also, the plant’s sap can cause a rash or skin irritation. So, be careful if you have sensitive skin.
If you do find too many bugs, here’s an article that talks about common succulent pests and how to treat them.
Propagating String of Pearls
The best way to start a String of Pearls plant is by taking a cutting. If you have a friend with one, ask nicely for a cutting… or steal one when they’re not looking.
To propagate String of Pearls, carefully take 3-4 inch stem tip cuttings. Remove any leaves from the bottom of the cutting and put it on potting soil, lightly covering the bottom few nodes.
Roots will develop quickly at the nodes and your succulent will be on its way to becoming a beautiful plant. Until the roots are established, you should only water with a mister to prevent over-watering.
It can also be propagated via leaf (or bead, pearl, whatever). It’s much like other succulents – simply drop a leaf on soil and wait.
This method is more unreliable and takes much longer though, so avoid it if you can.
Buy String of Pearls
Buy this beautiful String of Pearls from Leaf and Clay!
If you are buying your first String of Pearls succulent from a store, be cautious because their propensity to die out from over-watering can be a problem you are inheriting unknowingly.
In many stores, the sales associates don’t pay the closest attention to each plants’ needs and therefore don’t always wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. Ugh!
This, in addition to the majority of them being sold in plastic hanging baskets, to show off their long pearly strings, means the water is not evaporating as well as it should.
It’s hard to tell if this is the case when you are at the store, but a good rule of thumb is to only buy String of Pearl plants with mostly dry soil.
These guys also ship fairly well. There are lots of reputable online stores, too. Here are some of our favorites.
If you’re having trouble finding these popular plants in stock, there’s always Amazon. Or, if you’d prefer to support the little guys, Etsy has loads of options.
If you can get a cutting of this plant, it is a wonderful addition to your home succulent garden. The long stems with their almost perfectly round beads are absolutely beautiful and amazing addition to your plant family.
What succulents do you like to put in arrangements with String of Pearls? Tell us in the comments!
Senecio (String of Pearls / Beads / Bananas)
Senecio Care Guide
Like most succulents they will need some sun or bright light to really thrive indoors. Many of the varieties you can buy will get by with less light but this in turns results in slower or no growth.
Unlike other succulents, Senecio plants do like water on a fairly frequent basis. A large number of plants growing in a pot (which is typical, see “anything else” below) use more water than a plant growing solo. That said they will easily rot if given too much water or allowed to fester in damp very low light conditions. As a rule it’s advisable to wait until the soil has dried out a bit rather than keeping it constantly moist.
In Spring, Summer and early Autumn as a rough guide, expect to water every 7 to 10 days providing your plant is growing in a bright warm location. In Winter once every three or four weeks is likely more than enough.
Succulent Senecio plants are adapted to dry arid conditions so there is no need to increase humidity in a standard home or office. In fact you may actually find problems occur if the humidity levels are unnaturally high for whatever reason, as this can encourage damp resulting in rotting and the strings on your String of Pearls plant falling apart and rolling away!
Succulent Senecio’s do need more water than other succulent houseplants, but you still need to be careful not to over do it.
A fertiliser design for Cacti and Succulents is ideal, but you can always use a normal houseplant feed. Just make sure you dilute it to about half of the recommend amount listed in the instructions. Once every two months or so during the growing seasons will be enough to keep your Senecio healthy and thriving.
Warm temperatures are welcomed. They can however tolerate quite cool temperatures if required, but don’t risk exposing them to frost of any kind.
You only need to repot your Senecio when the container has become congested and there is little room for your plant to expand. It’s also a good idea to change the soil every three years regardless because by this point the soil has likely broken down and is no longer absorbing adequate water or holding the necessary nutrients for your plant. When you come to do it, ensure you use a free draining growing medium, either ready made or you can mix normal compost with a little grit, perlite or sharp sand etc.
All succulent Senecio can be propagated quite easily through their stems or even their leaves. It’s quicker to grow plants from the stems, which still have a few leaves attached. Simply press the stem into the growing medium far enough in to enable it to stay put and then just keep warm and the soil just moist and they should root fast.
If you’re using just the leaves you should let the exposed end dry for a day and then pot up in the same way. As mentioned this way of doing it takes more time, but you should still have new growth forming within a matter of weeks.
Speed of Growth
When you provide good light levels, adequate water and warm temperatures during the day then you can expect moderate growth.
Height / Spread
There are many varieties which all have different growing traits. Some like S. aquarine, will be upright and quite slender growing up to 50cm / 20in, where as String of Pearls (S. rowleyanus) and String of Bananas (S. radicans) will be very short but can spread out significantly.
It’s the leaf shape and growth habit that people find desirable in these plants, however it’s common to get a flush of small white flowers with colorful stamens at various times of the year. They aren’t particularly showy and the smell they sometimes produce isn’t in most cases very fragrant.
Are Senecio’s Poisonous?
These plants are mildly toxic to people and most pets including cats and dogs. Although the problems caused by ingesting the plant or getting sap on the skin are likely to be minor, care should still be taken to keep them away from curious pets or children especially as the unusual shape of the leaves can be inviting.
The majority of succulent Senecio normally look more aesthetically pleasing when grown in close groups. This is especially true of the String of Pearls and String of Bananas. The individual plants tend to have just one or two stems and can come across as quite spindly if grown by itself.
They almost always look better clustered, therefore when buying from a shop you will often find multiple individual plants growing together which creates a more “full” look. This is perfectly fine for your plant, or plants should we say, although it does mean grouped Senecios will need slightly more water and feed so bare this in mind.
Senecio Plant Problems
Mushy leaves and stems
Mushy leaves indicates rotting and this is almost always caused by being too generous with the watering can. Yes they do like water, but if there is no drainage at the bottom of the pot, or you do it too often, then the plant’s going to rot and turn into a mushy mess. Wait until the surface soil is dry to the touch before watering again. Go easy in Winter and above all, if there is water sitting at the bottom of the container or drip tray then pour it away.
Senecio Plant not growing
When light levels are low then this could be the result (move to a brighter spot). It could also be caused by overcrowding in the pot (time to divide your plant or move it into a bigger container). Finally if you’ve not fed your plant or changed the soil for a long time then it could be caused by nutrient deficiency (repot into fresh soil or start applying fertiliser every couple of months).
Senecio plants in general are fairly disease and pest tolerant, but String of Pearls and the String of Bananas plant in particular are more susceptible to Aphid attack. If you want to see what they look like or you need some helping curing your plant of them, then have a look at our Pest Article.
About the Author
Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team.
Also on Ourhouseplants.com
Credit for Senecio herreianus / String of Beads – Article / Gallery – Jerielsj
Credit for Senecio radicans / String of Bananas – Article / Gallery – KaitM42
Credit for Senecio rowleyanus / String of Pearls – Article / Gallery – Forest and Kim Starr
Credit for the Senecio being grown in a hanging basket – Gallery – Ash
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String of Pearls Care Instructions
String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)
The drought resistant String of Pearls plant looks just as it sounds, with round, pearl like ‘leaves’ that grow on long, slender stems. Although they may look a lot like green peas, don’t be tempted to eat them as they won’t taste as good.
Due to the trailing nature of the String of Pearls plant it’s a great idea to either pot this plant in a hanging basket or display it somewhere where it can trail down and show off its unique beauty.
The stems of this plant can grow up to 60 – 90cm in length. If you find that some of the stems are looking straggly, you can cut them off and then re-plant them by pushing them back into the soil where it should take root and help your plant look full and lush.
With good care, String of Pearl plants will live for several years. The plants may become straggly over time, so it’s a good idea to propagate it every few years. in this way you’ll enjoy a long succession of these beautiful succulents.
The String of Pearls plants will flower under the right conditions and the blooms are lovely! Small, white trumpet-shaped flowers studded with colourful stamens. To encourage your plant to bloom you should give it a rest over winter in temperatures of 13-16°C and cut back on watering while not letting the potting mix dry out completely. These conditions over winter may promote flowering in spring.
Some of the common symptoms that String of Pearls encounter, and how to address them.
- Root rot and mushy pearls are caused by over-watering your plant. Remove any dead and mushy stems and leaves and allow the soil to dry out somewhat before watering again. Take stock of your plant’s environment and adjust your watering schedule. Don’t let the pot sit in water.
- Flat, shriveled pearls are a sign that the plant is too dry. Give your plant a good drink, without over-watering and assess the plant’s environment. If your plant is in a very hot area, you might find that you need to water your plant more often than before. But don’t forget to ease up over winter time!
- Origin: Southwest Africa
- Height: Trails 60 – 90 cm
- Light: Bright light with some direct sun.
- Water: Water thoroughly, then allow to dry out slightly between waterings. It is very important to note that String of Pearls DO NOT tolerate soggy soil – it is better to err on the side of underwatering than to overwater. It is good to remember that this plant is drought resistant and is not used to too much water. Cut back on watering in winter, without allowing the soil to dry out completely.
- Humidity: Average to dry room humidity.
- Temperature: Warm, spring through autumn 21 – 27°C. In winter, cool 13 – 16°C.
- Soil: Cactus potting mix will work for this plant.
- Fertilizer: Feed once a month spring through autumn with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
- Pruning: Every so often you may find that you’ll need to prune your String of Pearls in order to maintain its appearance or size. Simply trim off any dead stems and pearls, as well as stems that have lost a lot of their pearls. Pruning your String of Pearls promotes a fuller plant.
- Re-pot if your plant out-grows its pot, re-pot in springtime. It is important to use a pot with a drainage hole and fast-draining, sandy soil mix to prevent water clogging and subsequent root rot.
- Propagation: Take 10 cm stem tip cuttings in spring or summer and insert them in moist potting soil. Press them into the potting mix until the leaves are almost covered. Keep soil light moist.
If in stock, shop String of Pearls here
Worm compost is my favorite amendment, which I use sparingly because it’s rich. I’m currently using Worm Gold Plus. I use Tank’s local organic compost. Give Dr. Earth’s a try if you can’t find anywhere you live. Both enrich the soil naturally & slowly so the roots are healthy & the plants grow stronger.
If you have any liquid kelp or fish emulsion, those work fine too. There are fertilizers formulated for succulents & cactus but I’ve never tried those. Whatever you use, easy does it as succulents don’t require much feeding.
Save that for the air plants. Your String Of Pearls doesn’t need it. Misting leads to rot.
A String Of Pearls plant hangs in an east window where it receives bright light but is not touching the glass.
Your plant is in hot, direct sun.
Don’t keep it hanging in a south or west window. The glass gets hot & causes burn. It can be in the room with these exposures, just 5-10′ away from the window, depending on your climate. I live in the Arizona desert with lots of strong sun so my String Of Pearls would have to be at least 10′ away from south or west (even east when it’s hotter) windows.
No adjustment for the darker, cooler months.
This is true of all houseplants as they rest at this time. You may have to move your String Of Pearls to a brighter location in your home. And, back off on the watering. If you water your plant every 7-10 days in the summer, then every 14-21 days in the winter will be better.
It’s planted in a pot that’s too big.
A String of Pearls plant doesn’t have a big root system. A pot that’s too big can cause the mix to stay too wet. The majority of the stems will rest on the mix which can also lead to rot.
Pots of pearls at the nursery. You can see how the crowns of plants are sitting almost level with the tops of the pots (more on this 2 points below).
These last 4 reasons are what I believe to be the most important:
Not enough light.
Outdoors String Of Pearls need filtered light or bright shade. Indoors they need strong natural light – a medium to high light exposure to grow successfully. Not enough light + too much water = bye bye sweet succulent.
Planted too deep inside the pot.
I’ve seen this many times where the crown of the plant has sunken down 1″ or more. This can cause the crown & stems to rot out because they stay too wet & the aeration is decreased. It’s best if the crown is only 1/2-1″ below the top of the pot. This, along with too much water, also = bye bye.
Too much water.
This happens much more often than under watering. Simply put, ease up on the liquid love. You want the plant to go nearly or completely dry before watering again. It’s hard to for me to tell you often to water your String Of Pearls because there are many variables which come into play.
This post and video on houseplant watering 101 will shed some light on this. You don’t want to keep the plant wet but you don’t want it to go dry for days because those thin stems don’t hold as much water as other succulents do.
The plant was wet when you bought it.
The plant was soaked when you bought it (some big box stores & nurseries water their plants every day) & it never got the chance to dry out. My friend lost a pothos because of this.
Most pots have at least 1 drainage hole, so check to make sure yours does otherwise the water won’t flow out. Every now & then, a drainage hole gets blocked. You can open it back up with a chopstick, toothpick, knitting needle, etc
My String Of Pearls succulent didn’t visit a spa or take a sabbatical but it’s on the road to recovery
My String of Pearls plant, or Senecio rowleyanus, took a bit of a nosedive. Alright, truth be told, it’s a shadow of its former self. Fortunately it’s on the road to recovery and because it grows fairly fast, it should be looking all plump, sassy and filled out by next Spring. Read on to find out what happened and how I’m rejuvenating it.
This is the entry into my front garden. The aforementioned succulent grows in a pot on a patio at the end of the pathway.
The String Of Pearls was growing along happily as can be last year and I had to routinely prune its long trails up off the patio. You can see its glory days in this post here. Then, late last Fall, my neighbor cut down another large pine tree which filtered out some of the strong afternoon sun that streamed into the garden.
Fast forward, we had a very dry and very warm Winter followed by a copy cat Spring. This, along with my “neglect by habit”, caused the String Of Pearls to head south. Dried pearls are nowhere near as purdy as those fresh green ones.
Here are my pearls cascading over & down the pot last Spring. I had to prune them up off the patio every 2 months in the growing season.
Here they are this October, boo hoo. A mere wisp of their former selves. You can see more of them in the video below.
What I mean when I said “neglect by habit” is that I don’t water my succulents in the Winter (except for those on my covered porch). The days get shorter, the weather cools and the rains come so there’s need. Plus, even plants in a temperate climate like Santa Barbara need to go through a period of rest when they’re not actively growing. But, our California drought has taken its toll, even on some of the succulents.
No time for crying. I took action. First, I cut out all the strands with the dried pearls except for one. I took as many cuttings from this plant as I could from the strands that were growing on the ground or had branched off a main strand. I also took a cutting from a plant in another pot which you’ll see a few pics down.
You can get 1 (or more!) HERE.
I’ve cut the dried String Of Pearls out but left 1 strand so I could show you how different it looks.
Here are some of cuttings with those nice, plump pearls rooting in as you read this.
As the icing on the cake to celebrate the onset of my plant’s recovery, I added and top dressed with my favorite amendment: worm castings. These are great for succulents because work slowly and last a long time. Read why I think worm castings are the cat’s meow here.
You can see the String Of Pearls peeking out from underneath my Aeonium Suncup. It’s very happy in the crack of this broken pot. I cut a couple of the strings which were trailing onto the ground & had rooted to use as cuttings to plant in the other pot.
These pearls are very happy underneath the cover of the Aeonium. Partial sun, protected from hot, direct rays, is best for String Of Pearls. See how nice & succulent they are?
There you have it, plain and simple, even a well seasoned plant person like myself can run into “horticultural issues” every now and then. I just wanted to share this in case something similar happens to you. Fortunately succulents are easy as can be to propagate by cuttings so I’ll do a video next Spring to show you how they’ve progressed. Phew … I’ve redeemed my green thumb in stellar standing!
Here’s my previous post on Caring For & Propagating a String Of Pearls plant.
This is what my String Of Pearls looked like in the greenhouse when I bought it as a little 4″ young’un.
String Of Pearls Care: How To Grow A String Of Pearls Houseplant
If you’re looking for an easy succulent to grow indoors, opt for the string of beads (Senecio rowleyanus) plant. In addition to its carefree growth habit, this interesting houseplant can provide a unique focal point in the home. Sprawling over the edges of containers or hanging baskets, the string of beads plant resembles a beaded necklace with its fleshy green, pea-like foliage. Learn more about growing string of beads houseplant so you can also enjoy its unique characteristics and ease of care.
What is a String of Beads Houseplant?
Also called rosary string of beads or string of pearls plant, this creeping succulent is an odd looking plant that many people enjoy adding to their indoor gardens. Though the flowers may seem small and unattractive to some people, if they’re even lucky enough to get them, others find the faint white blooms (which smell a bit like cinnamon) quite welcome.
Still, it’s the thin thread-like stems and fleshy round, bead-like leaves that make this unusual houseplant a great addition to the home. Learning how to grow a string of pearls houseplant is extremely easy.
How to Grow a String of Pearls Houseplant
The string of pearls plant grows well in bright light, including sunlight.
You should provide this string of beads houseplant with average indoor temperatures (around 72 F./22 C.) throughout its active growth. During its dormancy, however, you’ll need to provide cooler conditions, generally somewhere between 50 to 55 F. (10-13 C.).
Give this houseplant a well-draining sandy soil, preferably the type most suitable for growing cacti and succulent plants. Pot your plant in a hanging basket so its trailing foliage can hang down.
As with most succulent plants, the string of beads requires little care. However, while there’s little maintenance involved with growing a rosary string of beads plant, you will need to provide it with some care.
This succulent plant is drought tolerant, surviving long periods without water. In fact, the plant’s water-storing abilities allow it to be watered thoroughly one week and then pretty much forgotten the next week or two. Watering too often can increase the chances of root rot. So be sure to let the soil dry out at least half an inch or so between waterings. In winter, cut back watering to about once monthly.
Occasionally, you may find that pruning becomes necessary as part of your string of pearls care in order to maintain its size or appearance. This is simple to do. Trim off any dead stems and pearls, as well as any stems that have lost a lot of their ‘beads.’ Pruning back will help promote fuller, more compact plants.
Even better than its ease of care is the fact that you can share the plant with others. Whenever pruning is in order, you can take advantage of the plant’s easy propagation. Simply place a cutting or two in a pot of soil and they will easily take root.
The string of beads houseplant makes an excellent conversation piece. Your family, friends, and neighbors will love it as much as you will.
Note: Since this succulent plant is considered to be somewhat toxic, it is recommended that care be taken when growing string of beads houseplant in homes with pets or small children.