The string of pearls houseplant is one of the most popular indoor plants in homes around the world. So what do you need to care for it? Read on to find out!
All About String of Pearls
The Scientific Name: Senecio rowleyanus. Common Name: String Of Pearls. Other Name(s): String-of-Beads.
The String of Pearls plants are beautiful pearl-looking succulents with trailing stems. Sometimes people say they look like little green peas. This is because they like direct sunlight and to have room to grow and trail downwards. It is important to have them in a well-draining pot and not to over or underwater them.
Where to Buy?
You can buy yours:
String of Pearls Houseplant Care
String of Pearls Light Requirements
The String of Pearls does well in bright light. I have mine in our sunny south-facing bay window. If the bright sunlight is limited in your home, you can provide additional light by adding a plant light during daylight hours.
String of Pearls Water Requirements
Water string of pearls when the soil feels dry to touch. I water mine about once every week and a half during the Spring and Summer and about once every three weeks during the Fall and Winter.
Strings of Pearls are relatively drought resistant, so if you water it too often or provide too much water at one time, it won’t flourish. You will notice that it needs watering if the pearls start to shrivel. The pearls should be plump and hard.
To ensure you don’t overwater your plant, check if the soil is half an inch (1.2cm) dry before the next water. If you notice pearls starting to drop or strings breaking off, it is likely getting too dry. Water String of Pearls more often, but make sure it has good drainage in the potting soil to avoid root rot!
String of Pearls Soil Requirements
You can pot your string of pearls into a regular potting mix or use succulent plant soil, which will provide well-draining soil conditions. You do not want String of Pearls to sit in wet soil, as this will cause root rot and eventually kill the plant. I like to use regular potting mix and perlite.
String of Pearls Fertilizer Requirements
String-of-Pearls do not need to be fertilized often because their succulent leaves help maintain their moisture and nutrients. You can feed them once a month during the growing season (Spring and Summer months) with fish emulsion or a very diluted liquid fertilizer. If you are using a liquid fertilizer, dilute it a lot! Liquid fertilizer can burn and even kill your plant. For this reason, I prefer using fish emulsion fertilizer. It is stinky but worth it!
String of Pearls Pests
The string of pearls houseplant is susceptible to String of Pearl plant mealybugs and aphids. Make sure to inspect String of Pearls regularly for these pests, as they can cause serious damage if left unchecked!
Mealybug is the most common cause and (in my opinion) is really gross looking. They look like tiny balls of white fluff.
You can quickly cure your plant by disinfecting all plant parts using isopropyl alcohol or a mealybug spray. Be sure to spray every tiny nook and surface of the plant every day for two weeks. Then, if you see any mealy bugs coming back, keep spraying until they disappear. I have a post about getting rid of mealybugs on houseplants HERE.
String of Pearls Planting Requirements
You will want to make sure there’s plenty of room for your plant to sprawl and hang. A hanging basket or raised planter is best so that the String of Pearls can cascade downwards.
String of Pearls Temperature Requirements
String of Pearls like all plants like temperatures above 60It can enjoy virtually any standard household humidity setting. During the winter, try to keep the plant warm – around 55-60° degrees Fahrenheit. So you may need to move it away from the window if it is drafty.
Common Problems With String of Pearls Plant
The biggest problem this plant has is too much or not enough water.
If your plant’s leaves are wilting or withering, it can be a sign of underwatering or overwatering.
If the round leaves are flattening and look like raisins, it’s a sign you should increase water frequency.
If you’ve frequently been watering and the soil feels soggy, you are watering too much, or the plant needs better drainage. Water once every 7 to 14 days always making sure the top inch of soil should feel dry before watering again.
How to Propagate String of Pearls from Stem Cuttings
A Sting of Pearl houseplants is easy to care for and propagate! Here is how you can get one started in your home or office.
Propagating Tools and Materials
- A string of pearls planted with mature and healthy stems
- A misting bottle
- A sterilized pair of scissors
- A small pot with a drainage hole
- Well-draining potting mix
Optional propagating materials
These depend on the method you will use to propagate:
- Toothpicks or chopsticks
- Floral pin or paper clip
- A glass or vase
- Clean water
- Rooting hormone
How to get a cut
You will get a string of pearls from a stem cut. So, you’ll need to take a cut first. Here is how to take a cut to make a string of pearls propagate;
- On your plant, find a lovely, healthy vine. It should be as long as possible and have juicy, green pearls.
- Cut the vine to get a portion with at least several pearls on it. Use a pair of sterilized scissors.
- If the string is long, cut it into pieces of around 10 centimeters.
- Allow a day or two for the string to dry. The pearls have enough water in them to prevent decay.
- If you prefer, dip the cuttings in the rooting hormone to speed up the rooting process and prevent fungal and bacterial growth.
3 Different Successful Ways to Propagate a String of Pearls
You can try water propagation, then put them into the soil once they’ve rooted, or you can plant them directly into the soil.
Here are the methods:
Step 1: You can put your string of pearls cut in a glass of water. Fill the glass halfway with water and set the vine in it to be about 1/3 buried and it cannot fall out.
Place the glass in a well-lit and warm area but out of direct sunlight. No other maintenance is necessary other than changing the water once a week.
Step 2: In around 2-3 weeks, you’ll notice new roots developing in the water.
Step 3: Transplant the plant into a potting mix after around 4 weeks or when you observe a lot of new roots.
Step 4: Mist the soil once or twice a week or whenever it seems dry. Once the plant has established itself, stop misting and switch to regular watering.
Soil Propagation – 2 Ways
There are two different types of soil propagation. You can use both methods of soil propagation simultaneously, especially if your pot is large.
Method 1: Sticking cuttings in soil
Step 1: Choose a soil mixture ideal for succulents.
Step 2: Use a planter with a drainage hole in the bottom to prevent root damage caused by standing water.
Step 3: Fill the planter with water and gently stick the vine cuttings inside. Make sure that they are in contact with the soil and cannot fall out.
Step 4: Place the container in a light-filled area away from direct sunlight and wait. A good and strong root system will take anything from a few weeks to a month or two to establish.
Step 5: At the start, you can regularly spray to avoid disturbing the stems too much. You can begin a regular watering plan once they’ve established a robust root system.
Method 2: Laying the cuttings on the Soil
Step 1: Place the cuttings flat on the soil, allowing the stem to come into contact with the soil. The plant will send out roots everywhere it comes into contact with the soil.
Step 2: If the stem already has roots on it, aim to position it such that the roots dig the soil. Use a paper clip to keep the stems in place and the roots in place.
Step 3: Mist the soil once or twice a week or whenever it seems dry. Stop misting and start watering the plant once its roots are established.
Step 4: In two weeks, new roots will sprout. It will establish itself fast if you use stem cuttings that already have roots.
A string of pearl propagation takes only a few minutes and a little patience. You can repeat the propagation process as many times as you want. Try out these methods, and soon you will grow more pearl plants everywhere.
Does String of Pearls have flowers?
At times String of Pearls will produce small white flowers! They look like little stars and commonly occur during the spring. They do not last long, but they are very pretty!
Where do I buy String of Pearls?
Buy String of Pearls houseplants HERE on Etsy. Or on Amazon. Or Home Depot. Or at your local nursery.
Does String of Pearls need direct sunlight?
Yes, String of Pearls prefers to be in bright direct sun for at least 4 hours a day. If you do not have enough lighting you can install plant light bulbs in your lamps or set up a plant light with a timer to imitate strong natural light.
Does String of Pearls need fertilizer?
Do it once a month during the growing season (spring & summer) with fish emulsion.
Where can I buy String of Pearls?
Now you know how to care for String of Pearls houseplant! It is a popular indoor plant with string-like leaves and easy lighting, water, soil, and fertilizer requirements! To learn more about caring for your succulents or other plants – and pet care, or if you want to stay up to date on tips, advice, houseplants, and pets, you can join my email list here or follow along on Instagram: @House_Fur