Everything You Need to Know About - String of Pearls

If you have heard about succulents, then you may find String of Pearls interesting! Once you learn about this wondrous plant, you will be amazed at how little effort you need to give to keep it in your home. The String of Pearls is one of the most popular succulents in the Asteraceae family. The scientific name of this cool-looking plant is Senecio Rowleyanus. It has a fast growth rate and is most commonly grown indoors. The plant has strange pea-shaped leaves that make it easy to spot and identify.

The String of Pearls is a native of South Africa, wherein its natural habitat it grows along the ground as creeping vines. This succulent produces delicate creamy-white flowers throughout the spring. The blooms are stunning in appearance and make your home look elegant. Additionally, this summer-dormant houseplant is hardy in zones 9 to 12 and grows up to 30 to 90 cm in height. Here is the ultimate guide on how to grow, propagate, and care for the String of Pearls.

The String of Pearls Varieties

The String of Pearls has many varieties of plants in the family. This succulent has members that are related to one another but have different growing traits and features. Some of the popular String Succulents are:

1. Senecio Citriformis

String of tears succulent with a top dressing of rocks

The common name of this unique plant (now called Curio Citriformis) is “String of Tears”. Flowers of this hardy succulent appear in late summer to winter and are creamy-yellow in color.

2. Senecio Rowleyanus

String of pearls succulent planted in a black pot

A native to South Africa, this succulent produces delicate creamy-white flowers throughout the spring. Senecio Rowleyanus is commonly known as “String of Pearls”.

3. Crassula Perforata

String of buttons succulent with rock top dressing

This fast-growing houseplant has its origin in South Africa. The Crassula Perforata succulent is known by its common name “String of Buttons” or “Necklace Vine”. The flowers bloom in the spring in white to pale yellow color.

The String of Pearls Care and Propagation

  • Care of the String of Pearls

The String of Pearls succulent is an ideal plant available in almost every home, office, and garden center. It is important to have the right care of this plant to keep it healthy. This unique houseplant is very forgiving and thrives to its best potential when given enough soil and light conditions. These plants are easy to grow and require minimal effort to keep flourishing.

  1. Light Requirements- String of Pearls require plenty of direct and indirect sunlight to do well. This plant thrives in full sun and partial shade, making it one of the best choices for container gardening.
  1. Watering Guide- Succulents are fond of decent drainage and any flower will end up dying if it doesn't get enough water. However, String of Pearls does not require too much watering. It cannot survive for a longer period in soggy soils and thus avoiding overwatering works best for this plant. Make sure to let the soil dry out before watering again. Water these succulents thoroughly during the growing season and reduce watering when they go dormant in summer. Get detailed info about watering your cactus and succulents in our other blog.
  1. Soil- A cactus potting mix is an ideal choice for these plants. The soil they're growing in needs to be well-draining so the roots stay healthy and rot-free.
  1. Fertilizer- Your String of Pearls doesn’t need fertilizer very often. However, you can feed the plant with a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer during the spring and summer seasons every couple of weeks. Reduce feeding during the dormancy.
  1. Temperature & Humidity- String of Pearls thrives in indoor temperatures above 70° F during spring and 50° to 60° F with winter temperatures. This interesting succulent grows best in low humidity. It prefers about 40 percent relative humidity and can survive in any household setting.
  • Propagation of the String of Pearls

The String of Pearls can be propagated from stem cuttings and seeds. The best times to propagate your plant are in summer and spring. All you need is some soil, some water, and someplace for it to grow. The plant takes almost a month to start taking root.

1. Propagation from Stem Cuttings

The easiest way to propagate this houseplant is from stem cuttings. You can simply take stem cuttings and make new plants. Propagation from stem cuttings can be done in two ways:

  • In the first method, just take 3 to 4 cuttings and press them gently on the soil. Gradually, the roots will start growing out.
  • The second method involves separating the leaves from the stem of a cutting. The stem is then placed on the soil so the growth nodes get immersed in the soil. In this way, the roots will grow out of the cutting.

String of pearls propagation from stem cuttings

String of pearls propagation from stem cuttings in a terracotta pot

2. Propagation from Seeds

The String of Pearls or Senecio Rowleyanus can be propagated from seeds as well. However, it is hard to grow new plants from seeds as compared to stems. Propagation of seeds can be done in three steps:

  • The first step involves planting the seeds in a regular succulent or a cactus potting mix.
  • Do not let the soil lose its moisture. Place a plastic bag around the pot to keep it moist.
  • The germination is quicker in the growing period during spring & summer. The seeds begin to germinate in a few weeks or may take a couple of months.

The String of Pearls Indoor or Outdoor?

The String of Pearls is mostly planted in indoor environments but it can grow outdoors as well throughout the year.  You can keep your plant healthy & happy in both settings.

  • Growing String of Pearls Indoors

This houseplant can be grown indoors as it can thrive in partial shade and low humidity. Plant your succulent in a cactus potting mix to improve drainage. Avoid overwatering and keep the soil moisture-free. These plants prefer full sun in the morning hours so you can place your cactus in an east-facing window or sunny south-facing window where it will get intense sunlight. If you are looking for a succulent that is low-maintenance, looks beautiful, and does not require much care, then go for these beginner-friendly plants.

  • Growing String of Pearls Outdoors

If you are looking to plant your String of Pearls outside, then go for it. This popular succulent can be grown very easily in zones 9 and warmer. Place your plant in an area where it can get direct sunlight only in the morning as it needs some shade as well. It prefers a well-drained soil mix and does not require much watering. You can also prepare your very own potting mix for your string of pearls. Senecio Rowleyanus can be planted outdoors either in a container or in the ground. This versatile houseplant will make a fantastic addition to your garden.

When & How to Repot String of Pearls?

The best time to repot your String of Pearls is at the beginning of the spring. Repotting can be done once a year. However, when the plant begins to die, it is better to propagate and let the new plants grow.

Here’s how you can repot your houseplant:

  1. Take a pot larger in size than your previous pot size. Make sure the growing pot has ample airflow.
  2. Get a well-drained soil and a cactus potting mix.
  3. Place the soil to the bottom of the new pot to make space in the center where the plant can grow.
  4. Remove the root from the previous pot and gently place it in the middle of the fresh soil.
  5. Lastly, stuff the soil around the roots and complete it with the top dressing.

 Common Problems With The String of Pearls Plant

The String of Pearls is an easy-care plant. Sometimes, it may face issues. If identified on time, you can save your succulent and keep it healthy for a longer period.

  1. Shriveling or Drying Out of Leaves- Shriveling of the plant’s leaves is a problem that arises when your plant is underwatered or overwatered.
  1. Leaves Turning Purple & Mushy Stems- Your String of Pearls can experience its leaves turning purple and stems becoming mushy. It is caused by overwatering the plant. This variety is prone to root rot & soil-borne diseases. To prevent, reduce watering and let the soil dry out completely. You can use Terra cotta or Clay pots to remove extra moisture from the soil.
  1. Toxic to Pets- String of Pearls is toxic to pets like cats & dogs. The sap of the plant makes it poisonous for both humans and animals. But if you take proper care of its placement, then this plant is completely safe to keep in homes.
  1. Leggy Stems & Thinning Out- When your plant does not receive enough sunlight, it will start to grow apart on the stems. Soon, the leaves would fall off, resulting in leggy and thin stems. To make your plant fuller, remove those thin leggy stems and ensure to provide regular light to your succulents. Place it in the intense sun or near a window for better results.

Beside these issues, String of Pearl can be a great addition to your plant collection and an eye-catching home décor.


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