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String of Pearls Plant – Care, Benefits, Propagation, Pruning(Full Guide)

String of pearls is perennial flowering plant which is a direct competition to many trailing succulents including string of nickels ,string of turtles and string of dolphins. This one grows inside the house and adds additional beauty. It was also called a string of beads because of its appearance to be like a beaded necklace with a pea -like shape of its leaves that are green and shiny in color. You are easily grown indoors and also in hanging pot or in garden with fixed size pot. If you ask me , They thrive better outdoors with a good amount of light.

Background Information

String of pearls found in dried parts of Africa and it is termed as creeping, succulent vine plant. The scientific name of this plant is Curio rowleyanus and it belongs to the Asteraceae Family. There are many plants such as String of Watermelons who’s Binomial name is Curio Herreanus , which is quite a similar name.

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Specifications

Family Asteraceae
Scientific Name Curio/Senecio rowleyanus
Other Name String of beads
Height 2-3 feet tall
Width 40-90cm
USDA Hardiness Zone  10
Foliage Color Green
Flower Blooms White
Light Indirect/Bright
Propagation Stem
Toxicity YES

string of pearls plant (Curio rowleyanus)
MeganEHansen, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

String of Pearls Care

This plant doesn’t have much demand and needs a little bit of care only. What they require is enough light and good soil. If you want them to grow faster then fertilizer can do the job , I have mentioned the plant food requirement below you check on the fertilizer section.

This plant can grow again and again with stem cutting propagation , if you want them to keep living longer. Otherwise what happens is it starts to drop in 4-5 years and die if properly not cared. For Longer stems in a string of pearls, grow them in a hanging pot where they can easily thrive and trail to Down Earth.

Multiple stems can be twined and if you want them separately flow then it’s also okay as they look good either way.

It needs bright light the whole year so make sure you fulfill its daily requirement, also there is a minimum chance of pests and disease because the damage can be repaired by the new growth. For root rot , always use good soil which has good drainage and with that check holes in the pot.

Let’s Talk one by one on how to care string of pearls, It will help to you understand this succulent better :

Soil

String of pearls thrive best in well drained soil so make sure to choose a good pot for them. There are 2 pots which make water drain perfectly , it has sufficient holes in it & one such made from porous and coarse type of clay , yes I am talking about Terracotta pots.

The Other one is unglazed ceramic means there is no coating or glazing applied on it. What Type of Soil Needed? Any Succulent/ Cacti soil that is available near your house can work and sand soil is also good with our string of beads. 

Ratio for Potting Mix :

Succulent and cactus Soil Mix : 2/3

Sharp Sand : 1/3

Perlite : 10% ( Optional)

For Succulent like this they don’t like deep pots so avoid them as their root is shallow. secondly try to find a good pot medium sized is good , it shouldn’t be too large because of one reason that water will stay for longer and takes takes to dry and after that plant root will start to get rot and fungal infection can also start.

Here is the Potting mix/soil for succulent like String of pearls.

Curio rowleyanus string of pearls care propagation pruning

Flickr user Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Fertilizer

Succulents like String of beads don’t usually require fertilizer , but sometimes people do use it regressively to grow those vines but end up making them fade. So Remember if you use it then only as per the advice else too much fertilizer is bad.

So when to fertilize? You can fertilizer it in every 15 days in growing season like spring of summer. Also it depends on which company fertilizer you use so always read instructions. In winter they don’t require it as they may have gone dormant for a period. In fall they don’t need it so your all focus should be on watering. 

Water

String of pearls time for watering is once every 13-14 days but If you live in Warm Area Where It might dry early I Suggest to check the soil about 1 inch using your finger , You may get 2 results either it is dry or it is moist, In case of soil being dried out Immediately water and ignore if it’s moist.

Overwatering can become a problem if you make this mistake. There’s a Chance that Root may start to rot which leads to leaves pale. It might also see a rise in disease, generally fungal infection.

These succulents are majorly grown indoors for its beautiful pea like foliage. I have tried it outdoors and it was a great experience, Only think you should remember before moving. The watering time that changes according to how warm or hot your area is for a string of pearls. Many Times you don’t need to pour water as rainfall doesn’t its work.

Light

String of beads likes indirect light to thrive and placing them in partial shade or bright areas where light doesn’t directly reach them is good for their long term growth. Indoors they can be placed in a south facing window where light comes for some hours , generally morning sunlight is good and it’s not too harsh, That’s why we don’t put succulent plants after 12’o o’clock Noon. Also Warmer Climate areas where it’s too harsh to put plants near the window then place it where it gets indirect light or use curtains to get the filtered light.

In Winters String of pearls need warmth so putting them in bright areas other than dark is preferred. Also Direct Sun rays always have an impact on succulent such as leaves might get burnt.

If you want to grow them indoors , consider buying fluorescent light and place them 8-14 inches above the plants and once they start getting 10-14 hours light per day it will grow, But I still think natural light is better so once every week you can place them in the morning sun for 2-3 hours.

Humidity

Like every other succulent they used to grow in Normal Temperature , meaning Low to Moderate Humidity is fine with them. But for better overall growth they can be grown in a 50-55% Humid environment. Here Water needs can be fulfilled by plants using moisture so very less water is needed.

Temperature

String of pearls can grow in 60-80 F (15 to 26 C) and can manage 55 F (12 C) in cold climates. In Winters You can shift them indoors to avoid any damage and they can thrive in normal temperature inside home. These succulents will not adjust in heavy cold, Below 40 F (4 C), You need to provide frost blankets and protect the plant. Make Sure once the plant is inside, put them properly close the windows to let cold air could not pass.

Toxicity

According to University of California , This Plant String of Pearls(Beads) is included in Toxicity class 2 and 4 which means, Its Minor toxic and if ingested you may end up problems like vomiting and diarrhea. The other issue is Dermatitis & its sap or juice can be harmful for skin , it leads to irritation. If Anyhow it becomes painful and you seriously need help , Call Any Poison Control Center for help or you can ask for a doctor.

Pests and disease

Pests

Mostly they don’t get any pest issues indoors , and if grown outdoors you might encounter Mealybugs. They generally attack the plant and They leave the white waxy thing on the plant and keep on sucking the sap. This way plants may face growing issues. Another problem is aphids, they also come for sap juice. When succulent leaves will start to wilt and day by day it will eat & make the plant weaker. But with String of pearls they regrow back so it’s never an issue even the stem can be cut down and throw the vine outside into dustbin or dispose it in sand.

By the way there is a simple solution ,You can use pesticide which can be helpful. Here is the link to buy, and also It can be applied in other plants.

Disease

Fungal infection is an issue in all succulents and It happens if you make your soil too soggy which creates a perfect environment for a fungal infection to grow and spoil the root itself. By time it was healed by making sure soil gets dry and many times changing soil can also work. that’s why we advise you to make sure you are using a well drained soil and pot should have proper holes, then you are void roots rot that actually results in it becoming brown or black. 

Overall if you didn’t properly water it then you end up losing your whole plant. Root rot is an issue and can affect the whole plant.

In String of pearls , you can immediately propagate plants so it’s not a big issue. But if you want to save the existing one then use a good potting mix and take care of your watering habits. Always check soil if it’s dry or not before watering.

String of Pearls Propagation

Before Propagation method , Let me Tell you when to propagate String of pearls – So the best time which we have noticed is mid spring to end of summer. Most Popular way to propagate them is By Stem Cutting because it’s easy , takes less time for preparation and also root development is faster than the seeds.

So When To Take Cutting of Succulent- Its Best When You are giving it a pruning touch , same day propagate 2-3 in other pots or share with neighbors , This way it can survive longer and you don’t need to buy them ever.

Here is Instruction on How to Propagate String of Pearls Plant:

1 . Clean the Pruning Or Cutting Tools Before Propagation.

It’s necessary to sterilize or clean it with rubbing alcohol to avoid any bacterial infection in our string of pearls. Cleaning makes it more safe for pruning.

2 . Take A Cutting that is about 5-6 inch.

So here you need to check for a healthy green looking stem, Also Check if that stem is not dried completely, Some stem even has disease so avoid such type of cutting. You can cut 4 inch , I suggest having 6 inch is best so that you can remove 2 inches of base leaves and that bottom part will grow roots after months.

3 . Prepare Potting mix that is well drained.

Best if you check my soil section to get an idea on what ratio and what type of potting mix is good for the string of pearls. After Selecting Pot , it’s time to Pour some water into the soil to make it moist.

4 . Put the Cutting inside the Soil.

Now Time to Sow the stem, cutting about 2 inch into the soil. Cover the portion of stem in the potting mix. Press the top layer and make it fit in a growing pot mix.

5 . Place it in Indirect sunlight.

They love Bright sun which is not directly giving them light , but indirectly providing light energy, & Location must be warm not cold as these succulent hate cold or frost temperature.

6 . Make sure to water it consistently.

As for root development, an important requirement is to make the stem moist most of the time in the starting few days and weeks. Even If you forgot it will still grow but ensure they get proper water in atleast once in 6-8 days. If you are spraying water then do once every 2-3 days in the main root section where rooting will form.

7 . In 3-4 weeks time roots start to form.

Keep the consistency of pouring water. After 30-32 days Reduce watering,

Now 5th week , It’s time to decrease the time for watering and only give water when soil gets dry.

8 . After like 6 months try to give them plant food.

I have suggested the plant food or fertilizer, You can give them. Make sure to read instructions and follow it , otherwise overfertilizing can be a big problem. In Winters, Stop the feeding and start care as they need indoor warmth.

9 . After like 9-12 months , You can prune them and even propagate them.

Now you know the process , make sure the garden , home more beautiful and lovely with these strings of pearls. Even gift some of them to relatives , they definitely like it. 

String of pearls Plant Pruning

Before Moving to Actually Method, Let’s Talk Why We Need String of pearls Pruning? To Get Rid of Unwanted Disease growth, remove Dead Stem or leaves that look Pale as they are not growing further and are simply taking Nutrients from the plant. Even Prune, the Stem Which has Lost most of its leaves, drought Vines. Also Those who grow Them Outdoor they don’t actually need pruning , It’s important for those who placed string of beads indoors. To Make sure the size of vine is limited and not to overgrow, Even Appearance is also a key here and you need perfect healthy stems to hang downwards from the floating pot right. Even cutting some of them from tip 1 -2 inch can increase the growth, Try it all the best.

Most Searched Questions:

String of pearls growth rate

The Growth rate is half inch when you propagate it first, after that String of pearls will grow 5-8 inches in 2 months of time period. If fertilizer has been used then it will grow much faster , even without fertilizer only direct sunlight given you may see its thriving much faster but I suggest not to put it in noon sun. Morning Sunlight is good enough.

String of pearls flower

Yes this succulent has flowers in it and they mostly bloom in the summer season and also in spring. Flower is in white color and looks like a daisy flower. The fragrance is kind of a mix of sweet and spicy like an ingredient called cinnamon which is used in most of Indian dishes.

Can you grow string of pearls from a pearl

Yes it can be done, but it’s very hard to grow them from pearls. You will see most of them are not growing and 1-2 might show some root development , its limited luck. Better way is using stem cutting, which is an easy and perfect method.

String of pearls plant dying

These plant sufficient water for them to grow as a healthy succulent ,most of the time they will store water on foliage but when there is no water and they feel dried then pea like leaves will shrivel , and it’s the indication that water is low on the plant , immediately pour water and save the plant. Most plants get issues regarding watering either overwater and underwater. Take good care of your plant to avoid any problems.

How to make string of pearls fuller

To make strings of pearls look fuller, first cut off some of the stems that are aerial stem means starting to develop leaves, and take 2-3 and put them on the top of the soil. Use More potting soil and put over them, water it. Secondly Do cut the Long Stems from the tip end little cut 1 inch if they are grown 1.5-2 feet.

Else watch below video its full explanation.

My tips on how to make a String of Pearls fuller. @verdealcove from r/succulents

FAQ’s

How long does it take for string of pearls to grow?

If you have successfully propagated a string of pearls and used a good potting mix , I have talked above then It takes 3-4 weeks of time for them to develop roots. After that It will grow leaves and stem. Most People propagate them in same pot then repot it. please check the section for full process.

How much is a string of pearls?

Prices can vary from $5 to $14+ , as each of these rates depend on where it was sold , I have mentioned both the links of amazon and etsy you can check there.

Why is my string of pearls turning white?

Overwatered succulent can show this problem , pearls turning white means cells are getting damaged. Check if your plant root gets rotted, You should maintain water and always check soil if its dry then only water it else don’t do anything. Using your finger and checking 1.5 inch of soil can tell you if the soil is moist. Solution is Change soil or place it in partial sun to make it dry.

How do you revive string of pearls?

Place it in Partial sun and water it consistently for some days. If your plant is about to die , I Suggest propagate it otherwise give a string of pearls good water and indirect sunlight. For problems like leaves are shriveled then increase water , give every week or 2 , and check the progress. make sure don’t make the soil soggy.

 

 

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