If you enjoy having one-of-a-kind looking plants, you’ll love the string of pearls. Unlike any other, it combines a little of whimsy, uniqueness, and some tropical feel to any room or section of your home.
These lovely looking plants belong in hanging baskets and containers but can also grow in other setups, making them very versatile.
The best part about them is that you don’t have to jump through hoops to care for them. To learn how, read on.
About String of Pearls
The string of pearls is also known as string of beads or string of rosary beads. This unique-looking succulent gets those names because its leaves are spherical shaped.
For me, they look more like the green peas you see in the dinner table. But, in any case, it’s these lovely, plump balls that seem to be tied to strings that make this plant attractive.
Besides its lovely looks, another reason why it’s a popular houseplant is that it’s easy to grow and care for. You can likewise easily propagate it. This means, you not only get to enjoy it during its lifespan, but you’ll also be able to keep growing new ones yourself.
They’re not too fussy about conditions as long as you give them the few simple things they want, they’ll be happy.
These vigorous growers come with long, trailing stems that can reach lengths of two feet when left untrimmed. Thus, they will overflow over the edges of containers and hanging baskets, which is what makes them beautiful and very noticeable when grown indoors.
They not only add to your interior décor, but they also make amazing focal points as well as conversational pieces when guests come around.
Interestingly, in their native environment, they are terrestrial. As such, they grow on the ground and end up sprawling outwards like a mat covering the surface.
Last but not least, while their foliage will always be the center of attention, the string of pearls do produce white flowers whose lovely fragrance will remind you of cinnamon.
String of Pearls Plant Care
String of Pearls Light Requirements
String of pearls can tolerate anywhere from full sun to partial sun. But, it does best with bright, indirect light. Either way, they need plenty of light to thrive.
This means you can place it on a spot where they get just a few hours of direct sunlight daily. As long as they get a lot of indirect sunlight for the rest of the day, they’ll be happy.
An east-facing window is perfect for it indoors. You can likewise keep it where it receives southern or western exposure as long as they don’t get hit by too much of the sun’s strong rays, which can scorch them.
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String of Pearls Temperature & Humidity
As with most succulents, your string of pearls likes warm temperatures preferably between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit between spring through fall.
Come wintertime, its preferences drop to between 50 to 55 degrees.
As such, you may need to move it to a cooler spot to keep it comfortable during its dormant period.
Besides enjoying fairly normal room temperatures, one of the other reasons that this succulent does well as a houseplant is that it thrives in low humidity. As long as relative humidity hovers around 40 percent or slightly lower, it will be happy.
However, if you plan to leave them outdoors, even just for the summer, it’s important to keep them away from areas that can get very humid as well as received too much direct sunlight.
String of Pearls Watering
String of pearls is native to East Africa where they’ve become accustomed to dry conditions. In order to survive, they’ve adapted such that their plump leaves (pearls) store the water they might need for the future.
This makes them drought tolerant.
And, it also means they don’t need a lot of watering. Thus, allowing you to water them once a week or every other week.
More importantly, they’re susceptible to overwatering. So, you want to err on the side of caution rather than be too generous with moisture, which can lead to root rot.
And, if they get thirsty, they’ll tell you. Once you notice their pearl-shaped leaves begin to flatten out, it’s a sign they need more water.
As a rule of thumb, allow at least half an inch of the top of the soil to dry out before watering again.
In the winter, you can scale back the watering to once a month.
When it comes to soil, the most important thing is good drainage. They’re used to sandy soil which is light and doesn’t hold water well. As such, they don’t like having wet feet.
Besides sandy soil, you can likewise use potting mix for cacti and succulents which are design specifically for their needs.
Because of its trailing nature, they’re best placed in hanging baskets, tall containers, or spaces where they can sprawl outwards.
To keep them plump and healthy, you’ll need to feed your string of pearls once every two to four weeks during its growing season (spring and summer).
A balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to a third or half-strength works well.
When winter comes around, reduce the frequency to once every six weeks as it goes into dormancy.
String of Pearls Pruning
Pruning is a good way to keep your string of pearls fuller. It also encourages them to grow and be healthy.
But, in most cases, it is to shape and keep them neat and tidy looking.
Over time, their stems will grow out. And, if you don’t trim them back, they can reach lengths of 2 feet. This can make them unwieldy or look untidy when hanging from baskets or overflowing from containers.
Thus, trimming the longer stems lets you keep them looking nice.
Similarly, you want to prune away stems that don’t have any pearls or have lost their foliage. Both of which don’t look good.
String of Pearls Propagation
The string of pearls has an average lifespan of about five years, as long as you give them proper care. So, once this time nears, it’s a good idea to propagate them.
Doing so lets you enjoy their beauty indefinitely.
The good news is that they are easy to propagate via stem cuttings.
- Choose a healthy looking stem, ideally with a few leaves on it.
- Cut the stem.
- Place the cutting in potting soil.
- Water the soil and keep it moist
- Soon, you should start seeing it begin to root.
String of Pearls Repotting
These succulents are fast growers which makes them easy to propagate. However, it also means that you’ll need to repot them more regularly.
In most cases, expect to do so every year. The best time would be during spring when it’s about to start or is going through its growing season.
It is likewise good to note that after a few times of repotting, the plant will slowly lose its vigor and die back. This is a gradual process that happens over years.
Thus, if you want to keep them indefinitely, it’s a good idea to propagate them.
Finally, keep in mind that these lovely succulents are slightly toxic. So, it’s a good idea to keep them away from children and pets. Consuming them can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and vomiting.
If you keep them in hanging baskets, this will be less of a problem because they’re kept high above the reach of young kids.
But, if they’re on tabletops or closer to the floor, you may want to choose a spot where your child and pets can’t get to these plants.