When it comes to succulents, few are as distinctive and unique as the string of pearls. These beauties feature pea-shaped leaves on trailing vines that hang over the sides of their container. When properly maintained, pretty white flowers with an enticing cinnamon scent can also sprout, though this is a tricky task on plants grown indoors. The following string of pearls plant care tips can help you with this, ensuring that the plant is getting everything it needs to thrive in your home.
String Of Pearls Overview
- String of pearls is a succulent and follows most standard succulent care
- Likes a mix of direct and indirect light
- Water infrequently, once every 2-3 weeks on average during the growing season
- Blooms beautiful white flowers during the summer months
- Can grow outside in the summer, but make sure it remains relatively warm
- Very easy to care for both indoors and out. With infrequent waterings, it’s not uncommon to provide no care for this plant for weeks at a time.
As a succulent, string of pearls doesn’t like too much moisture soaking its roots. A container that helps wick moisture away from the plant, like a terracotta or unglazed ceramic pot, is best. It should also have at least one drainage hole on the bottom to release excess moisture. This plant doesn’t need a large pot, due to the shallow roots, so keep it small to reduce soil moisture.
In their natural environment, most succulents grow in well-draining soil that includes more sand and gravel than the dirt of a garden. They are used to drought-like conditions, so too much moisture is harmful, rotting their roots and killing the plant.
String of pearls is no exception, so be sure to use succulent soil to match its natural environment. This type of soil has the right mix of organic and mineral material to give the plant the moisture and nutrients it needs without damaging the roots. You can even make your own by combining two parts mineral materials like perlite, coarse sand, or fine gravel with one part organic materials like pine bark, coconut coir, or compost.
No succulent likes to be overwatered but string of pearls is particularly sensitive to this issue. In fact, they are more likely to survive with too little moisture than too much of it. For the healthiest plant, stick to watering string of pearls once every week or two.
You can check the soil before watering by pushing your finger an inch or two into the soil. If this area is damp, wait a few more days before adding more moisture. If it’s dry or the plant’s round leaves begin to flatten, the plant is ready for more water. Add water until it begins to leak from the drainage holes, then leave the plant until the soil dries out on top again. During the plant’s winter dormant period, you can reduce watering to once a month.
String of pearls loves bright light, though they can’t tolerate only direct sunlight. It’s best to give them a combination of direct and indirect light to prevent burned leaves and stems.
The softer sunlight in the morning is perfect to give the plant the direct sunlight it needs. Then move it to a shadier spot where it will still get a decent amount of indirect light in the afternoon. An east-facing window is best since it gives the string of pearls the perfect combination of light without moving it or adjusting window coverings.
Like most succulents, string of pearls prefers warmer temperatures, preferably between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during its growing season. In the winter, when the plant goes dormant, you can lower this temperature to between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, though avoid going lower or you risk damaging the plant. Always avoid any frost as this will kill your plant in a hurry.
String of pearls is used to dry, arid conditions in its natural environment, so it’s best to mimic these conditions as much as you can in your home. Low humidity of about 40% is best for this plant. Be sure to keep it out of high humidity areas, like the bathroom or kitchen, to ensure it isn’t being overwhelmed by too much moisture in the air.
During the spring and summer months, string of pearls should be fertilized every three to four weeks. The best options are a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer, though these should be diluted to prevent burned roots.
In the winter, when the plant is no longer growing, you can refrain from adding fertilizer altogether. Of course, if your plant is looking a bit unhealthy during this time, you can add a bit every six weeks to keep it happy, but this is usually not necessary. Avoid fertilizing more than this during the winter or you risk burning out the plant.
Pruning a string of pearls plant is relatively easy and not very time-consuming. If you notice any stems that are leggy, lacking spherical leaves, or dead, trim them away. You can even keep those leggy stems to propagate, though the unhealthy stems should be discarded. Pruning away these bits helps maintain the size of the plant while also encouraging bushier growth.
String of pearls has shallow roots that don’t overtake their pot too quickly. In fact, they can live happily in the same pot for years. Of course, sooner or later, you’ll likely notice that it isn’t growing as quickly as it used to or that it’s become rootbound.
When this occurs, it’s time to repot the plant into a larger container. You don’t need to upgrade too much since this plant won’t need a ton of extra room to spread out. A container that is 2 to 3 inches larger than the previous one will give string of pearls all the room it needs.
To repot this plant, add some succulent soil to the bottom of the new pot. Remove the string of pearls carefully from its old pot and place it on top of the soil in the new pot. Then fill the container with new soil to about an inch below the top of the container. Be very careful during this process since string of pearls is delicate and could be damaged if handled too roughly
The easiest way to propagate string of pearls is using stem cuttings. Choose a healthy stem with several round leaves. Using sterilized pruning shears or scissors, remove a 4- to 5-inch stem from the plant, cutting it right below one of the leaf nodes. Then remove the bottom leaves and lay the stem out for a day or two to dry the trimmed areas.
When the stem is ready to plant, prepare a pot with succulent soil, leaving a hole of about an inch in depth in the center. Then place the cut end into the soil and pack the dirt around it, ensuring all the leaves are above the soil. Leave it for a few days, then water it and place the new plant in bright sunlight.
String Of Pearls Plant Care
The string of pearls succulent is an excellent indoor plant, and is very easy to grow. It’s low maintenance makes it great for those looking for a beautiful plant that doesn’t require daily care. A bright spot and weekly waterings is all it takes to grow these beauties.
String Of Pearls FAQ
Is String Of Pearls Easy To Keep Alive
Yes, string of pearls are easy to grow and keep alive, and require a low level of maintenance to keep healthy.
Should You Mist a String Of Pearls Plant?
No, you should not mist your string of pearls. This plant likes a dry environment, so misting can make it too humid and lead to issues like root rot.
Does String Of Pearls Need Direct Sunlight
String of pearls likes a mix of direct and indirect light. Aim to get some early morning direct sunlight followed followed up by some indirect light or partial shade into the afternoon and evening.
How Often Should I Water My String Of Pearls
Only water once the soil is dry to the touch. This is usually around ever 14 days or about once every two weeks.