Most houseplants remain dormant during the winter season, including the string of pearls. The string of pearls rests during the winter months and grows really slowly. Winter demands a different care routine, and regular care might be detrimental to your plant’s health. So in this article, we shall learn how to care for a string of pearls in winter.
During the winter season, move your string of pearls to a spot where it gets lots of indirect lighting but stays away from cold drafts. Stop fertilizing your plants and water them only when the soil feels somewhat dry. Maintaining stable humidity and temperature is also critical for the plant’s health.
We will give you all the details of how to care for your string of pearls during winter and the things that you should avoid doing during this season. So keep reading.
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String of pearls winter care
The string of pearls is resilient and it can tolerate a wide range of climatic conditions but need a little care from you during the winter months.
The plant can go long without water during the winter, and they also don’t require any fertilizer.
We have put together some essentials that you need to take care of for your string of pearls to remain healthy during winter.
- Avoid extremes
Let’s discuss all the topics in detail to understand the winter needs of your string of pearls.
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The string of pearls is succulent, so its water requirement is low. It doesn’t like to be overwatered.
The string of pearls can survive harsh conditions like droughts, but the plant will not survive if you keep overwatering it.
The string of pearls holds water in its pearl-like leaves, and overwatering will lead to more water absorption than required. It will ultimately lead to cell damage in the plant.
If you avoid the signs and keep overwatering the string of pearls, it will die before you know it.
Overwatering can bring other problems for your plant, such as root rot and pest infestation.
Let’s understand a few things before watering the string of pearls.
How often to water string of pearls in winter?
The string of pearls can go without water for 10-15 days during the winter season.
You should stop watering the string of pearls like you do during the summer season.
Use a moisture meter to check the soil’s moisture and water the plant when the top two inches are somewhat dry. However, don’t wait until the soil is bone dry.
Watering too often will lead to overwatering, root rot, and pest problems.
Also read: How often should I water my string of pearls?
How can we avoid overwatering?
The string of pearls needs well-draining potting soil. You should check if the soil is moist before watering the plant.
You can use a moisture meter or dip your finger inside the soil to check the moisture. Water your string of pearls only if the soil feels dry.
If the soil is still moist, you should wait for a few days and give it time before watering again.
Keep a check on the drainage holes to make sure that they are working and are not blocked. Also, check the tray and remove excess water from the tray.
You can develop a watering regime to ensure that you are not overwatering or under-watering the plant.
Don’t let your string of pearls sit on water for a long time, as that will become a problem.
If you already have an overwatered string of pearls, you should consider repotting it depending on the signs you notice.
Get rid of all the yellow and brown leaves and prune the damaged parts before repotting the plant.
Use a well-draining soil like a cactus or succulent mix if you plan to repot your string of pearls.
Also read: What kind of soil do string of pearls need?
The string of pearls plant is a light feeder and doesn’t need a lot of fertilizers. It can even survive without fertilizer, but adding fertilizer will help in its growth.
The string of pearls needs a well-balanced diluted fertilizer in the ratio 10:10:10. In the case of a 20:20:20 ratio, you should further dilute the fertilizer to ensure the dose is not too strong for the plant.
The string of pearls needs fertilizer during the growing season, i.e., the summer and spring months. It would help to stop fertilizing it during winter.
The plant goes into a dormant state and doesn’t grow much, so adding fertilizers during this time will only be detrimental to the plant.
Over-fertilization will lead to stunted growth and will burn the roots. If the situation gets worse, the plant can even develop root rot.
So you should avoid fertilizing during the winter season for a healthy string of pearls.
Also read: How often should I fertilize my string of pearls?
How to avoid over-fertilization?
We will discuss how we can avoid over-fertilization in the string of pearls plant. Some things to keep in mind are:
- Fertilize only during the summer and spring season
- You should use a well-balanced 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 fertilizer
- It would be best to give the string of pearls a diluted feed
- Reduce the dose during the fall
- Avoid fertilizing during the winter months
What to do if I have an over-fertilized string of pearls?
In case of an over-fertilized string of pearls, you will need to remove the excess fertilizer from the plant, and we will tell you how.
- Take the plant out of the pot. Be very gentle while doing this, as any damage can be harmful to the plant.
- Remove the soil attached to the roots.
- Prune all the damaged leaves and roots as theyt are not going to get healthy again.
- Wash the roots of the plant to remove excess fertilizer from the roots. Do this at least thrice.
- After the excess feed is washed away, repot the plant.
- If you want to keep your string of pearls in the same pot, clean it with bleach and let it dry for some time.
- In case of a new pot, go ahead with the repotting.
- Fill the pot with well-draining soil, such as a succulent mix or cactus mix.
- Place your string of pearls in the middle and add soil from all sides so that no air pockets remain.
- Gently tap the soil to help the plant sit appropriately in the pot.
- Water the plant to reduce stress. Make sure not to overwater.
- Avoid fertilizing for a month after you repot the plant.
The string of pearls is a hardy plant and can survive in both bright and low light conditions. It can survive without water for some time.
But if you want a healthy and growing string of pearls, you will need to provide favorable conditions to the plant.
In winter, the plant might need some extra care from you.
If you have placed the string of pearls near a window and that window gets cold drafts during winter, you need to move the plant from that location.
During the winter, the temperatures can get too low, and the string of pearls doesn’t enjoy low temperatures.
Try to maintain an average room temperature so that the plant doesn’t suffer.
Avoid placing the string of pearls near fireplaces or radiators as the heat can burn the leaves and make the plant dry.
If you want to provide some heat to the plant, place it at least a few inches away from the heating source to avoid damage.
The light’s intensity reduces during the winter, and it might not be sufficient for your string of pearls. So, you can use artificial lights to provide more light to your plant if it is placed in a low-light area.
Also, ensure to keep the plant away from pets and children as it is toxic. You can hang the plant so that it stays out of its reach.
Also read: Where should I keep my string of pearls?
The string of pearls comes from the dry regions of Africa, so it is not a humidity-loving plant, but adding some humidity during the winter when the humidity levels go down can be very helpful to the plant.
The string of pearls thrives in an average room humidity level. It is best to use a humidifier to increase the humidity levels of the room if the humidity level is below 40%. You might have to use a dehumidifier if the humidity is above 70%.
If you don’t have access to a humidifier, you can move your string of pearls to a room that has a higher humidity level, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or basement. Make sure there is enough light in those rooms.
You can even use a pebble tray. Take a tray and add some small stones to it and fill it with water and place the plant on it.
The water will evaporate from the tray throughout the day and add moisture to the plant.
Consider using other methods like adding an aquarium in the room or grouping your string of pearls with other plants.
Keep the plant away from radiators during the winter as it can impact the humidity level.
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Even though the string of pearls can tolerate extreme conditions like droughts, keeping it under extremes for too long will make it stressed or shock the plant.
If you make any sudden change to the plant, it will suffer from stress. If you want to make a change, it is best to do it gradually.
If you move your plant to the bathroom during winter and don’t get sufficient light over there, it will become stressed.
Therefore, you should move the plant to a different area where it doesn’t remain in low light.
Keep the plant away from cold drafts during winter as they can damage the plant.
The string of pearls can have droopy leaves and stunted growth due to exposure to extreme conditions.
If you want your plant to adjust to the winter changes you make, you can start making the changes early and gradually.
If your plant does not get as much light during winter, you can start by keeping the plant in a low-light area for some time starting fall. It will help the plant adjust to the upcoming changes more quickly.
Let us sum up winter care for your string of pearls plant in the following points:
- Reduce watering and water the plant only after the soil gets dry.
- Avoid fertilizing during winter as the plant will not need it.
- Increase the humidity if the humidity levels drop by using a humidifier.
- Don’t keep the plant in extreme conditions, as that will shock or stress the plant.
- Use artificial lights if the plant doesn’t get sufficient light during winter.
- Keep the plant away from radiators as the heat can burn the leaves of the plant.
Ref: Wikipedia, Missouri Botanical Garden, University of Wisconsin.
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