The string of pearls is a popular houseplant that is loved for its beautiful pearl-like leaves. It is a hanging succulent that can survive droughts. With proper care, you can have a thriving string of pearls at your home.
However, many strings of pearls owners fail to understand the plant’s requirements and as a result, they struggle to keep their plant healthy.
The string of peals has different requirements than most other plants. So, you need to understand their requirement in order to make a perfect care routine for them.
The string of pearls does well under bright indirect light and temperature ranging between 50°F-60°F. It would be best if you watered the string of pearls only when the soil is dry. Consider fertilizing them once or twice during the growing season to boost their growth.
There are a lot more factors that you need to know about caring for your string of pearls. If you are a beginner with a string of pearls, go through this article to understand everything about it.
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String of pearls Overview
The string of pearls or Curio rowleyanus is a popular succulent with plump leaves resembling beads or pearls. This plant has the power to make your living space look aesthetically pleasing.
The string of pearls comes from the dry regions of South West Africa. It is succulent; therefore, it stores water in its leaves that allows it to survive extreme conditions like droughts.
The string of pearls is a delicate plant, so you should be careful while handling it. It has a shallow root system, and its stems can grow 2 to 3 inches long and cover the ground in its natural habitat.
The string of pearls can produce flowers during the winter months. The flowers are tiny and white and smell like cinnamon. If you want to encourage the growth of flowers, reduce the watering and place the plant in an area with temperature levels around 60°F.
Is string of pearls easy to grow?
The string of pearls is sturdy and forgiving plants which makes them an ideal choice for anyone who can provide them with minimum care. These need some care and attention to remain healthy, but they can survive extreme conditions such as low light and underwater for a while.
It requires less water than most tropical houseplants which means it won’t die on you even if you are away from home for a week or two. However, if it doesn’t get proper care, you will start seeing problems in the plant.
Is string of pearls indoor or outdoor plant?
The string of pearls is best known as indoor plants however you can grow them outdoors as well. It thrives under a controlled environment with steady temperature and humidity.
Even though the string of pearls can survive in low light, it cannot survive if placed under direct intense sunlight. Direct sunlight can burn its leaves and damage the plant.
The string of pearls also does not enjoy the temperature and humidity fluctuations when placed outdoors. The care requirement of the plant will also vary depending upon where you keep them.
String of pearls care guide
Although the string of pearls doesn’t require much care, you cannot ignore the plant altogether.
Many beginners who are new to the string of pearls make the mistake of overwatering and over-fertilizing the plant. All these causes problems to the plant.
That is why we have mentioned all the details that you need to be aware of while caring for your string of pearls. We have covered topics like how much water the plant requires, how much fertilizer it needs, and other nitty-gritty that a new owner must be aware of.
Keep reading to learn the care requirements of a string of pearls in detail.
String of pearls light requirement
The string of pearls can survive in a low light area, but if you keep them under poor lighting for a prolonged period, the plant would not get enough light to perform its daily activities, and its growth will slow down.
The string of pearls enjoys direct morning sunlight and indirect light for the rest of the day. Therefore, you should place your string of pearls in a bright spot of your house that gets indirect light all through the day.
If you don’t have a natural light source in your house, consider opting for artificial lights that will provide sufficient light to your string of pearls.
Also read: How Much Light Does String Of Pearls Need?
String of pearls water requirements
The string of pearls is succulent that requires less water than most other plants. The string of pearls holds water in its leaves that help it survive droughts.
Your plant’s water requirements will depend on other external factors such as light, temperature, humidity, etc.
If you notice that the soil has gone dry, you can water your string of pearls.
If you want to avoid overwatering, never water the plant if the soil is still wet.
Keep the string of pearls in a pot that has working drainage holes. Always check the drainage holes after you water the plant to ensure excess water is getting drained away.
If you don’t have a sound drainage system for your string of pearls, the soil will retain excess water that can lead to root rot and other problems.
If you want to check the soil’s moisture level, use the moisture meter or stick your finger inside the soil.
Also read: How Often Should You Water String Of Pearls? (Watering Guide)
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String of pearls soil needs
You cannot use regular potting soil for your string of pearls as it would be too heavy for the plant.
The string of pearls requires well-draining soil that does not retain too much moisture.
The string of pearls is native to the arid regions of Africa that do not have good quality soil. It can go without water for a long time in its natural habitat.
The string of pearls does not need a lot of water. Therefore, using regular potting soil will not be ideal for this plant.
Instead of using regular potting soil, you can use cactus or succulent mix ideal for succulents. You can also add perlite to make the soil well-draining.
Also read: What Kind Of Soil Does String Of Pearls Need? (+Best Soil Mix)
String of pearls temperature range
The stream of pearls thrives in temperatures above 70°F. It can also do well in temperatures ranging from 50°F-60°F.
The string of pearls is intolerant towards low temperatures during the winter season.
Note: Place your string of pearls away from heating vents and air conditioning as the air coming out of these harms the plant.
Don’t expose the plant to cold drafts during winter, as that can shock it.
Also read: Where Should I Keep My String Of Pearls Plant?
String of pearls humidity needs
The string of pearls does not have any special requirements when it comes to humidity. It does well in average room humidity levels.
But the plant can show signs of problems then the humidity levels drop during the winter.
If your string of pearls is suffering due to low humidity, add a humidifier in the room to increase the humidity levels.
If you don’t own a humidifier, you can place the string of pearls in the bathroom or kitchen let the humidity levels are higher when your bedroom or living room. Ensure that the plant will still have access to sufficient light.
You can also use a pebble tray by adding some pebbles to a tray and filling it with water. Next, you need to place the plant on the pebbles. As the water will evaporate, it will add moisture around the plant and increase the humidity levels.
Also read: Should you mist string of pearls? (+Humidity Guide)
String of pearls fertilizer ratio
The string of pearls is a light feeder that does not need a large amount of fertilizer.
It is said that the string of pearls can even grow without any fertilizer but fertilizing boosts the growth and add nutrition to the soil.
Use a well-balanced liquid fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 to fertilize the string of pearls once or twice during the growing season.
Avoid fertilizing in the winter as the plant remains dormant and does not grow during that time. So, adding fertilizer in winter will only damage the roots and the plant.
Also read: Should You Fertilize String Of Pearls? (How often+Best Fertilizer)
String of pearls pruning
You need to prove your string of pearls whenever you notice that the stems have grown too long. The plant might get stressed if the stems grow long and start hitting the ground.
Pruning is essential to get rid of damaged parts of the plant. Pruning also helps the plant remain in shape.
If you have a root rot in your string of pearls, you will need to clone not only the damaged parts but also the damaged roots.
In the case of leggy growth, you need to get rid of the leggy stems by ruining them so that the plant can focus on new growth.
Note: Use sterilized scissors or pruners to trim your string of pearls.
String of pearls propagation
It is best to propagate a string of pearls plant during the growing season.
For a successful propagation, you need a healthy stem cutting. Make two inches cutting and remove some of the bottom leaves.
Use a well-draining soil that is suitable for succulents, or you can add perlite to the soil to make it well-draining.
Insert the cutting in the soil and wait for two weeks. You will notice roots coming out after the two weeks. If you wait for two more weeks again, you will find new growth in the plant.
When you are propagating your string of pearls, you can mist the cutting, but you should stop that and start watering when you notice new growth.
Also read: How To Propagate String Of Pearls Plant? (Soil+Water Propagation)
String of pearls repotting
If the string of pearls has root rot for any bacterial or fungal infection, you will need to repot it. Your plants will also need a repotting if it becomes root-bound.
You can take the plant out of the current pot and repot it in a new pot with suitable drainage holes.
You should also use fresh potting soil to repot your string of pearls. You can either get a well-draining soil or mix regular potting soil with sand and add some perlite to it.
Avoid using heavy soil that retains too much moisture.
After repotting, water your string of pearls so that it does not get stressed. Provide sufficient indirect light so that the soil can get dry.
Also read: Can String Of Pearls Be Root Bound? (+How To Repot)
String of pearls pests
You might notice pests such as mealybugs, aphids, scales, and spider mites infesting your string of pearls.
You can get rid of all these pests by using organic methods such as spraying neem oil, cinnamate, or rosemary oil.
You can use rubbing alcohol or soapy water if you don’t have anything else available, and you want to start the treatment immediately upon noticing the pests.
It is not easy to identify the pests as they are very tiny. So, you should inspect the plant thoroughly and also look at the undersides of the leaves.
You can apply insecticides to kill the pests and keep them away. However, be careful as the insecticides might contain chemicals that can be harmful to your plant.
Once your plant has got rid of pests, spray neem oil solution once a month to keep the pests away.
Also read: Do String Of Pearls Attract Bugs? (Common bugs+How To Get Rid Of Them)
String of pearls poisonous to pets
The string of pearls can be poisonous to both humans and pets.
Children are more sensitive, so if they touch your string of pearls, they might have skin irritation, and upon digestion, they might suffer from stomach aches or diarrhea.
The plant is also toxic for your pets and can cause skin irritation or eye irritation if it comes in direct contact with the skin. If your pet consumes any part of the plant, you might notice oral irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression in your pet. You should contact the vet immediately instead of trying any home remedies.
Therefore, it is best to keep the string of pearls away from the reach of your children or pets. Always use gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after touching the plant.
Also read: Are String Of Pearls Toxic To Pets? (Cats, Dogs, Birds, Etc)
String of pearl problems
Most of the problems you notice in your string of pearls are caused due to a lack of care.
If you take care of your string of pearls and keep a check on the plant from time to time, you will be able to identify any problem before it goes out of hand.
Overwatering, over-fertilizing, and a poor drainage system are some of the reasons behind the problems in your still of pearls. We’ll take a look at some of these so that you can be prepared to deal with them.
String of pearls leaves turning yellow
The string of pearls has green leaves that resemble pearls. You know something is wrong when the green leaves turn yellow.
One of the main reasons behind yellowing leaves is overwatering. If you have an overwatered plant, roots will remain wet for long, leading to many problems, including yellow leaves.
You should never water your string of pearls without checking the soil’s moisture and make sure that the pot has working drainage holes so that the plant doesn’t have to sit on the water.
Excess water should always drain out of the system if you want to avoid overwatering.
Another reason for yellow leaves in your string of pearls is placing them under direct sunlight. The string of pearls is intolerant towards direct sunlight. Therefore, if it is exposed to intense sunlight, the leaves will become yellow.
Consider placing the plant in a bright spot where it gets sufficient indirect light.
Also read: Why is my string of pearls turning yellow?
String of pearls leaves turning brown
Brown leaves are an issue found in all plants, including the string of pearls.
The leaves of the string of pearls can turn brown due to inappropriate watering, sunburn, or low light. Using the wrong pot on the quality of the water can also make the leaves brown.
In case you use tap water to water your string of pearls, make sure that it does not contain chlorine or fluorine, as these minerals can turn the leaves brown. You can switch to rainwater or filtered water.
If the string of pearls is placed in an area where it is getting direct sunlight, the leaves will get scorched and eventually turn brown. You need to relocate the plant to a different area of the house with sufficient indirect light.
Even low light can make the leaves brown. If your string of pearls is not getting sufficient light, the photosynthesis will slow down, making the plant weak and the leaves brown.
If you want to see healthy leaves on your string of pearls, you need to place it in an area where it neither gets direct sunlight nor low light.
Also read: Why is my string of pearls turning brown?
String of pearls leaves curling
The curling of leaves means that something is wrong with your string of pearls. It is a sign, and you should not neglect it.
Two main reasons behind curly leaves in your string of pearls are inadequate light and water issues. You can fix the curling of leaves by adjusting the light and water.
It is best to start pruning the curled leaves and the stems that have too many curled leaves.
If you have an underwatered string of pearls, don’t give it a lot of water at once. Gradually increase the amount or the frequency of the water so that the plant doesn’t get stressed.
And if the plant is getting a lot of direct sunlight, remove it from its current location and place it in an area with indirect light.
Also read: Why is my string of pearls curling?
String of pearls leaves falling off
Falling leaves in your string of pearls plant indicate that the plant is not getting the right temperature conditions; it is being overwatered and is placed in a low light area.
Avoid overwatering the string of pearls as it damages the roots, due to which the leaves turn yellow, brown, and eventually fall off. Avoid watering if the soil is moist.
Relocate your plant and place it in a bright area where it gets indirect light that allows the soil to get dry.
Ensure that the string of pearls is not subjected to temperature fluctuations. Sudden rise or fall in temperature can stress your string of pearls, leading to two leaves falling off.
Also read: Why Is My String Of Pearls Losing Pearls? (+What To Do)
My string of pearls is dying
You will notice various signs in your string of pearls plant that might make you feel that the plant is dying.
But if you can identify a problem on time, you can treat and fix the plant.
Some common signs that might make you feel that your plant is dying are yellow and brown leaves, drooping of leaves, scorched leaves, and shriveled pearls.
Common mistakes that lead to different kinds of problems in the string of pearls are too much light, overwatering or underwatering, over-fertilization, flawed drainage system, etc.
- Try to have a watering regime for your string of pearls based on its requirements. It will help you to avoid overwatering and underwatering.
- Avoid placing your string of pearls under direct sunlight as it can cause the leaves and dehydrate the plant.
- Ensure that your string of pearls has a sound drainage system. It will allow water to drain out quickly.
- If the humidity levels drop during winter, you can use a humidifier or a pebble tray.
- Maintain a proper fertilizing schedule so that the plant gets enough nutrition.
Also read: How To Save Dying String Of Pearls? (Signs, Possible Problems & Fix)
My string of pearls is not growing
If you take proper care, your string of pearls plant can grow fast during the growing season.
If your string of pearls is not getting enough light, it will fail to perform all the regular activities such as photosynthesis, and you will notice slow growth in the plant.
Lack of nutrition can cause slow growth due to lack of nutrition. Make sure to apply well-balanced fertilizer so that the plant gets nutrition.
Also read: Why Is My String Of Pearls Not Growing? (Causes+What to Do)
My string of pearls is leggy
A healthy string of pearls will have many pearls on a single stem to make the plant look full. But if you notice long stems that have very few pearls on them, you have a leggy plant.
Inadequate light is the primary reason behind a leggy string of pearls. When the plant does not get enough light, it cannot produce enough energy to grow leaves. Therefore, you see leggy growth on the plant as it requires less energy.
You need to provide sufficient light to your string of pearls so that it doesn’t become leggy.
Over-fertilization can also lead to leggy growth in the plant. The string of pearls is a light feeder, so over-fertilizing it will cause nothing but damage.
The plant should also not be under fertilized as that will make it weak and leggy.
Giving the correct dose of fertilizer is essential as it can boost the growth of your string of pearls and provide all the nutrients that it needs.
Also read: Why Is My String Of Pearls Leggy? (Causes+What To Do)
Root rot in a string of pearls
Root rot is a severe problem that is found in many houseplants. It happens due to reasons like overwatering, poor drainage system, and using the wrong soil mix.
It is best to repot a plant that is having root rot. You can start by pruning the affected roots, leaves, and stems.
Use a sterilized pair of scissors to prune all the roots that have turned mushy and brown. Next, plant your string of pearls in a new pot that has drainage holes and use a well-draining soil mix.
If the issue is more severe and out of hand, you will need to propagate the plant.
Also read: How To Save String Of Pearls From Root Rot? (+Signs & Causes)
White spots on string of pearls
White spots on your string of pearls can destroy the look of the plant. It indicates some problems as well.
Some reasons behind white spots on your string of pearls can be overwatering, pest infestation, and low light.
Pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, aphids can attack your string of pearls. Some of these pests are white and tiny and may look like white spots on the plant.
These pests can also lead to fungal infections such as white mold on your plant.
Use neem oil spray on the plant for two weeks to get rid of the pests. You can use this as a preventive method as well.
Overwatering is common and may lead to other diseases such as root rot and fungal infections. All these lead to white spots on the plant.
Avoid watering without checking the soil and water if the soil feels dry. Low light and a damp environment are ideal for pests.
Therefore, you should never place the plant in a low light area for a long time.
Also read: Why Does My String Of Pearls Have White Spots? (Causes+What To Do)
String of pearls plant care tips
You need to ensure that all requirements are met, and the conditions are ideal if you want a healthy string of pearls. If you can provide a little attention to your plant, you might not face all the problems we have mentioned.
We have put together an overview at will help you to understand what your string of pearls requires.
Watering: Water the string of pearls after making sure that the soil is dry and ready for the next watering session. Fix a watering regime to avoid overwatering it.
Soil: Use a well-draining cactus or succulent mix that allows well drainage of water. The pot must have working drainage holes.
Light: Avoid placing your string of pearls under direct sunlight as you don’t want scorched leaves on it. You can provide it direct morning sunlight for few hours and indirect sunlight for the rest of the day.
Pruning: Prune the string of pearls whenever you notice any damaged leaves or stems. Prune the plant to get rid of leggy growth and encourage new growth.
Fertilizer: The string of pearls requires fertilizer once or twice during the growing season. Choose a well-balanced fertilizer and give the plant a diluted dose. Avoid fertilizing during the winter months.
Temperature: The string of pearls can thrive if the temperature is around 70°F. However, an average temperature of 50°F-60°F is acceptable for the plant. This succulent is intolerant towards low temperatures in the winter months.
Humidity: The string of pearls does well in average humidity levels but doesn’t enjoy low humidity. Using a humidifier or a pebble tray can help cope up with low humidity.
Repotting: Repotting is required whenever your string of pearls becomes root-bound. It has a shadow root system, so it does not get root-bound very quickly. Therefore you will not need to repot it very often. If your string of pearls is suffering from root rot, it will need repotting.
Propagation: There are many ways of reporting a string of pearls. You can take a healthy cutting, insert it in the soil, and wait for the roots to grow. Or you can lay the cutting on the soil and gently press it on the soil. You can also take the cutting and place it in a glass container that contains water. Wait for the roots to develop and planted in the soil. You can mist the cutting to keep it hydrated but stop it once the cutting has grown into a plant.
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Does string of pearls require a lot of water?
The string of pearls is succulent, so it requires less water when compared to tropical plants. During summer, it will need water once every 7 to 10 days. However, that can depend on external conditions such as temperature, light, humidity, etc. The water requirement will reduce further during the winter months.
Can string of pearls be outside?
The string of pearls is best known as houseplants but can be moved outside if changes are made gradually; otherwise, it might shock the plant. When you place the string of pearls outside, don’t forget to put it under shade as it cannot tolerate direct sunlight. You might need to move the plant inside during winter to save it from cold draughts and low temperatures.
Is string of pearls succulent?
Yes, the string of pearls is succulent that stores water in its leaves. It helps the plant to survive extreme conditions such as droughts, and therefore it requires less water than most other plants.
Can string of pearls cause allergies?
The string of pearls can cause allergies if it comes in direct contact with the skin. It can affect pets and children as they are more sensitive than adults. It can cause problems such as skin irritation and eye irritation.
Ref: Wikipedia, Missouri Botanical Garden, University of Wisconsin.
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