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How To Tell If String Of Pearls Is Dying? (Common Signs)

The string of pearls is a popular hanging succulent that is loved for its aesthetic look, but many people cannot keep them alive and don’t understand what went wrong. Figuring out what is wrong becomes a struggle. But don’t worry we will help you identify the signs of a dying string of pearls that too at an early stage so you can fix the problem and save the plant from dying.

The string of pearls can survive even the extreme conditions, but you should keep an eye on the plant and not avoid it altogether.

The string of pearls doesn’t die without notice. It gives out signs whenever something is wrong. If you can notice those signs and do something about it, you can save your sying string of pearls before things go out of hand.

Let’s dive in and see 6 signs that indicate your string of pearls is dying.


Please note: Simplify Plants is reader-supported. Some links in the post are affiliate links and I get a commission from purchases made through links in the post.

My string of pearls is shriveling

Shriveling pearls is a common problem found in the string of pearls. Improper watering often leads to shriveling leaves in the string of pearls plant.

Overwatering is a common problem, more so in a string of pearls. Many enthusiasts don’t realize that the string of pearl is succulent with different water requirements than other tropical plants.

They water their string of pearls like other plants they own, thus they end up overwatering the plant.

When the string of pearls is overwatered, the pearls feel pressured due to the excess water, and they burst. They are unable to hold water in their pearls, and the pearls end up shriveling.

On the other hand, when the string of pearls is overlooked for long periods and receives less water than it needs, the plant uses up the water that it stores in the pearls.

When the stored water gets used up, the pearls shrivel. If this happens for a long time and the plant doesn’t get sufficient water, the plant will become weak and eventually die.

The water requirements of the plants reduce during the winter, so if you keep watering it the same way as the other seasons, you will end up overwatering it.

It will help to develop a watering schedule that suits the plant and tweak the plan whenever required.

Always check the soil’s moisture before you water the plant. You should skip watering if you notice that the soil is still wet.

Also read: How Often Should You Water String Of Pearls?

Looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.

String of pearls have holes or marks?

string of pearls bug

If you have pest infestation on your string of pearls, you will come across holes and marks on the plant’s leaves.

Some pests are good at hiding themselves, so you might not notice them until you inspect the plant from close or you find something wrong with the plant.

Whenever the plant is overwatered, there is a chance of root rot. Root rot creates an environment that invites pests and lets them thrive there.

Another reason for pest infestation can be using the wrong water. Using water that has too much chlorine to water the plant causes spots on the leaves and invites pests.

If you use regular tap water to water your plants, you can test it and check if it has an excess of chlorine in it.

If the water has a high chlorine concentration, you should switch to rainwater or mineral water. You can place the tap water outside for some time so that the chlorine concentration decreases.

Giving the plant the correct dose of fertilizer can also play an important role in inviting pests.

If you are giving less fertilizer to the string of pearls, it will get less nutrition, and giving it too much will harm the plant, make it weak and invite bugs and pests.

If you suspect pest infestation on your string of pearls, you need to check the plant thoroughly. You can handpick the bugs that you can see, but you will need to use a different method if they are too small.

First of all, you need to move the plant away from the other plants to prevent the infestation spread.

Then you need to place the plant under running water and give it a good shower to get rid of pests.

You can use organic remedies such as spraying neem oil solution on the plant. You need to do it for 14 days to get rid of the pests and the eggs.

If you are going for a pesticide, read the label and check if it contains chemicals harmful to the plant.

You need to read the instructions before applying the pesticide to ensure that you are not overdoing it.

Check the color of the leaves

The color of the leaves tells a lot about the plant’s health and if there is any problem.

If you notice yellow leaves on your string of pearls, it might be an indication that you have an underwatered plant.

If you have overlooked the plant and not watered it for long, the leaves of the plant start turning yellow, and this might be deadly for the plant if you don’t do something about it.

The yellow leaves might soon fall off the plant due to a lack of nutrition and water.

It is best to prune the yellow leaves as they will not return to their standard color. It will allow the plant to heal faster.

Overfertilizing the plant can also lead to yellow leaves.

The fertilizer requirement of the string of pearls is not as much as the other plants, so you should never overfeed them.

Some other reasons behind yellow leaves are pest infestation, low light, or exposure to cold drafts during winter.

Other than yellow leaves, you might notice brown leaves on the plant.

Overwatering leads to brown leaves. When the strings of pearls owners don’t understand the water requirement, they make the mistake of overwatering the plant.

Whether you should water your string of pearls depends on the moisture of the soil. You should never water the plant when the soil is wet.

Another reason for brown leaves on your string of pearls can be that the plant has suffered some external damage.

If you have relocated or repotted the plant recently, and you notice brown leaves on the plant after that, the chances are that the plant is damaged somewhere.

You should check the plant and provide it sufficient light and water that will help it recover. It would be best to handle the string of pearls with care as they are delicate plants.

Exposing the string of pearls to direct sunlight for a long time can also lead to brown leaves on the plant.

Placing the plant under direct sunlight will burn the leaves, making them brown.

The string of pearls can only tolerate the soft morning sunlight. Keeping it under harsh direct sunlight is not ideal for its health, so you should place it in an area where it receives sufficient indirect sunlight.

Also read: How Much Light Does String Of Pearls Need?

Root rot


The string of pearls can suffer root rot due to various reasons. We know that overwatering causes root rot.

But there can be other reasons behind it, such as using the wrong soil mix, a pot with no drainage holes, or not tweaking the watering schedule during winter.

If you see unhealthy leaves on your string of pearls, check the soil. If the soil smells foul, it is time to review the roots.

You need to take the plant out of the pot and wash the roots to remove soil from it. If the roots appear brown and mushy instead of crisp and white, your plant suffers from root rot.

If you want to get your plant back to health, you need to prune the damaged roots and leaves. Consider repotting the plant in a new pot with fresh soil mix.

If you want to prevent root rot, you should use well-draining soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture. It should allow air circulation between the roots to keep them healthy.

The pot should have proper drainage holes to allow excess water to drain away every time you water the plant.

Also read: What Kind Of Soil Does String Of Pearls Need?

How to revive the string of pearls?


After considering all the problems that can occur to your string of pearls, the first problem that comes to mind is watering.

Many plant owners fail to understand that the water requirements of the string of pearls are minimal, and they might not need as much water as some other plants that they have in their house.

The string of pearls needs water when the soil gets dry. Therefore, checking the soil’s moisture is essential every time you think of watering the plant.

The water requirements reduce during the winter months, so you should not continue watering like the other months of the year.

If you don’t check the soil before watering your string of pearls, the plant might sit on the water for long and develop root rot.

You can come up with a watering regime but always check the soil before watering.

You can use a good cactus or succulent mix to let the excess water drain out of the system.

Using the right amount of fertilizer is crucial. The string of pearls will need one or two doses of fertilizers during the growing months of the year to show fast growth.

However, if you don’t reduce fertilizing during the colder months, the plant’s health will deteriorate.

Since the string of pearls remains dormant during the winter months, it doesn’t need any fertilizer during that time of the year.

If the plant is dying even after you have taken care of all the aspects, you should consider repotting the plant.

Repotting the plant will add nutrition, eliminate any previous infection or damage, and help the plant grow.

What to do if your string of pearls is dying?

After trying to revive the string of pearls in every possible way, we should consider propagating the string of pearls if nothing works.

If there is nothing left for you to do and you still want a string of pearls, propagating it is the best thing you can do.

Can repotting or propagating save a dying string of pearls?

It is relatively easy to propagate the string of pearls. Many plant owners tend to propagate their plants when the stems grow too long.

If your string of pearls is dying, you can take a pair of sharp and sterilized scissors and take a 2 inches long cutting.

Start by removing the bottom leaves and insert the cutting into a pot with a good cactus or succulent mix. You need to place the cutting on the topsoil and press it lightly into the soil.

Developing roots can take a lot of time, and till then, you need to keep the plant in a bright spot that gets sufficient light.

You can also add a diluted and balanced fertilizer during the growing months. Avoid adding fertilizers during winter.

Wait for the cuttings to grow roots. Soon you will see new stems coming out.

If you will repot the string of pearls, start by taking the plant out of the pot. Prune the damaged roots and leaves.

Take a new pot that is one size bigger than the previous one and fill it with soil. Place the plant and add soil from all sides so that there are no air pockets.

Water the plant thoroughly so that it doesn’t get stressed due to the repotting.

If you are considering repotting, you should not do it during the winter months.

Ref: WikipediaMissouri Botanical GardenUniversity of Wisconsin.

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