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Why Is My String Of Pearls Dying? (Causes+How To Fix)

The string of pearls is a resilient plant that can survive in extreme conditions. However, these plants can develop problems due to lack of care or unfavorable conditions, and you can see that through the signs.

If you see anything that makes you feel that your string of pearls is dying, you should try to identify the problem and take action to save the dying plant. But why is your string of pearls dying? Let’s find out!

Inadequate watering, poor lighting, and fluctuating temperatures are major causes of a dying string of pearls. Apart from this, blockage of drainage and a pest infestation can also result in wilting of the plant. You can save a dying string of pearl by identifying the problem and fixing the issue.

Though the string of pearls can tolerate extreme conditions, they can get stressed if something is wrong, leading to a lot of other problems or diseases.

In this article, we will discuss why you have a dying string of pearls and how you can get the plant out of that situation.


I have done my best to address all of your concerns in the article below. However, if you still have any questions or are confused about the article, you can receive personalized one-on-one assistance from me by leaving a comment below. I will respond to your comment within a few hours.

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 dying

The string of pearl is a drought-tolerant succulent, and some of the common problems that succulents face are overwatering and root rot.

If you don’t treat the plant on time, the problems will become severe, and it will be challenging to save the plant from there.

If your plant is showing signs, remember to start the treatment gradually and not make any change suddenly as that can cause stress for the string of pearls.

Now let’s look at some of the problems that you can come across.

The strings of pearl leaves are turning yellow


The most common reasons behind yellow leaves on the string of pearls are:

Exposure to direct sunlight

The string of pearls enjoys a mixture of direct and indirect sunlight. It can tolerate the morning direct sunlight but not the afternoon harsh sunlight.

The leaves of your string of pearls get scorched and turn yellow if you keep it under direct sunlight for too long.

If you don’t want to see yellow leaves and a sunburnt string of pearls, you should move the plant to an area of your house that gets indirect light.

You can place the plant a few feet away from the window or use blinds and curtains to protect it from direct sunlight.


Fertilizers add nutrition to the plant that the soil alone can’t provide. Giving fertilizer to your plant helps it grow fast.

The string of pearls doesn’t need much fertilizer like most other plants. These are light feeders, and feeding them with fertilizers once or twice during the growing season is sufficient.

However, if you give it more fertilizers than that, it will burn the roots, and the plant will have yellow leaves.

You should also avoid giving the plant a strong dose. You need to use a diluted liquid fertilizer that has an NPK ratio of 10:10:10 or 20:20:20.

Also read: Should You Fertilize String Of Pearls? How often?

Pest infestation

Pests can severely damage your string of pearls. Pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, scales, aphids, etc., can attack the plant.

If your plant is pest infested, it will become weak, and the leaves will turn yellow.

You need to treat the plant immediately if you notice pest infestation, or else the pests can even kill the plant.

You can use organic remedies such as spraying diluted neem oil on the plant thoroughly.

The strings of pearl leaves are turning brown


Some reasons for seeing brown leaves on your string of pearls are:


Overwatering is a common issue that causes brown leaves on plants.

The string of pearls requires less water than most other plants but many plant lovers are not aware. So, they end up giving it more water than needed and thus, overwatering it.

The string of pearls doesn’t enjoy sitting on the water for too long, and overwatering can lead to more damaging issues such as root rot.

You need to figure out the plant’s water requirements by watering it less initially and then increasing it over time.

Once you figure out the water requirements, you can create a watering regime, not to overwater the plant.


Even if the string of pearls has low water requirements, you can’t skip watering it as that will lead to an underwatered plant.

Underwatering makes the plant dehydrated and dry. The string of pearls uses up all the stored water, and the pearls become shriveled and brown.

Having a watering regime helps to cope up with this problem as you water the plant on time. Avoid watering the plant when the soil is wet.

Also read: Overwatering vs. Underwatering

External damages

The string of pearls is a delicate succulent, so it needs extra care so that it doesn’t get damaged.

If the plant gets damaged in any way, it will have stress, due to which the leaves will turn brown.

If you don’t find any other reason for the leaves of your string of pearls turning brown, check the plant thoroughly for any damages.

The string of pearls has white spots

STRING OF PEARLS white spots

If you notice white spots on your string of pearls, the first step that you should follow is to isolate the plant.

White spots are often a sign of pest infestation. Mealybugs are white pests that hide under the leaves of the plants.

Or, sometimes powdery mildew infects the plant, and if you don’t treat it on time, it will spread fast across the plant.

Isolating the plant stops the spread of the infection to the other plants.

In pest infestation, you can use organic remedies or get a pesticide that doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.

To treat powdery mildew, you can get a fungicide and use a light dose on the plant, so it doesn’t get affected by it.

The string of pearls has droopy leaves

Droopy leaves are a sign of various problems. Some of the most common ones are:

Watering issues

Both overwatering and underwatering can lead to droopy leaves in your string of pearls.

When you underwater the string of pearls, it doesn’t get enough water or nutrition. The plant gets dehydrated and stressed.

The plant uses up all the water that it holds in the pearls, and pearls become droopy and dull due to lack of water.

When you overwater the string of pearls, the roots stay wet for too long, which leads to root rot. When the plant has root rot, the roots cannot absorb enough water or nutrients, making the plant weak and the leaves droopy.

It is crucial to have a watering schedule to neither underwater nor overwater your string of pearls.

You can check the soil moisture before watering the plant to make sure that you are not watering when the soil is still wet.

Excess stress

The string of pearls can have stress if you don’t take good care of it during the winter season.

Your plant needs extra care during winter. Some things that you can do are:

Keep your string of pearls away from cold drafts. The cold drafts can cause stress so, place the plant away from the window during winter.

Avoid placing the plant near radiators as the draft from the radiators will make the leaves wilt and droopy.

Keep a check on the humidity as the humidity levels go down during winter. You can use a humidifier to increase the plant’s humidity so that it doesn’t get stressed.

Also, make sure that you don’t make any sudden changes as that can cause stress and affect the plant’s leaves.

The string of pearls leaves are shriveling


Here are some of the reasons for shriveling leaves on the string of pearls:


If you place your string of pearls under direct sunlight, it will get scorched as it cannot tolerate the harsh sunlight.

If you notice that the pearls of the plant look shriveled, you need to check if the plant has suffered from sunburn.

If the window where you have placed your string of pearls gets direct sunlight, you need to put it away from the window.

If you want to give direct sunlight to your string of pearls, you can do that during the morning when the rays of the sun are not so harsh.

If you have placed your string of pearls outdoors, you can keep it under shade during the afternoon so that it doesn’t get damaged.


Are you underwatering your string of pearls? If you water only once a month and don’t pay enough attention to the plant, you have an underwatered string of pearls.

Underwatering causes the leaves of your string of pearls to shrivel.

If you want your plant to recover, you need to increase the watering gradually and let your plant adjust to it. You can mist the plant lightly till it heals.

Even overwatering can cause shriveling in the leaves of your string of pearls. If you water the plant blindly without checking the soil, you might have an overwatered plant.

In case of overwatering, you can reduce the watering gradually. Prune the damaged parts and repot if the condition is severe.

Wrong soil mix

If you are using the wrong soil mix, it can cause root rot in your string of pearls. Root rot can lead to shriveling leaves in the plant.

Using the wrong soil will retain more moisture, and the roots of the string of pearls will sit on water for too long.

Root rot is a severe issue in plants that can even kill them. If you think you are using the wrong soil mix, repot the plant with a well-draining soil mix.

You can get a good cactus or succulent mix from the market or create a well-draining soil that lets the excess water drain out.

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

The string of pearls is getting leggy


The string of pearls can get leggy due to low light conditions and over-fertilization.

Low light

The string of pearls needs indirect sunlight for at least six to eight hours every day. If the plant gets an hour or two of direct morning sunlight also helps the plant to grow fast.

If you don’t have a bright spot in your house that gets sufficient light for your plant, your plant can suffer from low light and become leggy.

You may notice leggy growth during winter as the intensity of the light decreases during the winter season.

You can use artificial light if your house doesn’t have a good source of natural light. Ensure that the plant gets enough light on all sides.

If the plant is exposed to cold drafts and doesn’t get enough light during winter, it will have leggy growth.


The string of pearls is a light feeder and can grow even without fertilizers but adding some fertilizer can boost the growth.

The string of pearls needs a diluted liquid fertilizer. A stronger dose will be harmful to the plant.

Excess amount or increased frequency of adding fertilizer will burn the leaves and make the plant leggy. If you are getting a fertilizer from the market, read the label on the back thoroughly to avoid adding extra fertilizer. If you are unsure of the amount, add a little less than prescribed.

String of pearls is wilting


Let’s understand why you have dying pearls on your string of pearls.


If you have an underwatered string of pearls, you will notice that the leaves turn yellow and fall off the plant.

In the case of an overwatered string of pearls, the leaves turn brown and fall off the plant.

In both cases, the leaves fall off the plant. Overwatering and under watering both cause stress to the plant other than causing various other problems.

If you don’t have a proper watering schedule, you might underwater or overwater your string of pearls that will cause the leaves to fall off.


Pests can be deadly for your string of pearls if not treated on time. The leaves can turn yellow or brown and finally fall off the plant due to pests.

If you notice pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, etc., you need to isolate the string of pearls and start treatment immediately.

You can use a neem oil solution and spray it on the plant. Please do it for at least 14 days to make sure that no pests are left.

If you are using a pesticide, don’t go overboard with it, as that can harm the plant.


The string of pearls can tolerate extreme conditions, but sudden changes or damages can cause stress. A stressed string of pearls will have dying leaves that will fall off the plant.

You need to provide sufficient light, water, and fertilizer and maintain the temperature and humidity levels not to stress the plant.

If you are moving the plant or repotting it, handle the plant with care so that no damages are caused.

Ref: WikipediaMissouri Botanical GardenUniversity of Wisconsin.

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