How not to kill String of Pearls


The notorious String of Pearls (AKA Senecio rowleyanus) is loved by many and... well.. also hated by many! Due to their succulent quality they are often thought of as an easy plant for beginners. I would rather class this plant as a more intermediate difficulty due to their ability to rapidly deteriorate if you so much as look at them sideways. However, there are a few tips that we can share to make your experience of rearing a String of Pearls a hell of a lot easier.

String of pearls Greener House

How much light do String of Pearls need?

Keep your String of Pearls in a bright, vibrantly lit space. Think enough light to read a book comfortably for most of the day. A position such as a window sill would be great. Some direct sun is going to make life a lot easier for lil’ string o’ pearls here and give a good boost to the rate of growth. Morning sun is always welcome, but be careful during the peak of summer if your plants are getting direct afternoon sun as they can get burnt.

How do I water String of Pearls?

A good rule of thumb is to water small quantities, not so often. You can’t undo watering your plant so it’s best to keep things on the dryer side. Usually I will water just a cup or two to allow my Senecio to rehydrate while only making the soil slightly moist.

Don’t allow your plant to sit in a tray of water for long periods of time as this may rot the roots. 

Tips for keeping String of Pearls alive

All plants need airflow around their leaves and roots. Keeping air moving around your indoor plants can really help to minimize the growth of fungi and bacteria that damage the plant. All good soil is made of organic matter, minerals, water and air!  To help increase air flow you can keep a fan running, or open a window if the weather permits it.

Hot Tip - If your String of Pearl’s health is going downhill, put it outside for more airflow and increased light. String of Pearls have a shallow root system and thin stems that are particularly susceptible to rotting if kept wet for too long.

Should I repot my String of Pearls?

Most indoor plants prefer to be in a small pot, and to have well draining soil. A chunky cacti/succulent potting mix is perfect for a string of pearls. Due to their shallow root system, a short but wide pot is preferable. Terracotta pots can be especially helpful in removing excess moisture from the soil. 

How do I propagate String of Pearls?

You can propagate String of Pearls from a cutting, they will root if laid over the soil, but this can take some time! Make sure if you’re going to try this that you use well-draining cactus potting mix and give the cutting plenty of light. Placing a pot of soil next to your existing String of Pearls and laying some of the plant in that new pot is a great way to try propagating. This way, you can wait until the new plant has established roots to make the cutting.

Toxic to pets - Keep this plant out of the reach of your pets if they are prone to eating green leafy things! Check out our Pet Safe Plant Article for other ideas.

You can buy String of Pearls online or in-store!

Greener House Nursery is an Indoor Plant Nursery located at 95 Sydney Road, Brunswick, in Melbourne, Australia. We have the specialised knowledge to make sure you get the right house plants, pots, and accessories for your home. Weather you're looking for low-light, low-maintenance, pet friendly, hanging, or air purifying plants, we've got you covered.

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