String of Pearls is a lovely houseplant that adds texture and charm to a space. This easy-care houseplant is formally known as Senecio rowleyanus and hails from southwest Africa. A member of the Asteraceae family, String of Pearls is distantly related to daisies and asters. It also goes by String of Beads, String of Peas, and Rosary Vine. This plant is a fast grower under the right conditions, so learning proper String of Pearls care is essential to help this beauty look its best.
Types of String of Plants
The String of Pearls is a unique vining succulent with thin stems dotted with spherical leaves. In nature, this plant grows along the ground, and the reaching stems put down roots, creating a thick mat of foliage. As a houseplant, String of Pearls are often featured as vining plants.
If you like the unique look of String of Pearls or Senecio rowleyanus, then consider some other equally stunning ‘String of’ plants. Most of these plants are succulents, but they may have different care needs, so research the plant before deciding if it is right for your home.
- String of Bananas (Curio radicans)
- String of Dolphins (Curio x pereginus)
- String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii)
- String of Nickles (Dischidia nummularia)
- String of Pickles (Othonna capensis)
- String of Tears (Curio citriformis)
- String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata)
- String of Watermelon (Curio herreanus)
String of Pearls Light Needs
Sunlight is the most important part of String of Pearls care. Place the plant in a spot that receives bright indirect light. Established plants can handle direct light but limit it to early morning light and avoid the harsh afternoon light. The entire plant needs light, from the soil level to the tips of the stems. Placing the plant on a high shelf is tempting, but ensure sunlight reaches the foliage at the soil level.
This beauty needs plenty of sunlight year-round. You may need to move the plant to a sunnier spot during the winter, when there is less light, or use a grow light to ensure this vining stunner gets the light it needs.
How Often to Water Senecio rowleyanus
Water String of Pearl plants when the top one-half to one inch of the soil is dry. Saturate the soil when it is time to water to ensure the roots are equally damp. Plan to water every one to two weeks, depending on the sunlight and humidity available.
The round leaves will appear flat or wrinkled when the plant is too dry and needs water. Avoid letting the plant become too dry, but a slightly underwatered plant is more likely to survive than an overwatered plant. When in doubt, wait to water to ensure you are providing better String of Pearls care.
Be on the lookout for mushy leaves and black stems, which are indicators of too much water. Mildly overwatered plants can be saved by allowing the top inch of soil to dry out before watering again. In extreme instances of an overwatered String of Pearls, take cuttings to propagate new plants.
Best Soil for String of Pearls
String of Pearls plants are not picky about soil as long as it is well-drained. Root rot is a real problem for these succulents, so drainage is essential. Most cactus or succulent mixes are a good fit. Grow the plant in a nursery pot with a cover pot, or use a porous material like terra cotta or unglazed ceramic so the soil can completely dry out.
Temperature for String of Pearls
This plant thrives in warm environments, and temperatures above 70° F are ideal for String of Pearls care. Dormant plants can handle temperatures as low as 60° F during the winter.
String of Pearls Humidity
The String of Pearls hails from arid climates, so dry areas with low humidity are best. This plant can live in average humidity, but high humidity is a no-go. Keep String of Pearls away from naturally humid areas for best results.
Do String of Pearls Bloom?
String of Pearls do bloom, although it is rare for houseplants to do so. With proper String of Pearls care, these plants set small, white flowers in the summer. The blooms have a faint cinnamon smell, making them all the more appealing. Plants in nature often bloom, and typically the conditions inside are not conducive to the plant flowering.
String of Pearls Fertilizer
Most succulents do best with limited feedings, but String of Pearls is unique by succulent standards because it’s a heavy feeder. Fertilize String of Pearls plants every other week during the spring and summer to support abundant growth. Water-soluble fertilizers work well and can be applied during a routine watering session. Do not fertilize dormant plants.
Pruning String of Pearls
Trim dead or damaged growth and remove sections of stems that have no leaves as needed. String of Pearls can become leggy, so prune overgrowth to keep the plant looking neat and tidy.
When to Repot String of Pearls
Repot String of Pearls when roots poke through holes in the pot or if growth slows. Spring is an excellent time to repot String of Pearls, so they can start the growing season with room to spread out. Most plants will need a larger container and fresh soil annually, although, after a few years, the plant will decline, so you can focus on propagating cuttings to create a new plant.
Propagation is an important part of String of Pearls care. This plant does not live long — most houseplants last just five years. However, String of Pearl plants are easy to propagate, and with your help, you can keep the plant growing indefinitely.
Propagate the String of Pearls by removing a five- to six-inch section of stem. Remove the lower couple of leaves, exposing the nodes. Roots will grow from the nodes or the areas where the leaves were attached. Let the cutting sit out for a couple of days so the cut end and nodes callous over or dry out
The cutting can be placed in water, only covering the growth nodes and leaving the foliage dry. Or, place the cut end and exposed nodes in a cactus or succulent potting mix. Roots should emerge in a few weeks. Water-propagated cuttings can be moved to potting mix when the roots are a few inches long.
Is Senecio rowleyanus Pet Friendly?
String of Pearl plants are not pet-friendly. The plant is toxic, so eating any part of the plant is harmful to dogs and cats. Depending on your home and pets, you may be able to place the String of Pearls up high so it’s unreachable, although that is not always easy or possible with cats.
String of Pearls Styling Tips
Styling String of Pearl plants is fun and easy. Give this plant a tall shelf or macrame hanger, so the vines can dangle or let the vines spill out of a novelty head-shaped planter for a whimsical look. Do something unexpected and let the stems trail along a tabletop. This plant adds effortless style to a space, but make sure to select a spot that provides appropriate String of Pearls care, because sunlight is vital to this plant’s success.
String of Pearls Care Tips
String of Pearls care is easy, making this a great houseplant for beginners or anyone interested in the unique foliage. Plenty of sunlight is vital for this plant to thrive, and avoid overwatering to keep your String of Pearls happy and growing.