The string of pearls is one unique house plant because of its slender, bubbly stems. It also belongs to the world of succulents and it is one of those low maintenance ornamentals that would really make heads turn its way. But how do you take care of it? First, let us start with these quick facts.
- It is also called the string of beads and rosary. You could easily spot the string of pearls from a mile because it is the only houseplant because of the small bubbles along its stem. This is also the reason why it is also called strings of beads.
- It is considered as a vine and it is endemic in Southwest Africa. This is the reason why it is a versatile houseplant. You can grow it almost anywhere; indoors, outdoors, planted, in water or in hanging planters.
- It blooms. You might think that the beads is the end all and be all of this plant but wait for those delicate, tiny flowers with hints of red.
#1. When to Plant
The best time to plant the string of pearls would be during the seasons when it can receive full sunlight. This would be during spring and summer. It is drought tolerant and definitely not winter hardy. These are the only times when it can be planted.
#2. Where to Plant
The string of pearls loves direct bright light so place it where it will receive that like placing it in windowsills or under artificial light when the light is limited. Also, it must be planted in spacious places because it will definitely sprawl or in hanging baskets.
To make way for the blooms during the spring, the watering must become minimal and the plant must be moved to hotter spaces during the winter.
#3. How to Plant
You can plant the string of pearls through seeds or through stem offsets. Use a succulent potting mix.
Gently pour in the seeds or plant the offsets in containers with drainage holes. Water the newly planted seeds in four times a week for 3-5 weeks until small beads in the stem appear.
Limit watering after active growth phase and make sure that the top soil is completely dry before watering again.
Care for String of Pearls
The best soil potting mix for it would be cacti potting mix. It loves sandy, fast-draining soil.
Light and Temperature
As has been mentioned, this plant needs direct, bright light for it to flourish. It will thrive in temperatures at around 22 degrees Celsius especially during active growth phase. The plant will reach dormancy during the fall and winter and you might need to transfer it to cooler places at 10-13 degrees Celsius.
Water and Humidity
It can basically survive even in long weeks without water so thoroughly watering it once to two weeks after active growth phase is enough. Overwatering can cause it to rot and dry out the soil before watering. As for humidity, a well-balanced level is good for its growth.
Succulents do not really need that much fertilizer, only during active growth phase. During this time, getting fertilizer once every two to three weeks would be enough (this is usually during spring or summer).
It is easy to propagate by using stem offsets. Propagation can be done through planting in soil or through water propagation.
You will need to prune it more regularly than you think because it grows fast. But of course, you can take advantage of this because it means that you can have more offsets to propagate. Just cut off dead bubbles and rotting or dead stems or stems that have lost too many beads.
Growing Problems and Diseases
Of course, like all other succulents, the string of pearls could also become vulnerable to rots due to overwatering or due to fungal diseases. Other than that, it is very easy to maintain and to care for so it is one of the most wanted succulents out there.
As for pests, this plant is a favorite of small bugs especially when it is overcrowded in a planter. It can also be a niche for mites if pruning is not done every now and then. These pests compete for soil nutrients that is why spray insecticide will also be needed sometimes.
What is the first sign to look for to know if my string of pearls is dying?
The first thing to spot must be shriveling leaves. When the leaves begin to curl up or start browning even, you have basically overwatered it.
Is it okay to grow string of pearls in water only?
Not all people would know this but the string of pearls could actually be propagated in water only by removing a few pearls at the bottom of the cuttings and putting in less than half-full vase.