String of Pearls Care Guide

String of pearls care guide and info
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The String of Pearls (Curio rowleyanus) is a captivating succulent known for its unique trailing stems adorned with small, bead-like leaves resembling a living pearl necklace.

Native to the southern regions of Africa, this plant been popular among gardeners and home designers since the 1970’s.

This plant’s ornamental appeal and relatively low maintenance requirements have kept it popular even to today.

Table of Contents:

Background and Appearance

Care and Maintenance Information

Propagation Methods


Background Information on String Of Pearls:

The scientific name of the String of Pearls succulent is Curio rowleyanus. 

It is native to the dry southwestern areas of Africa, most notably in the country of South Africa.

It naturally grows along the ground and forms mat-like clusters that almost resemble grass from a distance.

However, it can also be found growing down rock faces, and this unique waterfall-like appearance is often copied by plant enthusiast around the world.

As far as sizing goes, the String of Pearls can reach a height of about 4 inches (10 centimeters). It’s stems can grow up to 3 feet (91 centimeters) long.

Its long stems and leafy stems can be manipulated to grow outwards or to hang from pots.

String of Pearls Care Overview:

Caring for this succulent is relatively easy as they require little maintenance. They thrive with plenty of light, warm temperatures, and little water.

Understanding the Water Requirements:

One of the key factors in successfully caring for the String of Pearls succulent is understanding its water requirements.

As a succulent, it is adapted to arid conditions and is highly sensitive to overwatering.

Generally, water the plant once every two to three weeks (or when the top 1-2 inches (3-5 centimeters) of the soil is dry to the touch).

Be careful to avoid overwatering the String of Pearls, as overwatering can lead to root rot, fungal development, pests, or disease.

On the other hand, underwatering may cause the pearls to shrivel and lose their characteristic plump, pearl shaped leaves.

Also, it is important to note that this succulent enters a dormant phase during the winter. It is advisable to reduce watering frequency to once a month to prevent waterlogged soil.

As the weather begins to warm, increase watering frequency back to once every two weeks or so.

Additionally, make sure the pot containing the plant has drainage holes to prevent water from sitting around the roots.

Light Requirements for the String of Pearls:

Proper lighting is essential for the health and vitality of the String of Pearls succulent. As a native of South Africa, this plant thrives in bright, indirect light reminiscent of its natural habitat.

While it can tolerate some direct sunlight, prolonged exposure to intense sunlight may scorch the delicate leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown.

For optimal growth and appearance, place the String of Pearls succulent in a location where it receives bright, indirect light for around 6-8 hours a day.

This could be near a south or west facing window with sheer curtains to filter the sunlight or under grow lights designed for indoor plants.

Rotate the plant periodically to ensure even exposure to light and prevent uneven growth.

Also, grow lights are a viable option for this plant.

If using grow lights, leave them on for about 14-16 hours a day. Make sure there is about 12 inches (30 centimeters) between the top of the plant and the light to prevent burning them.

Temperature Requirements:

The String of Pearls, similar to other succulents, prefer moderate to warm temperatures.

They are sensitive to extreme heat and cold and thrive in temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night.

Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) Also, prevent exposing the plant sudden fluctuations in temperature, as this causes stress to succulent.

During the summer months, it is beneficial to provide adequate ventilation to prevent heat buildup around the plant, especially if it is placed near windows or in enclosed spaces.

In colder climates where temperatures fall consistently below 50°F (10°C), bring the plant indoors.

It is also important to ensure there is no draft near a String of Pearls succulent.

Drafts can dry out or chill the plant, causing damage to its stems and leaves.

Soil Requirements:

The String of Pearls succulent has specific soil requirements to support healthy growth and prevent issues such as root rot.

It thrives in well-draining, gritty soil that mimics its native rocky habitats.

A commercial cactus or succulent potting mix is ideal.

Additionally, potting soil mixed with perlite or coarse sand works well, ensuring adequate drainage while providing essential nutrients for growth.

When repotting or transplanting the String of Pearls succulent, choose a container with sufficient drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Avoid using containers without drainage holes or retaining pots, as they can trap excess moisture and lead to root rot.

Propagation Methods for the String of Pearls:

There are two major ways to propagate the String of Pearls. Both involve taking a small cutting in order to start a new plant.

The first method is to use a sharp and sterile cutting tool to slice away a piece of the succulent.

The cutting should have a few leaves still attached. The more leaves, the better the chance of roots developing.

Allow the cutting to sit in a cool, dry area for a few days after cutting. This gives it time to callous over and reduces the chance of rotting when the cutting is planted.

After a callus has formed on the end of the cutting, plant it at least an inch (2-3 centimeters) into the soil. Water it about once a week, or whenever the soil becomes dry to the touch.

Eventually, the cutting will develop roots and become its own independent plant that can be cared for as usual.

The second method is to allow the cuttings to propagate in water.

Similarly to the first method, slice off a cutting with a few leaves. However, there is no need to allow them to callus over.

Instead, place the cuttings directly into a cup of clean water. Make sure the leaves stay above the water line and keep them in a sunny location.

Change the water about once a week. After a few days to a week roots should begin to develop.

After the roots are a few inches/centimeters long, they can be directly planted into moist soil and cared for as normal.

For an extensive guide on propagating the String of Pearls, visit No Boring Plant’s Foolproof Guide.

For more information on a variety of other plants, try searching through our website: Sun Spot Nursery

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