String of Pearls: Plant Care Tips

The queen, the favorite, the "uh-oh" champion, the resentful, the heart breaker, the String of Pearls. Scientifically named Senecio rowleyanus, the String of Pearls is definitely the favorite heart breaker. This not-so-easy to care plant is definitely unique, and an eye catcher. With it's perfectly spherical leaves, with cute little flowers, this Senecio has gained a lot of popularity lately. 

Here are some tips to make your plant grow and thrive in your home.

Light:

String of Pearls love bright indirect sunlight. They like to receive some direct morning sun. When placed indoors, placed by a door or window which receives direct morning sunlight, and bright indirect sunlight the rest of the day. They shouldn't receive more than 2 hours of direct sun, because excessive sunlight will damage it. They do prefer the terrace/balcony lighting here in Puerto Rico, so try to place them where there is plenty of light.

Water:

String of pearls has a very weak, surface roots, so it is important to let the soil dry between waterings because it is very prone to root rot. Do not let it be dry for too long, as the pearls will shrink and wrinkle when it is underwatered. When leaves start to look shriveled, it is time to water.

Soil:

As a succulent, it needs a well draining potting mix. We recommend to use an indoor potting mix, with peat moss and perlite or vermiculite, or create your own mix half peat moss, half perlite. This mix helps to retain moisture without rotting the roots. Also, adding a bit of Orchid bark or sand to the mix will help with drainage. You can also use pre-made cactus & succulent mix.

Food:

You can add a balanced slow release fertilizer and forget about it for the next few months. If you prefer to use fertilizer diluted in water, then you can fertilize every two weeks, since String of Pearls love nutrients.

Repotting:

Repot once a year or every other year to give it more space to grow. Always use pots with drainage holes. Repot in pot that is 1 to 2" larger in diameter and in height. Since root system is not long, try to repot in shallow containers, that are not very deep.

Propagation:

String of Pearls can be propagated by taking stem cuttings. These should be 3-4" long, and can be placed directly into the potting mix, or in water, whatever method you prefer. 

Toxicity:

Senecio rowleyanus is toxic to cats, dogs and humans if ingested. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy when consumed by animals.

Facts:

•String of Pearls are native from South Africa.

•They produce small white, fragrant flowers.

•Grey leaves might be a sign of overwatering, but it can also mean it is sun burned.

•From personal experience: LET THEM BE. As we always say, let plants be. Don't give them too much attention. Attention usually means too much water. Too much water will cause root rot and they do not forgive this.

•Wrinkled green leaves, usually mean they need water. 


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