String of Pearls

8 Tips on How to Care for Your String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus Infographic)

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a popular hanging houseplant sought after for its unique look. It is a hanging succulent with cascading strings of green pearls. It looks great in hanging baskets plus you will enjoy the spicy cinnamon fragrant every time you walk past it. Here are tips on how to care for your String of Pearls at home. 

String of Pearls Infographic

String of Pearls Infographic
String of Pearls Infographic

Tips on How to Take Care of Your String of Pearls

1. Your String of Pearls is Happiest in Full Sun but Can Tolerate Bright, Filtered Light 

Your String of Pearls will be happy in a full sun location indoors. However, it can tolerate bright, filtered light. 

2. Low Water is Best for Your String of Pearls

Your String of Pearls is a succulent so it has low water requirements. Water your String of Pearls when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your String of Pearls is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 2 inches deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your String of Pearls.

3. Get the Soil Right for Your String of Pearls

Your String of Pearls needs a well-draining, organic cactus potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your String of Pearls

Your String of Pearls should be fertilized once a month at half strength during the growing season. Don’t fertilize in the winter.

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your String of Pearls

Repot your String of Pearls when it outgrows its current pot. Repot your String of Pearls in a container with a diameter 2 inches larger than the current pot. Your String of Pearls has a compact root system so it prefers to be in shallow containers. 

6. Drainage is Essential for Your String of Pearls

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your String of Pearls to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your String of Pearls and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water. Don’t let your String of Pearls’ pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your String of Pearls

Your String of Pearls needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C). In the winter, the nighttime temperature can drop to 55 to 65 F (13- 18C)

8. Your String of Pearls Can Tolerate Dry Indoor Air

Your String of Pearls is a houseplant that can tolerate dry indoor air. It is a succulent so it does not need additional moisture on top of its regular watering.

2 Common String of Pearls Problems

The common problems for String of Pearls are mealy bugs and root rot.

Fluffy White Growth In Between the Pearls and Stems of Your String of Pearls

Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the pearls and stems of your String of Pearls. 

Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your String of Pearls. It is a common houseplant disease. 

Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your String of Pearls, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Your String of Pearls Looks Wilted (Soil is Wet)

Problem: Your String of Pearls looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your String of Pearls plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your String of Pearls. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your String of Pearls is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your String of Pearls out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your String of Pearls and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Facts About String of Pearls 

NameString of Pearls
Scientific NameSenecio rowleyanus
LightFull Sun but Can Tolerate Bright, Filtered Light
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterLow Water
HumidityCan Tolerate Dry Indoor Air
PottingWell-draining, organic, cactus potting mix
FertilizerOnce a month at half strength during the growing season
Toxic to Pets and HumansToxic
String of Pearls Facts

String of Pearls: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Other Names of String of Pearls?

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is also called String of Beads.

Is Your String of Pearls Toxic to Pets?

String of Pearls is toxic to humans and pets. Don’t let children or pets chew on the pearls of the String of Pearls plant. It can cause vomiting and upset stomach. If you see any of these symptoms and suspect ingestion of String of Pearls plants, call poison control immediately! Also, call your doctor or vet once you start seeing adverse reactions in children and pets.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your String of Pearls?

Water your String of Pearls when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 2 inches deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your String of Pearls. Since your String of Pearls is a succulent, err on the side of less water than more water. 

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your String of Pearls?

String of Pearls can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your String of Pearls. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your String of Pearls. 

String of Pearls prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your String of Pearls?

Use organic fertilizer on your String of Pearls.

How Big Does Your String of Pearls Get?

The stems of your String of Pearls can grow to 3 feet long.

How Do You Propagate Your String of Pearls?

String of Pearls Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your String of Pearls plant by stem tip cutting.

Below are steps on how to propagate String of Pearls Plant by stem tip cutting:
1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of String of Pearls Plant (include a node)
Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node.
2. Place String of Pearls Stem in Jar of Water
Place the String of Pearls stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 pearls. Cut off extra pearls as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of String of Pearls will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.
3. Plant Stem Cutting in New Pot
Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.
4. Place New String of Pearls Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun
Place your new String of Pearls plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.

You May Also Be Interested in Other Hanging Houseplants:

About Suburbs 101

Suburbs 101 is an insider’s guide to suburban living. Get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to live in the suburbs through our interviews with local suburbanites and features on Food, Fashion, Home, Garden, Travel, Pets, Real Estate and Local Events. Be sure to Follow Us on Instagram, Like Us on Facebook, Subscribe to our YouTube Channel, and subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter.