String of Pearls is an amazing and unique group of succulents. Easy to care for, these plants have interesting ‘leaf’ shapes that form on trailing vines, making them perfect hanging plants.
All the plants in the string of pearls family are highly visually appealing, but all have a slightly different appearance.
If you have never owned a string of pearls plant before, you might be wondering if they’re easy to take care of and you might even want to try your hand at growing these beautiful little plants at your home. If this is the case, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we’ve compiled this handy guide to some of the different varieties of String of Pearls together with the ins and outs related to caring for your plant.
Different Varieties Of String Of Pearls
Now, before we jump straight in and take a look at the best ways to care for our string of pearls plants, first let’s discuss some of the different varieties out there that you can purchase.
There are many different types of string plants, but within the string of pearls family there are a smaller number of varieties and although they share similarities, visually, they can look quite different from one another.
Here, we discuss some of the most popular ones you can grow or purchase.
String of Pearls
Senecio rowleyanus, String of Pearls has round, compact leaves that look like green peas on a vine.
String Of Beads
Senecio herreianus, String of Beads is visually very similar to String of Pearls. They compacted leaves are a roundish-shape still but there is more variety in shape and size than String of Pearls and the beads are usually closer together. String of Beads is also known as String of Watermelons because of the slightly oval shape of leaves and variegation of color that can resemble the markings on the rind of a watermelon.
Just like string of pearls, these make fantastic hanging plants.
Variegated String Of Pearls
Senecio rowleyanus variegata is variety of String of pearls with green pea-like leaves that are streaked with cream. It’s another beautiful plant that works wonderfully in a hanging basket. If the plant is suffering some environmental stress – such as too much or too little light, water or heat, the beads can start to turn a pink or purple color.
String Of Tears
Senecio citriformis, String of Tears is another popular types of string of pearls plant. These plants are visually similar to their brethren but have an overall more spiky appearance. Unlike the little ball-like nodes displayed by a string of pearls, these plants have leaves that end at a point – more like a pea-pod than a pea – and grow in an outward direction from the stem.
String Of Tears plants are best kept on a sunny windowsill. They like plenty of light to thrive.
How To Care For String Of Pearls
Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the many different varieties of string of pearls plants that you can purchase, we can move on to discuss the best way to care for these little beauties.
Many of you will be pleased to find that these plants aren’t actually all that difficult to care for. In fact, they are one of the most popular plants that we’d recommend for beginners who are just starting out.
They need plenty of fresh soil to thrive in, as well as lots and lots of sunlight to help them to grow. After you’ve purchased a string of pearls, you can expect it to live for approximately five years if you choose not to cut it.
However, if you want your beloved plant around for longer, then you can make some cuttings as it grows in order to ensure its longevity. It’s not prone to disease, so you don’t need to worry about it withering away either.
You’ll need to purchase an appropriately sized hanging basket in order to allow it space to thrive.
The first thing that we need to discuss when it comes to taking care of your string of pearls, is how much water it actually needs. If you’re an avid plant owner, then you’ll know that this varies greatly between plant to plant, and that some can be incredibly temperamental.
Fortunately this isn’t the case for string of pearls, and they only really require regular watering during the warmer months, from spring to summer. Make sure that you’re always checking the soil underneath the plant, to make sure that it’s nice and moist and not all dried out.
A good way to tell whether or not your plant needs more water is to simply take a closer look at the leaves themselves, these will help to tell you everything you need to know. A healthy leaf of a string of pearls plant should be incredibly firm and round, hence its namesake.
But, if a string of pearls plants isn’t getting enough water for whatever reason, you can expect these to look incredibly lackluster, and they’ll become flat over time, losing all of their plumpness.
If you live in particularly hot conditions, then you should probably be checking the condition of your plant more frequently, in order to make sure that the soil isn’t drying out at all.
This is especially true if you’re choosing to keep your plant outdoors, where it’s more likely to dry up in the sunny weather.
As the Autumn months close in, you’ll need to water your plant less and less frequently, so be careful not to over water during this period
Finally, we would also recommend that you choose a plant pot for your string of pearls that has plenty of holes on the bottom to drain water out of. If these plants are overwatered, then they can actually begin to rot, which could be fatal for your plant.
The next thing that we’ll be taking a look at in relation to string of pearls care, is light conditions. When you purchase your string of pearls plant, you’ll want to make sure that you put them in a space where they’re likely to get plenty of sunlight throughout the day
String of pearls actually like a combination of two different lights, both direct, and indirect, which will help it to thrive. This means that in the morning, when the sun is at its brightest, you should make sure to place your string on pearls somewhere where it can absorb as much of this as possible.
But, as the day goes on, your string of pearls won’t do as well if it’s left in direct sunlight all day. So, about halfway through the day, you should seek to move it to a different location in your home, that is slightly more shaded, but still gets a little bit of indirect sunlight peeking through.
The next thing that we’re going to be taking a look at in terms of care for your string of pearls, is optimum temperature. What temperature level should your home be in order for your plant to thrive?
First of all we need to point out that these plants aren’t a big fan of wet conditions. So, if you’re looking for a place to store your plant around the home, you choose somewhere that has a slightly dryer atmosphere. Typically, the bedroom or living room will be great for this.
String of pearls in general prefer a hotter temperature in order to grow. During the warmer months in the year, you should seek to keep them at around 65 – 70 degrees fahrenheit.
When the weather grows cooler however, we would recommend keeping your plant at approximately 55 degrees fahrenheit.
The Perfect Soil
The next and final thing that you need to take into consideration when caring for your string of pearls plants is the condition of the soil. As we mentioned before, during the warmer months of the year, you should make sure that it remains moist so that it’s drying out without any replenishment.
Make sure that you’re testing it with your finger to see whether or not it’s moist enough for your plant.
In terms of what kind of soil you should be using for your string of pearls, we would recommend a very sandy variety of soil. Check out your local gardening store to see what they have on offer.
Should I Place Them Inside Or Outside?
If you’re wondering whether or not string of pearls is classified as an indoor or outdoor plant, then we’d recommend that you keep them indoors, so that they can be switched to indirect sunlight throughout the day.
Despite this, they can grow happily outdoors too, just as long as you’re making sure that the soil isn’t drying out too much in the weather conditions.
To sum up, string of pearls are an incredibly easy plant to take care of, and we’d recommend them for those who are just getting started out in their plant-parent journey.
For other types of string plants and trailing plants, such as String of Bananas or String of Nickels, see our article on Hanging Succulents and Cacti.