Plant-o-Pedia: String of Pearls

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Ah the String of Pearls. Who hasn't been drawn in by it's siren song, right? All those lush locks of cute little pearl shaped leaves? Who can resist? ;) But if you're like a lot of people (several of us at The Jungalow included), frustration soon sets in as the plant begins to struggle, eventually dying a slow death somewhere in the corner of the patio. Okay, so maybe your relationship with String of Pearls hasn't been as dramatic as that, but based on the number of questions we get about them, chances are you might need a little help to get it looking it's best.

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GET THE GREEN:  String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

WATER: Plant in well draining soil (cacti and succulent potting soil) in a pot with good drainage. Water when soil has mostly dried out (don't allow it to dry so much it begins to pull away from the sides of the pot). In warm months 2-3x a month should suffice. Give it less water in cooler months (about once a month). Make sure to drain any water from saucers or cache pots- the roots can easily rot if left in standing water. If pearls begin to look mushy, try watering less. If they shrivel up, try watering more.

SUNLIGHT: Bright indirect light, will tolerate some full sun. Indoors, bright indirect light is better than full sun. If you notice shriveling, it may be getting too much sun.

PLACEMENT: With those long flowing vines, String of Pearls are perfect for hanging planters, or on top of a high shelf. Lower traffic spots are best as the stems can break off easily.

EXTRA CREDIT: String of Pearls are very easy to propagate (so don't worry if vines break off every now and then). A cutting from the tip of the stem (at least 4 inches long), placed in moist potting soil until the first pearl is almost covered, will form new roots in a few weeks. Be sure to keep your cutting lightly moist until roots have formed.

WORD OF CAUTION: String of Pearls can be toxic to pets and people if eaten. As always, use caution whenever bringing a new plant into your home, and check with your vet if you have pets.

Is there a plant you want to learn more about? Leave a comment and you may find it in a future Plant-o-Pedia!

Photos by Justina Blakeney



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