An incredibly unique succulent, String of Pearls is a creeping perennial vine, reminscent of childhood costume jewelry necklaces and highly prized roasaries. Pearl-like foliage hangs on string-like stems giving rise to the characteristic name.
Some say that growing this plant is incredibly easy, as easy as all of the other suculents founds in homes and gardens. Yet others claim that trying to grow them indoors can be challenging and plants often perish. If you'd like to try your hand at growing one inside, make sure to follow these 10 care tips for successful plant growth.
1. Use appropriate sized container
When choosing a container for your string of pearls plant, this is not a case where bigger is better. These plants have small root systems and prefer shallow containers for growing where the soil can dry out more quickly.
2. Plant in a hanging basket
The hanging tendrils have the tendency to be more fragile than some succulents because of the diminuitive stems. To prevent them from breaking, plant specimens in hanging baskets to allow the tendrils to cascade downwards.
3. Potting mix geared towards succulents
Succulents prefer their roots to stay fairly dry, and not hang out ins tanding water. Choose a potting mis that is geared specifically towards succulents or cacti or mix your own to create a well-draining potting soil. Succulents and Sunshine has a great recipe for making your own succulent potting mix.
4. Crown planted just below soil surface
One of the most common mistakes with growing string of pearls plants, is the crown is placed too far beneath the soil surface increasing the incidence of crown rot. When propagating new plants, or repotting established ones, ensure the crown is no more than 1/2-1" beneath the soil surfae to prevent rot. (Wisconsin Horticulture talks about root/crown rot in plants, how to avoid it, and how to treat it should it arise.)
5. Plants need bright light
Place containers in a location that receives 2-3 hours of bright, unfiltered sunlight daily and indirect light the rest of the day. If necessary, supplement with 14-16 hours of artificial light daily from a fluorescent growing lamp.
6. Keep a safe distance from windows
Even though plants need a certain amount of bright sunlight every day, keep them a few feet away from window panes. The glass intensifies the rays of the sun and can scorch exposed plant surfaces.
7. Allow to rest in winter
Plants naturally slow their growth and respiration in winter, mimicking the change in seasons. Allow your string of pearls to rest in the winter. Do not move it to an area with more light, and if possible, place it in a spot where the ambient temperature is between 50-55℉ to encourage spring blooming.
8. Do not fertilizer heavily
These slow plants are accustomed to not receiving regular doses of plant nutrients through fertilizer sources. Too much fertilizer can cause root burn, affecting water and nutrient uptake. String of pearls plants will suffice with a light feeding in spring and then again in mid-summer.
9. Water sparingly
Since it is a member of the succulent family, it's important to let the soil dry out between applications of water. String of pearls plants do not hold as much water in their fleshy sems as other succulents so it is necessary to water them more often than similar species.
10. Prune to promote fuller plants
As the plant cycles through growing seasons its important to prune off any dead stems or pearls, removing the bygones. If many beans are missing on a stem it's best to remove that stem -- or part of stem -- as well. This will encourage compact, fuller, plants.