It's safe to say most people who have dabbled in the plant world know what String of Pearls are. Most commonly found in hanging baskets, they make great trailing focal points for any planter.
String of Pearls is a succulent vine that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Now, you might be thinking, "Asteraceae family is primarily daisies and sunflowers", which is correct. String of Pearls identifies with this family solely on the flower it produces. Asteraceae is a large family that consists of over 32,000 known species with a wide location of areas from subpolar to tropical regions. The common characteristic for this family is the hundreds of tiny flowers that are held together (shown below).
There is no doubt that this plant is a trailer but it actually doesn't stop at a specific length. Some trailing plants grow to a specific length and stop growing. String of Pearls, however, will continue to grow past its floor limit. As it reaches the ground, it continues to grow and actually begins rooting to the ground for support. If left unattended, this plant could really gain some mileage!
Now, with that being said, this plant is an EXTREMELY slow grower. In our greenhouse, it takes about 3-4 months just for the plant to fill out a 4" pot and potentially start to trail over the sides. Once placed in a hanging basket, it typically takes around 6 months to get 4-6 inches long.
You do not need a green thumb to grow this plant, but it sure helps! String of Pearls like their soil slightly moist. Doing this will help encourage new growth as the plants seeks more water for this opportunity. Overwatering can lead to plant rot and underwatering will slow down growth. Both could potentially kill the plant, so keeping a consistent water routine with this plant is highly suggested.
When finding a place to grow your String of Pearls, look for areas that stay a consistent temperatures and produce a large amount of indirect sunlight. Window ledges or ceiling hooks by windows are always a great option. They do not grow well in cold areas and can potentially burn if placed in direct sunlight during hot hours of the day.
Winterizing String of Pearls
Being in the northern states during winters frost doesn't sound as good as being in the Keys with the sun shinning down. Our plants probably feel the same way too. Fortunately, succulents are considered houseplants and can thrive in the winter months, if maintained properly.
For any succulent in the winter, watering is what typically kills it. Once the cool months set in and the hours of sun are limited, succulents go dormant. Generally meaning there isn't a ton of new growth to attend to. My rule of thumb for String of Pearls is to double or triple the length of your watering routine. So, if your watering routine is one cup of water for each plant every 2 weeks for the summer months, your winter routine would be one cup of water per plant every 4-6 weeks. With little growth during dormancy, String of Pearls still require some source of water to keep their bubble-like leaves intact.
Senecio String of Pearls is a phenomenal succulent to add to your collection or to begin one. This plant is unique in so many ways from the crazy bubble-like leaves to the hundreds of tiny clusters of flowers. Be sure to keep your eye out for the variegated version of this plant as well!
For any questions about this blog post or any plants, please leave us a comment below or send us a message!
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