Are you having a hard time keeping these beautiful succulents alive? Let’s review the top 4 reasons string of pearls die.
Senecio rowleyanus, better known as string of pearls or string of beads, is easy to care for once you get a few things down.
Watering your String of Pearls too frequently can definitely kill your plant. In fact, only water the soil when it is completely dry. If you are unsure of when to water, there are a few ways to be sure.
First, you can use a chopstick to check soil. Stick it all the way down into the soil. If it comes out fully dry with no soil attached, then it is time to water.
Moisture meters also work well. In fact, they are my foolproof way of watering. They are inexpensive and easy to use. Indeed, perfect for novice and experienced gardeners.
A good indication of when to water, is when the pearls begin to get slightly wrinkled and feel soft to the touch. They store water in their little round pearls. In fact, when their water storage runs low, these round beads begin to shrivel.
Younger and less established String of Pearls need more water than mature plants. It is always better to under water than overwater. Additionally, be sure to water significantly less in winter.
String of Pearls, unlike other succulents, have very thin stems. They do not store much water in their stems. When over watered, these leaves can absorb too much water until they literally burst. Also, Senecio rowleyanus can have a shriveled, mushy appearance when overwatered.
String of pearls root rot
Overwatering can also lead to root rot. This prevents the plant from absorbing water. Thus pearls slowly dry out from the soil line outwards.
If the roots are damaged, trim off any dead section. Lay the healthy strands on the surface of the soil to attempt to get them to root again. Mist strands, until it has reestablished the root system.
Succulents will send out aerial roots in search of a water source as a survival mechanism. So you want to keep the soil on the drier side while rooting.
Learn more about how to Propagate String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) here.
String of pearls need bright indirect light to thrive. Ideally with a few hours of very early morning direct sun. In fact, they are susceptible to sunburn if kept in full sun all day. Indeed good lighting reduces the chances of overwatering your Senecio rowleyanus.
Learn more about saving your sunburned succulents here.
Potting soil mix is not well-draining
String of Pearls prefer well-draining soil. Most cactus or succulent soil sold at big box stores are still too water-retentive. In fact, I always amend it with perlite or pumice.
If using traditional potting soil I like to add coarse sand, in addition to the perlite. When using tropical blends, I like adding perlite and bark.
Using a Water retaining pot
Using a water retaining pot may be the reason your string of pearls are dying. In fact, glazed ceramic pots or plastic pots retain moisture inside the soil. Alternatively, terracotta pots absorb moisture so the soil dries out faster. Furthermore, do not use a very deep pot as they hold too much soil which can retain water.
If using hanging pots for your string of pearls, make sure there is good drainage. In fact, I typically drill additional extra holes all over the bottom of my hanging planters to ensure proper drainage. Remember string of pearls love well draining soil!
If your string of pearls do not get enough light, your soil is not well-draining, or you tend to overwater…get a terracotta pot. I hope these tips help your Senecio rowleyanus to grow healthy and beautiful. Thanks so much for reading, and as always Happy Planting!
Have more questions or concerns? Feel free to comment below.
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