String Succulents

Top 4 reasons string of pearls die (Senecio rowleyanus)

Are you having a hard time keeping these beautiful succulents alive? Let’s review the top 4 reasons String of Pearls die.

Senecio rowleyanus is also known as string of pearls or string of beads. Moreover, it is easy to care for once you get a few things down.
String of Pearls overwatered

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. For example, stick the chopstick all the way down into the soil. If it comes out fully dry, with no soil attached, then it is time to water.  

Additionally, Moisture meters also work well. In fact, they are my foolproof watering tool. Even more, they are inexpensive and easy to use. Definitely, a favorite for novice or even experienced gardeners. 

Finally, a good indication of when to water, is when pearls begin to wrinkle slightly. What’s more, they will feel soft to the touch. Specifically, because 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. However, it is always better to under water than overwater. Additionally, be sure to water significantly less in winter.

Unlike many succulents, String of Pearls have very thin stems. In fact, they do not store much water in their stems. Further, when over watered, leaves may absorb too much water until they literally burst. Consequently, Senecio rowleyanus may have a shriveled, mushy appearance when overwatered.

String of pearls root rot

Overwatering can also lead to root rot. As a result, this prevents the plant from absorbing water. Thus pearls slowly dry out from the soil line outwards.  

Therefore, if the roots are damaged, trim off any dead section. Next, lay the healthy strands on the surface of the soil to attempt to get them to root again. Finally, 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. Therefore, you may 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. Specifically, with a few hours of very early morning direct sun. In fact, they are susceptible to sunburn if kept in full sun all day. Consequently, good lighting reduces the chances of overwatering your Senecio rowleyanus. 

Learn more about saving your sunburned succulents here.

Top 4 reasons string of pearls die
String of pearls
Top 4 reasons string of pearls die
Variegated string of pearls

String of Pearls prefer well-draining soil. For one thing, most cactus and succulent soil sold at big box stores is still too water-retentive. In fact, I always recommend amending soil with perlite or pumice

Similarly, if using traditional potting soil I like to add coarse sand, in addition to perlite. On the other hand, when using tropical blends, I like adding perlite and bark.

If using a water retaining pot, this 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.

Finally, do not use a very deep pot. Specifically, because they can hold too much soil. Thereupon, causing the pot to retain too much water.

Top 4 reasons string of pearls die
Senecio rowleyanus
Top 4 reasons string of pearls die
String of pearls

If using hanging pots for your string of pearls, make sure there is good drainage. In fact, I typically drill additional holes all over the bottom of my hanging planters. Just to ensure proper drainage. Most importantly String of Pearls love well draining soil!

How to make string of pearls fuller
String of Pearls (senecio rowleyanus)

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. They are the perfect pot for String of Pearls. Specifically because Terracotta pots are especially helpful in removing excess moisture from the soil.

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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