How to Care for and Propagate your String of Pearls Plant


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The Senecio rowleyanus is a striking and attention-grabbing plant. This unusual succulent is more commonly known as the String of Pearls plant.

Named obviously after all those perfect round green beads, or pearls, hanging down long, slender stems.

The pearls require little hands-on care and are easy to propagate.

How many pearls would you like my dear?

how to care for a hanging string of pearls plant

A String of Pearls plant can be grown outdoors, but it can also do really well indoors with the correct soil, watering and light situation.

Being a succulent, the pearls store water inside. This is good because it means it can handle a little neglect.

Give it the right care and you will be showered in pearls.

String of Pearls Plant Care Tips

The String of Pearls plant is a great choice as an indoor hanging plant since it is very easy to care for.

Start with having the basics right. Soil, light, and water. Your String of Pearls will grow long and full in no time.

Soil for a String of Pearls Plant

The most common reason for a String of Pearls plant to run into problems is root rot, caused by overwatering.

Slow down your watering frequency and make sure your pearls are in a fast draining succulent potting mix. Take it a step further, by adding some pumice or perlite to the soil.


The Sting of Pearls plant likes a lot of light. It can handle a spot on a sunny window sill. Direct light is ok, but preferably not all day long.

If you can, give your plant a few hours of direct morning sun, followed by bright, indirect light for the rest of the day.

When to Water your String of Pearls Plant

Look at your pearls. When they start to shrivel, and the soil feels dry, it is usually time to water.

During the summer the pearls are in their active growing mode and receive more natural light. This time of year, water when you notice the soil starts to dry out.

In winter the plant is resting. So it needs less water. Water sparingly just enough to moisten the soil. Wait until the soil is nearly dry throughout before you water again.

What you need to know to care for and propagate a String of Pearls plant

String of Pearls Common Problems

Don’t see your String of Pearl problem listed? Leave a comment with your question down below, and I will try to answer it asap. Let’s talk plants!

What to do if my String of Pearls plant becomes straggly?

It happens. Just cut those straggly stems off.

Propagate them to start a new plant, or place them back into the original pot to create a fuller plant. (See propagation tips below)

Why is my String of Pearls plant shriveling up?

It is perfectly normal to have an occasional pearl shrivel and wilt away. But if there is obviously more going on, start by checking the soil.

Is it dry? If it hasn’t been kept too dry for too long, you should be able to easily revive your plant by giving it a good watering.

If you notice shriveling and drying pearls while the soil is still wet or moist, the reason could be that you overwatered your plant, or, if you have just planted the stems, they might not have rooted yet.

How to save my String of Pearls plant?

If your String of Pearls plant is slowly deteriorating because you have overwatered it, don’t just sit by and watch.

If there are still some healthy parts left, propagate those stems, and try again. (See how to propagate your String of Pearls below)

Is the String of Pearls plants toxic to pets?

Yes, the String of Pearls succulent is considered toxic if ingested. Be sure to keep the plant out of reach of children and pets.

Read More: Indoor Plants and Pets. How to keep it safe.

String of pearls plant water propagation

How to Propagate a String of Pearls Plant

There are a few reasons why you would prune and propagate your String of Pearls.

It could be because it’s growing so much and trailing so long, that you have to control the length. It might have become a little leggy. Or maybe you want to share the love and give a cutting to a friend.

You can easily start a brand new String of Pearls plant, or make the mother plant lusher and fuller by transfering the cuttings back into the original.

Carefully take your stem cuttings. Make them at least about 4 inches long. Remove a few pearls from the bottom of the cutting.

There are two ways to root the String of Pearls cuttings.

First, you can water root your pearls. Place the cuttings in a small bottle of water and wait for the roots to grow. This way when you place the cuttings into the soil, roots are already established and the cuttings can start growing in the soil right away.

Read More: How to water root your indoor plants. It is so easy to make more plants. For free!

Second, you can choose to bypass the water rooting and just go straight for rooting in soil.

Place your cutting on top of the potting soil, covering the bottom part where you have removed the pearls.

Lay the stem so the pearls are on the soil. The String of Pearls puts out roots along the stem, so make sure it is in contact with the soil to have it root more quickly.

While you wait for roots to establish, water very lightly to prevent overwatering. Moisten only the top of the soil.

Your String of Pearls cutting won’t just grow longer, it will also branch out from the entire stem.

Before you know it, you’ll have new pearls popping up everywhere.

Want your own String of Pearls? You can your plant delivered to you through Amazon or Etsy.

Indoor String of Pearls Succulent Plant care

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  1. First time i have read comprehensive advice on String of pearls, thank you very much. Now I can confidently grow them.

        1. Hi Sandra, I have never had a single pearl grow roots. The roots grow from the stem part. You can always try, but I would toss the loose bead and take a stem cutting if you want better changes.

  2. I believe I can follow the care of my setting off pearls with these easy to follow instructions.
    Wish me luck!!!

  3. What if my plant was being watered when it was supposed to end its outside and it’s still not giving pearls

      1. Hi Lynn!
        I don’t know about the water beads and I haven’t grown the String of Pearl from seeds myself. It is so easy to just create new plants by using stem cuttings and propagate those.
        But if you want to try, I would suggest let your seeds germinate, keeping them moist and humid. After germination plant in soil and keep it moist for a few months.
        Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

  4. I have two cats and was wondering if there was a way for my plant to grow more like a draping bush than long strings, so my cats don’t get tempted by them. I already have two toxic plants that I’ve had for years that they haven’t touched, but they are in pots on tables and grow upward. I’m concerned that if the string of pearls are too long, the dangling pearls may entice them. I would like them to be full with a maximum length of 8 inches to a foot.

    Do you have any suggestions on how I can do that?

    1. Yes, those dangling pearls can really tempt the cats! You can easily just cut your strings when they get too long. Don’t throw those away though. Remove the first couple of pearls and place the strings in a small bottle of water. Once they form new roots, just plant them back into the soil of the original plant. That way you lose some of the length and end up with a fuller bush.

  5. Hi, my string of pearls is growing well, but the pearls are not round. Maybe, its another species but I doubt it. Any ideas?

    1. You might have a Senecio Herreianus, a String of Beads, instead of the Senecio Rowleyanus, the String of Pearls. These two hanging succulents are very similar, but the beads on the S. Herreianus are a more pointed oval shape than the round pearls. Hope this helps!

  6. Hello,
    Can you tell me if String of Pearls can be grown under lights? I grow African Violets on shelves with fluorescent lights on timers. Do you think that would work with String of Pearls? Thanks for all the great information.

  7. Hi! I recently got what was labeled a string of pearls plant, but with further research, I’ve discovered that it’s a string of beads plant. Is there any large difference in care between the two?

    1. I have never had a String of Beads plant in my collection, but as far as I know, it is very similar to a String of Pearls plant. If I would get a SoB today, I would start out with the same care routine I give my String of Pearls plant. Of course, keep a close eye on it and adjust where necessary. Good luck!

  8. When you talk about removing the pearls from the bottom of the cutting, are you talking about removing the pearls where you cut the string or removing the pearls at the bottom where you cut the string ?

    1. Hi Mikki, You want to remove the pearls on the side where you made the cut. Where you want the roots to grow. That side. Hope this clarifies! Good luck with your pearls!

  9. Hi! I just divided a long, sparse string of pearls into a few small pots. Approximately how long does it take for the propagated stems to take root? Is there a way to check without damaging the plant? Thanks!

    1. Hi Helena! I wouldn’t start poking around in the soil to have a look at the roots. That would just stress them.
      Roots will start fairly quick, but can take a couple of weeks, about 3 or 4 I would say, to grow and anchor in the soil.

      If you have extra stem cuttings, you can plant one or two in the soil and instead of having it hang over the edge of the pot, lay the strand of pearls in a circle on top of the soil. Roots will grow from the stem at different points, and in time new stems will pop up from that rooted stem.

    1. Hi Cat, black leaves on succulents are usually a sign of overwatering. Watering too often leads to the roots to rot. How often did you water your String of Pearls?
      To save your plant, I would recommend removing the parts that are still healthy looking and propagating those.
      Hope it works, good luck!

  10. Hi,

    I got some really small pieces of SOP with short roots on them. When I try to bunch all the roots (of all the stems I received) and try to put it into one hole I made in the soil, some of the roots can’t get covered in soil without some beads being covered in soil. Will this kill the stems if the root isn’t covered? Also will the covered beads (in soil) die?

    Do you have suggestions?

    Thank you so much!!!

    1. Hi Vanessa,
      I try not to have the pearls underneath the soil. Just remove a few of the pearls on the bottom so you have enough empty stem to plant in your pot. You do want the roots to be in the soil. Hope this helps!

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