How To Grow & Care For String of Fishhooks

The String of Fishhooks, scientifically known as Senecio radicans, is a fascinating succulent that has captured the imagination of plant enthusiasts worldwide. Named for its cascading stems adorned with curved, fishhook-like leaves, this native of South Africa adds a whimsical touch to both indoor and outdoor gardens.

Belonging to the diverse Asteraceae family, the String of Fishhooks exhibits a trailing habit, growing downwards in elegant strands. It is often displayed in hanging pots to accentuate this natural tendency. A close relative to the famous String of Pearls plant, the String of Fishhooks shares many of its care requirements and is a wonderful option for those looking to add unique texture and form to their plant collection.

The charm of the String of Fishhooks extends beyond its alluring appearance. In the wild, this plant has adapted to harsh, arid climates by storing water in its fleshy leaves. As a result, it possesses a robust nature that makes it suitable for gardeners of all experience levels. Its low maintenance needs and resilience to common plant challenges make it a favorite among succulent enthusiasts.

Common NamesString of Fishhooks, Fishhook Senecio
Botanical NameSenecio radicans
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size2-3 feet in length
Sun ExposureFull to partial sun
Soil TypeWell-drained, sandy or succulent mix soil
Hardiness Zones9-12
Native AreaSouth Africa

String of Fishhooks Care

String of Fishhooks is appreciated for its ease of care and ability to thrive in a variety of conditions. Ideal for both beginners and seasoned gardeners, this succulent is highly adaptable, requiring only basic attention to sunlight, soil, and watering.

The key to the plant’s success lies in providing a well-draining soil, moderate sunlight, and avoiding overwatering. Despite its flexible nature, understanding its specific requirements can ensure that it thrives and produces long, beautiful trailing stems, resembling a string of decorative fishhooks.

Light Requirement for String of Fishhooks

The String of Fishhooks prefers bright but indirect sunlight. A sunny windowsill with filtered light or a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade works well. Exposure to harsh direct sunlight may cause sunburn on the leaves, while insufficient light can lead to weak, elongated growth.

Soil Requirements for String of Fishhooks

A well-draining soil mix is essential for the String of Fishhooks. Use a commercial succulent or cactus mix, or make your own by combining regular potting soil with perlite or sand. The goal is to provide a medium that allows water to pass quickly, preventing root rot.

Water Requirements for String of Fishhooks

Being a succulent, the String of Fishhooks requires minimal water. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering, and water more sparingly in winter. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues.

Temperature and Humidity

The String of Fishhooks prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C) and can tolerate occasional temperature drops. It’s not frost-tolerant, so it should be brought indoors in areas with cold winters. Humidity is typically not an issue, as it can adapt to average indoor levels.


Feed the plant with diluted liquid fertilizer designed for succulents or cacti once a month during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause weak, leggy growth.

Pruning String of Fishhooks

Pruning is usually not necessary but can be done to maintain shape or encourage bushier growth. Remove dead or damaged stems as needed.

Propagating String of Fishhooks

Propagation is easily achieved by taking stem cuttings and allowing them to dry for a day or two before planting in well-draining soil.

How To Grow String of Fishhooks From Seed

Growing from seed is possible but less common. Seeds should be sown in sandy soil, kept warm, and lightly moist until germination.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Aphids may appear on new growth and can be treated with insecticidal soap.


Mealybugs can be removed manually or treated with neem oil.

Root Rot

Caused by overwatering; ensure proper drainage and appropriate watering schedule.

Common Problems With String of Fishhooks

Leggy Growth

Insufficient sunlight can lead to elongated stems. Move the plant to a brighter spot.

Shriveled Leaves

Under-watering or overwatering can cause shriveling. Adjust the watering schedule accordingly.

Loss of Leaves

Physical damage or extreme temperature changes can lead to leaf loss. Protect the plant from harsh conditions.

Pro Tips

  1. Hang the plant in a container to showcase its trailing growth.
  2. Allow soil to dry completely between waterings.
  3. Pair with other trailing succulents for a varied display.
  4. Avoid placing in areas with harsh afternoon sun.
  5. Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent water accumulation.