How To Grow & Care For String of Pearls

The String of Pearls, with its cascading strings of spherical, pearl-like leaves, is one of the most iconic and beloved trailing succulents. Its delicate yet hardy vines have a way of weaving charm into every space they adorn, whether hanging in a bright kitchen window or sprawled across a sunny garden shelf.

Native to southwestern Africa, the String of Pearls, scientifically known as Senecio rowleyanus, is part of the Asteraceae family. Its small, pea-like leaves are actually specialized to store water, enabling the plant to thrive in arid environments. In the wild, these unique structures play a vital role in the plant’s survival, and they add an intriguing visual texture to indoor and outdoor gardens alike.

While the String of Pearls is often admired for its unique aesthetics, it’s also appreciated for its relative ease of care. Like many succulents, it doesn’t require constant attention, making it a great choice for both succulent enthusiasts and those new to plant care.

Common NamesString of Pearls, String of Beads, Rosary
Botanical NameSenecio rowleyanus
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size2-3 feet in length
Sun ExposureBright indirect light
Soil TypeWell-draining, sandy soil
Hardiness Zones9-12
Native AreaSouthwestern Africa

String of Pearls Care

String of Pearls is a plant that brings joy to the owner without demanding too much in return. Given the right conditions, it can flourish and become a real show-stopper in your garden or indoor space.

Care involves providing appropriate light, soil, water, and a moderate climate. Being mindful of its natural habitat and mimicking those conditions can go a long way in keeping this beautiful plant healthy and thriving.

Light Requirement for String of Pearls

String of Pearls thrives in bright but indirect light. Exposure to harsh direct sunlight may cause the leaves to become sunburned. Conversely, insufficient light may lead to spindly growth. A spot near a north or east-facing window is usually ideal.

Soil Requirements for String of Pearls

Good drainage is key to healthy String of Pearls. A succulent or cactus mix often works best, and adding some perlite or sand to the mixture can further improve drainage. Avoid using dense, water-retaining soils, as they can cause root rot.

Water Requirements for String of Pearls

Overwatering is a common mistake with this plant. Water thoroughly but allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. Watering less often during the winter months is advisable.

Temperature and Humidity

String of Pearls prefers a moderate temperature range of 60-75°F (16-24°C). It doesn’t require high humidity and can thrive in a typical indoor environment.


A diluted, balanced fertilizer applied every 3-4 weeks during the growing season can support growth. Over-fertilizing should be avoided, as it can cause weak, leggy growth.

Pruning String of Pearls

Pruning may be necessary to remove dead or damaged strings or to maintain a specific shape. Regular trimming can also stimulate growth and make the plant appear fuller.

Propagating String of Pearls

Propagating is usually done through stem cuttings. Cuttings can be placed directly into soil or rooted in water before transplanting.

How To Grow String of Pearls From Seed

Growing String of Pearls from seed is possible but less common. Sow the seeds in a well-draining mix and maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


These can be treated by wiping with alcohol or using insecticidal soap.

Spider Mites

A regular shower or the use of miticides can keep spider mites in check.

Root Rot

Avoid overwatering and ensure proper drainage to prevent this disease.

Common Problems With String of Pearls

Shriveled Pearls

Usually a sign of underwatering. Increase the watering frequency, but avoid overwatering.

Brown Spots

This can be a sign of sunburn. Move the plant away from direct sunlight.

Leggy Growth

Legginess usually indicates a lack of light. Move the plant to a brighter location.

Pro Tips

  1. Consider hanging String of Pearls in a basket to showcase its trailing nature.
  2. Avoid watering immediately after repotting; give the plant some time to adjust.
  3. Pay attention to the plant’s appearance as it will signal its needs.
  4. Propagate and share with friends; it’s a beautiful gift!
  5. Pair with other trailing succulents for an even more dramatic effect.