How To Grow & Care For String of Tears

The String of Tears, a fascinating trailing succulent, has been captivating plant enthusiasts with its tear-shaped leaves that drape gracefully from delicate stems. Scientifically known as Senecio herreianus, this intriguing plant features chubby, translucent leaves, resembling tears, and makes a captivating display in any interior setting.

A close relative of the String of Pearls, the String of Tears shares some of its growth habits and care requirements but stands out due to its uniquely shaped leaves. Native to southwestern Africa, its adaptations allow it to thrive in arid environments, making it a resilient choice for indoor gardening.

Its charm lies not only in its appearance but also in its ease of care. With a bit of attention to its specific needs, the String of Tears can be a long-lasting addition to a home, office, or garden. Its delicate appearance belies a hardy nature that can be accommodating to both novice and experienced gardeners.

Common NamesString of Tears, Gooseberry Plant
Botanical NameSenecio herreianus
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size2-3 feet in length
Sun ExposureBright indirect light
Soil TypeWell-draining, sandy soil
Hardiness Zones10-12
Native AreaSouthwestern Africa

String of Tears Care

Caring for String of Tears doesn’t require much effort. Like most succulents, it demands minimal maintenance but rewards with lush growth. Proper soil, watering schedule, and the right amount of sunlight can make this plant a thriving member of your succulent family.

Understanding its native environment and replicating those conditions at home is key to a happy String of Tears. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy the beautiful trailing effect of this plant in your living space.

Light Requirement for String of Tears

String of Tears prefers bright, indirect light. A window with filtered sunlight or a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade will provide optimal conditions for growth. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, while too little can lead to leggy growth.

Soil Requirements for String of Tears

Well-draining soil is essential for String of Tears. A succulent or cactus soil mix, possibly amended with sand or perlite, ensures that the water doesn’t sit around the roots. Avoid heavy, water-retentive soils, as they can lead to root rot.

Water Requirements for String of Tears

Watering should be done thoroughly, but the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot, so it’s better to err on the side of underwatering, particularly during the winter months.

Temperature and Humidity

A temperature range between 65-80°F (18-27°C) suits String of Tears best. It’s not particularly fond of humidity and will thrive in a typical indoor humidity level.


Feeding with a diluted balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season can support growth. Avoid over-fertilizing, which may lead to weak, unhealthy growth.

Pruning String of Tears

Pruning helps in maintaining the desired length and shape. Removing dead or overgrown stems can encourage a fuller, more attractive growth habit.

Propagating String of Tears

Stem cuttings can be taken and planted directly in soil or rooted in water before planting. Propagation is generally straightforward and successful.

How To Grow String of Tears From Seed

Though less common, growing from seeds is possible. Seeds should be sown in well-draining soil and kept at consistent moisture levels.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


These pests can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.


A gentle wipe with alcohol on a cotton swab can eliminate these bugs.

Root Rot

Ensuring proper drainage and avoiding overwatering will prevent this condition.

Common Problems With String of Tears

Yellowing Leaves

A sign of overwatering. Reduce the watering schedule.

Shriveled Leaves

Often indicates underwatering. Adjust watering accordingly.

Leggy Growth

A symptom of inadequate light. Consider moving to a brighter location.

Pro Tips

  1. Hanging planters can show off the trailing nature of String of Tears.
  2. Be gentle while handling; the leaves can break off easily.
  3. Rotate the plant occasionally to ensure even growth.
  4. Be patient with growth; this plant can be slow-growing initially but picks up pace with time.
  5. Pair with other trailing succulents for a mixed-texture display.