How To Grow & Care For String of Turtles

The String of Turtles, a rare and charming houseplant, has been turning heads with its unique leaf pattern that resembles tiny turtle shells. This captivating plant, scientifically named Peperomia prostrata, is part of the Peperomia family and is native to the rainforests of Brazil.

Not only does the String of Turtles make a statement with its appearance, but it’s also relatively easy to care for. Its small, round leaves feature intricate patterns that mirror the design of a turtle shell, adding a touch of the exotic to both traditional and contemporary interiors.

Growing the String of Turtles can be a delightful experience, provided you adhere to certain specific care requirements. Though it is relatively fuss-free, the String of Turtles appreciates attention to details like lighting, soil quality, and water, all of which contribute to its overall well-being.

Common NamesString of Turtles
Botanical NamePeperomia prostrata
Plant TypePerennial trailing plant
Mature SizeUp to 12 inches in length
Sun ExposureBright, indirect light
Soil TypeWell-draining, organic soil mix
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaBrazil

String of Turtles Care

The String of Turtles is relatively easy to care for but does appreciate certain specifics when it comes to its environment. Ensuring the right balance of light, soil, and moisture will contribute to a healthy, vibrant plant.

Since it’s a tropical plant, the String of Turtles appreciates humidity and moist soil, but not overly wet conditions. Keeping these factors in mind and adjusting care according to the growth responses of the plant will yield a flourishing String of Turtles.

Light Requirement for String of Turtles

Bright, indirect light is optimal for the String of Turtles. Too much direct sunlight can lead to faded leaf color and loss of patterns, while insufficient light can cause leggy growth and dull coloration. A location near a north or east-facing window often works well.

Soil Requirements for String of Turtles

The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A mix of peat, perlite, and sand, along with some compost, provides an ideal growing medium for this plant. It should retain moisture but not become soggy.

Water Requirements for String of Turtles

Watering should be consistent but moderate. Allowing the soil to dry slightly between watering sessions prevents over-saturation. Reduce watering during winter to prevent root rot.

Temperature and Humidity

This plant prefers temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Higher humidity levels are appreciated, but average household humidity is usually sufficient. A pebble tray with water can add extra humidity if needed.


A diluted liquid fertilizer, suitable for indoor plants, can be applied once a month during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing as this can cause more harm than good.

Pruning String of Turtles

Pruning isn’t usually necessary, but you can trim back overly long or unhealthy stems to encourage fuller growth. Always use clean, sharp scissors to avoid infecting the plant.

Propagating String of Turtles

Propagation is often done through stem cuttings. Simply cut a healthy stem, place it in water or soil, and wait for roots to develop.

How To Grow String of Turtles From Seed

Growing from seed is rarely done, but it’s possible. Plant the seeds in well-draining soil and maintain a constant moisture level until germination occurs.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Spider Mites

Increase humidity and wipe leaves with a damp cloth.

Root Rot

Avoid overwatering and ensure proper soil drainage.

Common Problems With String of Turtles

Drooping Stems

Often caused by overwatering or poor soil quality. Adjust watering and soil mix.

Faded Leaf Patterns

May result from too much direct sunlight. Move to a location with filtered light.

Slow Growth

Inappropriate lighting or feeding may be the cause. Adjust accordingly.

Pro Tips

  1. Always water with lukewarm or room temperature water.
  2. Rotate the plant occasionally for even growth.
  3. Mist the leaves lightly for added humidity if the air is very dry.
  4. Keep away from direct hot sunlight that may scorch the leaves.
  5. Grow in hanging baskets to take advantage of the trailing growth.