Looking to plant something new and easy to care for this season? Try string-of-pearls—a succulent named after our favorite piece of classic jewelry. We thought we’d seen every variety of succulents—aloe, hens and chicks, jade, echeveria, etc.—until we found this one. Once this vining succulent caught our eyes, we knew we had to plant a few.
Succulents are great easy-care choices for gardeners who are short on time and looking to grow something that’s both very green and very low-maintenance. And like the rest of its succulent relatives, string-of-pearls is a drought-tolerant planting that needs very little attention. What distinguishes it is its form. It’s a succulent vine with strands covered in small, pea-sized, round spheres. The succulent «beads» resemble tiny marbles, miniature grapes, or, as the name suggests, bright green pearls, which cover the plant’s long trailing stems. Its appearance lends itself to hanging container gardens, where it can act as a dramatic spiller. It’s a vining succulent, so it can also creep along the ground and create matting.
String-of-pearls, also referred to as string-of-beads, belongs to the family Asteraceae. Its scientific name is Senecio rowleyanus, and it’s also called string-of-pearls or string-of-beads. The plant tends to grow lengthwise, rather than widthwise, and its trailing stems can reach lengths of up to 3 feet. It will also bloom white daisy-like discoid flowers in the summer, which are fragrant—having a sweet, yet spicy, cinnamon-like, smell to them. String-of-pearls is a favorite, but it is classified as a toxic plant if ingested, so be sure to keep it away from children and pets.
How to Care for Your Beaded Succulent
When it comes to watering, keep in mind one rule of thumb: the plant only needs water once the soil has dried out completely. The «pearls» flattening is also a clear signal to hydrate your plate. However, be careful not to overwater, and make sure your pot has adequate drainage—a succulent that has too much moisture is susceptible to root rot, which will cause it to die. When you water, pour until it begins to drain from the pot.
The spherical succulent thrives in well-drained soil. Cactus potting mix, or more sandy soil, is the recommended soil type for your string-of-pearls. This type of soil will allow for better drainage.
This delicate-looking vine is native to South Africa and loves the light. The plant flourishes with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily—with a mixture of direct and indirect exposure being ideal.
Other Care Methods
Fertilizer will help give the succulent the nutrients it needs to grow. It is recommended to fertilize once every two weeks during the summer months, which is its growing season. Also, make sure to keep the green baubles out of your kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere in your home that is exposed to a lot of humidity. It’s also a good practice to prune your plant every now and then to boost its growth.
Although the greenery can last for a few years with proper care, one can practically keep their string-of-pearls alive forever by propagating. All you have to do is take a cutting from your succulent, and plant it.
This plant is susceptible to a few different pests, especially when in an unhealthy state. To prevent pesky bugs from taking over your pearls, make sure to care for your plant as recommended. But if you notice bugs on your plant, try an organic method for pest control such as neem oil. Besides pests, make sure to avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot.
This globular succulent vine is so distinctive. It’s both eye-catching and unusual enough to be a conversation starter—don’t you want to plant some of nature’s jewelry in your containers this season?
What’s your favorite succulent selection to grow? Do you have any string-of-pearls plants growing in your garden?