Senecio rowleyanus “String of Pearls”
Another name for this plant is “String of Beads.” Its flowers shaped like a painter’s brush are captivating as well.
Level of Difficulty -Easy
Flowering - Winter: Jan.–Mar.
Native Region - Namibia
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Characteristics of String of Pearls
String of Pearls is a member of the Asteraceae family. Its tubular flowers bloom from fall to winter, and have an unusual shape and way of attaching to the plant. The round leaves and dainty vines stretch in all directions and dangle over the side of the pot, so you can take in the beauty of the String of Pearls as a hanging plant. There are a variety of plants in this genus, so it can be quite interesting to try collecting different varieties. You can find such plants in dry regions of places like Africa, Madagascar, and Mexico.
How to Transplant
The best time for transplanting is spring or fall. Pull out the plant, then carefully break up and throw away about 2/3 of the old soil in the roots. Pour fresh soil into the pot, and when the plant gets larger, move it to a larger pot.
Pour in the slightly dampened new soil. When you have finished transplanting, lightly tap the pot to level the soil and place the plant in partial shade to take root.
Mix 5 parts small-grain Akadama, 3 parts Kanuma soil, and 2 parts mulch for a ratio that has good drainage, water retention, and breathability. Add a layer of gravel like large-grain Akadama or pumice to the bottom of the pot.
When you transplant a succulent, add a layer of granular base fertilizer on top of the layer of gravel.
How to Propagate
In addition to propagating from a
leaf cutting, you can also take one of the long vines and insert its stem into fresh soil as a stem cutting. For large plants, you can also propagate through division.
Key Points for Growing String of Pearls
String of Pearls is robust and easy to grow, so in the spring or fall you can even admire your plant hanging from a tree or elsewhere outside. Your plant will survive being exposed to rain. String of Pearls plants are weak to hot and humid conditions and will wilt, so if you live in an area with such summers, move your plant to a well-ventilated area in partial shade and be conservative when watering.
Keep the soil from staying hot and moist to prevent fungus from growing and causing root rot. String of Pearls is relatively strong against the cold, so if you just water the plant less frequently in winter it can even withstand the damage caused by frost.
Succulent Advice Q&A
I set my succulent out in the midsummer sun and its leaves turned brown!
String of Pearls comes from a dry climate and is sensitive to hot and humid summers, so if you placed a weakened plant in harsh sunlight it was probably sunburned. This is all the more likely because the roots are weakened at this time as well. Move the plant to a cool, breezy area in partial shade, cut back on the watering, and protect against root rot caused by soggy soil for the rest of the summer.