For the gardening enthusiasts that want more than just any pretty green plant in their pots, this plant is a perfect choice. Its strange but interesting look invites more and more people to have it in their homes. The leaves in beads’ shape, or as the name suggests it, pearls, are so unique and surprisingly easy to care for.
The string of pearls plant is a drought-resistant, hanging succulent, that keeps water and nutrients in the hot desert weather through its spherical-shaped leaves.
Even though it looks difficult to sustain, this plant is perfect even if you are a beginner in growing plants. It’s particularly easy to care for it, and it doesn’t need a lot of attention to flourish. It’s also easy to propagate it. If you give it the right amount of water and heat, which are quite important for this plant, it may even propagate by itself if you’re lucky.
No matter your gardening skills or level, you must keep reading to find out how to propagate a string of pearls to embellish your home visually as well as from an olfactory point of view. Not only does this plant have beautiful foliage, but when it’s in bloom it will surround your home with the sweet and powdery smell of cinnamon.
Important elements for a string of pearls
Your string of pearls doesn’t need much, so if you just keep in mind a few elements like soil composition, amount of heat, and water, your quirky plant is guaranteed to grow healthy. If you do it right from the beginning, it will save you a lot of time and frustration trying to revive it.
1. How much light?
This plant needs only a few hours of direct sunlight per day, but don’t just keep it in a dark and dingy room after you took it outside. It needs plenty of indirect sunlight too to thrive so keep it somewhere in the house that you think is light and bright. Your living room should normally be fine but also a balcony or garden with plenty of shade will do the trick.
2. Ground composition
It’s important to keep in mind that you can find a string of pearls in the arid high deserts of Africa. This means that the best soil for it must be sandy and relatively dry, so don’t forget to replicate the ideal soil in order for it to flourish. You could use already mixed cactus soil from the store which is a composition of hard sand and regular potting ground.
3. How much water?
Because the string of pearls plant is built to resist droughts and aridity, it hates being soaked in water. Moreover, the roots will ‘drown’ if the water is not drained well. To avoid such things you can use a watering can to sprinkle it all over as opposed to exposing it to a direct jet of water. During the growing season, you should maintain a slightly moist soil to promote growth but choose a pot with a drainage system as well. Your plant won’t survive with soggy roots.
4. When do they thrive?
Firstly, you must remember that because the string of pearls plant is native to arid places, it has very shallow roots that spread around in the area and not downwards in depth. That’s why you need to use small pots to avoid roots suffocation and damage.
Also, because they are so delicate, direct strong sunlight is not ideal as it can burn their roots and leaves. In the wild, they grow in places where they get direct sunlight only for a few hours a day. Pay close attention to direct sunlight to avoid damage and discoloration.
When spring is around, your string of pearls is ready to grow! Also, the summer days’ heat and the breeziness at night do them a lot of good. As they are tropical plants, they can’t tolerate cold environments. That’s why you have to make sure you always expose them to proper heat, especially during spring and summer when growth is most active.
How to propagate your plant
A single string of pearls normally does well for about 4-5 years before it starts to die off. It’s advised to let the plant complete its life cycle instead of trying to keep it alive for longer. Luckily, it’s very easy to propagate by stem cutting as the new roots will form rapidly. You may even be lucky enough for the plant to propagate by itself.
Keep all the above particularities of this plant in mind when you grow or propagate it in order for you to get the best results and have multiple beautiful plants around the house all year long.
Before you start cutting stems off your string of pearls and planting them into other pots, it’s important to make certain it’s healthy and mature. Don’t cut too much from it as it can easily get damaged.
How to complete each step:
1. Cut 1 or 2 stems that are medium in length and mature. Take one or two pearls off from the bottom. That’s where the new root will come out.
Tip: Don’t break the stems with your fingers. Perform a clean cut using the scissors.
2. Let the cutting dry for maximum 1 day before you pot it. This will ensure that bacteria won’t spread and kill your stems.
3. Place them on top of the pot, slightly pushing them in so that they touch the damp ground.
Tip: Don’t bury them in the soil as the roots are fragile and don’t like cramped spaces.
Alternatively, you can propagate your plant by putting the stems in a glass of water and waiting for the roots to come out.
This quirky plan is not only beautiful but also simple to maintain. The unique foliage will catch anybody’s eye, and if you grow it on a hanging bed, you will get a gorgeous waterfall of pearls in a few weeks after propagation.
You should keep in mind that this plant is toxic to humans as well as dogs so don’t forget to use gloves when handling it and keep it away from your pets or children. It can create stomach problems or rashes when getting into direct contact with.
Create your personal desert garden with it and your whole house will be filled with an irresistibly sweet smell – that of cinnamon.