How to Grow and Care for a String of Pearls Plant, the Vining Succulent That Looks Like a Necklace

This variety is a unique, low-maintenance addition to your houseplant collection.

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If you want to grow a unique plant in your home, we recommend giving a string of pearls a try. This succulent resembles a necklace—its leaves look like green pearls strung together. Formally known as Curio rowleyanus, this plant also thrives in warm conditions and requires minimal watering, making it a great low-maintenance addition to your houseplant collection

Aside from the classic string of pearls variety, there are many similar trailing species with distinct shapes, says Nick Cutsumpas, also known as Farmer Nick, the author of Plant Coach: The Beginner's Guide To Caring for Plants and the Planet. "Curio radicans, or 'string of bananas,' literally look like little green bananas. Curio herreanus, or 'string of watermelons,' has an oblong shape with dark green lines that resemble watermelons. And Curio citriformus, or 'string of tears' has a slight point on the sphere which gives it that teardrop aesthetic," he says.

No matter what type of string of pearls variety you decide on, you'll want to put it on display. These small plants naturally grow downward, so they look beautiful in hanging baskets, says Chris Young, garden expert and co-author of The Green Witch's Guide to Magical Plants & Flowers

Ahead, discover several expert-approved tips and tricks that will help you grow and care for a string of pearls plant.

string of pearls plant in windowsill
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How to Grow String of Pearls

Start a string of pearls plant from cuttings, which speeds up the  germination process and has a higher growth success rate, says Cutsumpas. 

Follow Cutsumpas' steps to grow a string of pearls plant from cuttings: 

  1. Take a 5-inch cutting along the string with a pair of fine-tipped scissors.
  2. Remove half of the pearls and place the string end in a glass of water to root. 
  3. If you don't want to use water, plant the empty string directly into a cactus or succulent soil mix. "You can even lay it on top of the soil without removing any of the pearls," he says.   

How to Care for String of Pearls 

To help your string of pearls plant thrive, ensure its sunlight, temperature, water, and fertilizer requirements are met.


While a string of pearls plant can tolerate some direct sunlight, it grows best in indirect sunlight. Cutsumpas suggests placing the plant by an east-facing window to avoid harsh sun exposure. 


The ideal temperature conditions for this houseplant range from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, our experts say. Whether you grow the plant indoors or out, make sure it isn't exposed to cold weather. If you have harsh winters in your area, bring the plant inside into a bright area  that is no cooler than 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 


Water your plant every one to two weeks, says Cutsumpas. Like nearly all succulents, the string of pearls plant prefers drier conditions, so don't over-water, our experts share. 


This plant will need a succulent-specific fertilizer to thrive. Apply a liquid-based iteration once a month during the spring and summer growing seasons, says Cutsumpas.

string of pearls plant hanging in basket
Tatiana Buzmakova / GETTY IMAGES

How to Prune String of Pearls

Prune the string of pearls plant by cutting off excess pearls just above a healthy established stem joint, says Young. If you cut off too much at once, you could shock the plant and potentially stunt its growth.

How to Repot String of Pearls 

It's best to repot this plant in autumn when it is not actively growing. But if your string of pearls looks crowded in its planter, you can do so sooner, says Young. 

The key is making sure the pot isn't too deep, explains Cutsumpas. "The root systems are relatively shallow, and it's best to find a pot that is at least 2 inches wider in diameter than the current one it is in," he says. 

Follow Cutsumpas' tips to repot a string of pearls plant: 

  1. When removing the string of pearls, turn the entire pot upside down so the strings hang loose and aren't at risk of breaking as you remove the rootball. 
  2. Use a thin blade or tool to gently break away the excess soil and expose more of the roots before gently placing it in the new pot and 
  3. Once you put it in a new container, fill in the sides with more soil. He likes adding LECA, perlite, and orchid bark to cactus or succulent soil mix.

Common Issues With String of Pearls 

Learn how to identify the common problems that might occur if you grow a string of pearls plant in your home—plus, find out how to remedy each one. 

Root Rot

Root rot happens when you overwater your plant. "To avoid [this] issue, make sure your soil is well-draining, and allow the top inch or 2 of soil to dry out between waters," says Young. "Make sure there are drainage holes in whatever pot you plant them in."

Water less during winter months to avoid root rot. Instead, mist the pearls to maintain the plant's humidity levels.


Overwatering also draws pests, like mealy bugs or spider mites. Young suggests using a mixture of vinegar with equal parts water to rid your plant of these bugs. 

Shriveled Pods 

If you notice that the pearls look shriveled, then you are likely under-watering the plant; supply more water and the pods should rehydrate.

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