If you are looking to add a unique houseplant that brings bright greenery, interest and versatility to your home’s interior space – it’s time for you to grow String of Pearls!
String of Pearls is a succulent plant that hails from the African desert region. In its natural environment, the plant grows as a ground cover, crawling and sprawling on the surface of the soil. But as a houseplant, it becomes a versatile perennial that spills its round, pea-like foliage over pots, containers, hanging baskets and more.
Even better, it’s so versatile, it can even be used outdoors in the spring, summer and fall months as a gorgeous complimentary trailing plant in containers and hanging baskets. And when you see how easy it is to start new plants from an existing plant, it can truly be a great low-cost solution for creating interest and greenery all over your home and landscape!
How To Grow String Of Pearls – The Uniquely Versatile Houseplant!
When it comes right down to it, the String of Pearls plant is not hard to maintain. By simply giving it the basic light, warmth, nutrients and moisture it needs, the plant rarely if ever will have an issue. Making it even better, String of Pearls is also naturally resistant to most pest and disease issues.
On average, a single plant can survive for up to five years or more before finally fizzling out. However, by taking cuttings from an existing plant, you can continue to grow replacement and additional plants for as long as you like.
Locating Your Plant For Success – Proper Light & Temperature
Hailing from the African desert, String of Pearls performs best when growing in a location that mimics its natural environment. That means when growing it indoors, it needs to have plenty of warmth and a fair amount of light.
When growing indoors, locate your plant in the warmest and driest areas of your house. Although it can survive in cooler rooms, it will perform best when it can grow in temperatures that are 65° F and above. Avoid placing it near heating or cooling vents that can change temperatures rapidly.
One thing a String of Pearls plant is not is cold hardy. When growing outdoors in containers or hanging baskets, plants will need to be brought indoors any time cool temperatures are in the forecast. It can and will die off completely, even with the lightest of frosts.
As for lighting requirements, String of Pearls needs to have about eight hours of light each day. But how that light arrives to the plant will make a big difference in its performance.
Whether growing as a houseplant indoors or as an outdoor plant in the summer, morning sunlight is best. The cooler rays of the morning are more gentle on the plant than afternoon sun. Try to locate your plant where it will receive a few hours of direct morning sun and more shade in the afternoon and evening. Indoors, this means selecting a window direction that captures the sun rising.
Water & Fertilizing – How To Grow String Of Pearls
When it comes to watering your String of Pearls, less is more. The plant is actually fairly drought resistant but has trouble when there is too much moisture present.
If growing with morning sun and afternoon shade, plants will usually need to be watered every two weeks. When growing outdoors or in more direct sun, you may need to water more (every 7 to 10 days) frequently.
A great rule of thumb for watering String of Pearls is to watch for the rounded pea-shaped foliage to thin out. When this occurs, the plant is ready for moisture. If the pearls are full and thick, the plant has more than enough moisture.
Most important of all, as a succulent, you need to make sure your plant can drain away excess moisture. The roots can easily rot out if left to sit in water. Be sure drainage holes are clear, and always use a well draining (cactus soil mix) soil when planting or transplanting to encourage excess water to exit with ease.
When it comes to fertilizing, it all depends on how your plant is growing. As a houseplant, you can fertilize String of Pearls lightly every one to two months. Fertilizer Product Link: MARPHYL Organic Liquid Fertilizer – Liquid Plant Food – All-Purpose
When growing outdoors in containers or hanging baskets as an annual, you can fertilize more aggressively to promote fast growth. Use a liquid all-purpose fertilizer for outdoor plantings every 14 to 21 days on plants.
Creating New Plants – How To Grow String Of Pearls
Although growing String of Pearls from seed can be quite challenging, luckily, you can create new plants with ease from simple cuttings.
Creating new plants on a regular basis can be good for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, an existing plant will stay healthy for around four to five years before maturing. Once it does, it will begin to fade and die off.
But by creating new starts every few years, you can always ensure a healthy houseplant. Even more, starting new plants will give you additional plants to use indoors, or to add into hanging baskets and containers for vining and trailing interest.
To create additional plants, begin by filling a small pot with a quality cactus soil mix. Do not use traditional potting soil as it is too dense and will hold in excess moisture. Next, using a sharp pair of scissors, cut two to three stems off of the plant.
For best results, snip off at least three to four inches per stem, removing the first few sets of leaves from the bottom of each stem as you do. This will allow for enough room for stems to be planted into soil.
Patience Is The Key! Growing String of Pearls, The Unique Little Houseplant With Big Interest
Allow the stems to dry out for three to five days. This will heal the cut area and create a space for new roots to develop in the soil. Plant all of the stems together into the center of the pot. Moisten the soil very lightly at this point. Finish by placing the cuttings in a warm room and near a bright window.
It can take a month or longer to root your plant. During the process, do not over-water your plant. Either lightly water the soil surface every week, or occasionally mist the plant with water. You will be rewarded with even more beautiful plants for years to come!
Here is to growing String of Pearls as a houseplant, or outdoors! Happy gardening, Jim and Mary.
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