Repotting String Of Pearls: The Complete Guide

String Of Pearls are very popular and beloved succulent houseplants. They have a shallow root system but yours will need a new pot at some point. This outlines repotting String Of Pearls including when to do it, the potting mix to use, steps to take, and the aftercare.

I want to share other names this plant goes by. Other common names are String of Beads and Pearl Plant. The botanic name is Senecio rowleyanus, every now and then seen as Curio rowleyanus.

Best times to Repot String Of Pearls

Like most plants, the spring months and the summer months are the optimum times for repotting. If you live in a more moderate climate like me in Tucson, AZ (Zone 9a), then into the early fall months is fine.

I repotted the String Of Pearls that you see here in mid-March. The weather had consistently warmed and I wanted to do it before all the trails got any longer.

Related: A general Guide to Repotting Plants that beginning gardeners will find useful.

looking down into a pot of string of pearls
My String Of Pearls in its grow pot before repotting.

Pot Size For String Of Pearls Repotting

As mentioned above, this hanging succulent has a shallow root system so it’s best to only go up 1 pot size. For instance, from a 4″ pot into a 6″ pot. Just make sure the pot isn’t too big.

You want to be certain the new pot, whether it be a grow pot or decorative pot, that you’re planting your String Of Pearls into has at least 1 or more drainage holes. Succulents are prone to root rot if watered too often, and the drain holes ensure the excess water will drain out of the bottom of the pot. 

My String Of Pearls was in the 6″ hanging grow pot I purchased it in. The terracotta-colored decorative hanging plastic pot that I repotted it into is 5″ deep x 10″ wide. This pot is a little bigger than going up 1 pot size.

I’ve been growing SOPs for over 14 years now both indoors and outdoors. I use a very light potting mix and know how to control the watering.  I’ve found that having a pot a little wider is better than having a pot that’s too deep. 

I plan on keeping mine in this pot for 3-6 years, depending on how it’s doing and growing. Most fleshy succulents grow fast here in the sunny Sonoran Desert!

If you’re new to growing String Of Pearls, it’s best to only go up 1 pot size to prevent the mix from staying too wet.

Related: 10 Problems You May Be Having Growing a String Of Pearls Indoors, String Of Pearls Propagation, Growing String Of Pearls Outdoors, 7 Hanging Succulents To Love, String Of Plants Q&A

a terracotta colored hanging pot sits on a table next to a string of pearls plant with long trails
I put a piece of paper over the drain holes to prevent any of the loose mix from coming out with the 1st waterings. I poke small holes in the paper (especially if it’s thicker) so the water can flow out.

Soil Mix For String Of Pearls 

Succulents in pots need soil that is fast draining, chunky, and well aerated. People have favorites mixes they use, and this DIY Cactus and Succulent Mix Recipe is my go-to. 

This recipe isn’t one I came up with as I’m not a soil guru! I’ve been using it for succulents in pots both indoors and outdoors with success for almost 3 years now.  It’s comprised of coco chips, coco coir (an eco-friendly substitute for peat moss), pumice, vermiculite, agricultural lime, and elemite.

If you want an easier option or don’t have room to store all the materials, you can buy a succulent soil mix at a local garden center or online. I’ve used this mix and have heard this mix and this mix is also very popular.

I don’t recommend growing succulents in regular potting soil. It holds more water than succulents prefer and has a good chance of staying too wet.

Even some commercial succulent mixes can be too heavy for indoor succulents. You could lighten them with a choice of amendments such as perlite or pumice.

Related: Succulent Soil Mix

a terracotta colored hanging pot is getting a layer of succulent & cactus mix placed into the bottom
You can see how chunky the potting mix is that I use.

String Of Pearls Repotting Video Guide

How To Repot String Of Pearls

You can watch the video above to get a better idea. Here are the steps I took:

2 days before the repotting, I watered the String Of Pearls plant.

The hanging pot I used had no drainage holes so 4 were drilled in.

1 day before I mixed up a batch of the succulent and cactus mix.

The 1st step day of repotting was to gather all the materials and then remove the hanger from the grow pot.

My String Of Pearls had 20″ to 24″ long trails so I loosely tied them into 2 pigtails. This makes the process easier because you can drape the delicate stems over the top of the pot to get them out of the way.

a collage of 2 photos of string of pearls succulents being tied into 2 pigtails for repotting string of pearls
String Of Pearls pigtails!

Head’s Up: The thin stems can break off and the pearls (the leaves) can drop off as you’re repotting. Be gentle and you won’t lose too many.

I put a few inches of the succulent mix in the bottom of the pot to raise the top of the rootball up slightly (1″ or so) above the top of the new pot. This prevents the rootball from sinking down in the light mix and collecting water in the crown of the plant. Those thin stems rot out fast!

How much mix you put in depends on the size of the SOPs rootball and the size of the pot it’s going into.

Sprinkle a thin layer of compost/worm compost over that. This is optional but I use this for all my plants except bromeliads and orchids.

I removed 1 hanger string off the new pot to make it easier to get the plant in.

Now came the fun part – getting the plant out of its pot. I usually lay the plant on its side and press down on the grow pot to get it out but no go this time. I didn’t want to press too hard and lose too many of those beautiful pearls and stems.

I ran a dull knife around the perimeter of the pot (where I could get it in) to loosen the rootball. Take it out carefully and lightly massage the roots to loosen them (if they’re tight).

a dull knife loosening a string of pearls succulent from it's grow pot
A dull butter knife to loosen the rootball.
close up of a section of a newly repotted string of pearls plant
The mix with a little compost/worm compost sprinkled around the top.

Put the plant in its new pot and fill in around the rootball with the mix. Before the mix was filled to the top, I put the 3rd hanger back in and sprinkled on a bit more worm compost/compost. 

I filled with more mix to approximately 1/4 – 12″ below the top of the pot, pressing down slightly on the mix. 

Undo the strings and gently arrange and spread them out around the pot.

I returned it to the spot it was growing in. More on care below.

a trowel is arranging the succulent soil around the rootball of a string of pearls

How Often to Repot A String Of Pearls Plant

Because String Of Pearls plants have a smaller root system, they can stay in the same pot for a long time. Repotting once every 5 years (give or take) should be fine.

If yours is looking stressed or the potting mix appears old, repotting may be in order.

a string of pearls with long trails in a hanging pot sits on a table
The stems spread out around the pot.

Care After Repotting

This is straightforward and not at all complicated. 

I keep my newly repotted succulents dry for 5-10 days before watering to let them settle in. The String Of Pearls was watered 2 days before the repotting and the mix it was planted into was dry.

I put mine back on the hook in one of the kitchen windows where it had been growing. It gets lots of bright light but no direct sun.

After about a week, I’ll resume watering as usual. 

close up of a string of pearls plant with long trails inn a rust colored hanging pot
Such a cool plant!

Want to learn more about How to Care for Succulents Indoors? Check out these guides!

Collage of 5 hanging planters with various plants inside

More hanging pots to choose from: 1. Large Aqua & Red Earthenware Hanging Planter/ 2. Hanging Planters 2 Pack / 3. Hanging Planters for Indoor Plants/ 4. Minimal Hanging Planter/ 5. Hanging Copper Planter

More about the hanging planter I used.

Repotting String Of Pearls isn’t difficult, but it can be a delicate operation due to the slender stems and all those pearls. Be sure to treat yours with care during the process!

Four string of pearl leaves plant
I only lost 4 pearls in the repotting process – not bad!

Happy gardening,

Signed by Nell Foster

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