How to Care for String of Pearls

The String Of Pearls plant had me at first sight.

I knew this was a plant I wanted for my very own one day. When I moved to Santa Barbara, quite a few pots had been left behind at my new home by the previous owner. I zoomed in on one of them for a String of Pearls.

Fortunately, they’re easy to find here. Four years ago I bought a 2″ plant and in it went into the large pot on the patio outside my dining room planted along with the Coprosma, Plectranthus, and whatever seasonal annuals catch my fancy. It grew fairly fast and tends to trail rather than spread so I figured it was time for a little propagation.

NOTE: This post was published on 4/4/2013. I’m updating it on 3/22/2023. It’s one of the very first posts that I ever wrote. My, how blogging has changed!

I’ve since written nine more posts on the String Of Pearls plant. Rather than do an extensive update on this one, I’m just going to list the more current posts right below and you can refer to those for much more information on this fascinating succulent.

strings of the string of pearl plant on top of a grey rustic background

Posts With More Details About Growing A String Of Pearls Plant (newer to older)

  1. String Of Pearls Succulent Growing Guide: A Round Up Of Care Posts
  2. Answering Your Questions About String Of Pearls
  3. Repotting A String Of Pearls Plant
  4. Growing String Of Pearls Plants Indoors: 10 Common Problems You May Have
  5. Propagating A String Of Pearls Plant
  6. String Of Pearls Plant Flowers
  7. Growing A String Of Pearls Plant Outdoors
  8. String Of Pearls Houseplant Care
  9. Rejuvenating My String Of Pearls Plant

Propagating A String Of Pearls

As evident in the picture above, I’ve been cutting them off when they hit the ground. They trail down about 3′. Where they’ve been cut, a split or 2 occurs. From there, they keep on growing from there.

This would usually trigger any other plant to spread but with this one, it just keeps growing lengthwise and not widthwise. So it was time to pull out my floral nips (their long pointed blades are great for taking cuttings) and get busy.

I cut off a few of those long, slender stems and stripped the top round leaves (aka “the pearls) off so I could stick those stems right back into the pot.  I make sure at least 3 or 4 leaf nodes are down into the soil – that’s where the roots emerge from.

This pot is filled with good organic potting soil and regularly top-dressed with both compost and worm compost so no soil prep is necessary here.  I have lots of succulents in my yard which I normally heal off. But, with these stems being so minuscule in diameter, I skip that step and directly plant them back in.

Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.

How to Care for String of Pearls (outdoors)

The light exposure is bright but not direct – the Coprosma shades it from any direct afternoon sunlight. Soil that is well-drained, such as potting soil or cactus mix, is very important because they like to completely dry out between waterings.

Those round little pearls store water in them. Like any succulent, what I am going to tell you next is important to its survival:

Do not overwater this plant.

I can selectively and routinely water the Coprosma, Plectranthus, and annuals. This gives the String of Pearls a drink when I feel it needs it.

As for insects and diseases, mine stays free and clear. So, there’s no personal advice I can give on that.

By the way, they do flower but the small white, fuzzy blooms are pretty insignificant when it comes to size. But boy, they are sweetly scented! This plant is popular because it’s unusual and a conversion piece, not for a showy flower display.

Warning: This is an old video!

string of pearls plant close up, you can see the resemblance of the leaves with real pearls. They look like pearls but are green

Those adorable little leaves which I call “peas.”

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

Well, there you have it, how to care for String Of Pearls (outdoors) in a nutshell. String Of Pearls plants are most commonly sold as houseplants, so be sure and check out those more current posts listed at the top.

Happy gardening,

Nell-Foster-Joy-Us-Garden

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166 Comments

  1. Hi Nell! I love your blog! I just happened upon it. I live in Florida, near the Gainesville area. I love succulents, but I have had a difficult time with them and finding where they like to live. I have a string of pearls I purchased in a 4 inch pot. I love it! I have had it a few weeks, probably 4 or 5. It was sending out new growth so I new I had it in the right place! I planted it into a hanging basket pot and placed small rocks or pebbles around the main plant so the pearls did not touch the soil. I found with my other succulents this is the key to survival. After watching your video, I’m wondering if I should remove the rocks so my little plant can spread or be patient and see what happens. I see these succulent gardens in pots and online, and I just drool over how beautiful they are. My string of pearls is inside, southwest side of my florida room, bright light. My other succulents are now growing nicely, I have placed small rocks around them too. This is where I got the idea for the string of pearls. They are putting out new growth as well. I just dont want to hinder growth with rocks. The humidity and amount of rain were are having lately is a succulents worst nightmare. I do have 2 succulent gardens outside, but they are on my window sill away from direct downpours. Any help from a Florida friend or some expert advice would be awesome. Thank you in advance!

    Janna

  2. Janna – I’ve grown succulents in dry climates (Southern California & Arizona) for years now. I’m not well versed on growing them in wet, humid climates. String Of Pearls can be so tricky to grow indoors & many people struggle with them. Mine do fine but they’re currently growing outdoors. When growing in its natural environs, SOPs is a ground cover. In theory the rocks should be no problem but when growing indoors I’d have doubts about them. Hopefully someone in FLA will chime in on this! Nell

  3. Hi Nell!
    I have a general question.. nothing related to this post here…
    Is the blue pearl of string plant real?
    I saw many online sites selling the blue pearl chlorophytum bonsai plant seeds
    But I couldn’t find a single post/information online that actually shows that we can grow this blue plant
    I am very curious right now that if all these sites claiming to sell these plants is fake
    I hope you read this comment and feed my curiosity
    Thank you in advance ?

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