String of pearls is native to South African and is one of the easiest growing succulent.
But, for few new gardeners it is tough even to keep them alive.
University of Wisconsin-Madison, states root rotting due to overwatering is one of the main cause behind demise of string of pearls.
Bright indirect light, well-drained soil and infrequent watering are key aspects to successfully grow this low maintenance succulent.
If you’re able to master how often to water string of pearls, then you can easily multiply this succulent through propagation.
Water your string of pearls plant once in 7-10 days. Allow the growing soil to dry up-to 2 inches before watering. In summer as the temperature rises, you must increase watering frequency.
Most houseplants including string of pearls growth slowdown in winter, you should limit watering once in a month. Else, you might overwater and eventually kill the plant.
How to Water String of Pearls Plant?
Deep watering your plant ensure the roots get enough water.
String of pearls is drought tolerant plant and don’t need to be watered daily, once in 10-14 days will meet its moisture requirements.
- When you water your plant once in 10 days, make sure the water is drained out of the pot hole. This shows the water has infiltrated soil to reach plant roots.
- Shallow watering in top layers of the soil will leave root dry and your plant leaves start to shrivel.
- Likewise, frequent watering or poor drainage will block water underneath roots resulting in root rot.
Always water at the base of string of pearls, watering on leaves will decrease transpiration from its leaves.
Also, the moisture on leaves may attract fungal infestation.
When to water string of pearls?
Water this succulent plant in the morning. This way excess moisture will be evaporated through transpiration process and helps to maintain optimal water balance in its pearls (leaves).
Note: Infrequent watering allows the root to grow faster. When watering, water generously.
You can limit watering string of pearls when it goes dormant, for instance in winter.
Watering String of Pearls: Factors to Consider
How much water your string of pearls need depends on various factors, like mentioned below.
According to which you must regulate watering frequency.
For successful growth of any plant, you must try to replicate its native climatic condition.
String of pearls trail on ground and grow under shade of big trees in South African climate.
When the plant gets enough sunlight, moisture in the potting soil evaporates quickly. So, your string of pearls plant need to be watered more frequently.
In low-lightening conditions, plant can survive but it may not need more water as the moisture stays in the soil for longer time.
Soil mixes of garden soil, perlite and vermicompost make the growing medium well-drained and fertile.
You can also use cactus oil to grow string of pearls plant.
If your plant can relatively hold moisture for longer time, you don’t have to water it frequently.
Potting soil that fails to drain excess water can lead to overwatering issues. Clay soil or garden soil, with poor drainage must be avoided.
Related: Best Soil for String of Pearls
It is a cool season plant. Ideal temperature to grow this succulent is between 50 to 65F.
With rising temperature in summer, the soil dries up quickly and the plant needs to be watered.
In colder months, moisture in the growing soil stays for longer time compared to hotter months. So, you don’t have to water.
#4 Climatic conditions in your region
Your watering frequency for string of pearls will be increased in summer and limited to monthly in winter.
Similarly, outdoor string of pearls doesn’t need to be watered in rainy season, as it gets enough moisture through rain water.
Amount of moisture in the air does impact watering frequency.
When humidity is high, the moisture in the soil doesn’t dries up quickly. So, watering requirement of string of pearls plant goes down drastically.
How Often to Should I Water My String of Pearls?
Leaves of string of pearls are pea shaped that reduce the amount of water escape into atmosphere. Also, it helps to store optimal level of water in each leaf.
As a succulent, sting of pearls prefer dry conditions to grow.
Between watering you must allow the plant soil to dry up-to 2 inches.
Depending on the climatic conditions, potting soil may take 10-14 days to dry. So, you must water your string of pearls plant once in every 14 days.
How do you know when to water string of pearls?
Best way to determine the watering frequency is to check the moisture of soil by inserting index finger either through drainage hole or from surface of growing medium.
If the soil is sticky and moist, then you shouldn’t water your plant for a couple of days.
But, if the soil is dry water generously till you see the excess water drains out of the pot hole.
Important sign that your plant shows that it needs water is, leaves of string of pearls start to shrivel and discolor.
How often to water string of pearls in winter?
In colder climates, most houseplants undergo dormant period.
During this period, either growth is stopped or takes at very slow pace. Also, the low temperature doesn’t dry the growing soil.
So, in winter string of pearls need to be watered once in a month.
In winter ensure, the succulent gets enough sunlight. This will dry-up the soil and also avoid any fungal infestation.
Shift the plant pot indoors to save it from frost and freezing temperatures.
Check this out: Should I Use Grow Lights for Indoor Plants in Winter?
How much water does a string of pearls need in summer?
String of pearls bloom in summer, so it needs more water compared to winter.
However, this doesn’t mean to water more frequently. As mentioned earlier, this succulent does well in dry conditions.
In summer, you must water string of pearls once in two weeks. Check the growing soil, if you feel the soil is drying up quickly, then you must water after 10 days.
Signs of Overwatered String of Pearls
Overwatering is one of the most common problems faced by most house plants. If left unnoticed string of pearls plant may die eventually.
Succulent store significant amount of water in leaves, so they don’t need to be watered every day.
They do well when allowed to dry between watering.
Yellow leaves, stunted growth and root rot are symptoms of string of pearls.
How to revive?
Stop watering and shift the plant to a better location, where it gets enough sun exposure.
Replant if the potting soil isn’t well-drained and allow the plant to adapt to new environment.
Signs of Underwatered String of Pearls
Though this succulent is drought tolerant, if you’re watering string of pearls only once in a month in summer, then you’re underwatering your plant.
Dry shriveled leaves and brown colored at leaf tips are common signs of underwatered string of pearls.
Don’t allow the soil to bone dry.
How to revive?
Start watering your plant and have patience as the plant will bounce back.
You don’t have to mark the water schedule. Just check the growing soil for dryness up-to 2 inches and then water generously.
If you’re on a vacation, then get back in a week or ask your neighbor to water your plants.
Drip irrigation is something that can help to keep the plant soil moist.
Choosing Best Pot for String of Pearls
Pot size must be sufficient for the root system to the plant.
String of pearls doesn’t have large root system, so it is preferred to grow this succulent in a small pot for instance 3 inches in first year.
Choosing too big container will leave the extra moisture for too long, which can lead to root rot.
As a thumb rule, for any succulent you must leave 2 inches space between the plant and edge of the pot. (Source) For instance, 2 inch string of pearls should be grown in 2.5 inch pot.
But, as the plant grows you must change or transplant them to a new pot, obviously to a bigger sized container than present pot.
Check this: Should You Fertilize Houseplants in the Winter?
What kind of pot is best for string of pearls?
Choosing right pot will avoid overwatering issues, which is very common among houseplants.
There are pots made of different materials.
Most gardeners prefer terra cotta or ceramic pots to grow succulents. You can also use plastic.
Depending on the pot material your watering frequency will be changed.
Terra cotta pots absorb extra moisture and avoid overwatering issues. However, when kept under prolonged sunlight, it can dry out the soil quickly.
You can also use plastic pot to grow string of pearls. As the water don’t evaporate or absorbed by this plastic pots, you might have to reduce watering.
Do string of pearls need a lot of water?
No, string of pearls plant is drought tolerant plants and does well when the soil is allowed to dry between watering.
Should you bottom water string of pearls?
Bottom watering is a technique that can avoid common plant problems like overwatering and fungal growth due to moisture.
Roots of string of pearls grow stronger and bottom watering ensures the roots get required moisture.
You just need to keep your string of pearls plant pot in a much larger pot filled with water for about 15 minutes.
Whenever, you notice the soil is dry you can place the pot in the watered filled container. (Source)
When bottom-watering is preferred?
String of pearls grows bushy and it becomes hard to water the plant at base. Also, leaves are left with water droplets that may attract infestation.
Secondly, sometimes it will be hard to determine the soil is dried out completely. So, bottom watering comes in handy to avoid overwatering your string of pearls.
Watering string of pearls once in 14 days will help them grow stronger. This drought tolerant succulent is often subjected to overwatering.
Mostly, when you choose the wrong soil to grow string of pearls.
Low sunlight means your plant soil isn’t drying up soon, so it won’t need water frequently.
When the plant is exposed to sunlight for 6-8 hours, and you’re growing the succulent in terra cotta, then soil dries up quickly.
Sunlight, temperature, potting soil, season and pot size all need to be considered while watering string of pearls.
Alternatively, you can just insert your finger to growing soil to check the moisture. If you found the soil is sticky, then don’t water for another day.
Water the succulent when you find the soil dry.
Did you ever bottom watered string of pearls plant? This is one of the best ways to avoid overwatering problem.