Why is My String Of Pearls Turning White? Causes & How to fix it?

If you’re a plant lover, you may have heard of the String of Pearls plant, also known as Senecio rowleyanus. This succulent plant is a popular houseplant with hanging strands of tiny, spherical leaves resembling a string of beads or pearls. But why is My String Of Pearls Turning White?

A white appearance on your plant’s leaves can be a serious concern. It’s a sign that your string of pearls plant turns white due to overexposure to sunlight, pests and diseases, improper watering, over-fertilization and sudden temperature change.

So, let’s explore the causes of a white String of Pearls and how to fix it!

Know your plant: String of Pearls

why string of pearls turning white

The string of pearls plant is an attractive and unique succulent that has become a popular houseplant in recent years. Its beautiful appearance is due to the hanging strands of small, spherical leaves that resemble a string of beads or pearls. 

If you’re considering adding a string of pearls to your indoor garden, then know a bit about the plant’s habits and needs.

The string of pearls plant is native to South Africa, and it thrives in warm, sunny conditions. It prefers well-draining soil and should be watered according to their need, as it easily gets exposed to root rot. 

When placed in a hanging basket or high place, the string of pearls can make an attractive display, as its tendrils can grow several feet in length.

One of the unique features of the string of pearls is its ability to store water in its leaves. This plant adapts to dry conditions well, and it makes the plant a great choice for those who may forget to water their plants regularly.

Another thing about the string of pearls plant is that it is propagated easily by taking stem cuttings and placing them in moist soil.

Once the roots have formed, the new plants can be transplanted to their permanent home.

The String of Pearls also has air-purifying qualities. Like many plants, it removes toxins from the air and improves the overall air quality in your home.

Moreover, the string of pearls plant is toxic to pets and should be kept out of reach of cats and dogs.

However, with proper care and attention, the string of pearls can make a beautiful and unique display in any home or office. 

Why My String of Pearls Turning White?

In your string of pearls plant, you may have noticed that sometimes the plant’s leaves can turn white.

This can be a concerning issue for plant owners, as it’s a sign that something may be wrong. Here are some factors of why String of Pearls Turning White-

1. Improper sunlight

One of the most common reasons for a String of Pearls plant to turn white is Improper sunlight.

If your plant is getting improper sunlight, your plant may look bad and cause them to turn white. In this case, move your plant to a brighter location, preferably one that receives indirect sunlight.

(Read my article on How Much Light Does String of Pearls Need?)

2. Pests

Pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects can also cause your String of Pearls to turn white. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, which can cause discolouration and damage to the leaves.

3. Diseases

Some diseases can also cause your String of Pearls to turn white, such as powdery mildew or leaf spot. These diseases can be caused by poor air circulation, overwatering, or high humidity.

4. Underwatering

Another common cause of a string of pearls plants turning white is underwatering. These plants are native to regions with hot, dry climates.

However, if you’re not watering them enough, the leaves can start to dry out and turn white. Make sure you’re watering your string of pearls plant regularly, but be careful not to overwater it, as this can lead to root rot.

5. Overfertilization

While this plants doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer, too much of it can also cause the leaves to turn white. This is because excessive amounts of fertilizer can build up in the soil and damage the roots, preventing the plant from absorbing nutrients properly.

If you suspect that your plant is suffering from overfertilization, try flushing the soil with water to remove any excess fertilizer.

6. Pest infestations

The string of pearls plants can also turn white due to pest infestations. Spider mites and mealybugs are two common pests that can damage these plants and cause their leaves to turn white.

If you suspect that your plant is infested with pests, you’ll need to treat it with an appropriate insecticide to get rid of the problem.

Read my article on Why Is My String of Pearls Plant Dying?

7. White moulds

White moulds can also cause the leaves of the string of pearl plants to turn white. This type of fungus thrives in warm, humid environments and can grow on the leaves, stems, and soil of your plant.

To prevent white moulds from affecting your string of pearls plant, make sure the soil is well-draining and avoid overwatering. If you notice any signs of white mould, remove the affected leaves and apply a fungicide to the plant.

8. Overwatering

Water problems can also cause the String of Pearls plants to turn white. In addition to underwatering, overwatering can also cause the leaves to turn white or yellow. This is because overwatering can lead to root rot, which prevents the plant from absorbing water properly.

To fix this issue, make sure you’re watering your plant correctly and that the soil is well-draining. You can also repot the plant in fresh soil to help prevent future water problems.

9. Repotting

Finally, repotting can help fix the string of pearl plants that are turning white. Over time, the soil in the plant’s pot can become compacted, making it difficult for the roots to absorb water and nutrients.

Repotting your plant in fresh soil can help promote healthy growth and prevent issues like overwatering and nutrient deficiencies.

How to Revive?

If you’ve noticed that your string of pearls plant has turned white, don’t worry! There are several things you can do to revive it and bring it back to its vibrant green colour.

  • The first step in reviving a white string of pearls plant is to find the cause of the problem. There are several possible causes of white leaves, including sunburn, underwatering, overfertilization, pest infestations, white moulds, and water problems.
  • Once you’ve identified the cause, you can take the appropriate steps to fix the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future.
  • If your plant’s white leaves are due to sunburn or underwatering, you’ll need to adjust its lighting and watering to promote healthy growth. 
  • If you suspect that your plant’s white leaves are due to overfertilization, you’ll need to flush the soil to remove any excess fertilizer. Simply water the plant thoroughly and allow the water to drain out of the pot. 
  • Treat your plant with an appropriate insecticide or fungicide to get rid of the pest problem. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully, and be sure to treat the plant and its soil thoroughly.
  • If your string of pearls plant is still struggling to recover, it may be time to re-pot it. This can help to refresh the soil and provide the plant with fresh nutrients. 
  • Generally speaking, a decent strategy is to water your string of pearls once every two weeks in the spring and summer seasons, and then once every three to four weeks in the winter season. 
  • Reviving a white string of pearls plant can take time, so be patient and give the plant the care and attention it needs to recover. 

(Read on this String of Pearls Winter Care Tips)

How to Prevent String of Pearls from Turning White?

Here are some points on how to prevent your string of pearls from turning white-

  • String of pearls is a drought-tolerant plant that prefers to be watered sparingly, but consistently.
  • The string of pearls plant needs bright, indirect light to thrive. If the plant is not getting enough light, the beads may start to lose their colour and turn white.
  • Proper air circulation is important for preventing fungal growth and other issues that can cause the beads to turn white.
  • Mealybugs and spider mites are common pests that can damage the string of pearls, causing the beads to turn white or yellow.
  • The string of pearls prefers a well-draining soil mix that is rich in organic matter. so, choose the proper soil for your plant.

Check this article: Why String of Pearls Turning Brown?

String of Pearls Growing Tips

Find the right spot – A string of pearls likes a bright spot with indirect sunlight. A south-facing window is usually ideal. But make sure it’s not too hot, especially during the summer months.

Water sparingly – As a succulent, string of pearls doesn’t like too much water. Watering your string of pearls should only be done when the soil is completely dry. This is because overwatering can lead to rotting of the leaves, so be careful!

Use well-draining soil – Your string of pearls will grow better in well-draining soil, so make sure to use a cactus or succulent mix. The soil should be loose and allow air to circulate.

Fertilize occasionally – A string of pearls doesn’t need much fertilizer, but a little bit every now and then can help it grow strong and healthy.

Prune as needed – You can prune your string of pearls to keep it from getting too long and straggly.


Growing a string of pearls can be a rewarding experience if you follow some basic information about it. This plant is easy to care for as long as you provide it with the right amount of light, water, and soil. 

Remember to water sparingly, use well-draining soil, fertilize occasionally, and watch out for pests. With a little bit of patience and care, your string of pearls will thrive and add a unique touch of beauty to your home or office.