Why Is My String of Pearls Plant Dying?

This vining succulent plant is drought resistant and don’t demand much time to care. However, if you miss regular watering and adequate sunlight your string of pearls may start to shrivel and eventually die if not revived at the right time.

Green, pea shaped foliage sprawling over the hanging basket brings awesome indoor jungle vibes to your garden. But, small mistakes can result string of pearls dying with thin stem and discoloured leaves.

The medium in which you grow succulents plays a vital role in propagation. It should be well-drained soil that can hold moisture and at the same time let excess water drain out of the container.

Overwatering, excess fertilizers or too much sunlight can be the reason for string of pearls shriveling or dying.

In this write-up, you’ll know the reason why your string of pearls plant is dying and how you can revive it. Apart from this, at the end of this article I’ll share some useful tips to take care of your succulent.

Scientifically known as Senecio rowleynus, string of pearls or string of beads is easy to grow succulent that can be grown indoor and outdoor. Native to South Africa, this is a wild plant usually found creeping on rocky mountains. Though most of them are green, you can also find slight pink blush when exposed to direct sunlight or drought.

May be due to its spherical foliage, they can effectively survive dry climates and also store enough water. Thus, with little care this succulent can bring focal point to your space.

Why is My String of Pearls Dying?

Cause: High humidity, under watering and inability of potting soil to retain moisture are few reasons that results in shriveling of foliage.

why my string of pearls is dying

As mentioned above, this succulent is native to South Africa, where they grow in rocky hills with unusual rainfall. With the help of their spherical shaped leaves, string of pearls store water to survive in the drought.

Thus, the foliage contract a bit to as a result of excess heat or low moisture.

Watering your succulent with regular intervals is essential to avoid shriveling of leaves.

While watering you must make sure the water is drained out of the container. Light watering on top layer of the soil will not help its roots.

Though they can cope up the drought like climates, but initially they must be supplied with enough water to hold in its foliage.

Note: This doesn’t mean over-watering. Excess water can cause root rot, thus resulting in string of pearls plant dying from bottom.

Also Read: Why My ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

How to Revive: Shriveled String of Pearls Plant?

Let me list reviving in points:

  • Generous watering
  • Bright indirect sunlight
  • Well-drained potting soil

Your succulent plant leaves are dried due to lack of moisture. So, obliviously the first step is to water generously.

Make sure the water comes out of the drainage hole at the base of the container. This will ensure the soil is infiltrated with water.

Next is to change the location of your plant.

Place it in an area with bright indirect sunlight. Also, avoid placing near radiators.

Now, it’s time to check potting soil in your container.

Growing medium not just gives essential nutrients to the plant, it helps to retain moisture and let go excess water.

Gardening experts recommend mixing coco peat, sand, vermicompost and garden soil in the container. If you missed any of them, then it’s time to repot your succulent with new potting soil.

What Causes My String of Pearls Shriveling?

Under watering is being discussed above, apart from this there are various factors that cause your healthy looking succulent to turn yellow.

Avoid these below listed common mistakes that affect the growth of string of pearls.

#1 Wrong Potting Soil

Succulent don’t like sit in water all the time, they thrive in well-drained soil.

Too much water will result in root rot and string of pearls start dying from bottom.

If you just added gardening soil without vermicompost and sand, then most likely the soil fail to drain the water resulting in rotting of roots.

How to Revive:

While planting your succulent, mix equal parts of vermicompost, sand, garden soil and coco peat. This succulent mix will help string of pearls to thrive.

Remove soil from your container if it’s not good enough to drain excess water. For this, first you must add potting soil mix mentioned above and then repot the succulent.

Also Read: Best Potting Mix for Pothos

#2 Over Watering

Water is essential for green healthy looking foliage, but excess water may result in root rot. So, how often to water string of pearls?

Spring and summer are growing seasons for succulents.

A well drained soil placed indoors may need to be watered once in every 1-2 weeks.

In winter, you can reduce it to once in 2-3 weeks.

It’s recommended that you check the top layer of the soil before watering. If it’s dry then water generously, else wait. You can also check through the drainage hole.

Basically, watering frequency depends on the climatic conditions in your region.

How to Revive:

Keep the container of the succulent plant in bright sunlight and reduce the watering frequency. Also, make sure the soil is well-drained. Once, your string of beads becomes normal, then shift to its previous location with enough bright sunlight.

Also Read: How Often to Water Jade Plant?

#3 Under Watering

You can easily identify Underwatering plant, just its leaves. Are they dry and shriveled? Then your succulent isn’t receiving enough water.

When compared to over-watering, reviving under-watering is easy. You just need to water your plant and place it bright indirect sunlight for few days. So, your plant can be back to its normal growth.

How to Revive:

If you haven’t missed above paragraph, I listed the detailed solution above.

However, a short answer would be. Increase watering frequency and regularly check if the succulent foliage is improving.

Also Read: Underwatered Snake Plant: How to Revive Snake Plant?

#4 Exposed to Sunlight for Long Hours

Morning sunlight will be bright and can be tolerated by houseplants. Full sun or exposure to sunlight for longer hours will damage your succulents.

Too much sunlight probably dries foliage and stems resulting in string of pearls dying from top.

How to Revive:

Location of your succulent is very essential. Placing the plant under bright sunlight for 3-4 hours will be enough for string of pearls to thrive. It absorbs the light through straight tissue that runs down along the leaf.

You can also use shading net or cloth to save your plant from extreme sunlight.

#5 Lack of Sunlight

If your indoor string of pearls isn’t receiving enough sunlight and you’re watering too much, then ultimately your plant will die.

Though this succulent can’t survive in extreme sunlight, they need bright light for couple of hours. If you don’t have a indoor location where the plant can get enough light, then shift the container to outdoor and place it in shade.

How to Revive:

Like every succulent, string of pearls prospers when exposed to bright indirect sunlight. If you see that your plant is dull and dying, then shift your succulent to outdoors in shaded sunlight.

#6 Too Much Fertilizers

There are instance where gardener added excess fertilizers to improve the growth, but that went wrong.

You may see yellowing or discolored foliage if you’ve used excess fertilizers.

How to Revive:

One way is to cut the healthy stems and use it for propagation.

Else, you can try by placing the plant outdoors under shade giving enough watering to see if it improves. If you succeeded, then please let me know.

#7 Container is too Big

Unlike other succulents, roots of string of pearls don’t go deep; so they don’t require deep containers.

Big containers may result in root rotting, because they retain more moisture than required for your plant. Eventually, your plant growth will be affected.

An ideal pot to grow string of pearls is small container with drainage holes.

A hanging basket will add aesthetic appeal to your balcony.

Pests & Insects

Discolored leaves, weak plant, stunted growth, foliage gradually changing to white color, growth of mold on string plants and weak roots are results of pests on string of pearls.

Mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies, mites and ants are common insects/pests that attack your succulent. If not looked, these pests will eventually damage your plant.

According to this site overwatering, low sunlight, poor drainage system and high levels of humidity results attracts bugs.

These bugs feed on plant tissue, root and foliage to make the succulent weak.

You can see these pests under leaf, between the twigs, on leaves or flowers.

How to Revive:

  • Avoid over-watering and remove the leaves that are damaged.
  • Spray neem oil on the plant to get rid of bugs.
  • You can remove some bugs with hands.
  • Place the succulent in bright sunlight for few hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why My String of Pearls Drying?

If you watered your succulent at regular intervals and even then if it’s drying often. So, you’ve a problem with soil mix in the pot. Sand, coco peat, garden soil , perlite soil and vermicompost are recommended for growing string of pearls.

Does String of Pearls Need Direct Sunlight?

String of pearls grows well in bright sunlight, but extreme heat can damage the plant. If you’ve the succulent outdoors, then use shaded net or cloth to protect from sunburn.

How Do You Dry Overwatered String of Pearls Plant?

Reduce watering and shift the container/pot to bright sunlight. String of pearls plant will be revived soon.

Why the top of string of pearls plant is drying out (Dying)?

If your string of pearls plant top is drying out, then it shows that it is not receiving enough sunlight or you’re overwatering it.

A quick way to revive would be to place the plant in bright sunlight for 4-5 hours and reduce watering frequency.

How to Revive a Dying String of Pearls Plant?

Over-watering, under-watering or not getting enough sunlight causes string of pearls to dry or die.

To revive the plant, place this succulent plant in bright sunlight, reduce or increase watering frequency depending on the climatic conditions in your area.

If the plant is dying due to bugs, then get rid of them by using neem or garlic spray.

Quick String of Pearls Plant Care Tips

  • Sunlight or grow light exposure: String of pearls does well in bright light. It can survive in a bit of lower light also. If you’re placing this plant outdoors then make sure to use shade cloth or net to avoid extreme heat. It’s pretty much important to note that you must protect string of pearls plant from afternoon sun, you can use shade cloth as listed above.
  • Temperature: This succulent does well in warmer climates ranging from 70-72 degree. However, they won’t be able to survive in freezing temperatures. So, in winter seasons you must bring them inside. In colder seasons you can use grow lights or a place with temperature ranging from 55 to 60 degree.
  • Soil Type: This succulent like the soil that is well drained and water should be easily go in and out. Because, when the water hang around the roots they will rot them. You can use cactus mix soil or homemade potting mix soil that can easily drain excess water.
  • Repot the plant if the plant is root bound.
  • Watering: Depending on your climatic condition in your region, water the plant once in 1-2 weeks. In winter seasons you can reduce it upto once in 3-4 weeks.
  • Fertilizer: Use organic fertilizers, but don’t over fertilize it. Dilute the organic fertilizer with water and add it at the bottom of the plant.
  • Pruning: It isn’t essential but you can cut if you want to shape your plant.
  • You can propagate the trimmed stem but planting them in a small pot filled with potting soil mix.

I hope you got complete info about string of pearls plant dying and how to revive it. Let me know your views in comments.


To recover String of Pearls plant from dying, you should know its mere cause.

Factors like inadequate lighting, poor watering, and pest infestations can result in string of pearls shriveling.

You can revive the plant restore plant’s health and beauty by being aware of them and taking preventative action.

Don’t forget to give the plant enough indirect light, let the potting soil dry in between watering, and take care of any pest issues right away.

Your String of Pearls plant can be revived its current difficulties and flourish once more with the right care and attention, restoring the delight and charm it first provided to your home.