Sting of Pearls faq

Curio rowleyanus FAQ

Q. What is a String of Pearls (Curio rowleyanus)?
A. Also called 'String of Beads', 'String of Pearls' and 'Rosary Beads', (syn. Senecio rowleyanus) this creeping succulent has very interesting leaves resembling peas or perhaps a beaded necklace. The leaves are typically around ¼ inch in diameter and the trailing stems can grow up to around 3 ft. Small, white flowers may bloom during the summer months and are said to smell like cinnamon and spices.

Q. How do you care for a a String of Pearls?
A. Position
Position in bright light or sunlight. Temperatures indoors should remain at around 22°C during active growth and at around 10-13°C during dormancy, although the plant will tolerate more fluctuating temperatures than this. The soil should be well draining and sandy, preferably suitable for cacti and succulents. Most Curio rowleyanus are retailed in a peat or coir mix. This is fine but it does hold moisture, so water very sparingly especially in winter. Many will pot the plant in a hanging basket, allowing the trailing foliage to hang down.

This succulent plant is drought tolerant, surviving long periods without water. In fact, the plant’s water-storing abilities allow it to be watered thoroughly one week and then pretty much forgotten the next week or two. Watering too often can increase the chances of root rot. So be sure to let the soil dry out at least half an inch or so from the top between waterings. In winter, cut back watering to about once monthly. Please bear in mind that the temperature of the indoor area and position will also play a big part in how often you should water.

Occasionally, you may find that pruning becomes necessary as part of your string of pearls care in order to maintain its size or appearance. This is simple to do. Trim off any dead stems and pearls, as well as any stems that have lost a lot of their ‘beads.’ Pruning back will help promote fuller, bushier plants.

Q. Help! The beads are drying out...
A. When plants are over-watered, they can look very similar to under-watered plants. This is because over-watering damages the roots and they can no longer take up water – meaning they look as though they need more water. Let the compost dry out and then water far less frequently.

House plants in general need much less water in winter as they tend to grow less than in the summer. You may not see much improvement until the summer, after spring re-growth.
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