Did you know that propagating string of pearls (scientifically known as Senecio rowleyanus) is super easy? This popular succulent is a favorite for hanging planters and you can create as many as you want by multiplying it with very little effort.
Keep reading for everything you need to know about propagating string of pearls and caring for your new baby succulent(s)!
Tip: The string of pearls isn’t the only succulent that’s easy to multiply at home. Propagating succulents in general is a breeze!
Propagating string of pearls: Taking a cutting
As with any plant, for propagating string of pearls, you’ll first have to take a cutting. Because this is a trailing species with long vines, that’s not too much of a challenge!
Here’s how you do it:
- Find a nice, healthy vine on your plant. The longer the better, and it should have plump, green leaves (pearls).
- Cut the vine to obtain a piece that has at least a good couple of pearls. Ideally you should do this with a knife or a pair of scissors disinfected with alcohol.
- Cut the string into pieces of about 10 cm/4″ if it’s a long one. The more of these cuttings you obtain, the fuller your new plant will look!
- Leave the string to dry for a day or two. Don’t worry, it has enough water stored in the pearls, and this prevents rot down the road.
That’s it! You now have one or multiple string of pearls cuttings that are ready for the propagation process.
Did you know? Like many other succulents, a string of pearls plant can actually be propagated from a single leaf. Yup, you only need one of those peas! This technique has a lower success rate, though, and it can take a long time. If you can get a longer string, that’s definitely the superior option.
Propagating string of pearls in water or soil?
As with other houseplants, propagating string of pearls is possible in both water and soil. Both methods have their (dis)advantages, but in most cases, either should work just fine.
Let’s go into how to propagate string of pearls in water and in soil to help you figure out which method you prefer.
You can place your string of pearls cutting in a nice vase or glass of water. It’ll often root pretty quickly this way, and the look of a bunch of cuttings in a propagation station really is very nice.
All you have to do is fill up the container and place the vine in there so that it’s about 1/3 of the way submerged and can’t fall out. Set the container in a nice, well-lit and warm spot (though no direct sun!) and you should see the first roots appear in 2-4 weeks. Just change the water once a week, no further maintenance required.
How quickly your cutting roots will depend on the season. It can be a very fast process during summer, while in wintertime it can take a good few weeks. Once the roots are an inch or two long you can pot up the plant, or leave it in water indefinitely.
If you’re planning on potting up your cuttings at some point, you really might as well root them in soil to start with. The string of pearls is naturally a creeping plant that has evolved to be able to root wherever it touches the soil, meaning it’ll have no problem growing roots from a cutting in a good soil mixture.
Here’s how propagating string of pearls in soil works:
- Find a gritty soil mixture that’s suitable for succulents, which need excellent drainage. You can read more about mixing one yourself in the article about planting succulents or opt for a pre-mixed succulent soil.
- You’ll need a planter with a hole in the bottom to promote drainage and prevent standing water from causing root rot.
- Fill up the planter and gently stick the vine cuttings in there. Just make sure they touch the soil and can’t fall out.
- Set the container in a well-lit spot without direct sun and wait. It’ll take anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two for a good root system to develop.
- You can spray regularly at first so as to not disturb the cuttings too much. Once they’ve rooted well, you can switch to a normal succulent watering schedule.
How to care for string of pearls
The string of pearls unfortunately isn’t the easiest succulent out there. A lot of houseplant enthusiasts are enticed by the lush vines, only to encounter problems with rot, sparse vines and sad pearls.
So is this a species for advanced houseplant lovers only? Not necessarily. You just need to figure out what it needs!
Indoors, you’ll have to give a string of pearls the brightest light you can offer. It’ll love being outdoors during summer, although if you do bring it out, be sure to protect it from the harshest rays.
As for watering, this is a typical succulent. It really doesn’t like wet feet, but it does need more water than some tend to think. The trick is to let the soil dry out fully and then drench it. How long this takes depends entirely on the environment and time of year.
Tip: Would you like to know more? You can find everything you need to know about this succulent in the full string of pearls care guide.
If you have any more questions about propagating string of pearls or if you want to share your own experiences with this popular succulent houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! 🌱g