Curio rowleyanus, or string of pearls as it is commonly called, is an offbeat succulent that resembles pearls strung together. It is incredibly gorgeous and elevates the look of balconies that house this succulent. Native to Southwest Africa, it is a creeping perennial whose stem trails on the ground. It is also called ‘rosary’ or ‘string of beads’ by many. Let’s learn how to propagate string of pearls plant.
The string of pearls comes with a shallow root that makes it incredibly easy to propagate them. In fact, it is not just growing them that is easy. These succulents are also easy to maintain and require minimum attention from you that gives them an edge particularly for those who lead busy lives.
How to Propagate String of Pearls Plant
Not only is it easy to propagate the string of pearls but also necessary to ensure their constant presence in your home. If you don’t propagate the succulent, it may not live for long.
Spring or late summer is usually considered the best time to propagate the string of pearls.
Here is how to propagate the string of pearls:
- Prepare Stem Cuttings: The first step in propagating the string of pearls is to cut the stems. You can do this by removing approximately 10 cm of the plant material. Make sure to cut between the pea-shaped leaves to grow the best possible new plant out of these.
The stem that you cut should not be damaged or rotten or blemished in any way because this will affect the new plant or not lead to propagation at all.
- Prepare Potting Mix: A good potting mix is crucial to the health and wellbeing of your succulents. It is, therefore, imperative you begin with a healthy potting mix at the outset. For the string of pearls, you can go with a mixture of sand and compost in equal measure. Sprinkle water to ensure the mix is moist enough.
- Place the Cutting in the Soil: Finally, take the cutting and place it in the soil. Press it properly in the soil so that it gets firm and doesn’t fall off. Ensure that the place is well lit but doesn’t receive direct harsh sun rays.
Once you do the potting, you need to ensure the growing needs of the succulent are well cared for. Mist the cutting occasionally to ensure that the soil is moist enough. At no point should you go overboard with the watering because this could lead to rot in the plant and it may not grow.
You need to be patient with the string of pearls propagation because rooting often takes a long time as opposed to several other succulents.
Another way of propagating the string of pearls is by using seeds. When you see seed pods appearing on the plant, pluck them and let them dry. Open these pods and use the seeds inside them for propagation.
You can do the propagation just like you would do for any other succulent.
- Step 1: Prepare the potting mix. Sandy soil works best for the string of pearls.
- Step 2: Sprinkle dry seeds on the well-draining sandy potting mix.
- Step 3: Water the seeds well. You can also add a slow-releasing fertilizer in a small quantity and wait for the seeds to sprout.
However, it is much more common for people to propagate the string of pearls using cuttings in comparison to seeds.
For the uninitiated, propagation of the string of pearls in water involves taking the cutting and placing it in a jar with purified water and waiting for the roots to erupt.
If you use the water propagation for the string of pearls, you can expect rooting in about 2-3 weeks. Around the fourth week, you would see a number of roots in the pot you have used for the propagation. This is an indication that the succulent is ready for transplanting.
Though the string of pearls doesn’t demand a lot of attention as it grows, you need to be cautious in the early stages of its growth.
Follow these tips to make sure your succulent grows healthy:
This succulent can be grown both indoors and outdoors. However, for a newly propagated string of pearls succulent, you need to ensure at least 6-8 hours of bright sunlight. If growing indoors, make sure the placement is such that the quota of light is met.
This doesn’t mean that you expose the string of pearls to direct sunlight. This may burn the leaves.
Humidity is not the best friend of the string of pearls. It thrives in dry areas and in fact, takes well to room temperature.
This is the key to any plant and more so with the string of pearls. If your soil is too heavy or doesn’t have proper drainage, the succulent will rot instead of thriving. Either make a good DIY potting mix that drains well or go for a cactus mix. You can add some pumice or perlite to the mix for better aeration. And you are good to go!
Avoid fertilizing the string of pearls during the winter and fall periods. Succulents, in general, thrive on low fertilizers and this is no different. You can fertilize the string of pearls during the summer and springtime once every 2-4 weeks.
Overwatering can be the end of your string of pearls. Hence, you need to be very mindful of this at all times, especially for newly propagated succulents. Only water them when the soil betrays signs of dryness. As a rule of thumb, once or twice every two weeks should be enough to meet all its needs.
String of Pearls Plant Shriveling
The string of pearls has a delicate and small root system. If you choose an overly large container for propagating the succulent, it may adversely impact its growth. Hence, it is imperative to choose just the right size of the container.