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String of Pearls and String of Bananas: 8 Part Essential Care Guide
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String of Pearls plant

String of Pearls and String of Bananas: 8 Part Essential Care Guide

STRING OF PEARLS AND STRING OF BANANAS (SENECIO)

Both String of Pearls (senecio rowleyanus) and String of Bananas (senecio radicans) are succulents native to South Africa. String of Pearls grows as long thin succulent vines with round leaves resembling beads, hence the common name. Meanwhile, String of Bananas grows in a similar vining nature but with slightly thicker stems and banana-shaped leaves.

Both look excellent draping over a bookshelf or in a hanging planter. They add a delicate and unique touch to any space.

Water

Be careful when watering senecio. They do not want to sit in water but if they are left unwatered for too long, they will wrinkle up like your fingertips in the bathtub and then wither away. When the soil throughout the entire plant is almost dry, but not bone dry, that is the best time to water.

String of Pearls Care Extra Water Tips

For the String of Pearls plant, another sign that they are thirsty is if they feel slightly sticky. In the winter you want to make sure to cut back on watering because this is the plant’s dormant period. If your plant is happy it will reward you with some fluffy little white blooms as winter comes to an end. For string of pearls, these blooms have a sweet cinnamon scent.

String of Bananas plant

A String of Bananas plant

Sunlight and Humidity Needs

Senecio like bright indirect sunlight but will handle medium light. It is important to make sure that both the vines and the top of the plant are getting sunlight so that the plant can grow both long and full. 

As far as humidity, these plants should thrive in the natural humidity of your home. Avoid placing them near a humidifier as this excess humidity can lead to rot.

Looking for some new plants to add to your home? Read our blog post of 11 plants that are trending for 2022!

Propagating

Propagating senecio is super simple. You can soil or water propagate. To soil propagate you should take a cutting with clean shears or scissors and lay it across some soil. Then you can water like normal and it will eventually root and sprout out new growth.

To water propagate you want to take a strand that is a few inches in length and remove the pearls from the bottom couple of inches. This part of bare stem should be placed in the water where it will produce roots while the rest hangs out. Once it has established significant roots you can transfer it to soil and watch it grow.

Benefits and Toxicity

Succulents, like senecio, remove the majority of volatile organic compounds from the air you breathe. They also produce oxygen all day long as well as throughout the nighttime which few plants do. 

For people and animals, senecio can cause some gastrointestinal upset. Bottom line: keep these out of reach of wandering tots and energetic animals.

Cellar Door Plants aims to help bring nature into your home. We are avid plant lovers so every plant sold is packaged and protected with care to guide it to your home safely. If you’re looking for some new plant babies, check out our Plant Shop to browse our inventory.

Cleaning and Pruning

To clean up and prune your plant, cut off any dead or dying vines. If you feel that your senecio is getting too long, you can give it a haircut and propagate the cuttings. To make the plant fuller, you can place the cuttings directly back into the top of the plant where they will root and eventually vine.

String of Pearls plant

A String of Pearls plant

Fertilizer and Type of Soil

String of Pearls and String of Bananas will do best in well-draining potting soil, especially one specifically designed for cacti and succulents. I like to mix in a little extra perlite just to ensure that the soil is breathable. As for fertilizer, it is good to fertilize biweekly with any succulent or house plant fertilizer during the growing season. I recommend diluting the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to prevent the shallow roots of the plant from burning.

Pests and Problems

Though unlikely, senecio can get aphids or mealy bugs. To get rid of these pests wipe off any that you can clearly see and then spray the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Repeat this every 3 to 5 days until you no longer see any signs of pests.

If you are new to using neem oil – check out this essential guide: 2021 GUIDE TO USING NEEM OIL

Repotting a String of Pearls Plant or String of Bananas Plant

When repotting senecio, it is nearly impossible not to lose some leaves and strands. The positive side of this is that you can propagate any strands that fall off. 

I would recommend potting these in terra cotta or concrete pots that breathe to help prevent root rot. Pro tip – senecio look great in succulent arrangements.

Be sure to follow our guide of helpful tips for repotting houseplants!

Conclusion

String of Bananas and String of Pearls care is relatively easy due to their hardy nature. These stunning, cascading succulents will not go unnoticed in your space. They peak awe and curiosity with their draping succulent leaves. Give them the love they need and they will grow quickly, leaving you in awe.

Make sure that you visit the Cellar Door Plants Plant Shop to check out our String of Pearls and String of Bananas plant varieties!

Cellar Door Plants – Your Gateway to a Plant-Filled Home

Cellar Door Plants aims to help bring nature into your home. We feel like people nowadays are more distant from nature than ever before. How can we protect the earth with so much distance from everything living around us? While we are based in Seattle, Washington, our greenhouse is located in San Marcos, California.

We are avid plant lovers so every plant sold is packaged and protected with care to guide it to your home safely. We have a wide selection of houseplants with care requirements ranging from easy-to-care-for home additions for beginners to more complicated varieties that require a more experienced grower.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more staging ideas for your new plant friends! Be sure to use #CellarDoorPlants for a chance to be featured.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does String of Pearls need direct sunlight?

These plants like bright indirect sunlight but will handle medium light. Direct sunlight may lead to burnt leaves.

How do you take care of a String of Pearls?

Care is fairly similar to other succulent care regimes. This plant does not want to sit in water but if they are left unwatered for too long, they will wrinkle up and wither away. They like bright, indirect sunlight but can also handle medium light. The low maintenance care requirements make these plants great starters.

How often should I water my String of Pearls?

String of Pearls like a decent amount of water but they also don’t do well sitting in it. You should water when the entire plant is dry but not bone dry.

How do you water a String of Pearls?

As long as there is good air circulation at the surface, top watering is a good choice for String of Pearls. However, bottom watering is an alternative option that works well for many plant parents.

How much sun does String of Bananas need?

String of Bananas likes bright, indirect light but can also work with medium light if that’s all that is available.

How do you keep a String of Bananas alive?

With proper care, String of Bananas are unique and interesting house plants. This plant does well with a decent amount of water but not too much that the soil stays soggy. It’s important to give your plant lots of bright indirect light for optimal growth

Is String of Bananas rare?

String of Bananas plants are a rare succulent variety that grows beautifully as a houseplant. Their unique shape makes them a stunning asset to any space.

How quickly does string of bananas grow?

With proper propagation, String of Bananas take about three to seven days to grow. Propagating senecio is super simple and can be done through either soil or water propagation.

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