How to care for: String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus)

The string of pearls, or Senecio Rowleyanus, is a eye-catching houseplant. The hanging plant has remarkable leaves consisting of green balls that grow on stems. The green balls of the plant are very similar to peas, to which it owes its nickname. The string of pearls originate from the dry areas of Southwest Africa. In nature, the stems grow on the ground, forming a large mat of 'peas'. Taking care of the plant is easy, because it is a succulent plant.

Medium light

Water every 2 weeks


Non Air-purifying

How do you take care of a String of Pearls?


The String of Pearls like to be placed in a spot with lots of light. Not all species tolerate bright light well. It is best to place the plant in medium bright light. The String of Pearls prefers a spot next to a window on the west or east. A spot near the south is of course also possible, but make sure that the plant is at least 2 metres away from the window.


Being a succulent, there’s a common misconception that a String of Pearls doesn’t need much water to grow. Even though a String of Pearls can hoard moisture in its leaves for drier climates or drought-like conditions, it certainly can't live with just a little water. However, it doesn’t like being drowned in too much water either.

It is best to water a String of Pearls every week in the growing season, from spring to summer. In the fall and winter it is best to only water the plant once every 2-3 weeks.

Plant nutrition

The String of Pearls use a lot of energy from spring onwards to make new leaves. As a result, the plant needs extra nutrients. You can provide these nutrients by means of plant nutrition. We recommend giving plant nutrition once every two weeks. From spring until autumn. After autumn and in winter it is better not to give extra nutrients. In the autumn, plant nutrition can actually be harmful for the String of Pearls!


Repotting the String of Pearls is not necessary every year. The plant is a fast grower, but its roots are really thin. We recommend repotting the plant every 2-3 years, so it gets new nutrients and more room for root growth. The airier soil is also very good for the water flowing through. The best period to repot is spring.


The String of Pearls is not known for its air-purifying function. As far as we’re concerned, no problem.

Is the String of Pearls toxic?

String of Pearls are toxic. Their toxicity comes into action when either pets or humans ingest them. Not only do they cause mouth and skin irritation, but they can also lead to the development of blisters in your mouth. They also prompt hoarse voices and stomach pain with possible vomiting.

Diseases and peculiarities

The String of Pearls is not susceptible to pests and diseases. Mourning flies and root rot can always appear, although this is mostly due to unproper care.

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Frequently asked questions about the String of Pearls

How do I know if my String of Pearls needs water?

There is a simple trick for this: look at the 'eyes' of this plant.

  • Light green and open: then they are satisfied
  • Dark green and closed: then they would like to be watered

Why does my String of Pearls die?

String of Pearl plants usually die from too much water. When they get too much water, the roots die and it is possible that the plant dries out. Root rot can also occur. In the case of root rot, the 'peas' will look snotty, wrinkled or deformed.

How tall can a String of Pearls get?

Most String of Pearls can grow up to 1 metre tall indoors. You need to have some patience for this! To keep the plant full as well as tall, it is advisable to prune it.

Can you propagate a String of Pearls?

Yes, you certainly can. See our tips on how to propagate the String of Pearls.

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