Has your String of Pearls outgrown the size of the pot? If so, your plant might need repotting.
Read on, as I have implanted all information about How’, When,’ and Why’ to repot String of Pearls below.
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How Big Does a String of Pearls Get?
Talking about growth rate, the String of Pearls is a moderate to fast-growing plant.
However, the growth rate will depend on favorable conditions such as sunlight, watering, fertilizer, and others.
As a String of Pearls is succulent and features trailing stems, it grows well if it finds a good supporter. You can provide it with a good hanging basket if you want it to expose its aesthetic look.
The String of Pearls grows fast during spring and summer and goes under dormancy during winter.
The plant can live up to 5 years if it gets good care. Moreover, if you want your String of Pearls to have a good shape and size, it needs pruning.
The String of Pearls accepts pruning during the growing period in summer and spring.
Is my String of Pearls Root-bound?
The String of Pearls comes under the plants that do not like to be root bound.
Root-bound is dangerous for the plant’s growth and can cause multiple symptoms.
- The plant starts choking in a lack of air circulation. This causes a dull and weary appearance.
- The plant’s balls or leaves become discolored and yellowed. This leads to leggy growth and loss of chlorophyll pigments.
- Its ball starts to fall off, sag, limp, and wilt.
- The plant will suffer root stress leading to stunted growth.
If you are wondering what to do with the root-bound String of Pearls, the only suggestion is to repot them.
When to Repot String of Pearls? Explained
Generally, it is advisable to repot the String of Pearls once every 1-2 years, depending upon the plant size.
Signs Your String of Pearls Need Repotting
Follow these signs to know if your String of Pearls needs repotting now!
1. Overcrowded String of Pearls
When any strand is exposed to the soil and gets a favorable environment for rooting, it roots and develops a separate root system.
The plant, thus, can be propagated and grown separately. However, if you let them grow in the same pot, they might be overcrowded.
Overcrowded roots can cause root-bound, which further brings inadequacy of nutrition to throw the plant under survival mode.
2. Roots Poking out of the Drainage Holes
Another best sign indicating the repotting requirement of a String of Pearls is the root growing out of the drainage holes.
When the roots develop enough, they outsize the pot and start creeping out of the drainage holes for growing space.
3. Root Injuries and Root Rot
The roots of a string of pearls are not strong enough, so they are prone to injuries. When you move the plant frequently, the root might get injured.
Next is when the roots are overcrowded, the roots might get injured because of choking.
In either case, the plant gets stressed and exhibits stunted growth.
Root rot is another sign you should look for before repotting your plant. A String of Pearls is a succulent prone to overwatering, leading to soggy soil and inviting root rot.
4. High Soil Compaction
Soil compaction generally denotes the high density of the soil, resulting in poor soil aeration.
When the soil particles are pressed tightly, it leaves little space for air to circulate. Hence, your plant might get choked and injured.
Best Soil and Pot for a String of Pearls
If you own a String of Pearls and don’t give its proper soil, it can give up growing in no time.
I advise you to use chunky, sandy, and well-aerated soil, but a String of Pearls also accepts regular garden soil.
Add coffee grounds, pine bark, and cottonseed meal to increase the soil pH level for the String of Pearls.
If you are searching for a commercial potting mix for your String of Pearls, consider using a cactus and succulents mix.
Here is a list of a few commercial potting mixes you can use for your plant.
- Miracle-Gro Potting Mix: Contains coconut coir
- Hoffman Organic Mix: Best organic Cactus and succulent soil mix
- Espoma CA4 4-Quart Organic Cactus Mix: Contains sphagnum peat moss, humus & perlite
- Fat Plants San Diego Mix: Best Cactus mix potting mix
- Burpee Potting Mix: Contains coconut coir
Alternatively, you can make your potting mix for your String of Pearls. Here is the DIY recipe I follow.
- Mix 1 part of Cactus and succulents mix
- 1 part perlite or pumice
- 1 part of organic compost
- 1/2 part of peat moss/ coconut coir
- And 1/2 part of coarse sand
Best Pot for String of Pearls
Though the String of Pearls is native to tropical regions, it has leaves that already have enough moisture.
Thus, terracotta and unglazed ceramic pots with 6 inches pots are optimal for the baby or recently propagated String of Pearls.
Besides, the pot should be 2-3 inches larger in diameter than the original pot when repotting a String of Pearls.
Steps to Repot String of Pearls
Repotting is a way to rejuvenate your dull, leggy, and unhealthily growing plants.
Before repotting, gather pruning shears, gardening gloves, an essential pot, rooting powder, a plastic bag and disinfectant.
These tools help you successfully repot your beloved plant! Now follow the steps.
Step 1: Determine Repotting Need
First, inspect for rootbound, which you can do by checking the drainage holes.
Next is to check for soil quality, texture, structure, and health. If you find the soil highly compacted, with finer structure, and smooth texture, you must replace it.
Generally, you need to replace the soil every two years to ensure the soil and the better health of a String of Pearls.
Step 2: Uproot the Plant
Now, uproot the plant without damaging the rootballs and the upper shoots.
First, fold all the strands of the String of Pearls to the top and let them sit on the soil. Ensure that none of the strands are falling off the pot.
Once you are done, your plant is ready to be uprooted. Well, there are two different ways you can uproot the plant.
Cut your pot into two halves from either side and remove the plant from the soil.
Slowly press inwards and pat at the sides of the pot to separate the soil from the pot. Also, press the upper ends of the pot to loosen the soil.
Now, lay the pot on the ground and take the plant out slowly by tapping from the bottom and either side of the pot.
Step 3: Inspect the Root Rot and Trim
Once you have uprooted the plant, it is time to inspect for root rot. Look for the mushy and soft roots. If you find them, cut off such parts with sterilized pruning shears.
Also, spread some antifungal powder to the roots if you find signs of bacterial or fungal growth in the soil.
At this point, you can also trim some of the healthy roots if you do not want more of them. However, ensure you do not trim off more than 20% of the roots.
Step 4: Fetch a New Pot with Potting Mix
Now, prepare the potting mix for your String of Pearls. You can use a commercial mix or the recipe I suggested above.
Layer a few pebbles at the base of the pot and fill the pot with some of the potting mixes.
Spread the potting mix evenly at the bottom and sides of the pot. Press and fix potting mix at the sides of the pot.
Step 5: Transplant the Plant into the New Pot
Once you have made all of the necessary arrangements, it is time to transplant your plant.
Place the plant at the center of the new pot at the same depth as in the earlier pot.
Fill the pot with the potting mix from the sides and gently press the potting mix such that there are no large air pockets in the potting mix.
Step 6: Unfold the Strands and Water the plant
Now, unfold all of the strands and water the plant thoroughly. Now place it in a well-lit space and enjoy the cascading effect of your String of Pearls.
You can also watch the video below if you need further visual help for repotting a String of Pearls.
Tips to Care for Newly Repotted String of Pearls
You may need additional care tips for a newly repotted String of Pearls. Thus, you can follow the instruction below for the same!
- Rotate your plant once a week for balanced growth.
- Introduce the plant to 1-2 hours of direct morning sunlight or afternoon shades.
- Use grow lights if the intensity of the light is low.
- Do not forget to take them indoors during frosty nights.
- Fertilize your newly repotted plant twice a month with a diluted liquid or organic fertilizer.
- Avoid placing your newly potted String of Pearls in drafty areas or cooling vents like radiators, heaters, etc.
- Keep well-draining and porous soil with a pH ranging from 6.6 to 7.5.
- Spray your newly repotted plants with soap water once a week to knock off any attack of pests and diseases.
Always be careful not to injure the roots while uprooting the plant. Some of the beads might fall off while repotting, but it is normal for some balls to fall off.
Also, you need not worry if the plant appears sickly or dull after repotting. Give the plant some time to adjust to the newly introduced environment.
Finally, enjoy repotting your vibrant String of Pearls!