The String of Pearl is one of the most delicate houseplants that requires meticulous care and attention.
Meanwhile, many gardeners often complain about dying String of Pearls plants despite optimum efforts. And watering issues top the list as the main culprit behind it.
Generally, String of Pearls prefers once-a-week watering in spring/summer via a soaking watering approach and requires monthly watering during fall/winter. Under improper watering, the plant leaves begin to wither, droop and turn yellow.
Rather delicate and difficult to grow, String of Pearls can easily jump off the cliff with improper watering.
Therefore, ideal watering is essential to protect and keep your String of Pearls healthy and thriving for more.
Read on to learn all you need to know about the watering needs of String of Pearls.
Table of Contents Show
- How do you Know When to Water a String of Pearls?
- Signs you may be Overwatering your String of Pearls
- The Best Watering Technique for String of Pearls
- Factors that Impact Watering String of Pearls
- How Often to Water String of Pearls?
- Should you Mist the String of Pearls?
How do you Know When to Water a String of Pearls?
To know the right time for watering your String of Pearls, you can rely on the tale-tell signs.
The exhibiting signs can be in the form of plants’ appearance, unusual features, and soil texture.
Here are a few distinct signs String of Pearls exhibit when they are thirsty.
1. Shriveled Appearance
Even the thick and juicy leaves of a String of Pearls begin to wither from the stress of dry spells.
If you notice wrinkled leaves of the plant, understand your plant has been suffering badly from dehydration.
Furthermore, shriveling leaves are severe signs due to prolonged dryness. Besides that, the plant’s overall size appears to be much smaller.
Generally, long exposure to the sunlight during summer can cause dehydration in String of Pearls.
Therefore, noticeable wrinkles and shrunken balls or leaves of String of Pearls are the warning signs of dehydration.
2. Yellowing Leaves
When there is a lack of moisture in the soil, pot-bound roots can not supply water to the plant.
And lack of water causes yellowing leaves, eventually falling off the plant.
However, yellowing leaves could also be a sign of overwatering issues.
Therefore, String of Pearls also exhibits drying, fading, and leaves turning brown signs along with yellowing leaves.
Alongside yellowing, the leaves turn unusually soft to feel in texture and can crumble on touch.
3. Dry, Light, and Cracked Soil
Another crystal clear sign that underwatered plants have is greyish, dry soil with cracks all over it.
A long time of no watering can lead to shrunken, dry soil reducing plants’ life.
Generally, dry soils are light greyish and tend to form hard clumps that crumble upon pressure.
Moreover, the volume of dry soil contracts making it compact and moving away from the pot’s walls.
Although succulents prefer drought, you must not push your plant to this point, as dry soil discourages all essential nutrients for plants to live.
Pro Tip: Invest in a moisture meter to measure the moisture of the soil and water accordingly.
4. The Pot Feels Light
Do you know there is a significant weight difference between wet, watered plants versus dry, unwatered plants?
Therefore, by weighing the pot, you can easily tell if the watering time has come around or not.
Meanwhile, String of Pearls prefers slightly drier conditions rather than staying wet. Therefore, the pot may feel lighter compared to other plants.
However, this method might require adequate experience with the plant pots to make a correct decision.
Moreover, this approach may not be viable for larger pots. But you can weigh larger pots by tilting them.
Signs you may be Overwatering your String of Pearls
The String of Pearls is more prone to suffer from generous overwatering issues than underwatering.
Due to generosity and lack of knowledge, overwatering issues are the most common problem.
Here are a few signs that you may be overwatering your precious String of Pearls.
1. Soggy Soil
Do you have your potting soil constantly wet and appears dark and mushy all the time? If you do, you are overwatering your String of Pearls.
Soggy soil is most possibly the last thing your String of Pearls plant wants.
You can easily tell if the soil is soggy or not. All you need to do is give it a good look.
Generally, soggy soil appears brown and moldy and may have insects hovering around the plant.
Furthermore, wet soil takes a long time to soak the water and will stay moist for several days.
When soil holds up water for a longer time, there is a higher chance of mold formation. Therefore, molds on soggy soil are a clear sign of overwatering.
2. Rotten Roots
Roots are the most vulnerable and sensitive part of the plant that suffers from overwatering.
When overwatered, oxygen escapes from the soil and clogged water blocks soil aeration.
Lack of oxygen in the soil causes over-saturated roots to rot and decay while inviting fungal diseases simultaneously.
Those rotted roots cannot supply nutrients to the plant, resulting in stunted growth.
Generally, rotted or decaying roots give off a foul smell and appear suspicious mushy brown.
Another risk factor of rotting roots is rotting spreads exponentially when left untreated over time. Therefore, you must take proper action before rotting becomes critical and unsalvageable.
3. Brown or Yellowing Leaves
When you give String of Pearls a lot of water, it absorbs water beyond its storing capability in its leaves.
Too much water in leaves eventually bursts off, leaving brown patches or spots on shriveled leaves.
Moreover, you can also notice yellowing leaves due to nutrition deficiency problems arising from rotted roots.
In addition to leaves, stems of String of Pearls can also become mushy from excess water.
Overwatering the String of Pearls also causes Edema/Oedema (a condition where plant tissue swells due to excess fluid trapped in tissues).
Immediate Steps to Revive Overwatered String of Pearls
Here are some of the quick revival steps for overwatered String of Pearls.
- Remove all the sitting water by gently tilting the pot allowing water to flow sideways.
- Relocate the plant to a brighter place to encourage faster evaporation.
- For a few days, stop watering your plant and let it dry off properly.
- Consider repotting the plant with a suitable fresh potting mix that features well-drainage.
- Trim off rotted, damaged, or decaying roots of the plant using a sharp, sterilized scissor or knife.
- Apply fungicides to the fresh-cut ends to prevent the further spread of root rot and fungal diseases.
- Ensure to use terracotta or ceramic pots with multiple drain holes.
The Best Watering Technique for String of Pearls
The String of Pearls specifically loves warmer conditions with slightly moist soil in moderate humidity throughout the year.
Therefore, the proper watering technique is crucial to maintain moisture and humidity.
Here are a few watering techniques that are suitable for String of Pearls.
1. Soaking Method
The soaking method is one of the most preferable and easy watering methods for succulents like String of Pearls.
This technique allows the plant soil to dry between the consecutive watering schedule.
You will need to let the top 2 or 3 inches of the soil dry before watering your String of Pearls.
Letting soil dry ensures no overwatering issues in the plant, which makes the soaking method more suitable.
All you need to do is water your plants by submerging the pot in the sink or bathtub and letting it absorb water for a few hours.
2. Conventional Watering
Conventional watering is one of the most common and simple approaches, pouring water onto the soil.
This method generally involves pouring water directly from a mug or bowl onto the soil surface.
While following this approach, you must be careful not to hurt the plant, although it bears a minimal risk.
Due to its simple nature, any gardener can easily use this technique with little supervision.
3. Bottom Watering Approach
Also known as the saucer method, the bottom watering approach is the most suitable watering method that encourages optimal root growth.
Unlike the soaking method, bottom watering involves keeping the saucer filled with water for gradual intake per soil needs.
However, you will need to replace the water with fresh, tepid water after letting the water stay for a day or two.
Meanwhile, the bottom watering approach can provide water consistently to the plant.
In addition, this approach tends to be less messy than overhead watering as it does not involve splashing or spilling water.
Factors that Impact Watering String of Pearls
Several environmental factors directly or indirectly influence the watering needs of String of Pearls.
Therefore, before fetching water for your plants, you should consider influencing factors.
Here are some of the factors that impact the watering String of Pearls.
1. Location (Indoor Vs. Outdoor)
The watering routine can vary depending on where you have placed the String of Pearls.
Plants outdoors are exposed to more sunlight, heat, and low humidity, making them reasonably thirsty.
As a general rule of thumb, you shall consider watering more to those staying in brighter light and less often in lower light.
Similarly, indoor potted String of Pearls receives much better care and controlled environmental conditions.
Therefore, indoor potted plants will require less watering than outdoor ones.
2. Type of Potting Mix
The String of Pearls prefers a well-draining, sandy soil prepared by mixing sphagnum moss with part sand and perlite in organic soil.
Well-draining soil with low water retention can easily dodge overwatering issues by letting out excess water.
But if you are using normal garden soil mix, it can retain water for a longer time which can cause root rot easily.
Furthermore, succulents like String of Pearls do not like wet feet, so soil with low water retention is ideal.
Therefore, light soil with proper drainage is much more suitable for the watering needs of String of Pearls.
Is the potting mix getting too compact? Don’t worry! Here is a quick guide to repot your String of Pearls in fresh potting mix.
3. The Type of Pot
The String of Pearls performs almost fine in any type as long as they have multiple drainage holes.
Terracotta and ceramic pots are excellent choices as they naturally allow water and air to run within walls.
Meanwhile, plastic or glazed ceramic pots bear higher water retention capacity meaning frequent watering can introduce water clogging in the soil.
Furthermore, the terracotta pot’s natural evaporation process can help plants keep cool in summer.
Regardless of the type of pot, you must ensure there are multiple drainage holes in the pot.
Lastly, the pot’s size also influences the plant’s watering needs. Bigger pots can hold water longer, while smaller ones hold for a shorter time.
Are you thinking of making drainage holes in pots but not sure how to do it? Here is how you can drill holes in a Ceramic pot.
4. Seasons (Winter Vs. Summer)
In general, summer and winter are the two seasons with drastic changes in temperature that change the watering schedule.
You can expect your plant to be more thirsty during sunny days of summer as high temperatures quickly take moisture away.
So, you will have to water your String of Pearls more often in summer than a normal watering routine.
But you must cut back on watering during winter as the plant barely gets a glimpse of sunlight.
Moreover, plants’ water intake rate is lower in winter, meaning less frequent watering will suffice.
5. Type of Water
Normal tap water is usually chemically treated with chlorine for decontamination purposes.
But this chlorinated water is not suitable for plants as excess chlorine water causes soil to become more compact.
Besides, hard and soft water also contains lots of minerals that can potentially harm the plant with gradual intake.
Therefore, try using rainwater, chlorine-free, tepid water for your String of Pearls. If you must, and the only option is to use tap water, let it rest overnight before use.
6. Temperature and Humidity
Another factor that greatly influences the plant’s watering needs is surrounding temperature and humidity.
Generally, String of Pearls prefers to stay at 70°F to 80°F temperature with a 50% above humidity level.
Moreover, it can withstand colder temperatures till 50°F in winter seasons.
Once the temperature reaches over 85°F during summer and humidity drops below 40%, you shall increase the watering amount.
That said, cut back on watering your String of Pearls once the plant begins its dormant period.
How Often to Water String of Pearls?
Being a succulent, String of Pearls profoundly loves the hot and desert-like home instead of a wetland.
Moreover, String of Pearls stores water in its tiny pearl-like balls to defend against dry spells.
However, when you fetch them too much water, they absorb more than they can handle, causing them to burst.
Therefore, providing them with just the right amount of water is important.
Generally, water your String of Pearls every one to two weeks while allowing the top half an inch of soil to dry out before watering.
However, this is not a hard and fast rule, as watering needs vary with other environmental parameters.
Meanwhile, you will need to cut back on watering to once in three weeks during the winter season.
Should you Mist the String of Pearls?
The String of Pearls plant does not necessarily need misting as it is succulent that stores water on its leaves.
That said, frequent misting during summer can be beneficial even for String of Pearls.
Moreover, summer comes along with intense heat that often rapidly increases the transpiration rate.
Therefore, misting can help compensate for increased transpiration rate and prevent dehydration.
However, too frequent misting, especially over the plant’s crown, can introduce rotting.
Similarly, proper watering habit completely negates the need to mist a String of Pearls.
Therefore, you shall avoid misting a String of Pearls in dark and moist conditions.
Is your String of Pearls dying? Fret not! By following the brief guide, you can quickly save your dying String of Pearls.
Proper watering is an absolute requirement for growing a String of Pearls without complications.
To avoid watering issues, allow the soil to dry in between the watering routine to keep your succulent happy.
Furthermore, always stay on guard and look out for the signs your plant shows upon improper watering situations.
Thoroughly follow this watering guide to ensure your String of Pearls thriving for more.
Do you know alongside its decorative Pearls-like pulpy leaves, String of Pearls also has beautiful flowers?