String of Turtles Flower: Preserve or Prune?

spike like flowers of string of turtles
String of Turtles blooms spike-like flower that defies the definition of flower.

The String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is a highly popular semi succulent plant for its delicate trailing variegated leaves that look like cascading turtles. 

Despite having mesmerizing leaves, String of Turtles blooms unusual spike-like flowers that defy the definition of a flower.

However, the blossoming String of Turtle, regardless of their looks, means they’re happy.

Generally, the String of Turtles produces 2 to 3inches long spike-like flowers all year round after maturing, i.e., around 3 to 5 years. They bloom indoors rarely, so you need to provide a habitat that succulents prefer.

flower of string of turtles
The String of Turtles blossoming means they are happy and getting an ideal home.

Although string flowers don’t have anything to boast about, they still express how much they are being taken care of.

So, keep reading to learn more about String of Turtles flowers and their light, temperature, and fertilizer requirements.

How Often does the String of Turtles Flower?

The String of Turtles is a small semi-succulent slow-growing plant with phenomenal cascading leaves.

It blossoms throughout the year when provided with an ideal dream home condition.

Generally, String of Turtles starts flowering all year round after 3-5 years of maturing progress.

red colored spike-like flowers of String of Turtles
Turtles plant is more likely to bloom after getting mature, i.e., 3-5 years.

The String of Turtles flowers is an annual flower meaning these small flowers grow on long inflorescence for a year long.

Meanwhile, the String of Turtles may rarely bloom indoors even after achieving maturity.

However, these inconspicuous flowers are not the reason behind String of Turtles’ popularity. They are famous for their lovely foliage that look like cascading turtle shells.

So, to protect energy for the vining cascade of leaves, many prefer to pluck off String of Turtles flower blossoms.

However, if you like what you see, you can keep these harmless flowers. But remove them when they die off.

String of Turtles Flower Overview

The flower of Peperomia prostrata defies the normal typical definition of the flower, meaning they are tiny spike-like buds growing on a long inflorescence.

Here’s a basic overview of the String of Turtles flower.

ParametersFeatures
StructureSmall spike-like growing on the long inflorescence
Size~2-3 inches long
ColorWhite, copper brown, burgundy red
FragranceNo scent
ToxicityNon-toxic
LifespanNearly two weeks
Blooming SeasonSummer
Pollination Self-pollination

These unusual scentless blooms eventually produce seeds after successful pollination.

The String of Turtles has tiny seeds with a difficult extraction process, but you can find them in different stores to save time.

Moreover, the pollination of String of Turtles is still unclear. But according to National Library of Medicine, its genus Peperomia plants are considered self-compatible and incompatible.

Besides, two Peperomia species are subjected as self-incompatible, and one of them is Peperomia methysticum.

Peperomia Illustration
Peperomia flower can have autogamy and agamospermy as the primary method of reproduction. (Source: Delta Intkey)

Here, the self-compatible Peperomia plant gets fertilized via its pollens on the flower. Many research articles about Peperomia pollination deem their pollination process virtually non-existent.

Some of the Peperomia plant varieties rarely produced pollens making it almost impossible for hand pollination. If you want to learn more, you can bookmark the Peperomia flower

How to Make a String of Turtles Plant Flower?

As the String of Turtles represents semi-succulent, they do not have a high maintenance requirement to survive, but they still need extra care to blossom.

Let’s get your Turtles plant blossom, shall we?

  • Ensure your plant receives intense bright indirect light for at least 4-6 hours daily. 
  • Maintain warmer temperatures level between 65-90°F to provide the optimal environment for your plants.
  • Maintain a weekly watering routine, or you can use a finger moisture test on the soil mix. Ensure the top 2-3 inches of soil is completely dry before watering.
Provide your String of Turtles with at least 6 hours of bright indirect light every day.
  • Place your indoor plant in an east or south-facing window with sheer curtains to avoid prolonged direct sunlight exposure. Direct sunlight can sunburn delicate leaves.
  • A String of Turtles thrives in average indoor humidity of 40-50%, so maintaining humidity might not be a problem.
  • Light deficiency or low light suppresses the blossoming process, so use artificial grow light or fluorescent lights for 8-12 hours during winter.
  • Provide an airy, high-porosity, and well-draining fertile potting soil enriched with organic matter.
  • Maintain soil moist with pH at 6 to 6.5 for efficient growth of plant followed by blossoming.
soil type for mini watermelon peperomia
Opt for the best soil mix with high porous and well draining soil features.
  • Ensure monthly fertilization during the active growing season with high Phosphoric fertilizer to boost flowering.
  • For overall growth, use organic fertilizers like eggshells, vegetable byproducts, garlic & onion skins, etc.
  • Too much fertilizer with high nitrogen suppresses the blooming, so ensure you don’t overfeed your plant.
  • To avoid overwatering, use a pot with a good drainage facility to release excess water and use orchid barks to maintain better air circulation on the soil.
  • Follow the bottom watering approach to encourage root growth so your plant stores enough energy necessary for flowering.
  • Look out for common pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, scales, etc., and try rubbing isopropyl alcohol or neem oil to discourage spider mites like pest infestations.
  • Spray Agrimycin to treat bacterial infections like bacterial and botrytis blight. Meanwhile, use Medallion to solve anacthrose, root rot fungal problems.

Should I Cut the Flowers Off my String of Turtles?

The credit for the rising fame of String of Turtles solely goes to their green vining leaves. Perhaps this semi succulent plant is attractive in a way to compensate for its unusually weird flower.

flowers of string of turtles
You shall consider occasional pruning flowers of String of Turtles during the active growing season to encourage better foliage growth.

People usually grow Peperomia prostrata plant to decorate their place along with the different benefits the plant carries. But not solely for its flower.

However, these flowers consume energy and discourage the development of their foliage. 

So, most gardeners prefer pruning off the String of Turtles flowers to preserve energy and encourage foliage growth.

But, it is not an absolute necessity to remove flowers as well. You can choose to let them be as they are harmless. You may leave the blossom on the plant and remove it after the bloom starts fading.

The decision is yours to make. Remember, your plant won’t mind your decision either way.

How to Cut the String of Turtles Flower?

Here are detailed steps for the right way of cutting the String of Turtles flower or flower strings.

Timely pruning of a plant
Trim off your plant parts or flower at a 45° angle with one clean cut.
  • Typically, early morning is suitable for cutting off flowers, so try to get up early to remove flowers.
  • Carefully trim off the flower stalk a few inches above the base.
  • Although you may remove flowers using your hands, you might harm the stems, so it is not a suitable way.
  • Properly cut off the flower to avoid any damage to the plant.

There is no specific usage of flowers of the Turtle plant. However, the seeds produced by the flower can be used for further propagation.

But propagation via seed is not preferred. Instead, stem cuttings or leaf cuttings are used to propagate this succulent plant.

You need to learn more about indoor plant care guides to keep your String of Turtle healthy and happy.

Is String of Turtles Poisonous? 

The String of Turtles does not just stop at adding aesthetic beauty; they also are friendly to your children and pets.

According to ASPCA, the String of Turtles, i.e., Peperomia prostrata, is non-toxic to your cats, dogs, and other pets.

cats sitting around the indoor plants
You can let your pets play around with String of Turtles as they are considered nontoxic.

So, you can worry less about your pets being around the String of Turtles plants.

However, minor stomach upset may occur if pets eat them. But be careful after fertilizing your plant as it can be dangerous if they eat it.

Despite its non-toxic nature, you can always stay on the safe side by securing the plants’ position properly.

In an emergency, you can contact the Animal Humane Society or 952-435-7738  for animals and American Association of Poison Control Center or (800) 222-1222 to get immediate help.

Conclusion

Even if the flowers of String of Turtles do not offer significant benefits or beauty, they still show your passion for plants.

These unusual flowers blossoming indoors show your hard work, constant affection, and plant care. So, congratulations if your String of Turtles blooms indoors; you certainly are a great parent.

Happy Plant Parenting!!

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