Pearl necklace: juicy stems that you’ll love

Because it looks so fascinating, you might think that the succulent pearl necklace is difficult to grow. Nope! This is an excellent succulent plant for beginners. Pearl necklace (Senecio rowleyanus) is robust, fast growing and a plant that you will love.

A pearl necklace can be recognized immediately by the pearl-like leaves that run down on each stem. These leaves, nicknamed "pearls", are plump and in a beautiful light green. Like a string of pearls, the stems are long, thin and delicate with pea-sized leaves spotted along their length. The plant itself starts small, but when it is fully grown it reaches 2-3 feet!

You will find that a pearl necklace is a great houseplant and works wonderfully in the garden. Since it is a large plant, these succulents are perfect for hanging pots. The propagation is extremely easy with this plant, so you can easily enlarge your succulent collection.

In this article we cover everything you need to know about growing this simple but beautiful plant.

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Fast care

The pearl necklace takes its name from the leaves that look like small pearls. Source: flower bee

Common Name (s): Pearl necklace, pearl necklace, string of rosary beads
Scientific name Senecio rowleyanus (synonym: Curio rowleyanus)
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 9-12
Height & spread: Bar lengths from 1-3 ′
light Indirect, bright lighting or partial sun
ground Well draining, optimized for succulents
Water: Soak and let dry
Pests & diseases: Aphids, meal bugs, root rot

Pearl chain plants form white clusters of flowers in summer. The flowers are small and not very showy. However, they smell a bit of cinnamon – a fun and unique feature for a succulent.

The pearl necklace comes from South Africa and therefore likes to be warm and dry. It can be used as a shade plant and take advantage of these dark places in your garden. However, the temperature should always be above 50 ° F. If you live in zones 9-11, you can grow a pearl necklace outdoors all year round. Otherwise, keep your houseplant indoors, with possible trips outside.

While most succulent pearl necklaces are green in color, the Variegata variety is slightly different. Each pearl-like leaf has bright white stripes. Unfortunately, this strain is hard to find, and even stalks that multiply can be hard to come by. If you can find it you will love it!

Pearl necklace care

Pearl necklace flowersNot particularly noticeable, pearl necklace flowers still look great. Source: FarOutFlora

As already mentioned, the pearl necklace is very easy to grow. That doesn't mean you should go blind! To make growing succulents easy, you need to understand what they need and why. Let's go through some of our top tips.

Light & temperature

Pearl necklace grows best in indirect, bright light. It loves the sun, but can easily get sunburned. So make sure that it doesn't get too much direct sun. If you place your plants a few meters from the window, the direct sun should be kept away from the pearly leaves, while sufficient light is available.

If you don't have windows with the right lighting, don't panic. These houseplants can also grow in partial shade.

Pearl string plant cannot survive frost or freezing temperatures. As real desert plants, they like to be warm (70-80 ° F). Pay attention to cold drafts indoors that could damage the stems.

During the winter, when the pearl necklace wears off, the internal temperatures can drop to 50 ° C if necessary. If your home stays at 68 ° all year round (as is the case with many people), this is perfect for this houseplant. As soon as the outside temperatures have risen to the area you prefer, you can grow them both indoors and outdoors. It is a great addition to patio gardens!

Keep in mind that a plant that is supposed to bloom needs a cool autumn and winter climate. Ideally, keep it at or near 65 ° until spring comes. It also needs indirect sunlight in spring to trigger a summer bloom.

Water & humidity

Like most succulents, the pearl necklace prefers the "soak and dry" method for succulent watering. It is simple and low maintenance. This mimics a flood and drought cycle, and a pearl plant is used to this environment.

On average, you give him water every other week. This depends on the size of the pot and the temperature in the area where your succulents grow. Houseplants often require less water than those in an outdoor garden.

Over-watering is the biggest threat to your pearl plants. It can lead to putrefaction and bacterial growth. When over watered, the plant can turn yellow and mushy and the pearls on the stems can fall off easily.

Underwater is a less common problem for pearl necklace plants, but still something to watch out for. If they do not get enough water, the pearls shrink or lose their rounded appearance and they can turn brown or black. Fortunately, this is usually reversible if caught quickly. Give your pearl necklace a good sip of water and it should revitalize.


Well-drained soil is a necessity for the string of pearls. You can buy pre-made succulent potting soil in most garden stores and online. A good quality cactus and succulent soil can make the difference between healthy stems and a dying disaster.

It is possible to tinker your potting soil yourself, but be careful not to make it too fat. It's easier to increase fertility in small doses later than to add a lot in the beginning. In addition, many rich garden soils keep too much moisture at the roots of the plant. Stick to something that flows away easily and that you can fertilize later.


Young string of pearlsPearl necklace starts small, but can grow up to 3 ’long. Source: MeganEHansen

Do you remember, as we said, to increase fertility in small doses? Too much fertilizer can lead to ethiolation and ultimately kill Senecio rowleyanus. And that's not good for your succulents!

If your plant is healthy and happy, you may not need to fertilize at all! But if you want, use a balanced liquid fertilizer that is diluted to half or less of its strength. During the spring or summer months, replace one of the plant's watering sessions with liquid fertilization up to once a month. Do not fertilize in autumn or winter as the succulents slumber and their stems slow down growth.

Remember to fertilize the soil and not the stems or leaves of the plant. Water that remains on the pearls or stems can act like a magnifying glass and strengthen the sun. Applying the fertilizer directly to the ground is the safest for your houseplant.


The pearl necklace has small and flat roots, so it grows best in small pots. If the container is too large, moisture can accumulate and cause root rot. With succulents, the pot should always have a drain hole. Without it, there is an enormous risk of root rot.

When repotting, handle your succulent carefully so that the pearls do not fall off. If you see signs of rotting in the roots, cut off the infected areas with a clean knife. Transplant the plant so that the base of the plant is at the same height or just below the top of the pot. It is recommended to repot these plants every spring to ensure that the soil is not compacted or has no ventilation.

Keep the soil dry for a few days after repotting. This gives the plant time to heal wounds on its roots or stems before it is watered.


Pearl necklace is so easy to reproduce that it occasionally multiplies itself! We have a step-by-step guide for the propagation of this plant, which describes the process in detail.

Propagate in spring or summer as the plant rests in autumn and winter. It is possible to grow this succulent from seeds, but it is a less preferred and lengthy process.


The cut is only necessary if you want to downsize your system or remove damaged areas. You only need to cut the stems back with sterile pruning shears. After trimming, keep the cuts dry until the wounds are callused. This prevents bacteria and plant diseases from entering.


Senecio Rowleyanus flowersThe flowers of Senecio rowleyanus have a cinnamon-like aroma. Source: LynnK827

Pearl necklaces, like all plants, require prevention and problem prevention. Here are the red flags to watch out for in your lush garden.

Growing problems

A common growing problem is shrunken pearls, This is usually due to underwatering, but can also be a sign of sunburn. In addition to shrinking, sunburn also causes succulents to dry out and scars to form. To prevent this and to remedy the situation, do not expose your houseplant to direct light either in indoor or outdoor gardens.

Another problem is Pearls fall from the stem, This is usually a symptom of over-watering. However, it can also be a symptom of cold damage from drafts or other related conditions. If you suspect this is the culprit, take your Senecio rowleyanus to a protected place.

Older pear plants can start to grow die back from old age, They are not as vigorous as younger plants. If you love the variety you grow, this is a good time to take cuttings and process them in a new pot with good potting soil. That way, you still have a beautiful houseplant and can try to extend the life of your succulent plant too!


Aphids are tiny, disgusting and hungry for pearl juice! Infestation with these pests deprives your pearl necklace of life, causes it to discolour, wither and ultimately kill it. As if that wasn't bad enough, aphids excrete honeydew that attracts ants.

Mealybugs are similar to aphids in that they cause plant damage and can attract ants. Another juice-sucking pest that can be easily recognized by the white, wax-like material that they secrete.

Aphids and mealybugs can both be deterred by insecticidal soap or neem oil. You can also use useful predatory insects like ladybugs or lacewings.


root rot is the constant threat to all succulents. It is caused by an abundance of moisture in the soil, which creates the perfect climate for the growth of mushrooms. These mushrooms cause the roots to rot and turn black and mushy. The rot can also work its way up on stems and leaves.

Unfortunately, the damage caused by root rot cannot usually be repaired once it has become extensive. Preventing root rot is important. Use good quality potting soil optimized for cactus and succulent gardens and ensure good ventilation.

If your pearl necklace already has extensive root rot, it is best to take cuttings from its healthy material and multiply them to plant new plants. Use sterilized cutting scissors and clean them between cuts to make sure you don't spread the rot. The mother plant can be discarded once the cuttings are rooted.

frequently asked Questions

Pearl necklace comesThe stems of the string of pearls can reach 2-3 feet in length. Source: flower bee

Q: Why do the pearls fall off my pearl necklace?

A: Your plant is most likely over-watered. Let the floor dry completely before adding more water. When the potting soil is completely soaked, you can repot it into dry soil.

Q: How do I make a string of pearls bloom?

A: A mature pearl necklace needs to rest completely to build the energy for flowering. In winter, lower the temperature to 50-65 ° F and reduce irrigation. If done correctly, your plant should bloom for about a month next summer.

Q: Is pearl necklace poisonous?

A: When consumed, these succulents can cause vomiting or diarrhea when consumed, and their juice can irritate your skin. This means that we consider them to be slightly toxic. But it's much more toxic to our pets and they can have much more severe symptoms. Keep these succulents away from small children and pets. Wear gloves when trimming to keep the juice away from your skin.

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