Strings of pearls plants are unique vining succulents that are easily recognizable by their tiny pea-shaped leaves. The leaves grow on trailing stems that gracefully spill over the sides of planters and hanging baskets.
Though typically cultivated globally as a year-round a hanging plant, in its east African natural desert habitat, strings of pearls plant are terrestrial and form a ground cover. You can plant it any time but will have the most success in the warmer months.
The string of pearls can grow faster during the summer and spring months if it gets favorable conditions (More Temperature than 60F, season, watering, humidity, type of soil, timely pruning, adaptablity for the plant) . However, it doesn’t grow as much during the winter as this is the dormant period for these plants.
On average, the string of pearls grows anywhere between 5-15 inches every year, depending upon the living condition. Being succulent, they thrive in temperature levels above 700F and humidity levels below 50%. If the temperature falls below 600F, the growth rate of your string of pearls will slow down.
The growth of your string of pearls can depend on various factors such as temperature, humidity, the intensity of the light, etc. If you give in enough fertilizers, it will show rapid growth during the growing season. However, it will remain dormant during the winter months.
If you want or see your string of pearls grow fast, you will need to care for and nature the plant. A little attention and availability of proper growing conditions can make a big difference.
Factors that affect the growth of the string of pearls
If you notice slow growth in your string of pearls plant, you will need to look at some of these factors.
- Watering schedule
- Temperature and humidity
- Pest infestation
- Type of soil
- The size of the pot
All these factors can affect the growth of your string of pearls so understanding these in detail is crucial to taking better care of the plant.
Like most other plants, the string of pearls grows during the growing season and takes rests during the dormant period. The growing season for the string of pearls plant is in spring and summer. If you water it properly, give it enough light, and add fertilizers to it, you will see a lot of growth.
You might not see any growth during the dormant period, so don’t worry, as it is normal. You should avoid giving your string of pearls fertilizer during winter as the plant will not be able to use it, and there will be an excess of fertilizer that can burn the roots of your plant.
2. Watering schedule
The plant can suffer due to overwatering and under-watering. You should always check the soil’s moisture by inserting your finger inside the soil or using a moisture meter. It is best to water only when the soil feels dry. Overwatering can cause various diseases in the plant, and it will suffer and might even die if neglected.
Light is an essential element as it can determine the growth of the plant. The string of pearls can survive in both bright and low light areas, but you will see faster growth if it is placed in a bright spot. Placing the plant under direct sunlight might show significant growth, but it will scorch the leaves and burn the plant.
This plant will tolerate low-light conditions, but it will not grow much as low light is the best condition for this plant. A spot where the plant gets indirect light for four to six hours is ideal for both the growth and health of the plant.
4. Temperature and Humidity
The plant doesn’t have any particular temperature or humidity requirements. These succulents need average room temperature and humidity levels to thrive and grow. However, lower temperatures or low humidity levels can affect the growth of the plant.
The humidity levels can go down during winter. It will help if you increase the humidity. You can do that by using a pebble tray, a humidifier, or simply relocating the plant in a room that contains more humidity, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
5. Pest infestation
This plant can get infested by bugs such as mealybugs, aphids, scales, spider mites, etc. Overwatering is a common reason for pest infestation. Overwatering causes roots to rot, and that invites pests. Pest can bring more diseases and stop the growth of the plant.
The pest feeds on the plant’s sap and sucks out all the nutrients, and weakens the plant. Therefore, if you notice pests on your plant, you should get rid of them as soon as possible. You can either use an organic way to treat the plant or use a pesticide to eliminate the pests.
6. Type of soil
The growth of your string of pearls can also depend on the type of soil that you are using. If you are using the wrong soil, it will cause problems for the plant, and the plant will neither remain healthy nor grow. So, if you notice slow growth in your string of pearls, it might be due to using the wrong soil mix.
The string of pearls needs soil that will allow excess water to pass out of the system. Using a regular potting mix will retain too much water, and the roots will stay wet for too long. You can use a well-draining potting soil mix for your string of pearls. A good cactus or succulents mix will work well for these plants.
7. The size of the pot
The size of the pot might not seem important, but it is. The growth of the plant can also depend on the size of the pot. If you have placed the plant in an undersized pot, it will become rootbound. Once the plant is rootbound, it cannot grow the roots, and the roots cannot absorb enough nutrition and water.
On the other hand, using a bigger pot will hold a lot of water, and the plant will concentrate on growing the roots rather than the other parts. It is necessary to use a pot that is the right size and is neither too big nor too small.
Fertilizers are added to the plants to help them grow, so fertilization plays a significant role in the growth of your string of pearls. Over-fertilization is common in the string of pearls as many plant owners don’t understand the plant’s needs and end up over-fertilizing.
The string of pearls needs light doses once or twice during the growing months, and that will be enough to see growth in it. Giving it more fertilizers than that will lead to an over-fertilized than that will lead to an over-fertilized plant. And the plant might start shedding leaves.
The string of pearls doesn’t need fertilizer at all during winter. Adding fertilizer during this time will only cause a build-up and will damage the roots. Therefore, the best thing to do is avoid fertilizing in the winter and mildly fertilize during the growing season.
Pruning helps the plants to stay in shape and get rid of damaged parts and leggy growths. Pruning the damaged parts helps the plant to focus its energy on new growth instead of trying to recover the damages. So, pruning can help the plant to grow fast.
Lack of pruning can result in stunted growth in the string of pearls. Therefore, you should take out some time once in a while and check your plant and prune the unrequired leaves and stems.
These plants take some time to adapt to changes like most other houseplants. If you make sudden changes, the plant will not adapt and suffer from stress or shock. The plant might go through shock after you have purchased and brought it home. It would help if you let it be so that it can recover.
You can water it if the soil is dry but do not add fertilizer immediately after purchasing it. You should avoid fertilizing for at least one or two weeks.
How to make a string of pearls fuller?
The string of pearls can grow fuller during the summer and spring months if it gets favorable conditions (More Temperature than 60F, season, watering, humidity, type of soil, timely pruning, adaptability for the plant) . However, it doesn’t grow as much during the winter as this is the dormant period for these plants.
If you want to see your string of pearls plant grow fast, you need to give it some care and attention. Give the plant enough light, proper watering, and adequate fertilizer, and avoid stressing the plant by making any sudden change. Also, remember that plants will need a different care routine during winter, even though you might not see any growth during this time.