It might not exactly be a fancy piece of jewelry, but this succulent definitely adds a touch of beauty and elegance to your living space. best of all? This low-maintenance plant doesn’t require a lot of TLC to thrive and flourish in your home. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about your pearl plant, including how to care for it, propagate it, and repot it.
[Edit]things you should know
- Place your plant in a location that receives partial light, such as a west-facing window. Water only when the soil is dry, as it easily causes root rot.
- Propagate pearl beads by planting cuttings in moist soil. Wait 3-5 weeks for the plant to root.
- Repot your plant when it becomes too large for its current pot. Inspect your plant’s root system annually to see how it is doing.
- Place the plant near a window so that it gets 3-4 hours of sunlight every day. Find an open spot near a window on the east or west side of your home (or any window that gets plenty of morning or afternoon light). If possible, position your plant on a windowsill so that it can absorb 3-4 hours of light each day.
- It’s okay if you only have indirect lighting in your home—all that matters is that the indirect lighting is very bright.
- However, make sure your plant is not spending too much time in the sun! If your plant starts to shrivel up after being placed in a sunny spot, it may need a little more shade.
- Keep your plant in a room during the summer. Pearls naturally grow in southwestern Africa, so they prefer fairly warm temperatures. During the spring, summer, and fall months, keep your plant in a room that’s consistent so it can really thrive.
- When winter comes, move your plant to a cool nearby area.
- Don’t worry about misting your plant or setting up a humidifier near it. If anything, too much moisture and mist can lead to rot.
- If your plant’s pearls start to fall off, it may be a sign that your plant is in a location with a lot of drafts.
- Water your plant when the top of the soil is dry. As a succulent plant, the pearl plant doesn’t require a lot of water; In fact, it actually gets root rot when it is over-watered. During the spring, summer and fall months, water your plant only when the top layer of soil is dry.
- During the winter months, don’t water your plant too often—once per month is sufficient.
- Your plant will tell you when it needs water! When thirsty, pearls start withering.
- Always water above the plant! String of pearls are susceptible to root rot, so you don’t want a lot of moisture to collect at the bottom of the pot.
- Feed your plant a diluted fertilizer once a month during spring, summer and fall. Dilute a balanced plant food to about 50% and pour the recommended amount over your plant’s soil. Don’t overdo it, though—too much fertilizer can do more harm than good.
- Keep in mind that mother-of-pearl naturally grows in soil that is very low in nutrients, so they won’t suffer without extra nutrients.
- Check the label to see how the fertilizer needs to be diluted.
- Get rid of mealybugs and aphids with rubbing alcohol. Remove any pests with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Chances are, though, that pests aren’t going to be the biggest threat to your succulent-root rot.
- Aphids are pale yellow or green when nymphs, and multicolored as adults. Some of them have wings, while others do not. Mealybugs have a waxy appearance and can leave a white waxy residue on your plant.
- Fill a clay pot with a moist cactus mix. Pour some of the cactus mix into a small clay pot, which will serve as the base for cutting your beads. Then, sprinkle the soil with water so it is moist before propagating.
- Don’t have a cactus mix? Mix together regular potting mix and perlite or coarse builder’s sand in a 2:1 ratio.
- Clay pots provide plenty of air circulation, which is ideal for pearl plants.
- Cut off a section of stem and remove the lower beads. Take a clean knife or set of pruners and cut off a small piece of your plant. Then, gently bend the bottom 3-4 beads so you have an open section of stem to work with.
- Be sure to disinfect your pruning tools before using them so you don’t spread any potential disease.
- Some people prefer to leave their cuttings outside for 24-48 hours to give them a chance to dry, which can help protect the plant from further rot. However, you don’t have to do this!
- Place the end of the cutting in the potting mix. With a couple of bottom beads, slip the bare end of the stem under the surface of the moist soil. During propagation, roots will begin to emerge from these buried nodes.
- You do not need any rooting hormone when propagating pearl plant.
- Set the cutting in a bright, indirectly lit spot and mist it as needed. Like its parent plant, propagated string of pearls needs plenty of bright light to thrive. Therefore, stick the cutting to your new pot in a room that gets plenty of bright and indirect light. Don’t worry about watering the cuttings—just mist the surface of the soil throughout the week.
- It takes anywhere from 3-5 weeks for pearl cuttings to develop roots and grow successfully on their own.
- Take a clay pot with drainage holes and fill it with a well-draining potting mix. Pick a clay pot that’s just large enough to hold your plant comfortably—a shallow pot with a few drainage holes is ideal. Place the cactus mix in the bottom of the pot so your existing plant doesn’t sink too low.
- If your pot is too big, your plant won’t grow as well.
- Some gardening enthusiasts recommend repotting your plant as soon as you get it home from the store. In some cases, mother-of-pearl isn’t planted in the right soil or isn’t given the best drainage at plant stores.
- Carefully snip off any overhanging tendrils at the top of the plant. Gently lift the individual parts of the stem and set them on the surface of the pot. Repeat this process around the entire perimeter of your pot until all of the stems are piled up and no longer hanging down. They may look a little disheveled at this point, but that’s okay!
- Getting the stems out of the way makes replanting and handling your plant much easier.
- Remove the plant from its existing planter. If your succulent is in a plastic planter, use a pair of pruners to cut off the edge of the plastic. Then, use both hands to lift the plant up and out of its original container.
- If your existing root system hasn’t overgrown and you have some leftover soil at the bottom of your old planter, transfer it to your new pot to cushion and support the plant.
- Transfer the plant to its new pot and add additional soil. Center your pearl plant over the pot and set it down. Then, press the soil down around the plant and add more cactus mix as needed, making sure there are no pockets or gaps.
- Try to leave almost empty space between the surface of the soil and the rim of the pot; That way, you won’t have much trouble watering it.
- Once your plant is secure, carefully lift and unfold the stems of your plant so that they drape over the sides of your new pot.
- Inspect your plant annually and see if it needs repotting. Carefully remove your plant from its pot to get a closer look at the root ball. Do roots look really tight and full? If so, it may be time to convert your succulent into a bigger home.
- Take a look at the stems of your plants, too. If the foliage is particularly bushy, that’s also a sign that it’s time to repot.
- Did you know that pearl plants can flower during select times in the summer? The fuzzy, white and dandelion-like flowers appear if you take good care of your plant during the winter months. At that point, keep your plant in a location that is consistent—the cool environment will encourage it to flower when the weather warms.
- While mother-of-pearl can be grown from a seed, seeds may be difficult to find at your local nursery. If you want to grow your own mother-of-pearl, it’s best to buy and propagate an existing plant.
- Mother-of-pearl is not safe to eat—if you live in a household with pets and small children, make sure your plant is kept out of their reach, as it may cause fatigue and stomach problems (such as vomiting) Can
[Edit]Things you’ll need
- balanced plant food (optional)
- rubbing alcohol (optional)
- cotton swab (optional)
- cactus mix
- clay pot
- sharp knife or pruner
- potting mix (optional)
- perlite or coarse builder’s sand (optional)
- Clay utensils
- cactus mix
- pruners (optional)