String of Pearls and String of Bananas are cascading succulents in the Senecio genus offering whimsy and interest with minimal care. They work great as a delicate hanging plant or as a “spiller” that adds textural interest to mixed planters. Like many succulents, they are easy to spread, which means that even the most novice houseplant enthusiast can have containers literally dripping with String of Pearls or Bananas.
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String of Pearls
The plant generally known as String of Pearls truthfully appears more like a string of peas. It’s small spherical leaves about 1/4 inch diameter, “strung” on thin stems like beads, resulting in a truly unique specimen.
String of Pearls takes 2 to three hours of sunlight per day as a houseplant, even though it can grow inside under strong artificial light for 14 to 16 hours daily in the growing season, and 12 hours every day in winter.
Wish to enjoy your own String of Pearls outside during hot months? No problem. It can take the heat, but keep it shaded from some other midday sun.
Despite its delicate appearance, this odd succulent is a vigorous grower. Its monitoring stems can reach 2 to 3 feet in length.
With good care a String of Pearls houseplant will endure several years, even though it may become straggly over time, therefore it is a fantastic idea to continually trim longs strands and utilize the cuttings to spread the plant inside the exact same kettle or in a separate one.
Propagation: Take 4-inch stem-tip cuttings, preferably at the summer or spring, and insert them in a moist potting medium. Press them in the potting mix before the leaves are almost covered. Maintain the moderate moist. The cuttings will root quickly out of where the leaves are attached to the stem.
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String of Pearls has tiny blooms that many find appealing; othersaren’t just sold — the blossoms can look somewhat weed-like.
Make it blossom: Give your String of Pearls plant a cool rest (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit; 13 to 16 degrees Celsius) and decrease watering in winter, however do not allow the potting mix to dry entirely. With some luck these cool, dry conditions can promote blooming in spring with clusters of small, white trumpet-shaped flowers.
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String of Bananas
The second trailing succulent species of interest is called String of Bananas (Senecio radicans); it’s native to the Cape Province area of South Africa. As a succulent, its tissues conserve moisture, making it well adapted to dry, hot conditions, even though it also grows well in tropical states, too. Like many succulents, this species is frost tender and can’t withstand freezing temperatures (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), though naturally it can be a fantastic houseplant in colder areas.
Like its cousin, String of Bananas grows rapidly and propagates easily. It produces small, cinnamon-scented, white or off-white flowers, usually in late winter or early spring, though like most of the plants in the Senecio genus, it’s appreciated more for the colour, form and texture of its foliage than for its blossoms.
The best way to care for String of Pearls and String of Bananas:
Maintenance for these two succulents is essentially the same, even though String of Bananas could be slightly more tolerant of high and low outdoor temperatures.
Temperature: Warm spring through fall (70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit; 21 to 27 degrees Celsius). In winter, cool (55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit; 13 to 16 degrees Celsius). Avoid drafty places, air conditioners and open windows, because cold air can lead to leaf drop.
Light: Bright light with some direct sunlight indoors; light color outside. Place the plant in a bright, sunny window, preferably one facing west or south. If natural light is limited, place the plant 6 to 12 inches under a fluorescent lighting fixture for 12 to 16 hours every day.
Water: Water thoroughly until water drips through the drainage holes, normally no more than once per month. Discard water remaining in the drainage saucer rather than enable the kettle to stand in water. This plant won’t tolerate soggy soil. Let the potting mixture to dry out thoroughly before watering the plant. Supply water sparingly during winter. Give it just enough moisture to soften the potting soil. Beads that appear flat are a indication of underwatering.
Soil: Use cactus potting mix. If you would like to combine your own, then use 3 parts good excellent potting soil to 1 part sharp sand.
Feeding: Perhaps not necessary, though you can fertilize every two to four weeks during summer and spring. Use a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer, but dilute the mixture to one-third to one-half the solution advocated on the container. Withhold fertilizer during fall and winter.
Cautions: Considered toxic to people and creatures, so hang it out of reach of children and pets.