Exotic plants are becoming more and more popular among fans of house flowers. Nowadays, no one is surprised to have a variety of cacti and succulents at home. But String of Pearls, will certainly surprise guests with its unusual appearance. For this succulent to please you with its threads with fleshy leaves, it needs proper care. We suggest getting to know Senecio rowleyanus and how to grow it indoors.
Classification and description of the plant String of Pearls
Synonyms: Curio rowleyanus f. marmoratus, Curio rowleyanus f. Rowleyanus, Kleinia Rowleyana
Common name: String of Pearls
The succulent Senecio rowleyanus is one of the most spectacular representatives of the genus Crestaceae, belonging to the Asteraceae family. Due to the unusual shape of its leaves, it is also called the “String of Pearls”. The foliage of the flower is a small balls, up to 1/4 inch (6 mm) in diameter, which abundantly dot the long shoots. In natural conditions, its shoots are laid down in a green carpet, filling the entire surrounding space. At home, the flower is used as an ampelous flower, and its shoots, hanging from a cachet, and abundantly decorated with unusual foliage become a highlight of the interior. The shoots of a plant grown indoors can reach a length of 3 feet.
You can see the String of Pearls blooming during the summer, when its shoots are covered with small, unsightly flowers. The pale pink flowers have a tubular shape. A characteristic, and one might say attractive, feature of the blossoms is the pleasant cinnamon scent that the flowers spread. After flowering, seedpods are formed and mature, visually resembling small berries that contain seeds.
It is worth remembering that String of Pearls sap is poisonous. When keeping this species of Senecio, you need to be very careful to make sure that the sap does not get on human mucosa. You should also limit children’s access to the plant.
Detailed guide to caring for String of Pearls indoors
Senecio rowleyanus is notable for its unpretentiousness, its ability to go without moisture for a long time and grow in poor soils. However, in order to form and maintain the decorative shape of long shoots, it is worth following certain rules when caring for it.
String of Pearls prefers a well-drained potting mix. You can use a cactus or succulent substrate, or make your own by mixing equal parts potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand. The soil structure must be necessarily loose, moisture-permeable. When planting, be sure to lay a drainage layer of claydite at the bottom of the pot, which will protect the root system from overwatering.
String of Pearls needs bright, diffused light, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause yellowing, drying and twisting of the branches. In winter, Senecio rowleyanus needs to provide more bright light. Succulent to grow in a place near a southern or western window, but it is worth shading the plant on the hottest sunny days. If the plant receives not enough light, the shoots will be weak and the leaves will be small and will often fall off.
Temperature and Humidity
Senecio rowleyanus thrives in temperatures of 60-85°F (15-29°C). It can tolerate temperatures outside this range, but may not grow as quickly. In winter, the indoor temperature should be lower 50-60°F (10-15°C).
String of Pearls prefers low humidity levels, so additional moistening is not required.
Succulent care information
Watering should be moderate. Moisten the soil as it dries out in the pot. Check the moisture level of the soil by sticking your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. When you water, slowly pour water into the soil until it starts to drip from the bottom of the pot.
In summer, you should increase the frequency of watering; with the onset of cold weather, reduce it considerably. The soil should be watered with warm, tap water. In winter, if the plant is dormant, it should be watered once a month.
Feed your succulent once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended concentration and apply it to the soil.
Prune Senecio rowleyanus as needed to control its size and shape. You can also propagate new plants with stem cuttings.
Senecio rowleyanus does not require frequent repotting, it is worth doing this procedure every 2-3 years if it outgrows its container. When transplanting, use a pot that is only slightly larger than the current pot to avoid overwatering and root rot.
When transplanting or propagating, you should wear gloves and other protective equipment that will prevent the sap from getting on your skin or mucosa.
How to propagate String of Pearls
Succulents can be propagated by 2 methods – by seeds or by stem cuttings.
Propagation by cuttings
The easiest and most reliable option for obtaining a new seedling. A shoot about 2 inches (5 cm) long is used as a cuttings. It is deepened into the previously prepared soil.
During rooting, the soil should be constantly moist. The cuttings should take roots within a week. To increase the green mass, several seedlings are planted in one pot. Cuttings can be harvested all year round, but it is better in the spring.
Propagation of String of Pearls by seeds
Before planting, the seeds must be soaked in a small amount of water and germinated. Germinated seeds are planted in a container, and after the appearance of small leaves, the grown seedlings are transplanted into separate containers. Before planting seeds, it is worth paying attention to their shelf life. They quickly lose their ability to germinate, so you need to plant recently collected seeds.
Problems in growing Senecio rowleyanus
Most problems when growing this succulent arise from improper care. For example, frequent watering can cause the plant to die. An abundance of moisture can lead to putrefactive bacteria and rhizome death. Excessive prolonged drought will cause leaves to fall off. Many flower growers want to know how to achieve large beady leaves in String of Pearls. The answer is very simple – a proper watering regimen that encourages Senecio to grow.
Lack of light can deform the stems and leaves, making some shoots unnecessarily elongated. Also a long stay in the open sun can provoke burns on the crown.
Senecio rowleyanus is generally resistant to pests, but can sometimes suffer from mealybugs or spider mites. Watch for signs of infestation and treat the plant promptly with a natural insecticide or wipe the leaves with a damp cloth.
Using String of Pearls in Home Design
Interior designers and florists often use this succulent as an ampel plant. Its magnificent crown will be a wonderful addition to the interior, invariably attracting the eyes of guests.
In the warmer months its flowing branches can be a wonderful addition to the interior of the terrace or balcony.
Overall, Senecio rowleyanus is a low-maintenance plant that can add a unique touch to your home or office decor. Just remember to water it sparingly, provide it with bright, indirect light and protect it from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight.
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