They get their Latin name Senecio rowleyanus, after the British botanist Gordon Douglas Rowley who worked at University of Reading for many years, and get their common name from their appearance. They grow long thin strings with plump beads trailing sporadically. Personally, I think they look more like a string of peas but I’m not the one who gets to name them. They originate from southwestern Africa and if they experience a colder winter period then can bloom white flowers seasonally. I got my own few clippings from amazon and knew I would not know what to do with them, the usual thing to do when propagating is to leave it in water for a while to allow the plant to grow roots so I decided to do this. A few days later I decided to watch a few YouTube videos on the best way to plant my clippings. There I discovered that you do not in fact have to propagate pearls in water, and instead most people just pop them straight into a bit of soil.
The two usual methods of planting them is either to a) pop off few pearls on one end and stick the bare stem into the soil or to b) coil the pearls into a ring and press it into the soil (check the photo below). As I had about four individual strings, I decided to do three the first way and one the latter. I found the first way seemed to work better. I did not notice much growth originally but when the time came to repot my plants I saw the bare stem (where I pulled the beads off) had grown little roots. Naturally growth during winter is more subtle so patience is needed from me to wait for them to grow in length, luckily small beads have begun growing at the ends.
String of pearls propagation methods ( a) in blue b) in medium purple )
While they look like your ordinary-everyday plants, these trailing greens are actually succulents, meaning they don’t need to be watered as often as other plants. When the soil is too compact or the pot is too big, due to the shallow root system, the peals can stay wet for too long and this can lead to root rot. They prefer to be kept in bright light and average indoor temperatures, they do well hanging near a large window.
While the plant is very aesthetically pleasing, it does not taste that way; the string of pearls is somewhat poisonous so be sure not to eat it, or to leave it around children or curious animals. They are generally easy to care for and can grow in and outdoors, be sure to take care when repotting them as they can be quite fragile! For more information on their daily care check out the video linked below.
(Youtube Video on string of pearls)