Repotting Your String of Pearls: A Step-by-Step Guide
String of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a popular trailing succulent with delicate, bead-like leaves. Like most houseplants, it will eventually outgrow its container and need to be repotted. Repotting is also a good opportunity to refresh the soil, check the roots for signs of damage or disease, and promote healthy growth. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of repot string of pearls your string of pearls plant.
What You’ll Need:
- A larger pot with drainage holes
- Fresh, well-draining potting mix
- Pruning shears or scissors
Step 1: Choose the Right Pot
When repotting your string of pearls, you’ll want to choose a pot that is slightly larger than the current one, but not too big. The new pot should have drainage holes to prevent water from collecting in the soil and causing root rot. Clay or terra cotta pots are a good choice because they allow for better airflow and moisture control. You can also use a plastic pot, but make sure it has drainage holes and is made of a porous material that won’t trap moisture.
Step 2: Prepare the Soil
String of pearls requires a well-draining potting mix that allows water to flow through and air to circulate around the roots. You can make your own mix by combining equal parts of potting soil, perlite, and sand. Alternatively, you can buy a pre-made cactus or succulent mix that is designed to provide the right drainage and aeration. Make sure the soil is moist but not soggy before repotting.
Step 3: Remove the Plant from Its Current Pot
Gently grasp the base of the string of pearls plant and tilt the pot to one side. Use your other hand to slide the plant out of the pot. If the plant is stuck, gently loosen the soil around the edges with your fingers or a trowel. Be careful not to damage the delicate roots.
Step 4: Inspect the Roots
Check the roots for any signs of damage or disease, such as brown or black spots, soft or mushy texture, or foul odor. Trim away any damaged or dead roots with a clean pair of pruning shears or scissors. If the roots are severely tangled, you can gently tease them apart with your fingers.
Step 5: Repot the Plant
Place a layer of fresh potting mix at the bottom of the new pot. Hold the string of pearls plant in the center of the pot and fill in the gaps around it with more soil. Gently press down on the soil to eliminate any air pockets. Leave about an inch of space between the soil surface and the rim of the pot to allow for watering.
Step 6: Water the Plant
Water the plant thoroughly after repotting to help settle the soil and provide moisture to the roots. Use a watering can with a long spout to direct the water to the base of the plant and avoid getting the leaves wet. Allow the excess water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Avoid watering the plant again until the soil has dried out completely.
Step 7: Care for Your Repotted Plant
Place the repotted string of pearls plant in a bright, indirect location where it can receive several hours of bright, filtered sunlight each day. Water the plant only when the soil has dried out completely, which may take a few weeks after repotting. Fertilize the plant every two to four weeks during the growing season with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. With proper care, your rep repotted string of pearls plant should thrive in its new pot and continue to grow and trail beautifully. Here are a few more tips to help your plant stay healthy and happy:
Avoid placing your string of pearls in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the delicate leaves.
If you notice the leaves turning yellow or falling off, it may be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
String of pearls can be prone to mealybugs, which are small white insects that feed on the plant’s sap. Check your plant regularly for signs of infestation and treat with an insecticidal soap or neem oil if necessary.
As your plant grows, you can train it to trail in a certain direction by gently wrapping the stems around a support, such as a trellis or a decorative object.
Repotting is also a good time to propagate your string of pearls by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in water or soil. This will give you new plants to enjoy or share with friends.
With a little care and attention, your repotted string of pearls plant can be a beautiful and rewarding addition to your indoor garden.