Watering Guide for String of Pearls: Frequency & Timing Tips

By: Matt Slaymaker
May 14, 2024
How Often to Water String of Pearls
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String of Pearls, a flowering plant from the daisy family Asteraceae, makes an ideal houseplant for various reasons. Apart from its one-of-a-kind aesthetics and low-water requirements, this hanging plant acts as a natural purifier and has traditional medicinal properties, just like another popular succulent - the Aloe Vera plant

An important aspect of String of Pearls care is watering the plant correctly, as the most common problem with succulents is overwatering. So, how often do you water a String of Pearls? 

Continue reading, as this guide will answer all your questions about how to water String of Pearls. 

About String of Pearls

About String of Pearls Plant

String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is an easy-to-care-for succulent originating from the arid regions of West South Africa. It's recognized by its thick, pearl-shaped leaves and cascading long stems. The plant’s bead-like leaves store water in case of drought-like conditions.

The String of Pearls plant is fast-growing and can add 5 to 15 inches to its stems’ length in a year. An appropriate watering schedule plays a significant role in its growth, thus, knowing how often to water it becomes crucial. It’s worth noting that this beautiful plant is toxic to pets. So, if you have a dog or a cat, consider growing alternative and pet-friendly succulents, such as the gorgeous Echeveria plants.

How Often Do You Water String of Pearls? 

String of Pearls is a drought-tolerant plant, which doesn't like too much water. But keeping it consistently dry isn't good either, as the lack of sufficient moisture in the soil will flatten this succulent's spherical leaves. So, what is the best String of Pearls watering schedule? 

When to Water String of Pearls

This easy-care plant does well if watered every 7 to 14 days. If you live in a hotter climate or keep your String of Pearls outdoors during the summer, you may need to water it every five to six days without fail. 

Note that a String of Pearls planted in a porous terracotta pot should be watered more frequently than usual. Alternatively, you can grow it in a ceramic or eco planter to help your Senecio rowleyanus plant better retain its moisture.

How Much Water To Give String of Pearls? 

Thoroughly water your String of Pearls if its soil feels dry or the leaves appear flattened. When your plant is young, you need to keep its soil consistently moist. The plant will become more resilient and drought-tolerant as it matures and can go without water for a few weeks. 

How to Water String of Pearls

How to Water String of Pearls

A String of Pearls can be watered using the following two methods:

  • Bottom watering 
  • Over-the-soil watering 

Depending on the environmental conditions and your attention to the plant’s needs, you can alternate using these watering techniques for best results. For instance, if you’ve left your String of Pearls without water for too long, it will benefit from watering it from the top. Conversely, to prevent the risk of overwatering your beady succulent, use the bottom watering method, instead.

What Is the Best Way to Water a String of Pearls?

Bottom watering is often the preferred method for watering succulents like String of Pearls. It helps avoid waterlogging around the roots and prevents root rot. 

This method is straightforward and requires filling the saucer under the pot with water so the plant absorbs gradually the moisture. 

If you’re growing your Strings of Pearls in a decorative hanging planter, just take it out and place it in a shallow container with water for 30 minutes before returning it to its permanent ‘home’. 

What Kind of Water Does String of Pearls Need? 

A plant like a String of Pearls thrives well if watered with rainwater, tap water, or distilled water. 

But if you're using tap water, let it sit for at least 24 hours if possible. This will allow chemicals, like chlorine and fluoride, to evaporate, making it safe for your plant. Also, make sure to use room-temperature water to avoid shocking the plant.

String of Pearls Watering: Seasonal Care Tips

Like other houseplants, the String of Pearls’ watering schedule should be adjusted according to the season, as discussed below. 

How Often Do You Water String of Pearls in the Summer?

You should water your String of Pearls once every two weeks in the summer to compensate for the moisture lost in the heat. Also, occasional misting is recommended for young plants to keep their leaves firm and sufficiently hydrated. 

Watering String of Pearls in the Winter

Indoor plants don't require frequent watering in the cooler months, and your String of Pearls is no exception here. Hence, watering your Senecio rowleyanus every three to four weeks is enough to keep it thriving throughout the winter. 

Common Watering Woes: Is My String of Pearls Over- or Underwatered?  

Underwatered String of Pearls
Source: Reddit

Your String of Pearls will show various signs to tell you if it's over- or underwatered. Just watch closely the shape and texture of its pearls to prevent common issues with your succulent.

What Does an Overwatered String of Pearls Look Like?

Below are the signs of an overwatered String of Pearls:

  • Translucent leaves 
  • Soft or mushy stems and beads
  • Yellow leaves 
  • Mold or fungus growth
  • Foul smell, due to rotting roots

How to Fix an Overwatered String of Pearls?

Reduce the watering frequency to once every two weeks (taking into account the season) to fix an overwatered String of Pearls. Along with this, it's a good practice to let the soil get slightly dry between watering sessions. Furthermore, use the bottom watering method to prevent overwatering your plant.

What Does a Thirsty String of Pearls Look Like? 

Below are the signs of a thirsty or underwatered String of Pearls:

  • Dry or flat pearls
  • Shriveled leaves and stems
  • Droopy leaves
  • Wilting plant
  • Brown leaves
  • Slow growth

How to Save an Underwatered String of Pearls?

Water your String of Pearls thoroughly over the soil. Move it to a location with indirect light. Mist your succulent if it’s still a baby, every other day for a week until it recovers. Then, follow a regular watering schedule to save your underwatered String of Pearls. This will help maintain the right moisture levels in the soil.  

How Often to Water String of Pearls: FAQs

Q: How do you keep a String of Pearls thriving?

A: You can keep your String of Pearls thriving by feeding it direct sunlight in the morning and indirect light in the afternoon, adequately watering it, and avoiding exposure to temperatures below 50°F. 

Q: Can you propagate a String of Pearls in water?

A: Yes, you can propagate a String of Pearls in water. However, the soil propagation method is better, as it'll produce stronger roots in less time, and there won’t be a risk of root rot.

Q: How long can a String of Pearls go without water?

A: A String of Pearls can go without water for a few days to weeks, depending on the environmental condition and the plant’s age.  Young Senecio rowleyanus plants need to be consistently hydrated to become established and more drought-resistant.

Q: Should I mist my String of Pearls?

A: You shouldn’t be misting your mature String of Pearls. Young plants, on the other hand, can be misted occasionally to keep them healthy and looking good. 

Q: How do I know if my String of Pearls is dying?

A: Check your plant’s pearl-like foliage. If the leaves appear shriveled, wrinkly, and dry, this is a sign that the plant is thirsty and on the brink of dying if not watered immediately. Pale, translucent, and soft beads indicate that you should dry out the soil to prevent killing your String of Pearls from overwatering it.


A drought-resistant succulent from the Cape Provinces of South Africa, String of Pearls requires little water. They enjoy being watered once every week in the summer and every three to four weeks during the cooler months. Additionally, unlike other houseplants, adult plants don't need misting

If you plan to bring home a String of Pearls, consider pairing it with other air-purifying plants like the Spider plant, Golden Pothos, or the gorgeous flowering Kalanchoe to create a visually stunning indoor garden.