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May 30, 2022

How to Propagate String of Pearls (The Right Way)

How to propagate String of Pearls is one of the hottest topics among people who love this plant – and there is A LOT of us! However, most sources on String of Pearls propagation you’ll find on the internet won’t tell you exactly what to do, while some won’t even give you trustworthy information. This is why I am here to give you exactly what you need – clear instructions on propagating String of Pearls plant.

Basic Info

You’ll be happy to hear that String of Pearls is a succulent that propagates easily thanks to its fast-growing roots.

Whether you choose to propagate this beautiful plant from soil or water, remember that the following rules apply to any kind of String of Pearls propagation:

  • Always take only healthy cuttings.
  • Provide the cuttings with bright indirect light, aiming for light over 5,000 lux. More light speeds up propagation and increases the success rate.
  • Using a heat mat or an air pump will help increase propagation speed and chances of success. Root needs oxygen and an air pump provides a constant inflow of oxygen, whereas a heat mat increases the temperature of water by several degrees, which also speeds up rooting.
  • When in soil, water your String of Pearls the same way as the main plant, once the soil gets fully dry. Pearls will become soft to the touch and wrinkly when they need water.

What Do You Need to Propagate String of Pearls

To speed up propagation and increase chances for success, collect the following materials:

  • Small plastic or ceramic pot
  • Heat mat to increase the temperature
  • Humidity dome to increase humidity
  • Air pump to provide a constant inflow of oxygen
  • Sansi clamp grow light will make all the difference, especially if you don’t have a lot of light in your place or you’re propagating String of Pearls plant during winter. The propagation process progresses best under bright light and this grow light will provide exactly that.
  • Pruning shears
  • Well-draining potting mix

My String of Pearls. Isn’t it gorgeous?

How to Grow String of Pearls Plants from Cuttings

Growing String of Pearls from cuttings is the safest and fastest propagation method. You can propagate String of Pearls cuttings in water or soil.

Propagating String of Pearls Plant in Water

  • Cut off one of the strings.
  • Remove the bottom few pearls. Roots will grow from the nodes (where each of the pearls was).
  • Put cuttings in water.
  • String of Pearls propagates VERY quickly, so you will get roots in only a few days.
  • Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, pot in soil.
  • Keep in mind that the String of Pearls is a succulent plant. Therefore, when potting your String of pearls, make sure to use a soil mix that drains well. I highly recommend Mother Earth Groundswell Soil. Also, use a small pot to begging with because with a pot that is too big you risk root rot.

Soil Propagation

If you prefer propagating String of Pearls from the soil, here are the steps:

  • Use a chopstick to make a hole first because the stems are fragile.
  • Take a few pearls off of one end of the string and sink that bare part of the string gently into the well-draining potting soil.
  • After about two weeks you should be able to see new root shoots but this will depend on the conditions you provide.

Can I Propagate String of Pearls from a Leaf?

Propagating String of Pearls from a leaf doesn’t seem to be possible, at least none of my experiments or other people’s experiments that I’ve seen have shown that it is. Propagating a string of pearls from a leaf entails dropping leaves (pearls) onto the surface of the soil and slightly pressing them against the soil. You could try the leaf-bud propagation method though.

How to Propagate This Plant from Leaf-Bud Cuttings?

To propagate your String of Pearls from leaf-bud cuttings, you would need to take a leaf with its petiole and a short piece of the stem, and continue propagation in water with leaf exposed, as described above. However, I’ve never tried propagating String of Pearls palnts this way. In theory, it is possible. Please let me know if you try and succeed.

String of Pearls Propagation by Layering

This propagation method is similar to soil propagation, with one difference – you don’t stick the stems into the soil but instead, you just lay them onto the surface of the soil. The stems should just touch the soil. If there are any existing roots, try to gently stick them into the soil. The roots will shoot wherever the stem touches the soil. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it seems dry. When the roots are established, you can start watering them. As always with String of Pearls, use a well-draining potting mix and be careful with watering.

Yes, it’s possible! :)

String of Pearls Propagation by Division

You can also propagate String of Pearls by division. Each string coming out from the soil is a separate plant in most cases. Take the whole plant from the pot, remove the soil, divide individual plants/strings of your String of Pearls plant, and replant them into separate pots where they will have more space to grow. You can continue caring for them just as you were until now.

Top 3 Propagation Tips:

1. Provide as much light as possible, minimum bright light over 3,000 lux; if you can provide more, from 5,000 to 10,000 lux, even better.
2. Provide warmth – use a heat mat. Raising the temperature by several degrees increases speed propagation and chances of success
3. If you’re propagating a String of Pearls in water – don’t forget to use an air pump; Oxygen increases propagation speed and roots need oxygen to breathe. If you’re propagating your String of Pearls in soil – use a humidity dome. Keeping humidity high reduces water loss from the leaves (transpiration), reducing chances of wilting.

Putting these 3 tips into practice will help you shorten propagation time and increase your chances of success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the questions I get most frequently when discussing how to propagate String of Pearls.

Will I hurt the String of Pearls by cutting it?

You will not hear your String of Pearls plant by cutting it, even though it’s a delicate plant. Ideally, you should sterilize the pruning tools before cutting, to prevent any infection from entering the cut, although the chances of infection are small.

How to take cuttings/where do I cut?

Take a stem cutting from your mature plant, ideally, about 3–5 inches long, and cut just below a leaf node, the point at which a leaf attaches to the stem. Use scissors disinfected with alcohol.

What is the best time of year to propagate this plant?

The best time of year to propagate String of Pearls is any. You can propagate it in spring, summer, autumn or winter, as long as you have sufficient light and warmth for the process.

How long does it take to propagate it?

How long it takes to propagate this plant depends on the propagation method you choose and the conditions you provide (light, warmth, oxygen…). Water propagation is generally faster than soil propagation, but the speed of both soil and water propagation will depend primarily on the following factors:

  • amount of light (more light equals more photosynthesis equals faster propagation)
  • the temperature of the propagation medium (if you keep the soil and water between 24C and 26C (75F and 79F) cuttings will root much faster than if the temperature was lower)
  • amount of oxygen (more oxygen in the soil or water speeds up propagation)

Propagating String of Pearls is Easy. Let Others Know, Too!

Now that you know how to propagate String of Pearls plant, share the knowledge with other plant lovers! For more information on how to care for this beautiful houseplant, read my String of Pearls Care Guide.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to schedule a consultation session with me. I’m happy to help!

Yours Truly,

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