The Q&A Archives: Caring for String of Beads

Question: I have a "String of Beads" (or someone called it "String of Pearls") and I need some advice on how to take care of it. It is one of my favorite plants. I have had a few of them over the years, but they keep dying off.......They are also very hard to find. Any information will be helpful. Thanks in advance.

Answer: There are several species of String of Beads: Senecio rowleyanus, with pea-shaped leaves, S. herreiauns, with oval foliage, and S. citriformus, with lemon-shaped leaves. They are classified as succulent houseplants, which need the following care. Temperature: average warmth spring-fall, 50-55 degrees in winter. Light: south-facing window, with some shade from bright sun in summer. Water: water thorougly when the soil surface begins to dry. Water infrequently in winter (every 1-2 months). Humidity: no need to mist, but good air circulation is necessary - keep windows open in summer. Repotting: only when essential, and use a pot only slightly larger than the last. Shallow pots are better than deep ones. Propogation: Stem cuttings or leaf cuttings in spring or summer. Let small cuttings or leaves dry out for a few days in the open air, then insert in potting soil, and water sparingly. No need to cover them to increase humidity. Here are a couple of mail-order sources (catalogs cost $3): Logee's Greenhouse Davidson-Wilson Greenhouses 141 North St. P.O Box 168 Danielson, CT 06239 Crawfordville, IN 47933-9426 (203)774-8038 (317)364-0556

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