The String of Pearls plant is one of the most delicate and unique houseplants out there. Their thin stems lined with round bright green leaves that transcend out of the pot make them a must-have for every houseplant lover. Though they can be a little fussy about their care routine and environment, one thing that is super simple is propagating String of Pearls plants! It really couldn’t be easier and with the right process, you’ll have plenty of new plants in no time.
In this post, we’re going to guide you through the entire process of String of Pearls propagation, including a step by step guide for each method you can use, what tools you will need and any problems you may encounter to promote a healthy and successful propagation.
But first, why might you even want to propagate your String of Pearls?
Before we get started you might be wondering why it’s beneficial to propagate a String of Pearls Plant? Here are some of the main reasons:
Create more String of Pearls plants without having to spend an extra penny!
Propagating your String of Pearls plant will expand your urban jungle for free. String of Pearls cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family if you already have enough houseplants. They can be a little tricky to get a hold of so I’m sure they’ll be grateful.
To save a dying String of Pearls plant.
If you’ve accidentally overwatered (which is easy to do as they are very sensitive to soggy soil) or neglected your String of Pearls Plant and it has started to die, take some healthy stem cuttings and propagating them to create new healthy plants. We always recommend trying to figure out what the issue is first so you can change your care routine or its environment in future.
To make your String of Pearls plant fit its environment better.
As they mature, String of Pearls plants can grow very long and if they start to hit the floor or become inconvenient in your space, then giving them a trim will help keep them in shape. But instead of simply throwing away the beautiful cuttings, why not propagate them to create new plants.
What tools/equipment you’ll need to propagate a String of Pearls plant
Let’s start our guide with the easy part, what you need to propagate a String of Pearls plant. It’s important to make sure you have everything ready before taking any cuttings.
Healthy and mature String of Pearls plant
Clean, sharp scissors/shears
Fresh potting soil and water
Plastic sheet if you’re propagating indoors
Rooting hormone (optional)
What methods can I use to propagate my String of Pearls?
There are three main methods of propagation to use for your String of Pearls plant; stem cuttings, layering and division. Division is the safest method as each section will already have an established root system. However, it’s not so great to use if you don’t have a mature and bushy plant. We will go through each of the methods below so you can figure out what’s best for you and your String of Pearls plant.
How to propagate a String of Pearls plant through stem cuttings
This is the most common method of propagation when it comes to String of Pearls plants as it’s suitable for most maturities and lengths. It’s also really easy to get right as you can create several new String of Pearls plants just by taking a short vine cutting.
Locate one or more healthy vines
When taking a stem cutting you want to make sure that the part of the plant you are cutting is healthy to give you any chance of success. Avoid any sign of disease or pests as they will be transferred onto your new cuttings and will harm your chances at a successful String of Pearls propagation.
Make sure the stem cutting has several nodes on the vine that you choose. This is where leaves come out from the stem. With String of Pearls plants, it’s pretty difficult to get a stem cutting without a node as the leaves are so close together so this should be fine.
Make the vine cutting
Use clean scissors to cut off one or more stem cuttings. Make sure your tools are clean to avoid passing on any bad bacteria to your cutting. You want each stem cutting to be at least 5cm in length. How many you choose to cut off is entirely down to you.
Remove the upper leaves
You want to remove the top few leaves so that the upper section of the stem is bare. This is because you will be placing the cutting in potting mix and don’t want the leaves to rot and go mushy in the soil.
Plant your cuttings into fresh potting mix
Carefully place the bare end of your String of Pearls cutting into fresh potting mix. You want to use a succulent specific potting mix to ensure that it has all the right nutrients and ingredients for your plant. Perlite is crucial to aid drainage and aeration of the soil.
Sparingly water your cuttings
We like to water our String of Pearls cuttings with a spray bottle to avoid overwatering. They don’t require that much water and can very quickly start to rot if sat in soggy soil for a while.
You might not see much happening above the soil for a while which means this stage of the String of Pearls propagation process can get a little boring. However, refrain from putting your stem cutting(s) out of the soil as this will damage any delicate roots that are growing. As long as your cutting looks healthy, you should be fine.
Resume usual String of Pearls care
Now that your vines are pot nicely into soil and the roots have started to grow, you might soon see some new leaves growing from the cutting. Soon enough those vines will be long enough to propagate again!
How to propagate a String of Pearls plant through layering
The first thing to note with this method is that it’s completely different to the air layering method of propagation. That requires cutting into the stem and using a wrap of peat moss. It’s a lot more complex than the layering method.
Locate a healthy stem
You want to make sure that you choose a nice healthy stem for this method of propagation as any issues will harm your chances of a successful propagation.
Fill a spare pot with fresh soil
Make sure to use a high-quality potting mix so that your cutting gets the right balance of nutrients. It’s also important to use a potting mix that is well-draining (you’re looking for high levels of perlite) as this will help to prevent waterlogged soil.
Place the stem on top of the potting mix
Carefully place your String of Pearls cutting on top of the pot. We like to wrap it around in circles so that each of the nodes is touching the soil. Press in each node very very slightly into the potting mix but don’t cover the stem or leaves.
Water your node
You want to keep some moisture in the top of the potting mix at all times. Not enough to rot the stem but a little bit of moisture to encourage roots to grow. The best way to do this is by using a spray bottle.
Now that your String of Pearls vine is happy in its pot and you are watering it occasionally, the only thing left to do is wait. It will be several weeks before anything happens above the soil. Avoid constantly checking root growth as disturbing and stem and pulling it away from the potting mix will slow down and disturb root growth.
Continue normal care
Soon enough, new String of Pearls leaves will pop up from some of the nodes, forming their own vines. With that, your String of Pearls propagation process is complete! Enjoy your new plant and continue to care for it as you would your mother plant!
How to propagate a String of Pearls plant through division of the mother plant
This method of propagation is best used when your String of Pearls Plant is quite bushy and has lots of vines that you don’t mind dividing up into several smaller plants. This method is also great for those who don’t want to wait for weeks/months for roots and new leaves to grow. With the division propagation method, you get several new String of Pearls plants instantly!!
Take your String of Pearls plant out of the pot
To propagate your String of Pearls through the division method, you’ll need to separate the different vines. The first step is to carefully lift your plant out of the pot, trying not to damage the leaves or root system as they are very delicate.
Separate out the vines
You may have to trim off the odd root to detangle the plant but you should be able to pull the vines apart fairly easily. Each vine should have its own roots so make sure these are healthy before dividing. You then want to group the vines together to form new plants. How many new plants, and how bushy each of them are is completely up to you!
Place each new section in fresh potting mix
Pop your mother String of Pearls plant back into its original pot (or downsize slightly if you have taken away a substantial amount of the original plant as this will help with stability and avoiding waterlogged soil). Then pot your new plant(s) into well-draining potting mix. Make sure you are always using fresh soil as bacteria and pests can linger in the soil without you knowing.
Continue your normal String of Pearls plant care routine
You’re all done, your String of Pearls propagation is complete! Make sure that your String of Pearls is getting enough light and warmth and before you know it, they’ll be big enough to propagate again!
String of Pearls Propagation FAQs
How soon will my String of Pearls cuttings grow roots?
String of Pearls propagation is actually fairly quick compared to a lot of other houseplants and you should expect to see some roots growing after only a couple of weeks. But it can sometimes be unpredictable so just make sure your cuttings are getting enough light and warmth and you should see roots in no time.
When is the best time of year to propagate my String of Pearls?
We always recommend propagating in spring/ summer as this gives your new String of Pearls plants plenty of sunshine and warmth to grow new roots and leaves. If you are propagating through the method of division, you can get away with propagating at other times of the year as the plants already have an established root system.
Propagating stem cuttings in autumn and winter will be much slower as this is the dormant period for your String of Pearls and you risk your cuttings dying before they can root so success rates are lower.
What type of potting mix should I use when propagating my String of Pearls?
When propagating String of Pearls Plants, we recommend always using a well-draining potting that contains perlite as this aids drainage and aeration of the soil, helping to avoid problems such as overwatering and consequently root rot.
Can I use rooting hormone when propagating my String of Pearls?
Using rooting hormone in the form of gel or powder is completely optional when propagating your String of Pearls. These will help to encourage and strengthen root growth so are good to the stem cutting and layering methods. But you can still see a lot of healthy growth without it so it’s a personal choice.
Will a grow light be useful for my String of Pearls cuttings?
Grow lights are great to use when propagating houseplants as they provide ideal light conditions to boost healthy growth. We recommend using them when propagating your String of Pearls if your home doesn’t get that much natural sunlight.
You can also use grow lights on your mature houseplants over autumn and winter when the days are shorter and darker so are a great investment for all plant parents.
When should I fertilise my String of Pearls plant cuttings?
If you’re propagating your String of Pearls through the stem cutting or division method then we recommend staying away from fertiliser until the cuttings are at least 1 year old. Fertilising before then can actually hinder growth of the main root system and will have the opposite effect.
However, if you are propagating through division you can get away with fertilising a month or two after. Just give your plant a chance to recover from the shock of propagation before starting.
Common problems when propagating String of Pearls plants
Although the methods of propagation themselves are quite simple, there are several reasons why you might run into some issues along the way. We recommend checking in on your new plants daily to spot any signs early. This will give you the best chance of fixing the issue and successfully propagating your String of Pearls.
When will my String of Pearls cutting grow roots?
String of Pearls propagation is actually a lot quicker than a lot of other houseplants but this doesn’t mean that it works on a timeline each time. Root growth will be unpredictable so as long as your plant cuttings are healthy, you shouldn’t have an issue at all.
Why is my cutting turning mushy?
If your String of Pearls cutting has started to turn soft and mushy then chances are it is rotting. This can happen if the potting mix is too soggy. Unfortunately, this is the number 1 killer for String of Pearls plants so unless you can salvage some of the cutting, it means that it won’t grow any new roots of leaves.
Why are the new leaves on my cutting yellow or discoloured?
If the leaves on your new String of Pearls plants are turning yellow or discoloured this is an indication that it’s either being overwatered or is receiving too much direct sunlight. Monitor the light as well as check the root system over for signs of root rot and adjust your care accordingly.
That’s everything you need to know to successfully propagate your String of Pearls plant. There is a lot of patience involved as you wait for the roots to grow so keep an eye on your plant to spot any early warning signs. But with the right care and environment, you shouldn’t encounter too many issues when propagating a String of Pearls.
Check out our full String of Pearls Care Guide for all the information you need on how to continue caring for your cuttings once they have matured.