Why is my String of Pearls shrivelled and mushy?

Last Updated: April 1, 2022

We love the String of Pearls as they make every room look as though it’s straight out of an interior design magazine. But they aren’t always the easiest plant to take care of as they have quite particular needs. Below we go through all the main reasons why your String of Pearls has shrivelled up and become mushy.


The String of Pearls is a succulent meaning it doesn’t need much water. But unlike other succulents, their stems are very thin meaning they can’t hold that much water. So when you water your String of Pearls all of that moisture makes its way to the leaves. If you accidentally overwater your plant then the leaves fill up until they burst. This leaves them shrivelled and mushy in appearance.

If you think you may have overwatered your String of Pearls check the moisture levels in the soil before you make any changes to the way in which you water your plant. You want to be 100% sure that this is the problem. If the soil is very clumpy and moist then replace it straight away. Try to remove as much of the waterlogged soil from the roots as possible to prevent any further damage.

Trim away any rotten roots or dead leaves as this will help your String of Pearls recover quicker. Make sure that going forward you hold off watering a little. String of Pearls plants have very shallow roots so it takes a while for the soil to dry out. One good way to avoid overwatering is to pour away any excess water that is in the saucer or at the bottom of the pot 30 minutes after watering. This is enough time for the plant to soak up what’s needed and stops the plant sitting in a pool of water for days.


The strange thing about String of Pearls plants is that too little water causes some of the same problems as too much. If your String of Pearls is left without water for too long the pearls will start to shrivel up as they lack moisture.

Again you want to check the soil to see how moist it is before slowly reintroducing water to your plant. It’s super important that in future you monitor the moisture in the soil before and after you water your String of Pearls to avoid the problem happening again.

Direct sunlight

Although String of Pearls plants love sunshine, they don’t do so well with direct light. Too much intense sunlight will cause the pearls to become burnt and shrivelled. You want to find a good spot with ample indirect sunlight and your String of Pearls will thrive!

Those are the most common reasons why String of Pearls plants become shrivelled and mushy. If you have caught the problem early and it hasn’t spread to the whole plant then you should have a good chance of reviving it and getting your String of Pearls back to full health. If you want to learn more about plant care check out our String of Pearls care guide or download our How to Care for your Houseplants ebook.

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