I recently spoke to the absolute King of Strings, Morné from @urbanjunglecapetown, about how best to care for ‘Strings of Things’. Included in this self-named category are String of Pearls, String of Beads, String of Bananas, String of Watermelons – basically any succulent with very thin stems and bulbous, water carrying leaves.
Here on some tips on how to keep yours happy:
The type of soil you use is basically what’s going to make or break your plant. Often people struggle with rotting plants and this is because a lot of the nurseries plant their Strings of Things in the wrong type of soil – the type that retains too much water. When you bring your plant home, check it’s soil and if necessary, repot it by using a very light or sandy mix. You can create your own by mixing perlite + potting soil + leka – this will help with drainage and prevent root rot.
Your Strings of Things like to be watered regularly, however make sure that your soil is completely dry before you water. Also let the water run completely through the pot, from top to bottom to ensure that your roots do not end up sitting in water.
Make sure your container has holes in its bottom and don’t use a container with sharp edges. The sharp edges will lead to heavy hanging strings that cannot support themselves.
The most common pest you’ll come across on your Strings of Things is mealybugs. If you see your leaves starting to dry and die off (and it isn’t a watering issue) then check your roots – mealybugs can hide out there too.
Strings of Things love light and they love warmth. So think very bright light and place them somewhere like a patio or next to a window. Warmth helps with the drying out of the soil and without it the leaves might become smaller.