Most typically, overwatering or excessive soil moisture retention cause a string of pearls plant to die, turning the pearls brown, yellow, or mushy. To avoid dying from root rot, string of pearls need the soil to dry out between watering sessions.
However, string of pearls frequently shrivel and take on a withering appearance as a result of drought stress brought on by watering too little, seldom, or because the soil has baked and now repels water from the top, preventing water from properly reaching the roots.
Having too much heat, too much sun, or not enough light can all be contributing factors to a dying pearl plant.
It is crucial to mimic the conditions of the plant’s natural habitat when reviving a string of pearls plant. This includes using bright, indirect light, watering deeply, letting the soil dry completely before watering again, and planting string of pearls in soil designed for succulents and cacti that is porous and well-draining to prevent root rot.
Find out why your string of hearts plant is dying and how to save it by reading on.
Table of Contents
String of Pearls Shriveling and Drying up
- Symptoms: String of pearls leaves that appear dried out or withered.
- Causes: Underwatering, excessive watering, or high humidity all contribute to drought stress. Dry potting soil can repel rainwater, putting you under stress during a drought. Drying leaves might also be a result of too much heat and sunlight.
Succulents called “string of pearls” are indigenous to Southern Africa, where they thrive in stony, well-draining soils on rock hill sides in direct, bright light with infrequent rainfall.
In order to survive a drought, the pearls store moisture. As a result, when they are stressed and unable to get water, the leaves shrivel up as they use their moisture reserves to survive.
The extreme heat and light from full or afternoon sun might cause your string of pearls plant to lose too much water through the leaves, which is a common reason for string of pearl plants to dry up.
Although string of pearls is drought-tolerant and doesn’t need watering as frequently as other house plants, when it rains in its original area, it usually comes as a deluge rather than a light drizzle.
When watering string of pearls, it’s crucial to soak the soil rather than just lightly mist it, as the latter just slightly dampens the soil’s surface and fails to adequately hydrate the plant’s roots, leading to dehydration and shriveled-up leaves.
Although string of pearls can withstand drought, they still need a good soak every two to three weeks.
Some potting soils have a tendency to reject water when they are entirely dry, which prevents water from penetrating the roots where it is needed. Instead, it runs off the soil’s surface and through the drainage hole at the base of the plant.
How to Revive Shriveled String of Pearls Plants
- Instead of full sun, place your string of pearls plant in an area with strong indirect sunlight so it won’t have to deal with the heat while it’s under drought stress.
- Make sure your string of pearls plant isn’t placed in the direct line of air conditioning, which might dry out the leaves, or too close to a source of heat like a radiator.
- Give the dirt a good soak, letting any extra water drain out the pot’s base. By doing this, you can be confident that the water has seeped into the soil and that the roots can absorb the moisture they need to keep the leaves from drying out.
- Depending on your climate and conditions, a good schedule is to water your string of pearls once every two weeks during active growth (spring and summer) and then once every three to four weeks during the winter to maintain the proper balance of moisture to keep the leaves healthy and prevent root rot.
- Place the pot in a basin of water for 10 minutes if you believe the soil is not adequately absorbing water. This will allow the water to properly wet the soil.
- Remove the string of pearls from the pot and loosen the soil after soaking it in a basin so that it is easier to remove without harming the plant’s roots to avoid the soil from resisting water and causing drought stress once more. Replace the soil with specially designed succulent and cactus soil, which faithfully replicates the soil conditions in the native environment of the string of pearls by maintaining an open porous texture even when dry.
A good soak in water should be given to the string of pearls, followed by a period of total soil drying before additional watering.
In order to determine how frequently to water string of pearls plants in your environment and growing conditions, water the soil well and then keep an eye on its wetness to determine when it starts to dry out.
To accomplish this, use the drainage hole in the pot’s base to feel the potting soil at the pot’s bottom. If the soil is wet, hold off on watering until it is mostly dry.
The ideal time to water your string of pearls plant is when the soil feels dry.
The string of pearls leaves should start to seem less dried up and withered after two or three watering sessions.
(Read my post on how to water a string of pearls plant for a complete list of watering best practices.)
String of Pearls Leaves Turning Brown or Yellow with Dying Appearance
In its native habitat in Southern Africa, string of pearls grows in rocky soil frequently on hill sides.
As a result, it has evolved specifically to thrive in soil that is very porous and quickly drains.
Ordinary potting soil can trap moisture around the roots of a string of pearls, causing the leaves to turn brown or yellow and feel mushy rather than strong and healthy.
This may also occur if string of pearl plants receive excessive watering.
Due of their adaptation to drought, string of pearls exhibit signs of stress when repeatedly irrigated, such as turning brown or yellow and feeling mushy.
Additionally, this may result in root rot, which may cause the plant to wither.
Pots without drainage holes in the base and the use of saucers and trays that stop water from evaporating from the pot’s base are other factors that contribute to soil that is excessively wet for string of pearl plants.
How to Revive String of Pearls Plants with Leaves Turning Brown or Yellow
- Restrict the irrigation. To mimic the moisture cycle that the string of pearls is acclimated to in its natural area, let the soil to completely dry out in between waterings.
- Allowing the soil to dry out between watering sessions will help the plant recover if the stress from overwatering is mild and the leaves only slightly turn brown or yellow.
- In order to prevent root rot, it is crucial to change the potting soil used for the string of pearls plant with specially designed succulent and cactus soil that closely resembles the well-draining, porous soil to which the plant is acclimated.
- In order to prevent root rot from affecting your string of pearls, succulent and cactus soil allows the soil to drain effectively after periods of soaking.
- In order to prevent excess water from pooling around the roots and killing the plant, string of pearls plants should always be planted at pots with drainage holes in the bottom.
- To ensure that the soil at the bottom of the pot dries out completely, empty any saucers and trays that have been used to catch water spills as frequently as you can.
String of hearts can experience slower development because to less daylight hours and lower sunlight intensity because it is Winter dormant.
The risk of root rot increases during the string of pearls’ winter hibernation since there is less demand for water due to decreased growth.
In order to prevent your string of pearls from turning brown or yellow and becoming mushy in texture, it is best practice to only water once every three or four weeks during the winter.
When root rot is suspected and your string of pearls is not showing any signs of recovery, you should propagate any parts of the plant that appear healthy so that the plant can survive.
As long as you take a cutting from a healthy growth, string of pearls is very simple to reproduce by cutting the stems.
To understand how to grow a string of pearls from cuttings, view this YouTube video:
String of Pearls Turning Brown due to Sun Burn or due to Lack of Light
Bright, indirect light is best for growing string of pearls plants. They may turn brown if exposed to full sun for an extended period of time.
Moving the string of pearls from a shaded region to an area with more sun, with the leaves turning brown and maybe shriveling, tends to cause sunburn.
On the other hand, if the string of pearls is in shade without any brilliant indirect light, it may become leggy, develop longer stems, and lose its leaves or pearls closer to the base of the plant, which will eventually turn brown and die.
The older leaves start to die back as a result of the string of pearls’ energy being diverted to the fresher leaves.
In an effort to find stronger light, plants’ stems frequently lengthen, which can make them appear lanky.
How to Revive Sun Burnt String of Pearls Plants
It is often required to clip the area of plant back to health growth because scorched brown leaves frequently do not recover in appearance.
You might need to propagate any viable areas of growth if the majority of the plant is burnt brown in order to rescue it.
Give the soil a good soak if the leaves have shrunk from too much heat from the sun.
Cut down any lanky growth on string of pearls in too much shade if you believe it looks untidy, and the plant should recover.
Make sure your pearl strand is in direct, strong light, and it should come to life.
(For additional information on how to save your string of pearls plant, see my article Why is My Plant Turning Brown?.)
- Most typically, a dying string of hearts plant results from overwatering or soils that retain too much moisture, which turns the leaves brown or yellow and gives them a mushy texture. Overwatering, too much sun, or too much heat can make string of pearls leaves shrink and appear to be withering.
- String of pearls is a drought-resistant plant that dislikes moist soil since it might lead to root rot.
- Too much sun can cause the leaves to burn, locate strong of pearls plants in brilliant indirect light and produce healthy cuttings if the plant is burnt.
- Make careful to only water a dying string of pearls plant until the dirt is completely dry at the bottom of the pot, and then give it a deep bath. To avoid root rot, replant in soil suitable for succulents and cacti and place in bright, indirect light.