Overwatering String Of Pearls – Signs And Ways To Revive

The string of pearl plant’s scientific name is Senecio rowleyanus, a species of flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae. They are perennial climbing plants and are native to the arid regions of Southwest Africa. They resemble blue and succulent pearls. The stems of the String of pearl plant cling to the ground, rooting where they come in contact and forming dense mats.

Many gardeners love to grow this plant because of its unique shape and special beauty. The string of pearl plant is a drought-tolerant plant because of its ability to store water in each seed. So, one of the common mistakes made by many people in the process of caring for this plant is an overwatering string of pearls.

What are the signs of the String of pearl plant when overwatered? How to revive them? Are there any rules or principles when watering a String of pearl plants? Let’s find out more information in the article below.

Overwatering String Of Pearls – Top 4 Most Common Signs

Water is one of the three most important elements for plant growth and development. Plants cannot survive without water. Each plant species has different watering requirements due to characteristics of drought tolerance or internal water storage mechanism.

However, most gardeners tend to water more than usual. Over-watering causes many serious harms to the health of plants. If you overwater the String of pearl plants, they will show some signs like yellow or brown leaves, root rot, drooping, etc.

Leaves Turn Yellow

Yellowing leaves are one of the most common signs of overwatering your String of pearl plant. Too much water will cause the cells of the leaf to break down and be unable to maintain the shape of the leaf.

When the leaves turn yellow, the cells in the leaves have died. The degree of leaf yellowing also indicates the degree of waterlogging of the plant. It’s important to spot yellow spots on leaves or leaf margins early to check for moisture in the soil before the condition gets worse.

overwatering string of pearls

Leaves Turn Brown

After a while when you overwater the plants, the yellow leaves will turn brown. Brown spots will appear on leaves or leaf margins. It is a sign that root rot has occurred. If you don’t detect root rot early, it will be very difficult to recover.

In addition, root rot becomes severe if the String of pearl plant turns purple. You can observe at the root to see a slimy and rotten smell when the roots are decomposed.

Swollen Leaves

Leaves that are swollen or appear larger than usual but are pale and weak are caused by some cells that are not broken but contain too much water. Every plant cell has an elastic cell wall that stretches to accommodate fluid. So the stretching causes the cells to expand excessively.

In addition, on the leaf surface, you will also see blisters or bumps. These spots will also cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown. The leaves will eventually fall off because of this edema.

Root Rot

The most serious consequence of over-watering is root rot. When plants suffer from root rot, they are difficult to revive to a serious extent. When plants have root rot, you may notice yellow or brown slimy substances around the base.

The soil around the base will be covered with yellow or brown mucus, the soil is mushy and has a rotten smell. The pearls also show signs of being succulent, but when touched they become weak, broken, or mushy.

How To Revive The String Of Pearl Plant When Overwatered?

Reviving the String of pearl plant when overwatered depends on the actual condition. You won’t be able to revive plants if their root systems are completely damaged. To revive plants that are overwatered, you need to detect them early from the early signs to take appropriate measures. Let’s follow some steps below to save the life of plants if there are signs of over-watering.

Drain Excess Water

First, you need to check if the water is standing on the ground. Remove excess water from the ground or stimulate water to drain from the vents. You can tilt the pot to let the water drain out or use a stick to unclog the vents and avoid clogging.

Move The Potted Plant To A Sunny Area

If the soil is too wet and sticky, you can move the pot to a sunny area to speed up the evaporation of water and help the soil dry faster. The heat from direct sunlight stimulates water evaporation from leaves and stems. From there, the plant’s cells will not be under undue stress due to the high water content. Water vapor released from the stomata on the leaves will help minimize cell breakage and death.

Stop Watering Until The Soil Is Completely Dry

During times, the moisture in the soil is large and wet, you should stop watering completely. You should only water again after the soil has completely dried 2-3 inches.

As you know, the String of pearl plant is a succulent plant so they have the ability to store water in the cells. The drought tolerance of this plant is very good like that of cacti or other succulents. So you do not need to water them much, let the soil dry completely and the signs of edema on the leaves will disappear. You can go without water for several weeks and wait until the plants have fully recovered.

Remove Damaged Parts

Parts or leaves damaged by excessive watering will not be able to recover. So you need to get rid of them so the plants can focus their energy on producing new leaves. At the same time, removing damaged parts is also a way to help plants avoid attacks by bacteria and fungi.

Replace The Plants In A New Pot

The worst thing is that you find out your plants have root rot. So you need to spit them up to determine the extent of the damage and find a way to fix it. If the plant’s root system is completely damaged, you cannot revive them. Replace a new plant and clean the pot and new potting soil to prevent bacteria and fungi from entering the new plant.

However, the root system still has healthy branches and is not rotten, you can still revive them. Follow the steps below to save your plant’s life.

  • Turn the pot upside down, knock around the pot and gently remove the plants with your hands.
  • Remove some soil or wash with clean water to make it easier to see damaged parts.
  • Work gently because plants that are already injured are more likely to die from the stress of repotting.
  • Use a clean, sterilized pair of scissors to remove rotten branches.
  • Then let the roots dry naturally for a few hours.
  • Clean the pot with a specialized solution to remove harmful fungi and bacteria caused by root rot.
  • Use fresh potting soil that is full of nutrients. You cannot use old potting soil because of the many bacteria and fungi in the soil.
  • Replant the plants and water them a little. You need daily observations to provide water, light, or insects because plants need time to adapt and are vulnerable during this period.

Notes When Watering The String Of Pearl Plant

Watering plants is a daily chore for gardeners. However, to ensure the growth and development of plants, you need to know some important principles when watering the String of pearl plant.

overwatering string of pearls

Water From Below

Using an automatic watering can is an effective way to provide plants with water. You can also place the pot on top of a tray filled with water for about 10 minutes. The root system will absorb water directly from the water tray. This mechanism of action is similar to that of roots absorbing water in the soil. This method helps the root system to absorb water first without having to soak the roots for a long time.

Watering From The Top

Watering the whole plant is the most common and common way of watering. However, when watering the entire plant, you should only water in the morning when it is sunny. Sunlight will dry the leaves and avoid creating a humid environment for harmful fungi and bacteria to grow.

You need to water slowly and deeply so that the roots absorb enough water and avoid watering the soil only on the surface. Therefore, it will be difficult for the roots to absorb water and maintain the nourishment of the whole plant.

Watering Frequency

You should not water according to the available schedule. Watering for the String of pearl plant needs to depend on actual conditions such as weather, season, and indoor humidity. The string of pearl plants does not need to be watered regularly every day. You can water every 2-3 weeks with a large amount of water.

However, before watering you need to check the moisture in the soil using a moisture meter or finger. If the ground is 2-3 inches dry, you can proceed to water the plants.

Factors Affecting Watering For String Of Pearl Plant

Watering depends on the actual needs and surroundings of the plants. You cannot water succulents every day because they have a mechanism to store water and use less water than other species. Therefore, you need to pay attention to a few factors below when watering plants.

The Seasons

Each plant species has a different growing season and they need a lot of water around this time. Watering the plants enough during this time will help them grow and develop quickly. However, in winter, you need to limit watering because the plants will hibernate and use very little water and nutrients during this time. Low and cold temperatures will result in a lower evapotranspiration rate at high temperatures. So you only need to water once a month with a little water to keep the plants alive.

Humidity Level

The String of pearl plant prefers a dry and airy environment like other succulents and succulents. There are times of the year like the rainy season when indoor humidity will be high, so you also need to limit watering plants during that time. A high-humidity environment will also provide moisture to the plants through the stomata on the leaf cells.

Soil Drainage And Porosity

A well-draining potting soil with loose soil and composition such as perlite or gravel will promote excess water and prevent waterlogging. You can also mix sand with soil for a loose and well-draining potting mix. The soil needs to have gaps for drainage and air circulation.

If the soil is too sticky or there are no gaps, it will be difficult for the water molecules to move and escape. However, the ability of the soil to hold water is also an important factor to help you limit over-watering every day.

Water Quality

Water is necessary for plant growth. However, water quality is also an important factor that you need to pay attention to. Water contains many particles, dirt, and harmful bacteria.

Tap water is treated with chlorine and fluorine to remove harmful bacteria and fungi. However, there is an amount of salt in tap water, so it will accumulate over time and affect the growth of plants later.

To avoid this, you need to drain the basin or basin and leave it for 24 hours to disperse the chlorine and fluorine. Rainwater is still the best choice for your plants. Therefore, make use of rainwater in the tanks to water plants.


The string of pearl plants will face many serious problems if you water them too much. Some of the basic signs are yellow, brown leaves, edema disease, or root rot.

Reviving plants with root rot will depend on the extent of their damage. If they show signs of brown spots, you can stop watering them and move them to a sunny location. If your plant has root rot, you need to check the roots, clean the pot, and change the potting soil to stimulate the growth of new stems and leaves.

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