One of the most amazing things about succulents is that they can be propagated from just a single leaf! Likewise, a single pearl can grow into a string of pearls from a single piece of it!
If you think this is impossible, think again. It’s easier to grow a healthy plant from a single Pearl than from multiple shorter cuttings, but perseverance pays off.
Propagating String of Pearls from A Single Pearl
Things You need
- Clean scissors or shears.
- A single pearl – a leaf from a String of Pearls plant.
- Growing Medium- cactus mix is best, preferably with an equal amount of perlite added for drainage.
- A shallow container with a clear lid – I like to re-use berry punnets and clear produce containers for propagation. They’re like tiny greenhouses!
- Spray bottle of clean water
- Rooting hormone (optional)
- Small pot
- Large spoon
Take a leaf from the parent plant and snip it off neatly, including as much stem as possible.
Overnight drying of the stem’s tip will result in the formation of a callus. At the base of the stem, a layer of dry cells will keep the leaf from rotting.
Fill your container with a growing medium to about an inch depth. The soil should be moist but not soggy or saturated.
Allow the stem tip to rest gently on the soil when placing your callused leaf. Avoid burying the stem, as this can lead to it rotting.
If you want to use a rooting hormone, dip the leaf’s step into the hormone before putting it in the planter.
You should put your container in bright indirect light with plenty of warmth. It’s best to keep your container out of direct sunlight.
We’ll have to wait a little longer now! Check the moisture and humidity levels in the Medium daily, taking care not to disturb the leaf itself.
Growing Medium must be well-hydrated. To keep the top layer of growing Medium moist but not soggy, mist it with a spray bottle as needed.
Because you don’t want water to pool too far down in the Medium, use care when cutting to keep the moisture from rising to the top.
New roots usually take three to six weeks to form on your Pearl. However, there are more resources available to grow the roots of larger Pearls, so you may find that it takes up to two months for your smaller Pearls to get started growing.
Be on the lookout for new growth on the Pearl stem’s tip. If you’re lucky, you’ll see tiny new roots sprouting from the cut tip as it sinks into the ground.
You should gently push the Pearl and not feel any movement. This means that the roots have grown, and it’s time to put your baby in its first grown-up pot.
It’s critical to select the right pot. Pots less than an inch across and as shallow as possible are ideal for a single leaf. You run the risk of overwatering your delicate darling if you give it too much space.
Your new String of Pearls will look great in a terracotta pot. Porous terracotta can draw moisture from the soil in areas where your plant cannot reach. As a result, it’s an excellent defense against root rot caused by over-watering.
Fill the bottom two-thirds of the pot with potting soil.
Pull out the roots and all of your new Pearl with a spoon. Put a spoonful of the mixture in the pot and top it off as necessary.
Now that your Pearl has settled in give it a drink and put it in a well-lit area of your growing environment so it can enjoy it.
Once the top layer of soil has dried, water it, preferably with rainwater or filtered tap water.
Rooting Single String of Pearl In Water
You can also use water to make a single string of pearls grow roots. But make sure you don’t drown the whole pearl because that will make it rot.
In order to drown the tip of the pearl, I used a bottle cap filled with water. Fortunately, I was able to root the pearl leaf.
Optimum Conditions for Propagating From A Single Pearls
Bright, indirect light is essential for String of Pearls plants’ healthy growth. Unfortunately, direct sunlight is too harsh for the parent plant to enjoy when it comes to propagation.
It is best to use a filtered bright light. Do not place your mini-greenhouse in direct sunlight. Your poor little Pearl will die from overheating if the temperature inside skyrockets.
Sometimes I use a white napkin to shade my propagation from direct sunlight by placing it gently over the top of the pot I’m using.
You can also use a thin piece of paper or a thin piece of fabric. Those roots don’t need a lot of light to get them started!
For String of Pearls plants, a free-draining Cacti Blend is essential. Overwatering succulents can cause them to rot, and this is especially true for your tiny infant Pearl.
It’s best to use a commercial cactus mix, especially if you add a little extra perlite to it. (Check out the prices on Amazon here) It will retain enough moisture to allow root growth without the risk of overwatering and rot.
A new String of Pearl propagation requires consistent, gentle moisture. If you apply too much, the leaf will rot. If there is insufficient water, the roots will not grow.
It’s for this reason that I recommend building a greenhouse for your single Pearl in a closed container. This technique makes controlling water levels around a tiny new plant easier.
A sealed container will keep the growing medium from drying out by trapping the evaporating water as humidity. Also, there is plenty of time to open the container and let some fresh air in once a day.
The best way to water your tiny Pearl is by misting it. There is no risk of drowning the roots that are starting to grow.
It keeps the water at the surface of the medium, where it is needed the most. However, deep watering in the Medium can promote the growth of fungi and other pathogens that can harm your new plant.
The string of Pearls prefers to be kept warm. They like to grow at temperatures between 70 and 80°F (21-26°C), and the more stable you maintain your new Pearls, the faster they will root.
A closed container will retain heat better than an open one and the water required for growth. As a result, it’s an ideal tool for harnessing the power of propagation at home.
In addition, they like to be kept warm as they grow, just like all babies. This is another significant benefit of DIY greenhouses.