HouseplantsDecorative

Simple String of Turtles Growing Guide

string of turtles

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is a rare semi-succulent houseplant that is endemic to a South American country called Ecuador. Sometimes its also called Peperomia rotundifolia or Jade necklace.

What makes this plant really attractive? Its foliage. This exotic plant looks like tiny turtle shells connected to a string, hence the name string of turtles.

Jade necklace is usually grown in hanging baskets, giving an indoor setting a real tropical feel. String of turtles is also commonly used in terrariums.

How To Grow

String of turtles is relatively low-maintenance. It does not require annual repotting, since it grows quite slowly. It takes about 3-5 years for the plant to mature. Growing this plant is similar to growing succulent plants, but there are some differences.

Climate

String of turtles prefers to grow in a high-humidity environment. Keep that in mind, especially in regions that require heating over the winter. This small exotic plant would ideally be placed near a humidifier.

Another solution would be to use a mist spray regularly. Use the spray bottle, but not too closely. The foliage being too wet also has its drawbacks.

When it comes to temperature, string of turtles thrives in temperatures from 65 to 75 °F (18 to 24) °C. This semi-succulent is not cold-hardy, so keep it away from cold drafts.

Watering

Soil should be kept slightly moist for string of turtles. Use a container with drainage holes for string of turtles. It is easy to overwater this plant, add water deeply until the all of the soil is moist. Water again, after two inches of the top soil has dried out.

Soil & Fertilizer

The best choice of soil for string of turtles is an organic mix, which is slightly acidic (pH 5.5-7.0) and well-draining. Half perlite, half peat moss is a good mix, while some claim that 1/3 perlite, 1/3 sand, and 1/3 peat moss is a perfect mix.

Giving this tropical plant some extra nutrients may help ensure growth. Use a general houseplant fertilizer, dilute it and add it to water two times a month during the growing season.

Light

String of turtles should be placed in a spot with lots of light, which is indirect. Imagine the plant growing in the rainforest, it’s a tiny plant compared to huge trees that would block out direct light.

Lack of light will induce a lack of growth, whilst too much direct light will scorch the leaves.

string of turtles
String of turtles stem and beautiful dark foliage

Propagating

There are several ways to propagate string of turtles:

#1 Propagating By Stem Cuttings With Potting Mix

This is the easiest and most quick way to propagate string of turtles.

  • Use a sharp tool, to take a cutting below a node, about 5 inches long
  • Remove the leaves on the lower half of the stem
  • Place the cutting in a potting mix, with the lowest node under the surface
  • Place the container in a location with bright indirect light
  • Mist the potting mix or water it very slightly to keep the mix moist
  • Cover the container with a plastic bag to retain moisture if necessary
  • Roots should develop in about two weeks

#2 Propagating By Stem Cuttings With Water

With this method, roots take longer to develop.

  • Use a sharp tool, to take a cutting below a node, about 5 inches long
  • Remove the leaves on the lower half of the stem
  • Place the cutting in water, without any leaves going under water
  • Place the container in a location with bright indirect light
  • Replace the water weekly, with room temperature water
  • Add room temperature water if it evaporates from the desired level
  • Roots should grow about 2-3 inches long before replanting, it might take a month or two.

#3 Propagating With Leaves

Use this method when you want to propagate a lot of new plants and do not have enough cuttings for propagation.

  • Remove leaves from the stem, with petioles attached
  • Place the petiole in moist potting mix
  • Place the container in a location with bright indirect light
  • Mist the potting mix or water it very slightly to keep the mix moist
  • Cover the container with a plastic bag to retain moisture if necessary
  • New roots will develop in months

Pruning

It is encouraged to prune the string of turtles to keep the plant looking tidy. If you desire a rugged jungle look, it is not necessary. Use sharp tools for pruning, and be careful to not hurt the plant.

Diseases

This tropical plant usually thrives indoors without any affecting diseases. The most common problem with string of turtles is root rot, which is most likely caused by overwatering.

Pests

Mealybugs, spider mites and whiteflies might want to enjoy the company of this beautiful plant. Luckily there is a common solution for all of these pests: use neem oil if the infestation has established, otherwise use insecticidal soap.

Conclusion

String of turtles is an excellent choice to grow indoors if there is a lack of space. It is tiny, relatively low-maintenance, and looks unique compared to other more common succulents.

Remember to use appropriate soil, give it bright indirect light and the right amount of mist and water, and your Peperomia prostrata will thrive.

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