What exactly are these viney beauties, you ask? The trendy plants belong to a genus of plants called senecio, which encapsulates more than 1,000 different varieties of plants. While senecio can bloom in all sorts of different shapes, colors, and patterns, Bloomscape's resident Plant Mom Joyce Mast explains that string succulents are defined specifically by their fleshly, plump leaves. These typically grow downward on a long, thin vine called a "string."
"The 'leaves' resemble shapes of pearls, bananas, hearts, oval beads, and nickels, to name a few," Mast says. "They make excellent hanging plants to be displayed in hanging baskets, but are very attractive when allowed to 'spill' down shelves, window ledges, and mantels."
"Spill" is an understatement. While classic crawlers like pothos and English ivy grow long and lean, plants like string of pearls and string of bananas cascade in gorgeous, sprawling clusters, almost like tresses of hair. Though that sounds like they'd require a ton of maintenance, they're notoriously easy to keep around, inside and out.
"Succulents tend to be easier to take care of than other types of plants, as they generally require less water," says Mast. "The key to most succulents is that they store water and usually have a thicker, fleshier leaf or a bulb of some kind."
That being said, Mast does have some general care tips for blooming some serious string succulents. Like most desert-dwelling plants, they love the sunlight and flourish in brightly lit areas around your home or on your patio where they can bask in 4-6 hours of light per day. This also means they can go quite along time without being watered. "They require more water during the summer months, which is their active growth period, and less during their rest period in the winter," says Mast. "During those active summer months, be sure to keep the soil damp but not soggy. In the winter, only water once in a while when the soil is completely dry."
If you're unsure of a watering schedule, look out for the tell-tale signs of too much or too little hydration. Mast suggests looking out for wilting leaves in the summer, which can indicate under-watering. If your blooms are turning yellow, this means you're probably over-watering. The best thing you can do is invest in a breathable, self-draining pot to avoid drowning the roots. "Succulents do not like to have ‘wet feet,’ so make sure there is no standing water in the saucer."
As for selecting your perfect string succulents? There's a lot to choose from. Below, we've chosen six favorite string succulents that will shine in just about any space. When you can't get enough of their viney look, snip some off and propagate your own: "Many 'string of' succulents are very easy to propagate, making it the perfect choice to increase your own collection or share it with friends," says Mast. So get to planting!
Our Favorite String Succulents To Buy Online
From hanging dolphins and fishhooks to pickles and pearls, there are so many string succulents to choose from. It can be overwhelming to pick just one—that’s why we say pick three.
Bloomscape’s String of Succulents collection comes with three pre-potted beauties to hang around your house: string of bananas, string of pearls, and string of pickles. Your biggest decision will come down to your pot color, which are available in an earthy basalt, a creamy alabaster, and a classic terracotta.
A trailing string of bananas can jazz up just about any windowsill. They love light, so pick a window that gets good indirect exposure (direct sunlight can fry the leaves.) Since it’s part of the succulent family, you don’t have to go crazy on the watering—once every 2-3 weeks should suffice.
Otherwise known as the ‘Rosary Vine,” these lovely hanging plants look like the little cousin of a pothos plant. Their leaves are aptly shaped like little hearts with silvery shiny veining. Like most other string succulents, your string of hearts will love a sunny spot where it can bask in the light. Check your soil periodically and water when the top layer is dry.
You can never go wrong with a classic. Hang a string of pearls and expect lots of long, beaded vines that look like, well, pearls. With summer around the corner, expect watering more than usual. Just be sure to let the soil completely dry between waterings to avoid water-logging the roots.
Here’s a really fun one: the leaves on strings of dolphins grow in an arch, each with two small attached “fins,” making the vines look like a pod of playful porpoises. In the spring, they bloom in little puffballs of orange and white, like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. Like the other senecio plants, plan on hanging them in bright, indirect light to avoid any sunburns.
Another sea creature-turned-succulent. The leaves on string of turtles grow in a circular shape that have a colorful pattern similar to that of a tortoise shell. They also have a surprise splash of color—while most string succulent vines are green, these grow on a vine of reddish brown, making those “shells” really stand-out.
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