Why Is String of Pearls Plant Drying Up?

Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Stephanie

Peat-based soils can cause plants with string of pearls to dry out. This is because it repels water and stops water reaching the roots. The string can look dry and shriveled if it is not given enough water or there isnt enough light.

Continue reading to learn the causes of pearl dryness, as well as the best ways to remedy the problem.

The wrong potting soil causes string of pearls to dry up

String of pearls is a type of succulent that is native to South Africa. It thrives in a sandy soil with high temperature and frequent rain.

They are still vulnerable to drought even with efficient watering, because they were in the wrong soil mix.

String of pearls requires well-drained soil. This allows water to reach roots easily, so that they can absorb moisture. However, excess water is able to drain away, which prevents root decay.

To avoid problems caused by moisture stress, it is important to let the mix dry between watering.

Traditional potting mix arent made for succulents.

The soil is baked and dried. It keeps water off the soils surface, as well as down the sides and bottom of the pot. However, water does not get into the soil or reach the string of pearls roots. This can cause the plant to dry out even after it has been watered.

It is important to use a Cacti and succulent soil that are specially designed to make string of pearls. Both are available at gardening centers and on Amazon.

Cacti and succulent soil are different than normal soils because it retains the structure of a porous material even after drying completely.

This allows water to penetrate the soil and reach the roots of the plant.

This allows string of pearls to thrive in the same soil conditions as its native habitat.

string of pearls plant in small brown pot


To help your plant recover from dry conditions, you can add a special mix of succulents or cacti to your soil mixture.

You can create the perfect humidity balance for string of pearls by using fresh potting mixes. This will allow them to grow and be able get the water they need after watering. However, it wont suffer from any adverse effects due to overwatering.

Many people make the mistake of overwatering pearls after they have dried out and become brown. Root rot can lead to yellowing or browning of the leaves, and softening and firming up of the pearls.

If this happens to your pearl string, check my article for solutions

Leaves shrink when they are not watered.

A second reason pearls can dry out is if they arent properly watered.

Because of their adaptability to the dry climate of South Africa, String of Pearls plants are drought-resistant.

However, this does not mean they cant be ignored for several months with no water.

A string of pearls plants will thrive if it gets enough water every two weeks in Spring and Fall.

String of Pearls is usually in a dormancy in the summer because of the high temperatures. This is a strategy for dealing with temperature rises and becoming dry in summer.

Because of the lower amount of transpiration, it may need less water in Winter.

To prevent root rot, it is recommended that the plant be watered once every two to three weeks in the summer, and once every three weeks in winter.

the frequency at which water is consumed can be affected by a number of variables such as:

  • Temperature in the room.
  • The hours of the sun are long.
  • The intensity of the sun.
  • It is important that the pot be placed near the heat source in the house.
  • It doesnt matter if the forced air system is running or not.
  • What is the humidity level in your area?
  • Artificial humidity is created by steam or from cooking in the bathroom.

It might take some experimentation to find the right moisture level for your pearls string.

The pearls store moisture in pearls, which is the reason they become brown and shrinkas an effect of under watering. Its a good time to water your pearls if they start to shrink.

You can experiment with the watering method to find the best frequency to water your tough pearls plants at-home to avoid drying them out.

String of pearls can dry up if you water too lightly

A common misconception about string of pearl plants is that succulents and string of pearl plants must be watered sparingly due to their drought-tolerant nature.

The pearl string should be light in water. If the soil is only a few inches above the surface, the water wont reach the roots, which leads to the leaves drying out.

String of pearls plants can be watered by giving them a good soak and then allowing the soil to dry before watering again.

Its similar to watering pearls in their strong natural habitat. The pearls can withstand dry conditions and store moisture within the pearls. After a heavy downpour of rain, the water is drawn up by the pearls. This water then drains into the porous soil quickly.

To prevent pearls becoming dry, give them a good soak. Then, gently water the pearls.

(Learn my article to learn the frequency of watering pearl string plants ). and the amount of water required.

Low light levels can cause Lower Leaves to dry up and fall off.

The String of Pearls succulent which needs bright light However, it is sensitive to sun light that burns the leaves and cause them to turn brown.

If your pearl string is not receiving enough light, or only a portion of the plant receives bright sunlight, the stems can become limp and have fewer leaves.

The lower leaflets could dry out and become brittle as the plant uses its energy to expand the stem in search of more light.

(To learn more, please visit my article on how to revive dying pearls plants ).

This is the solution.

It is best to move the pearl string to a room with better lighting. However, avoid putting it in direct sunlight. The contrast between a dark space and bright sunlight can cause the string to burn.

To avoid any trauma caused by a sudden change in intensity of light, it is best to expose your pearl string gradually to more light.

The powerful of pearls tends not to look as big under bright indirect lighting.

Keep in mind, however, that succulents grow quickly and can dry out the lower leaves.

If you want to revive a string pearls plant that is looking sloppy or thin, I recommend propagating it by cuttings. Its incredibly simple and cost-effective way to get more plants. This YouTube video will show you how to propagate the string-of-pearls plant.

The Key Takeaways

  • When the potting soil becomes hardened, string of pearls plants can become dry. This causes water to evaporate from their roots, which in turn leads to drought. The string of pearls can become dry if they are not hydrated enough.
  • Insufficient light can cause the string of pearls to become wavy, and lower leaves dry out and fall off.
  • Overwatering or inattention to watering could lead to pearls shrinking, browning, and drying out.
  • Place the pearls in a special succulent or cactus soil to revive them. Then, drink water when the pearls look dry. To ensure that they are healthy, place them in brightly lit areas.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)