Why Is My String of Pearls Dying? (Causes & Solutions)

The string of pearls is my all-time favorite houseplant. Thanks to its plump and round green leaves that create a lasting impression in any interior space. A string of pearls dying at the top is a common problem due to dynamic indoor growing conditions.

So, why is my string of pearls dying? The possible causes are overwatering, inconsistent watering habits, too much light, heavy soil, potting problems, pest infestation, low humidity, extreme temperatures, and over-fertilization.

Keep reading this article to figure out the exact causes behind a string of pearls dying. The problem identification will provide practical steps to save the dying plant. Let’s look at each cause to help revive the string of pearls to perfect health.

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Reasons for String of Pearls Dying


Overwatering is the main reason for a string of pearls dying. It causes root rot, mushy leaves, and stems that weaken the plant. The growing condition is likely to kill the string of pearls plant.

The string of pearls plant has thin stems and store water in their small round leaves. These foliages can absorb water and burst due to overwatering.

I recommend waiting for the round leaves to shrivel and shrink slightly before watering. Soak the soil to rehydrate the string of pearls to have plump green balls.

Schedule a simple watering plant for the string of pearls plant. Always inspect the potting soil moisture content before watering the plant.

Remember to water the string of pearls weekly during hot summer. Reduce the watering frequency during winter and fall. Be sure to use either distilled water or rainwater.

Inconsistent Watering Habits

Under-watering is another reason behind a string of pearls plant dying. Inadequate water supply will make the leaves shrivel, dry out, and turn brown.

Lack of soil moisture will make a string of pearls plant droopy and eventually die. Soak the dry soil with plenty of filtered water to rehydrate the succulent plant.

Waiting for the leaves to shrivel and turn brown will pose a challenge to revive it. I recommend a slow drink when the balls and stems are purple or brown.

Watch your watering regime to avoid overwatering the succulent plant. It would be best to note that the string of pearls can tolerate a little neglect.

Incorrect Potting Mix

The string of pearls plant thrives in a fertile and well-draining potting soil. It allows the succulent plant to soak and drain excess water before harming it.

Heavy and compact potting soil has a poor drainage issue. It retains excess moisture that damages the string of pearls plant roots.

I recommend growing the string of pearls in high-quality cacti and succulent soil. The potting mix contains peat moss, perlite, and coarse sand.

A well-draining potting medium will protect your string of pearls from soggy soil, mushy stems, and root rot. It reduces the risk of a string of pearls dying.

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Too Much Light

A string of pearls plant will thrive under bright indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight exposure will burn or scorch the leaves. The issue tends to happen on the outdoor string of pearls plants.

Relocate the succulent plant to a spot with shade to avoid scorching the leaves. Put the indoor string of pearls plant near a window with sheer curtains.

Remember to rotate the indoor succulent plant to ensure even light distribution. Bright indirect sunlight will help protect your plant from drying out and dying.

Low Lighting Condition

A string of pearls plant prefers bright indirect sunlight to thrive well. The succulent plant will struggle when grown in dark rooms. Leggy stems and yellow leaves are a sign of low lighting.

Choose a location that receives bright indirect sunlight throughout the year. I recommend investing in artificial grow lights to help the string of pearls thrive.

Grow the outdoor string of pearls plant under the shade. Ensure the shaded area receives adequate natural light to avoid leggy stems and stunted growth.

Inappropriate Pot Size and Material

Incorrect pot size is another reason behind the string of pearls dying. These succulent plants prefer lightweight hanging pots due to their long veins.

Plastic planters can cause the soil to retain excess moisture and root rot problems. I recommend an unglazed clay pot to help the potting medium dry out faster.

Ensure the clay pot has drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water. Potting the string of pearls deep will also cause its death due to poor aeration around its crown.

Use a well-draining potting medium and ensure the crowns are level with the pot top. It will allow free air circulation around the crowns and encourage faster water loss.

Pest Infestations

Insect infestations are likely to make the string of pearls not thrive and stay alive. These sap-sucking creatures tend to weaken the plant and kill it. Aphids on string of pearls are harmful.

A string of pearls leaves yellowing and dropping are vital signs of pests. Take the time to inspect the succulent plant for the bugs daily.

Use horticultural soap spray to eradicate the pests from the houseplant. Another option is to use an insecticidal spray to kill the bugs from the plant.

Lack of Humidity

The string of pearls plants thrives in a warm and humid environment. A room with average humidity will make the string of pearls happy and healthy.

Low indoor humidity is another problem with the string of pearls. It will make the leaves shrivel and dry out. The issue happens due to the high water loss rate from the thin stems.

Use an electric humidifier to boost the humidity level around the plant. Another excellent option is to group your string of pearls plant with another houseplant collection.

Too High Temperatures

The string of pearls plant is comfortable under room indoor temperature. It can tolerate temperatures that make human beings more comfortable at home.

Hot and cold drafts can damage your string of pearls. Keep these succulent plants away from air vents, heaters, and radiators. Maintain an indoor temperature range of 70-80oF (21-27oC).

Drafty areas will make the leaves fall off and shrivel. Move the plant away from windowsills and doors to protect it from dying.


The string of pearls plant is a light feeder when compared to other succulent plants. It can still survive without fertilizer application.

Too much fertilizer will burn the roots and lead to a string of pearls dying. Use water-soluble fertilizer to feed your string of pearls during spring and summer.

Remember to flush the potting soil every three months to prevent salt buildup. Propagate the string of pearls by cutting a few stems in case of over-fertilization.

The string of pearls propagation is the best technique for saving the plant from dying. Be sure to offer the ultimate string of pearls care routine.

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Related Questions

How to Fix Overwatered String of Pearls

Drain the excess water and place the plant in bright indirect sunlight. Re-pot the entire plant if the roots are rotten and use well-draining potting soil.

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Brown?

The string of pearls turning brown and shrivel is a sign of an under-watering problem. Too much direct sunlight may also burn the leaves and turn them brown.

Why Are My String of Pearls Drying Up?

The string of pears dries up due to under-watering, direct sunlight exposure, heat drafts, and low humidity. Other possible causes are overwatering and over-fertilization.

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Final Thoughts

A string of pearls is a beautiful succulent plant. It is easy to grow and maintain when compared to other tropical houseplants. But harsh growing conditions will make the string of pearls die.

The information in this article will help you discover the reasons for the string of pearls dying. I recommend reading to identify the exact causes and their respective solutions.

Let us know your experience with a dying string of pearls in the comment section. Besides that, feel free to share the information with other houseplant enthusiasts in your community.