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

I have been growing and caring for strings of pearls throughout my childhood. Keeping this houseplant healthy and alive is a daunting experience. The inappropriate string of pearls cares routine increases the risks of many problems.

So, why is my string of pearls turning brown? The inappropriate watering regime and unsuitable potting mix are the leading cause of brown leaves on a string of pearls. Other possible causes are pest infestation, direct sunlight exposure, and over-fertilization.

The type of browning on the string of pearls will help identify the exact cause and fix tips to consider. Continue reading this article to figure out the underlying problems with your houseplant.

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Reasons for String of Pearls Turning Brown


Overwatering problem is the number one reason for a string of pearls turning brown. The issue causes root rot, mushy stems, and brown leaves.

The string of pearls plant hates sitting in a damp environment. The root rot inhibits the supply of nutrients and water uptake around the plant parts.

Too much soil moisture weakens and kills the string of pearls after an extended period. Allow the 2-3 inches of topsoil to dry before watering your succulent plant.

Ensure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to drain excess water. Besides that, use distilled water or rainwater to revive your string of pearls plant.

Mechanical Damages

The string of pearls plant is sensitive and delicate. It requires ultimate care when handling to avoid any stress. Mechanical damage is the reason behind the string of pearls turning brown.

A healthy string of pearls plant has plump and green foliages. Any external damages can stress the plant and cause brown leaves.

Avoid changing the location of the succulent plant more often. Prune the brown leaves to allow the plant to concentrate on new and healthy growths.

Keep the string of pearls plant away from pets and toddlers. It will help reduce the risk of external damages that turn the plant brown.

Incorrect Potting Mix

The string of pearls thrives in fertile and well-draining soil. A wrong potting medium can hurt your succulent plant.

Heavy and compact soil retains more moisture. A damp environment will make your indoor succulent plant develop root rot issues.

The damaged roots will not absorb water and nutrients from the soil. It will weaken your succulent plant, and leaves will turn brown.

I recommend succulent potting mix or cactus mix. Another excellent option is to combine peat moss, potting soil, and perlite for growing your string of pearls.

Direct Sunlight Exposure

A string of pearls plant prefers bright indirect sunlight to thrive well. Direct sunlight exposure will scorch or burn the leaves and lead to browning.

Put your succulent plant near the window with sheer curtains. These curtains will help reduce the sunlight intensity. Early morning or late evening direct sun is another better option.

Prune the brown leaves due to direct sunlight and allow the plant to rejuvenate. Use artificial grow lights in dark rooms for your succulent plant.

Inconsistent Watering Routine

The string of pearls plant can tolerate drought conditions for a short period. Brown leaves are signs of under-watering. Brown tips are other signs of a dehydrated string of pearls.

Soak the potting soil to rehydrate your succulent plant. Always inspect the soil moisture content before watering your string of pearls plant.

Water your indoor succulent plant once every week during spring and summer. Remember to reduce watering frequency during fall and winter.


The string of pearls is a light-feeder succulent plant. But fertilizer application facilitates fast growth among the string of pearls.

Excess fertilizer application will result in wilting, drooping leaves, and brown leaf tips. The issue is due to feeding your indoor succulent plant more often.

Feed your string of pearls every month during spring and summer. Stop applying fertilizer to your succulent plant during winter and late fall to avoid leaves turning brown.

Remember to flush the potting mix every three months to avoid salt buildup. I recommend organic fertilizer for houseplants over artificial counterparts.

Type of Water

Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride minerals. These compounds can cause the string of pearls to turn brown. They usually result in brown spots on the leaves of your succulent plant.

Use distilled water or rainwater for your houseplant. Another excellent option is to allow the tap water to sit overnight before watering your plant.

The harmful minerals settle down at the bottom of the container. Decant the water while exercising ultimate care. Avoid misting the string of pearls with tap water.

Pest Infestation

The string of pearls is more vulnerable to aphids and mealybugs infestation. These sap-sucking insects drain nutrients from the plant and make it weak.

Overwatering, high humidity, and poor ventilation are factors that encourage pest infestations on the string of pearls. Severe pest infestation will make your succulent plant turn brown.

Give your string of pearls a lukewarm shower to remove the pests. Spray neem oil solution to your succulent plant to kill stubborn insects.

Low Humidity

The string of pearls loves average humidity (40%) to thrive well. Low humidity will make the tips of a string of pearls leaves turn brown.

But this succulent plant can tolerate low humidity than high humidity. An indoor environment with high humidity makes the soil retain more moisture.

I recommend grouping your string of pearls with other houseplants to enjoy the average humidity level. Do not mist the leaves or run an electric humidifier at home.

Sudden Temperature Changes

A string of pearls can tolerate extreme weather conditions. But sudden temperature changes can stress your succulent plant.

Keep your indoor succulent plant away from cold and hot drafts. These drafty areas are the reasons behind your string of pearls turning brown.

Maintain room temperature range for your indoor plant to stay comfortable and happy. Be sure to keep your string of pearls away from windowsills, air vents, and radiators.

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Related Questions

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning Purple?

A string of pearls turns purple in response to under-watering, overwatering, intense heat, pests, and diseases. Investigate your succulent plant to identify the exact cause before fixing it.

Why Is My String of Pearls Drying Up?

Inadequate water, high temperatures, low humidity, and over-fertilization are the reasons behind the string of pearls drying up. Always inspect the plant to identify the exact cause before fixing it.

Why Is My String of Pearls Turning White?

Direct sunlight exposure and pest infestations are the cause of the string of pearls turning white. I recommend offering bright indirect sunlight and neem oil spray to kill the pests.

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Final Thoughts

Brown tips and brown leaves are the common string of pearls plant problems. It would be best to identify the exact cause before implementing the appropriate action for fixing.

The string of pearls plant care involves the provision of bright indirect sunlight, average humidity, light feeding routine, and room temperature.

I hope this article will help you identify possible causes of a string of pearls turning brown and their respective solutions. Feel free to share with other houseplant enthusiasts in your groups.