Underwatered String of Pearls & 2 Other Issues

An underwatered String of Pearls is easy to identify—the once plump, spherical leaves start to wrinkle and shrivel. This condition can lead to a pale or yellowish hue across the plant, indicating it needs more water.

underwatered string of pearls

String of Pearls is an incredibly captivating succulent, with its plump, pearl-like leaves quickly gaining popularity among succulent enthusiasts.

While growing these beauties outdoors is generally easier, it can sometimes present challenges.

Without proper care, these stunning succulents can wither away. But fret not!

In this article, we will explore the common problems that can arise when growing a string of pearls and provide practical solutions to fix them, including underwatered String of Pearls!

Shriveling String of Pearls

Shriveling leaves and stems are clear signs that your String of Pearls is not receiving adequate care.

You might be wondering why this exquisite plant is shriveling. Well, one of the most common culprits is watering issues.

underwatered string of pearls

1. Watering Issues


Although String of Pearls stores water in its leaves, it still requires regular watering to stay healthy.

When its water storage runs low, its little round leaves begin to shrivel. Remember, young succulents need more water than mature ones.

If you mist the soil and it still shrivels, give your String of Pearls a generous amount of water, allowing it to run down through the roots.


Giving your plant too much water can lead to the same symptoms -shriveling leaves (surprise!).

It’s like the leaves are bursting, leaving the plant looking wilted and mushy.

If you’ve been watering often but your plant’s still a bit shriveled, try giving it a drink every two weeks instead.

This schedule usually works well for String of Pearls. Also, be sure to check if the soil’s at least half an inch dry before the next watering.

underwatered string of pearls

2. Inappropriate Sunlight

Apart from water issues, excessive or insufficient sunlight can also cause your plant to shrivel.

If you notice scars developing on the beads and the leaves becoming dry, it’s evident that your String of Pearls is being scorched by the intense sun.

Move your succulent to a location where it won’t receive direct sunlight.

Remember, these beautiful succulents thrive in bright locations. However, they can’t tolerate intense sunlight or full sun, especially in the afternoon.

If you’ve kept them under a bright sun and notice scorching, relocate them to a shady spot outdoors where they can receive morning light without the intensity of the afternoon sun.

Root Rot in String of Pearls

underwatered string of pearls

1. Soil Drainage Issue

If your String of Pearls has stopped growing or shows signs of root rot, the first thing to check is the soil mix.

The right soil mix is essential for the health and beauty of succulents.

Regular garden soil mix is not suitable as it is too heavy and retains too much water.

Succulents despise sitting in wet soil for extended periods, so well-drained and porous soil is crucial in preventing root rot.

For the perfect soil mix, you can grab a cactus and succulent mix at a garden store, or go DIY for a similar composition.

Try mixing organic stuff with something inorganic (such as sand, silt and clay).

A cool recipe for happy succulents is three parts potting soil, two parts bark fines, and one part perlite or pumice.

That combo’s all about airflow, good roots, and easy drainage!

underwatered string of pearls

2. Fertilizer Issue

While fertilizer is not an immediate need for String of Pearls, it does benefit the plant. However, excessive fertilizer can harm your plant.

Overdoing it can lead to root damage, weakening the plant. Signs of over-fertilization include stunted growth, discoloration, brown foliage, and burnt roots.

To avoid overfeeding, fertilize your plant only once or twice a year.

The best time to fertilize is in the spring when your String of Pearls are entering their growing season and ready to receive extra nutrients.

Succulent fertilizers are available on the market. If you can’t find one, you can use regular water-soluble fertilizer diluted by at least 50%.

Avoid highly potent fertilizers as they are likely to burn your String of Pearls instead of nourishing them.

If you prefer homemade fertilizers, you can use banana peels, coffee grounds, crushed eggshells, or fish emulsion.

underwatered string of pearls

String of Pearls Leaves Falling

1. Temperature Issue

If you notice your String of Pearls leaves falling, it means you have kept them in drafty locations with mild or cold temperatures.

Keep in mind that these succulents thrive in average room temperatures.

If you see your outdoor String of Pearls dropping leaves, move them indoors immediately.

2. Infestation Issue

Yellowing leaves, dropping leaves, or sooty leaves indicate the presence of aphids or mealybugs on your String of Pearls.

These insects have made a home in your plant. To fix this, use an insecticidal soap or spray water to remove the pests.

Treatment may need to be repeated as these pests can spread easily with the help of ants.

underwatered string of pearls

Final Thoughts

Overwatering, underwatering, improper potting mix, inappropriate sunlight, and infestations can all damage your String of Pearls.

Therefore, providing appropriate care, as discussed in our previous article, is essential to ensure your succulent thrives.

Remember, if you spot any of these problems in your succulent, take immediate action to keep your plant healthy and happy.

Share this article with your succulent-loving friends and discover more about caring for different types of succulents in our comprehensive Care Guide.