Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: String of Beads, String of Pearls
Senecio rowleyanus

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Senecio (sen-ek-ee-o ) (Info)
Species: rowleyanus (ro-lee-AH-nus) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

70 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Cactus and Succulents

under 6 in. (15 cm)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter
Mid Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By PanamonCreel
Thumbnail #1 of Senecio rowleyanus by PanamonCreel

By PanamonCreel
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By palmbob
Thumbnail #3 of Senecio rowleyanus by palmbob

By palmbob
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By palmbob
Thumbnail #6 of Senecio rowleyanus by palmbob

By kniphofia
Thumbnail #7 of Senecio rowleyanus by kniphofia

There are a total of 24 photos.
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13 positives
7 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral Lonecolt On Jun 20, 2014, Lonecolt from Los Angeles, CA wrote:

Of course it blooms- ALL succulents bloom! It loves direct sunlight outdoors in the 90+ degree heat of Los Angeles, for those boasting a "bright but not direct windowsill". I've had dozens of these plants and they get attacked by mealybugs EVERYTIME, so have something on hand to kill them. Surviving is not thriving- same as all succulents, it need dry conditions and plenty of direct sunlight to thrive.

Positive dechap423 On Nov 21, 2013, dechap423 from Chattanooga, TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

I bought a piece (unrooted cutting) of this plant on E-bay for a buck (plus a little S&H). It was very easy to root and has been performing well ever since. I am growing it as a houseplant in a southeastern (more south than east) window; and when it starts to trail a bit more, I will make it a hanging basket. I hope it likes its location/situation well enough to bloom for me one day... I'm really looking forward to the scent. This is a very low maintenance plant; I treat it like an Aloe, but I gave it a much sunnier spot. By the way, I see that DG has classified this plant as poisonous; and at least one member here has concurred. Just so you know, the guy for whom the plant is named--Gordon Rowley--says that this is NOT so... lol. Of course, I don't know from personal experience (and I don't plan on eating any of mine)... but Mr. Rowley is a VERY credible source. He is the author of more than one book on cacti/succulents and the former president of the 'British Cactus and Succulent Society'.

Positive pooparella On Mar 31, 2013, pooparella from Napa, CA wrote:

I've never had luck growing this plant until now, but I've not had the plant long, so we'll see how things go this time around. It's a fun plant that I've found appreciates morning sun (only) here in zone 9b. To me, the flowers look like tiny bridal bouquets and smell like cloves - cute and delightful. Unfortunately the evil aphids and mealybugs also adore this plant!

Positive hairypotter52 On Jan 30, 2013, hairypotter52 from Fairview, TN wrote:

Love this plant but have alot of trouble keeping it alive. Thought originally that once strands got so long the weight would compress the stem and that is why it would die but just had one that I carefully kept strings horizontal and it still died at pot level. Perhaps someone could enlighten me as to what I am doing wrong. Will continue to buy this plant because I love it so much but it is getting a bit depressing when it starts dying. I would also love to get the varigated plant. Didn't even know one existed.

Neutral 3Riley On Jan 28, 2013, 3Riley from Richmond, CA wrote:

This plant first appeared commonly in nurseries in southern California around the late 1960s-early 1970s and became very popular as an outdoor hanging pot plant. After some years the plants started to die out, perhaps by a disease. I tried it again years ago in northern California and had the same problem.

Positive suzebrown On Jan 28, 2013, suzebrown from New York, NY wrote:

I've been propagating String of Beads/String of Pearls, or as I like to call it, "the green pea plant," for 35 years. I've given pots of this senecio to many friend and sometimes sell them at my local street fair.

I grow this delight on a sunny windowsill in Manhattan. When I'm in the right mood, I clip small strands with a good growing point and several nodules and tuck the nodules into fresh pot of soil. It's important that the strand has several nodules because the nodules are the potential roots. I water when the soil is dry.

Positive prickersnall On Jan 28, 2013, prickersnall from Madison, WI wrote:

I have a great fondness for this plant; I had one years ago for several years, and loved its charm. I planted it in a queen conch shell, the "pearls" tumbling out the flat side, because of the pearl-appearinging leaves; it seemed appropriate and added to the charm. It only bore one blossom, and I never experienced the scent; but I look forward to buying another, thanks to the Dave's Garden article. I think mine was a gift, and I've never seen it for sale in shops; it's not a common offering. In Wisconsin, it needs to live inside in cold seasons, and I hung it in a window of the bathroom, where it only got partial sun.

I had also designed a necklace based on the structure; though I never made it, I think it has that potential as well !

Neutral Nefitara On Oct 4, 2011, Nefitara from Port Richey, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is one of my favorite plants and they always die on me. I usually keep it in the house near a sunny (not direct sun) window and it never makes it. I decided to put it out side on the window ledge this year where it's shaded but has lots of light and it is doing good. I saw a pic that Palmbob posted of one and it had loads of flowers on it, I had no idea they bloomed. I want my plant to do better than it is doing now. When is the best time to repot? Does it like smaller pots with little room? I also saw a pic from Palmbob and the String of Pearls were growing on the ground like ground cover. I want to learn more about this plant, ANY info will help!

Positive mrs_colla On Jan 16, 2011, mrs_colla from Marin, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

These alien looking flowers smell delicious!

Positive Evie21 On Jul 17, 2010, Evie21 from Hull
United Kingdom wrote:

One of my favourite plants,and easy to care for,I have this plant in a south facing window,but shaded with a net curtain,and its doing just fine,I like it because its so unusual,and when it flowers it makes it even more special,the flowers smell of Jasmine and the scent is delicate,yet can perfume a whole room.Not an easy plant to find in the UK,I bought mine from an online site,and I've taken cuttings from it, that root easily,to give to family and friends.

Neutral firenze9 On May 1, 2010, firenze9 from firenze
Italy wrote:

Please can anyone advise - I need some advise my Senecio is looking very sad, the 'pearls' at the base of plant have turned brown and some shriveled up, the longer trails still look green and healthy, dont know what I'm doing wrong - its in a sunny window and gets watered every 15 days or whenever it looks really dry - HELP! Can I revive it? Should I cut it back?

Neutral oddiebaby On Feb 28, 2009, oddiebaby from Robbins, NC wrote:

Can anyone tell me if I can grow this in a container planting in summers/outside in N.C.?

Neutral shanfan14 On Sep 22, 2008, shanfan14 from Windsor
Canada wrote:

I've tried several times to sustain the String of Pearls, but without much luck, for no discernible reason that I can share. Perhaps the usual watering considerations, since succulents aren't my biggest success stories.

One thing I want to add about this plant--a caveat I would like to see appended to care tags on plants intended for consumers who are not aware or don't research, but usually buy for cosmetic value: this plant is toxic to your pets and would probably sicken a small child, as well, if ingested.

If you are going to have it as a houseplant, be sure it's in a spot where your animals can't chew it.

Positive robcorreia On Jul 17, 2008, robcorreia from San Diego, CA (Zone 10b) wrote:

I absolutely LOVE this plant! I first placed it hanging outside in hot sun, and it didn't seem to like our California heat and full sun too much.
I transferred it inside where it gets bright light all day, and it is really taking off! I water every two weeks or so, making sure to drench and letting all the water drain out of the pot.
Flowers are fragrant. Beautiful in hanging baskets.

Positive ndeal429 On Apr 29, 2008, ndeal429 from Kennesaw, GA wrote:

I love this plant because it's so unique looking! I got my first one when I was a little girl on a trip to the Amish country in Pennsylvania. This was actually my first plant, and I didn't know much about gardening at the time so it died after about two years probably from a combination of overwatering and never upsizing its original pot. Over the years I've searched for a replacement, but I was never able to find another one in stores, but my boyfriend purchased a clipping from an online store last Fall. It is a fast grower and has already more than quadrupled in size. It is so healthy that I'm sure it will flower this year!

Positive luvchopmama On Apr 5, 2006, luvchopmama from Airway Heights, WA (Zone 5b) wrote:

I absolutely love this plant it is doing wonderful! Sprouting new growth everywhere. I currently puchased some liquid plant food that is for cacti and succulents and it seems to be helping.

Positive JMarsh On Aug 5, 2005, JMarsh from Tallahassee, FL wrote:

I really love this plant, I bought mine from a nursurey in AZ sadly though it doesn't seem to be doing so well latley. It fell over and almost all the pices broke loose from the soil. It also doesn't seem to be growing quickly and I've had it for over a year...come to think of it, it hasn't grown at all. Does anyone know how to replant the pieces..there doesn't seem to be any root system..there are some very thin hairs ..there is also alot of brown/dead pieces that were at the bottom of the pile of pearls. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Positive Kelli On Oct 6, 2004, Kelli from L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Unique-looking plant. Just be sure to treat for mealy bugs if they appear.

Positive PanamonCreel On Oct 14, 2002, PanamonCreel from Celaya
Mexico (Zone 10a) wrote:

Very nice plant for a hanging-basket. Seems to like a bright location with 2-4 hours of direct sun light. Flowers are white and smell like cinnamon. Stem cuttings are easy to propagate, just cut stem near a node and stick cutting into soil. Leaf "balls" will loose their round shape when the plant is in need of watering. Variegated form might actually be Senecio herreianus (Gooseberry Senecio) which has slightly larger, elongated and striped leaf "balls".

Neutral Crasulady2 On Dec 19, 2001, Crasulady2 from Valley Village, CA wrote:

This plant grows in a basket and comes variegated or green. It looks like peas/pearls/beads on a string. Often found for sale at Nabibia, Walmart, or Lowe's - quite common. It may go dormant. Does not like hot weather, may hang under a patio cover. Give plenty of room to hang down. Make sure it has plenty of light and cool air.

You may grow it in a 6" pot wrapped around and round. Cut off strings and just press them into fresh soil to restart. It will form potato-like lumps under the soil. If all the leaves fall off don't fret, stop watering and wait until it starts to grow again. A very popular plant.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (2 reports)
Tucson, Arizona
Canoga Park, California
Carlsbad, California
Los Angeles, California (2 reports)
Merced, California
Modesto, California
Napa, California
Oak View, California
Pacifica, California
Ridgecrest, California
Riverside, California
San Anselmo, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Dimas, California
San Jose, California (2 reports)
San Leandro, California
San Lorenzo, California
Santa Rosa, California
Santee, California
Simi Valley, California
Tarzana, California
The Sea Ranch, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bonita Springs, Florida
Clermont, Florida
De Leon Springs, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida (2 reports)
Lake Wales, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Port Richey, Florida (2 reports)
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Sebring, Florida
Winter Park, Florida
Hawkinsville, Georgia
Kennesaw, Georgia
Metter, Georgia
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Minden, Louisiana
Edison, New Jersey
Princeton Junction, New Jersey
Brooklyn, New York
New York City, New York
Cleveland, Ohio
Harrah, Oklahoma
West Linn, Oregon
Conway, South Carolina
Bristol, Tennessee
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Germantown, Tennessee
Athens, Texas
Austin, Texas
Fredericksburg, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lockhart, Texas
Amboy, Washington
Kalama, Washington
Mead, Washington
Washougal, Washington

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