Help with a string of beads plant

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Derek Denim, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. Derek Denim

    Derek Denim Member

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    I'm not sure if this should be in the cacti and succulents forum but I have a problem growing string of beads indoors. What happens is that the stems will shrivel and dry up at the base where it comes out of the soil. The rest of the stem is fine for awhile but eventually the "beads" shrink and shrivel untill the whole vine is dead. As soon as I notice this happening I cut it off and re root the stem in water and place it back in the pot. They grow for awhile but then it happens again. I have it in a brightly lit west facing window that gets plently of bright afternoon sun. I water it when the soil becomes dry never letting it get to dry or too moist. Has this happened to anyone else and can someone please tell me what is causing this. Many thanks Dd
     
  2. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    String of Beads (Senecio rowleyanus)

    I had to re-pot a few long stems with roots that had come loose near the soil line which will start to dry out. Some long stems have even fallen out of the pot.
    If you can create a longer stem and get it down into the soil deeper, it should be ok.
    Make sure the "stem" your re-planting is long enough that it won't come up out of the soil due to the weight of the "beads". Try taking off an inch or two, or more if you like of the beads closest to the soil when making a new stem to re-root, putting the stem down into the soil the entire inch or two and push the soil around it and water it in a little more.
    Try watering the soil first before making the hole (I like use a pencil) that way, the dry soil won't keep filling it back up again.

    Mine usually gets watered once a week, or, when the soil is dry. In the winter, it gets watered a lot less, just enough to keep the beads from shrivling.
     
  3. Derek Denim

    Derek Denim Member

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    Thanks for the advice. Allthough I am allready doing everything you suggested. I would like to know why it is doing this in the first place. It is to much work to be constantly re-rooting and re-potting the stems. I find it odd that it continues to happen regardless of my constant attention. The plant will have a stem that grows one week and then next week is dried out at the base and will die more if I don't save it and place it in water. I'm so frustrated, it's my favorite plant!!!
     
  4. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like the newly re-potted stems develop little in the way of a decent root system that would help hold them in place. Could be they are drying up and dying before they root, or, they are over-watered and rot.

    Un-rooted cuttings need a little more water then rooted ones to survive and develop, also, make sure the soil is well draining, the stems are planted deep enough, and get plenty of water by pouring a little bit of watered just around the un-rooted stems every 5-6 day for a couple of weeks.
    If you gently tug on the stems and there is some resistants, you can then water the entire plant normally.
    Also make sure the pot has just enough for the plants roots with about an inch to spare. Too large, the plant can stay too wet and cause rot, too small and it can dry out too quickly.
     

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  5. wild-rose-43

    wild-rose-43 Active Member

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    Nice String of Beads, Bluewing! Mine isn't that big yet but it's growing fast. I love it but it took me forever to find one, I finally found an obscure web site that sold them mail order.

    Derek, it sounds like you've got good growing conditions so I would pay close attention to the watering situation. I'm inclined to think its to little water because it's shriveling, they hold a lot of water in the beads and when they get too little water at their roots, they draw it out of the beads, hence the shriveled appearance. If they don't get enough water when they are first rooted they're root system won't develop and draw in enough moisture to keep the plant alive.
     
  6. Derek Denim

    Derek Denim Member

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    Thank you both for the helpful info. When it first started happening I too believed it was due to improper watering. I thought I was not watering it enough, so I watered it more often. Now maybe I'm watering it too much. I'll hold back on the watering to see if it helps. I water it when the soil gets dry but not too dry. I though that that would be the right thing to do. Oh well I'll keep trying. Thanks again for your advice Bluewing and Wild Rose 43. DD
     
  7. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Thank you wildrose.

    It was about a 8" longer, but it was given a haircut this summer. A few yrs back I was able to get 4-5, small 3"-4" cuttings from an acquaintance. Back then, these succulents seemed hard to find. Now I see them from time to time at Lowe's in hanging baskets.

    When the little cuttings grew to about 6" or so, id cut half the "strings" off and re-plant them back in the same pot to make it more fuller, and just kept doing that, sure seemed to take a long time though!

    Derek,
    I have heard people will sometimes lay a piece of "string" with beads across the soil and they'll root that way, but I never had much luck doing it like that.
    Whatever way you go, good luck, hope it roots for ya!
     

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