What is a string of turtles?
The string of turtles is a tiny little vining plant from the Piperaceae family. This succulent has a botanical name of Peperomia Prostata. It is a native of the Brazilian rainforest that prefers an average home temperature. These tropical perennials thrive mostly in cold to warm weather with a gnash of humidity.
Size and growth
The string of turtles is a miniature plant that grows up to 30 centimeters or 1 foot. Although its average size is a trailing 10-15 centimeters and 10 centimeters in width. Its maximum size is reached in 3-5 years upon its maturity.
Foliage and flowers
This succulent is a liana with a small spadix-like stance and trailing leaves. It is a slow-growing plant with round green succulent leaves and white veins. The white to light green veins on the leaves seemingly appear like small turtles, thus, its name.
The flowers of the string of turtles seem to be trivial as it sometimes does not bear any. If the flowers come to bloom, the long flower spikes are cream with no fragrance.
Uses of a string of turtles
This charming little succulent is best used as a hanging plant. It exudes a gorgeous sight as its leaves trail from the wall, under the shade of your porch, or at the edge of your table.
The string of turtles can also be used in terrariums and container gardens. However it is used, the rareness and distinctiveness of these perennials is a worthy addition to your garden scape.
Comprehensive know-how for the string of turtles.
This cascading succulent has very frail and sensitive leaves. They fall off easily, especially when placed in a spot where it is easily bumped. When this plant is given proper care, it can beautify your garden or home for years.
How to grow string of turtles
A string of turtles is a well-behaved little stunner that is easy to grow for. Although it entails careful handling, it is simple to cultivate and nurture.
Here are some tips on how to grow a string of turtles:
Soil and transplanting
A string of turtles needs a rich, loose, well-aerated, and well-drained soil with a potting mix. The best way to mix the soil is to use 1 part of perlite and 2 parts of peat. It is also helpful if you would change the top layer every year.
To re-pot, your newly purchased string of turtles, use a pot or container that is two to four inches in diameter with a depth of two to three inches. The new container should be a well-draining pot. During and once replanted, make sure that you do not disturb its roots.
Fertilizer and feeding
The color and pattern on the leaves of the string of turtles tend to fade away as they reach maturity. However, there is one way to help maintain the vigor of its leaves.
Feeding the string of turtles with the right amount of fertilizer can help maintain the bright shiny stance of its leaves and to make sure that the color and patterns on them are maintained especially during the growing season.
To feed the string of turtles, you need to dilute the houseplant fertilized biweekly. This should be done during the growing season but not during winter or fall.
The house plant fertilizers that can be used to feed a string of turtles are the quick-release water-soluble and the slow-release granular fertilizers. The slow-release granular fertilizer is best applied when replanting the string of turtles.
The string of turtles are succulents and they do not like excessive water. Too much water can cause the leaves to turn into something like mushy peas. The most optimum amount of water should only be an equivalent of ⅙ to ⅕ of the pot’s volume. You also have to make sure to water the plant only when the soil has dried down.
The watering should be done only once every two or three weeks only. Watering may be done from the top but bottom watering also works.
If you are watering from the bottom of the pot, you can place the pot in a vessel and fill the vessel with water up to half of the pot’s height. Leave the pot inside the vessel soaked in water for ten minutes. When you remove the pot, allow it to drain and your string of turtles is all set for the next two to three weeks.
How to care for a string of turtles
The sensitivity of the leaves of the string of turtles always requires utmost handling. Despite this, it only takes the right amount of effort to help the plant adapt to the typical plant care methods to maintain this succulent.
Pruning the string of turtles is one way to keep it tidy, primeval, and impeccable. The occasional pruning will help you free your plant from dead and damaged stems and leaves. You can also prune the plant to remove unwanted growth.
Another pruning benefit that your string of turtles can get is to help it become more vigorous to grow and flourish. Remember to sanitize your pruning scissors before pruning or snipping the unwanted stems and leaves of the plant.
Temperature and Humidity
Comparatively, the string of turtles prefers a cooler more humid temperature than the warmer temperature that most succulents thrive for. An environment with an average room temperature is the best place to keep a string of turtles. This is usually around 68o-75o Fahrenheit.
When summer is approaching, it is best to be ready with a humidifier or mister. This is to ensure that the plant is moistured but not wet.
You can place the string of turtles under the sun to get the right amount of sunlight but it should not be for too long. Too much direct sunlight exposure can damage the leaves of the plant. Thus, it is best to place it in a bright place with indirect sunlight.
How to propagate string of turtles
March is the best time to propagate the string of turtles. Propagation can be done through a leaf or stem cuttings, and by planting the root.
Here is the step by step propagation guide for the string of turtles:
- Take a look at the mature string of turtles and pick the healthiest stems for propagation. Make sure that the stem is neither very dry nor damaged.
- Cut at least five inches of the chosen stem. You may include the leave if there are any.
- Coil the stem and place it in a new pot. The pot should contain fresh soil with a moist and well-drained potting mix.
- When adding the soil mixture, make sure not to cover the full stem and leaves. Doing so may harm the plant as it will not capture the right amount of light.
- Remember NOT to water the newly planted string of turtles. The first watering of the plant should be done after a week has passed.
- After one week, place it in a propagation case. Misting the soil and foliage should be done once every week to maintain humidity.
- Make sure not to seal the top of the propagation case. Excessive humidity can harm your string of turtles.
- Remember to sufficiently water but not overwater your growing succulent.
- Your propagation case should not be placed in direct sunlight. Enough, bright, and indirect light with a temperature higher than 18o Celsius is the best place to keep your plant.
- Check your newly propagated string of turtles every few days. If there are any yellow or rotten leaves, make sure to prune them carefully.
- As the foliar develops, apply the proper care guidelines to keep your string of turtles healthy and vibrant.
Here is another propagation guide for the string of turtles:
- Placing half of your stem cutting in water until roots appear.
- Make sure to replace the water every 3-4 days.
- You should also check and remove the yellow or damaged leaves.
- Check the progress of the stem and see the root development which may take up to about two months.
- Transfer the stem when roots have been established.
- Use a three-inch pot to plant your newly developed stem cutting. You may also use hanging baskets of the same size.
Common issues with the string of turtles
The string of turtles is food to some insects and bugs. This plant is vulnerable to mealybugs so make sure that they are not exposed to these bugs. Mealybugs appear like white fuzzy balls at the bottom of the leaves of the string of turtles.
Another common issue of the string of turtles is the wilted and discolored foliage. This happens when you overwater this succulent. What you should do is drain the water out of the pot. Also, remember not to soak the leaves to avoid rotting.
When the string of turtles begins to have dull and damaged Leaves by moving it away from the very strong and harsh sunlight. Although the loss of variegation may no longer be reversed, the spread of this damage can be minimized. Remember NOT to place it under very strong sunlight.
Is your string of turtles safe for pets?
Unfortunately, this pretty succulent is not so pet-friendly. Make sure to keep your string of turtles out of reach of pets. This can be very toxic to your furry friends when ingested.
When pets accidentally ingest the leaves of this plant, it can cause them vomiting, irritation, and diarrhea. When these symptoms persist, make sure to immediately bring your furball to a veterinarian for proper care.
Is the string of turtles right for you?
The string of turtles is a small size and ornamental foliage that suits a terrarium set up, a hanging basket by your porch, a dish garden, an office desk ornament, and a container garden. Thus, a plant and succulent enthusiast such as yourself will be the perfect partner for growing and caring for this little beauty.
Is The String of Turtles Plant Invasive?
The string of turtles is a vining plant that spreads and cascades over the edge of its pot. However, will definitely not invade neighboring plant space. Neither will it shade out other plants. This succulent is known to be a well-behaved stunner.
Why are the leaves of my string of turtles turning red?
Red foliage happens when the leaves of this plant have been exposed to direct sunlight for a very long time. Imagine yourself under the sun on the beach, wouldn’t your skin turn red?
The string of turtles can only tolerate direct sunlight for a few hours. Being under the sun for too long will be too intense for its health. Thus, remember to limit sun exposure to about one hour a day, and not every day. To solve this issue, remove the red, dried-out, and damaged leaves to help the plant grow better.
The perfect house plant (conclusion)
The string of turtles is sure to make the perfect houseplant!
Its versatility to a wide range of conditions and the straightforward care of this succulent makes it the perfect houseplant.
It only needs medium to full sunlight indoors as well as occasional watering. Pruning the plant does not entail too much time as long as proper care is observed. Thus, this vining stunner will surely make a tremendous addition to your indoor or garden scape.