Can String Of Pearls Grow In Water?

There are plants that grow in water as well as they do in soil. Plants like bromeliads, croton, and dracaena. So you are wondering: whether a string of pearls can grow in water only or not.

In this article, I will answer this question. Plus I will tell you how to propagate your string of pearls in water and how to keep it in water permanently. Also will discuss the advantages of a growing string of pearls in water.

But to make things simpler first I will answer our main question, Then we will proceed to the details.

So, can a string of pearls grow in water? A string of pearls can be propagated in water by stem. Also, it can stay and live in water permanently as long as it gets nutrients Through liquid fertilizer. And exposed to the conditions that it needs.

keep reading to know how to propagate your string of pearls in water.

How to propagate a string of pearls in water

The nature of the string of pearls stem allows for water propagation. While there are plants like cast-iron plants cant be propagated nor grow in water because of the nature of their stems.

A string of pearls can be propagated either by the soil method or the water method. The soil method is straightforward. You just need to cut a stem from an established string of pearls and remove some pearls from the stem in order to plant it in the soil.

Water propagation is not complicated too. Actually, I have more success when I use the water propagation method. The following are the step for successful water propagation:

Choose good stem

It is important to find a healthy stem that has firm pearls. Cut part of the strand ( 5 inches in length). Then cut the pearls that exist in the first three inches starting from the cutting end ( see the below picture).

picture showing how to prepare string of pearls stem cutting for water propagation

Let the cutting dries out

Before moving the cutting into the water let the cutting dries out ( the end of the cutting).

If you live in a dry climate the cutting may need just hours to dry out because the string of pearls stem is a thin one.

But if you live in a humid place put the cutting in a dry shaded spot for 24 hours. It is important to let the wound dries out. Because if you put the stem in the water while the cutting wound is open it will rot.

Move the cutting into the water

Bring a clear bottle or any water container that can hold water and fill it with water. Put the bare stem part inside the water. Make sure that there is no pearl touching the water (see the below picture).

picture showing how to put string of pearls stem in water for propagation

Wait for the roots to form

During 3 weeks your seedling will form a decent root system under the water. After that, you can either transfer it into the soil or just leave it in water permanently.

string of pearls rooting in water

Keep reading to know how to take care of your string of pearls while it is permanently growing in water.

How to care for a string of pearls that grow in water

Soil is the most common growing media for plants. But what is the function of the soil? soil plays two roles.

First, it holds both moisture and nutrients in order for a string of pearls to absorb through time. It also allows oxygen to follow between its particles.

The second function is that it anchors the plant. Therefore string of pearls or any other plant needs moisture, oxygen, nutrients and something to be anchored on.

Water contains oxygen. And when you put the stem in the water your plant will develop a root system that is able to absorb oxygen from water.

This is an example of how plants cope with their environment in order to survive.

Follow the following tips in order to give your string of pearls what it needs in order to thrive in water:

Water Type

The best water that you can give to your string of pearls is rainwater. Because it has a pH value that the string of pearls loves.

You can collect rainwater during the fall season and use it throughout the year. The second best option is distilled or purified water.

Avoid using tap water because tap water contains minerals and salts that are not good for your plant. In case you only have access to tap water make sure to treat it before using it.

You treat tap water by putting it in an open container overnight in order for some chemicals to dissipate in the air.

Change the water regularly

Your string of pearls will need fresh water from time to time. Therefore changing the water every two weeks will be a good schedule.

Clean the water container

When you use a clear water container for your string of pearls the light will get into the water. Such a thing will allow algae to grow. Therefore clean the water container every three months in order to keep your plant thriving.


A string of pearls thrives best when it is exposed to bright indirect sunlight. And your plant that grows in water is not an exception.

Place the water bottle in a location that gets bright indirect sunlight. and avoid direct sunlight as it will burn the leaves.


A string of pearls will thrive best in an environment where the temperature is around 72 F. As long as your plant is located in a place that has a temperature that you can tolerate that means your plant will tolerate it.


A string of pearls is not a heavy feeder. However, your plant will need fertilization every 3 weeks during spring and fall as it grows actively during those seasons ( growing season).

Use a balanced weak liquid fertilizer. And only apply 1/4 of the recommended manufacturer dose. It is always better to under-fertilize your plant than to over-fertilize it.

During summer and very cold winters stop fertilization completely. Because in those seasons string of pearls goes dormant. It doesn’t need nutrients because it focuses on resting rather than growth.


Whether your string plant growing in soil or water pruning is essential for your plant’s healthy growth. Through time your plant will grow new pearls. And the old ones will be weak so using sterilized scissors prune any dying leaves in order to let your plant focus its energy and resources on the new pearls and growth. Avoid accessive pruning at once as such a thing will shock the plant.

Infographic shows how to care for string of pearls growing in water

Can a string of pearls live and grow in water permanently

As long as you followed the tips in this article you can grow your string of pearls in water indefinitely without a time limit.

The water contains oxygen and you will provide it with nutrients. This is all that a string of pearls needs in order to thrive.

When to move a string of pearls to a new water container

Through time your plant roots may outgrow their current water container which will cause rootbound. Rootbound is unhealthy for the plant’s overall growth and survival. In such a case you can move your plant to a new water container safely.

When to propagate a string of pearls in water

The best time for a string of pearls’ water propagation is during spring or summer, those are the seasons when naturally string of pearls focuses its energy on growth. While in winter string of pearls goes dormant so it is not the ideal time for propagation.

Advantages of growing string of pearls in water

By growing a string of pearls in water, you minimize the maintenance requirements. You don’t need to worry about the watering frequency.

Also, you will eliminate the risk of underwatering or overwatering your plant. Another reason that may encourage you to do it is plants that are growing in water are less vulnerable to pest infections.

Because pests live in the soil. And there is no soil when you grow your plant in water only. For more information, I wrote an entire chapter about growing plants in water in my book Container Gardening: A Step-by-Step Practical Guide. Download your copy now through this link to master water gardening and container gardening in general.

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