Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Sophie
If you’re looking for a stunning trailing succulent which is easy to propagate and even easier to care for, then you’ve come to the right place. String of Turtles is known scientifically as Peperomia Prostrata and is characterised by its circular mottled leaves on a vining stem.
The leaves are reminiscent of a tortoise shell (hence its name) and seem as if they are located beneath a transparent film, thus giving the foliage a particularly interesting texture and appearance. The plant originates from South America, where it grows close to the ground.
Here’s a complete String of Turtles care guide, as well as watering tips and how to propagate the Peperomia Prostrata vining indoor plant. For more hanging plants, check out our guide to the best of trailing succulents. It’s also worth noting that in comparison with varieties such as the String of Pearls, String of Turtles is fairly low maintenance and easy to keep happy.
String of Turtles Care Guide
Watering your Peperomia Prostrata
For a semi-succulent plant, it’s worth noting that I need to water my string of turtles much more than many of my other succulent plants. If you notice that the leaves are starting to drop off more readily than you would like, then simply cut back on the watering. The number one sign of overwatering the string of turtles is that the plant leaves start to turn to mush or turn a shade of yellow/ brown.
Conversely, if the leaves start to wrinkle, then the plant likely isn’t receiving enough water. Like the rest of my succulent plants, I find that the best method for watering this Peperomia plant is the soak and leave. What this means is that I will leave the plant to dry out entirely between waterings before watering it once more. This significantly reduces the chance of root or leaf rot.
Best soil conditions for the String of Turtles
As a semi-succulent plant with juicy leaves, the String of Turtles is prone to both root rot, as well as leaf rot if the plant is given too much water and doesn’t dry out again quickly. As such, a well draining substrate is an absolute must.
I personally prefer a mix of organic soil with sand and grit. Most garden centres selling indoor houseplants will sell a soil mix which is particularly created for succulents, though, of course; there is no prescribed recipe and you can simply create your own.
When it comes to repotting the Peperomia Prostrata, you’ll find that you don’t need to change up pot sizes on a very regular basis. The root system is very shallow and is sooted to containers with a small depth. If in doubt, it is preferable to have a smaller as opposed to larger pot (which should be well-draining either way) in order to prevent the soil becoming waterlogged, and thus allowing the possibility of your plant developing root rot.
Best light conditions for the Peperomia Prostrata
Bright indirect light (with a heavy emphasis on having enough light) is best for most Peperomia plants. If the plant receives too much bright sunlight, then the leaves can burn, causing plant death in the most severe of cases.
When given the right conditions, this mottled green vining plant can bulk out pretty significantly, though never trails in the same manner as the String of Hearts, which you’ll likely have to eventually cut back. Furthermore, if optimum care requirements are achieved, then the plant can even produce small flowers, though they are not the most aesthetically pleasing of blooms.
String of Turtles Propagation
There are several methods you can use to propagate your String of Turtles, though some are more effective than others, while some are also quicker than others. The best time to propagate your indoor houseplant is during the spring or early summer (i.e. the growing season). This way, you’ll be giving your new plants the best possible chance of survival.
I personally find that the most effective way to propagate the Peperomia Prostrata is by taking cuttings from the semi-succulent and laying them atop a layer of soil, just as you would do with the String of Hearts. Water sparingly, so as to avoid root rot, and within a few weeks you’ll soon have a brand new plant. Alternatively, you can also root your cuttings in water, though I have often mixed results with this method.
String of Turtles Flowers
One important thing to note about the String of Turtles is that the succulent plant is grown for its beautiful foliage as opposed to its potential flowers. Given the right lighting and other growing conditions, the plant will flower all year ’round. With this being said, when this peperomia does flower, it’s flowers are little white buds which are not much to look at and are fairly insignificant.
String of Turtles pests and problems
Unlike other vining succulent plants such as the String of Pearls or the String of Dolphins, the Peperomia prostrata is much easier to care for. As a result, it is less likely to become stressed and develop pests and problems.
The most common problem of the Peperomia prostrata is leaves falling off when the plant is gently touched or picked up. This is most often a simple case of overwatering. Immediately stop watering your plant so much and follow our above care tips to keep your plant in a healthy condition.
With this being said, every plant (no matter how well cared for) has the propensity to develop pests at one point or another. The two most common pests that String of Turtles are susceptible to are spidermites and mealybugs.
Mealybugs are the easier of the two to get rid of. They look like white cotton buds and should simply be wiped away with rubbing alcohol using a cotton bud. Spidermites can be trickier to get rid of. Your first port of call should be to rinse the plant thoroughly under an outdoor hose (or shower if you don’t have an outdoor space). Then, spray the affected area with neem oil.