The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata), is a succulent native to the Brazilian rainforest. It’s important to note that this succulent is also called ‘magic marmer’. It has very aesthetic leaves and is usually best placed inside hanging pots, though not exclusively.
To grow a String of Turtles plant, keep in mind the following:
- Some humidity is great for this plant, unlike other succulents that prefer a dry environment.
- The ‘soak and dry’ method is good for watering.
- Sunlight is a must. However, it shouldn’t be excessive. A stable temperate environment is quite beneficial for this plant.
- Repotting is seldom needed.
Let’s learn more about the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) and its proper care.
String of Turtles Plant (Peperomia Prostrata) care guidelines
There are different places where we can place the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata). It’s an ideal plant for hanging pots, dish gardens, desks, terrariums, amongst many others.
This succulent is actually not invasive. It certainly likes to spread a little, and has a very full look, when healthy. It’s also in many ways a hanging succulent, in that it does trail quite a bit.
This succulent does like humidity and some moistness. It doesn’t like overwatering though, and in that regard it’s very much like other succulents.
As usual, the ‘soak and dry’ method is the best procedure to use. As we know, ‘soak and dry’ means that we want to wait for the soil to dry completely before watering again. When we water, we must drench the pot and then wait for the soil to dry off before repeating the cycle.
In the case of the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata), such a ‘soak and dry’ method comes with a caveat. We want to wait for the top layer of the soil to dry off and then water. As we know, the ‘soak and dry’ method usually dictates that we must check out the whole soil, from top to bottom, using a chopstick or moisture meter. In this case, the top of the soil will do quite nicely.
In any case, overwatering is what we should really watch out for. It’ll really harm our plant and must be avoided at all costs.
To learn more about how to water succulents properly, check out our guide.
When it comes to the soil, the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) needs to have a well-draining mix. Many owners will use a mix of 2 parts peats and one part sand. The key factor is good drainage.
The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) is a rainforest succulent. This means that its air requirements are quite unusual for a succulent.
As we know, most succulents like to be housed in a dry environment, with very dry air and certainly no drizzle or humidity.
However, the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) actually likes humidity and, therefore, humid air. This means that this succulent enjoys environments with moisture in the air.
Now then, this doesn’t mean that this succulent doesn’t need light. Humid air is fine, as long as there is proper light provision.
The peperomia prostrata likes humid weather. We need to remember that the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) comes from the Brazilian rainforest.
Such an environment has a lot of humidity. When in doubt about the conditions that this succulent needs, remember where it comes from. That’s always a good rule of thumb.
What if the location of this succulent is not humid enough? Some string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) owners mist the leaves of the plant.
This is a good idea. Remember that if we are to mist the plant, we need to consider that intense sunlight and misting may together hurt the plant’s surface. Therefore, a prudent provision of light is best.
Another method to give this plant humidity is to place a tray with water beneath it. This is a good idea, although somewhat complicated. It’ll surely work if the pot is placed on the ground. If the succulent is housed in a hanging pot such a tray may be an impossibility.
Light & Temperature
The peperomia prostrata prefers a cool-to-warm temperature. Bright light does wonders for this plant. Again though, we must remember that this succulent comes from the Brazilian rainforest. This can give us a good indication of what light provision is best for the plant.
Suppose we keep this plant indoors. In this case, it’s a good idea to either place it next to windows or to use fluorescent lights.
The ideal temperature range for this succulent is somewhere between 65 to 75 F (that’s 18 to 23 C). The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) doesn’t like the cold. It’ll usually start wilting when the temperature drops below 50 F (10 C).
String of Turtles Plant advanced care guidelines
Propagating the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) is actually quite easy. To achieve that end, leaf cuttings are ideal. We can simply cut about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7cm) off a stem. These cuttings must then be planted into a moist and well-draining soil mix and that’s basically it.
Potting and repotting
The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) can go years without being repotted. This is because the root system is actually quite shallow. As we know, repotting is necessary for certain plants when the root system grows too much and starves out the plant.
When it’s time to repot, this plant is best repotted in a small pot with good drainage. The most obvious sign that it’s time to inspect the root system is when we notice signs of root rot, such as yellow leaves. As with other succulents, we must examine the root system and remove dead roots, so that the plant may thrive again.
This plant actually benefits from the use of fertilizer. It’s a good idea to apply diluted fertilizers throughout the growing season. Some owners will actually apply a time-release fertilizer just at the start of the growing season. As with most other succulents, fertilizing is not necessary during winter.
As with other succulents, mealybugs are a typical pest. To control them, we may use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol. We can then apply the swab directly to the plant. It’s important to note that overwatering may encourage pests as well; prudent watering will help diminish the risk of root rot and consequent pests.
When it’s time to prune the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata), we need to remember certain things.
If we want to stop vine growth, it’s a good idea to simply prune the top of some stems. It’s ideal that we try to remove the damaged or dead foliage.
Also, if stems get too large, it may be necessary to prune them as well.
Note however, that if we are to prune this succulent we must do it very carefully. Too much pruning of the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) and the plant may lose its full appearance and begin to look frail. Most importantly, though, excessive pruning may hamper growth permanently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the string of turtles a succulent?
This plant is called a succulent by most and a semi-succulent by some. Semi-succulent simply means that it’s not as drought tolerant as regular succulents. This is not surprising since this plant comes from the humid Brazilian rainforest.
Does the string of turtles flower?
The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) does produce very tiny cream-colored flowers. However, it’s important to note that what’s most striking about this plant is not the flowers themselves, but rather the other features of the plant.
How do you root a turtle string?
There are several alternatives. Some people will start trying to root it in water first and then moving it into soil. Others will insert the cuttings directly into soil. The other method that owners use is simply placing the cuttings flat on the soil; eventually, they will shoot out roots.
Can you root a string of turtles in water?
When propagating a string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata), there are different things that we can do. Some people place the cuttings in lukewarm water until there is root development. This process may take around two months or so. They’ll usually replace the water every few days.
Once there are roots, the growth may be put into compost in a small pot. Some people will then mist the soil and place the cuttings inside a transparent bag to achieve humidity. They’ll open this bag every few days for a few minutes and remove debris.
Why do turtle strings turn yellow?
There are certain things which can happen to the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata). For one, leaves may turn yellow, wilt or otherwise lose their colors. What’s this about?
First of all, overwatering may be the culprit. Remember to apply a ‘soak and dry’ method when watering the string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata). In case the succulent is definitely overwatered we need to drain excess water from the pot. This is usually the case when drainage is not working properly.
There may be other times when leaves seem dull and damaged. This may very well be due to excessive sunlight. The obvious cure to this is moving the plant away from extreme sunlight.
How big is the String of Turtles Plant ?
The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) has tiny leaves, which are only around ¼ of an inch wide (1/2 cm).
More importantly, it has a full and abundant appearance. The string of turtles plant (peperomia prostrata) does exhibit the growth of a hanging plant. It features creeping and trailing growth and is therefore sometimes housed in hanging pots.
Why is my plant losing its leaves?
It’s actually quite normal to lose some leaves. If the plant is losing too many leaves, however, this means that we have to examine the basics.
Two very specific areas which may be floundering are temperature and fertilizing. Remember to fertilize and keep this plant in a well-lit, temperate and slightly humid environment.