String of Bananas (SOBs) is a houseplant that is similar to another string succulent called String of Turtles. That said, the former can be easier to take care of because of its thicker stems. So, they’re relatively less delicate, and they don’t dry out quickly.
Moreover, this type of houseplant grows faster than String of Pearls, allowing for more propagating. So, if you’re considering adding SOBs in your home, here’s everything you need to know when growing them.
What to Keep in Mind When Growing String of Bananas
Knowing all aspects of a plant before you add it to your garden or home is essential if you want it to grow strong and healthy. Therefore, below you can find everything you need to know about this particular succulent houseplant.
You can get SOBs in three common pot sizes: 3, 4, and 6 inches. Moreover, the trails of the houseplant can extend to about 4 to 6 feet. So, it’s worth noting that if you plan on hanging it somewhere in your home.
This houseplant offers excellent decorative effects. A hanging pot is arguably the best way to show off the plant’s beauty. Moreover, you could color the pot to contrast the bright green color of the plant. If you don’t want to hang it, you could place the plant over a shelf, bookcase, or ledge to allow the trails to spread.
The String of Bananas houseplant tends to grow at a moderate to fast pace outdoors. Also, it spreads slower than it trails downward. On the other hand, it grows at a moderate pace when indoors. For that, you’ll need to make sure your plant gets adequate light.
Exposure to Light
Your succulent houseplant needs medium to high light exposure when placed indoors. The plant cannot grow in low light, and it may die much sooner than otherwise. Also, ensure that the plant gets light from all angles. If that’s not possible, then rotate your plant every 3 to 6 months. This way, the growth will be even.
That said, while a lot of light is necessary, make sure to keep the plant out of direct sunlight. Your plant could burn by direct sunlight, especially during the summer. Also, don’t let any part of your plant touch hot glass.
On the subject of light, the temperature is also something you should note. The good thing about this type of string succulent is that it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures outdoors. If you’re placing it indoors, ensure that it’s not close to an air conditioner or heater.
Cold or hot winds won’t help your plant’s growth. So, you should keep in mind that your plant will be comfortable in a space that you feel comfortable in.
Some factors can affect how much and how often you should water your houseplant. However, it’s safe to stick to watering it once about every 2 or 3 weeks. Water your plant thoroughly and let it dry out completely before you water it again.
So, the aim is to avoid keeping it moist at all times without letting it stay dry for an extended period. You could cause the roots to rot if you don’t water the plant right.
The right type of soil is vital to ensure that your String of Bananas grows well and stays healthy. An organic succulent and cactus soil mix is ideal for this particular houseplant.
So, try to keep the soil light and drained well. All succulents like String of Bananas need a loose mix to prevent the roots from rotting. Moreover, draining the soil effectively also reduces the chances of the roots rotting.
Most succulents don’t need fertilizer to grow properly. Instead, you could top the soil with about a quarter-inch (in-depth) of worm compost in early spring and put the same amount of compost over that. That said, make sure that you don’t exceed this amount because you could burn the roots if you do.
So, the advantage of worm compost and compost is that they enrich the soil naturally. This way, your plant will be stronger and healthier in the long term than with using commercial fertilizers.
When you need to re-pot your SOB houseplant, you’ll be happy to learn that it’s easy to do that. The leaves don’t fall as easily as with other hanging succulents such as the Burro’s Tail Sedum and String of Pearls.
Moreover, like most succulents, this plant stays tight in its pots for a long time (about a year or two. So, you won’t need to re-pot it often.
When re-potting it, ensure that the plant’s crown (the top of the plant) is at a maximum of 1 inch down in the pot. The plant’s stems can rot if it’s planted too far down in the pot. Also, you should re-pot this plant in the summer or spring.
The SOB houseplant is prone to attracting mealybugs and aphids. Therefore, you’ll have to use the appropriate methods to control them in that case. Here’s a video that offers multiple ways to get these pests in control.
There’s no clear evidence if String of Bananas is non-toxic to pets. However, considering that other succulents like String of Pearls are toxic, you should keep your pets out of reach. They could face health problems if they chew on the leaves. What you can do to prevent your pets from reach the plant is to place it somewhere high in your home and out of reach.
This succulent houseplant does have flowers. The flowers are white and puffy, and they’re present on long stems that tend to curve upwards slightly. So, these flowers are undeniably pretty and add to the overall decorative value of this plant.
However, the flowers don’t have as much fragrance as the flowers on the String of Pearls do. Moreover, you can expect the flowers to bloom during winter, as is the case with most succulents. The reason for this is the cooler evenings and shorter days
In some cases, this succulent houseplant may not bloom flowers while stored indoors. However, it may do so when grown outdoors. So, that is something you may want to keep in mind when growing this plant.
What to Consider When Placing String of Bananas Outdoors During the Summer
It could really help to keep your String of Bananas houseplant outdoors during the summer if you live in a relatively cold climate. This way, it will get adequate sunlight and stay healthy as a result. However, you should keep 3 important factors in mind to avoid damaging your plant.
- Don’t let your succulent houseplant get direct and strong sunlight. You will risk burning your plant in very little time.
- Place your succulent houseplant under some type of protection if it rains a lot during the summer. So, you could place it under a screened porch or a covered patio. Thus, the reason for this is to prevent the plant from getting too wet. The roots could rot, and the stems may become mushy if the plant doesn’t dry out properly.
- Hose off your succulent houseplant when you’re bringing it indoors during the winter. However, make sure you use a gentle setting to avoid damaging it. So, the purpose of this step is to knock off pests or their eggs that may be clinging onto your plant.
Things That Can Kill Your String of Bananas Houseplant
If you plan to grow and take care of a String of Bananas houseplant in your home or garden, then you must know two crucial factors that can kill it if you’re not careful. These include:
- Insufficient light: you must take extra care of this during the winter when its placed indoors
- Overwatering: you will need to let the plant dry out every time before watering it
Even doing one of these faults can lead to your houseplant dying. So, a combination can spell disaster for it.
Last Few Words
This succulent houseplant is often on sale along with other string plants such as String of Pearls. Like with all succulents, you’ll need to make sure that you follow the right growing guidelines so that your plant stays healthy for a long time.
This article has been created to facilitate that. Also, the good thing about this plant is that it doesn’t require much tending to. So, just follow the basic requirements, and your plant will be fine.
If you want to increase the number of String of Bananas houseplants in your home, you’ll be pleased to know that propagation is quick and easy. All you have to do is make cuttings, add them to another pot with soil, and allow it to grow.
Looking to grow some beautiful plants to adorn your home with? Check out this article on how to grow and maintain Begonia Maculata!
About the author: Jenny Wallentine is a master gardener, home remodeling enthusiast, and DIY-er. She is also the co-founder of Origins Genealogy, a company specializing in helping adult adoptees find their birth parents, biological siblings to find one another, and people to get in touch with their genetic origins. When not remodeling a house or snowmobiling in the mountains, Jenny can be found enjoying her grandchildren.