String of Turtles is a tropical vining plant with signature, turtle-like leaves. These beautiful, trailing houseplants have serious aesthetic appeal. They can brighten up any interior space, giving it a warm, welcoming look. String of Turtles is hugely popular due to its unique aesthetic.
Along with Aglaonema Pictum Tricolor, String of Turtles is one of our favorite houseplants.
About String of Turtles Plants
String of Turtles is a remarkable houseplant. After reading this article, you’ll understand its popularity, and why thousands of Google searches are done every month on it!
A Plant of Many Names
String of Turtles is also known by many other names, including Magic Marmer, Jade Necklace, Turtle Plant, and also its Latin name, peperomia prostrata.
Fun Peperomia Prostrata Facts
- Vining plant
- Needs very little water.
- Prefers indirect light
- Small white flowers that look like little spikes
- Some people cut off flowers to promote new growth
- Native to Brazil
- Thick, fleshy leaves
- Flowers grow year-round
- Leaves look like turtles strung together (hence the name; no surprise there, right?)
- Thrives indoors because most indoor climates mimic the Brazilian climate of its origin
Or, if you prefer your facts in table form:
|Common names||String of Turtles, Magic Marmer, Radiator Plant, Jade Necklace, Turtle Plant|
|Botanical name||Peperomia prostrata|
|Native / Origin||Rainforests of Brazil|
|Mature height and size||12 inches long and 3-4 inches wide|
|Maturity years||3 to 5 years|
|Distinguishing features||Round, dark green leaves with white veins that resembles the pattern of a turtle shell.|
|Growth speed||Slow growth|
|Flowering||Flowers are small white spikes and unscented. The flowers bloom all year but most people remove them because the plant is known for its vining leaves.|
|Toxicity||Non-toxic and pet-friendly.|
|Sun exposure||The best lighting is bright, indirect light. Keep out of direct sunlight.|
|Watering||Minimal watering; strictly avoid overwatering|
|Soil type||The soil should be loamy and wet. It is vital to use a soil or mix that drains adequately. The finest potting mix is peat-based organic soil with sand and perlite.|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Fertilizer||Add a diluted, succulent fertilizer every 2 or 3 weeks. A slow-release fertilizer is best. However, String of Turtles does well in any basic houseplant soil.|
|Temperature||Between 18-24ºC (65-75ºF) but no lower than 10ºC ( 50ºF)|
|Humidity||High humidity because it’s a succulent. Mist as much as possible during winter season.|
|Pruning||To keep the growth of this houseplant under control, cut off any unwanted leaves or tendrils. Pruning can also help a plant that is struggling to generate new growth. We recommend pruning every few weeks or so.|
|Repotting||Repot this slow-growing plant only if it becomes overcrowded. Choose a tiny container that is 1′′ or 2′′ broader than the previous one. To avoid root rot, make sure the pot has adequate drainage.|
|Propagation||Cut about 2′′ or 3′′ of a stem off with the leaves still attached and bury slightly beneath the dirt level. A rooting hormone or fertilizer can aid in the development of roots. Make sure you don’t overwater!|
|Diseases and Pests||Whiteflies, Spider Mites, Root Rot, and Mealybugs are all examples of pests. Insecticidal soap can be used to kill pest eggs, and neem oil can be sprayed to keep them away.|
A Unique Addition to Your Home
The name “String of Turtles” refers to the plant’s trailing vines having a pattern on their delicate leaves reminiscent of turtle shells. You can hang these plants from a pot or a railing, and they will trail down beautifully and light up the place.
The leaves are tiny, creating a beautifully delicate twine that hangs low.
You won’t have to worry about cutting its branches or keeping a vigilant eye on this plant. Since their growth rate is relatively low, they reach their full maturity in around five years. Therefore, if you have limited space around the house and find it hard to accommodate large houseplants, the peperomia plant is the perfect choice for you.
You can easily grow them, take care of them, nourish them, and let them blossom right in front of you. We recommend, if you use any sort of pesticide on it, that you use only natural pesticides.
What Sets String of Turtles Apart?
In addition to the trademark “turtle” patterns of the vining plant, its changing colors keep people talking about it. You’ll be able to see a difference every few weeks if you pay attention to your peperomia prostrata.
This indoor plant is light green it its new growth, but changes its color as vines mature. The mature portions of the plant are a beautiful darker green. The differences in color, combined with the variegated patterns of the round succulent leaves, make for an ever-shifting appearance that keeps you looking at it.
The String of Turtles is a beautiful indoor plant, suitable for growing in hanging baskets or a vivarium (an indoor structure for observing plants under natural conditions).
The String of Turtles plant is also known to be a terrarium plant and perfect for container gardens.
A Care Guide to String of Turtles
The String of Turtles is succulent, which means that it tolerates semi-arid conditions. This plant has water-storing tissues that act as water reservoirs. Even when you haven’t watered it for a few days, it still can draw on its own reserves.
String of Turtles is very easy to tend to. Here are some fundamental things you need to be mindful of:
- Light (prefers indirect light)
- Potting Mix
Let’s explore all these factors briefly.
· How Much Light Does a String of Turtles Plant Need?
String of Turtles is an indoor plant and needs very little sun exposure. In fact, if you place them directly under the sun, these plants can burn! So, avoid direct sunlight, which is harsh on their delicate leaflets.
Peperomia prostrata thrives in bright indirect light. This houseplant does not do well in dark conditions and can more easily fall prey to plant diseases in dark or dim conditions.
Providing them natural light without placing them directly under the sun can be quite a task. Therefore, you may want to purchase a grow light. Grow lights are specifically made for indoor plants. They provide an adequate amount of bright indirect light to the plant without damaging it.
You can get your hands on a grow light from Amazon.
· Watering String of Turtles Plants
Being a succulent, String of Turtles stores water in its leaves. These plants are self-sufficient in this regard. You do not have to water them often.
However, misting the plant every couple of days is one way of keeping the moisture quotient intact. Since these plants are native to rainforests, they require adequate moisture and dampness to thrive.
The environment needs to have enough humidity to ensure the rapid growth of String of Turtles.
Another way of keeping the moisture quotient intact is to use a humidifier.
· Potting Mix for String of Turtles
Your potting mix needs to be well-drained. You should also use an aerated potting mix to ensure that an adequate amount of air passes through the plant roots.
In most cases, people prepare the potting mix for their String of Turtles themselves. Since these plants are tiny and delicate, you should be extra careful while preparing a potting mix. Two of the fundamental ingredients are Peat Moss and Perlite.
Mix two parts of peat moss with one part of perlite and shake vigorously. Take a suitable pot for your plant and start preparing the potting mix. This mixture will do wonders for String of Turtles plants.
Whenever you are watering the plant, make sure to dry out the potting mix. Otherwise, the plant might fall prey to root rot due to overwatering.
Root rot is a plant disease that destroys the plant’s roots, ultimately resulting in its death.
· Temperature Requirements for String of Turtles
Unlike most succulents, peperomia prostrata does not require particularly warm temperatures. You can put it at normal room temperature, 18 to 24 degrees Celsius, and it will thrive.
· Fertilizing String of Turtles
Fertilizer is essential for every plant, no matter how big or small it is. Even indoor plants require an adequate dose of fertilizer every so often to flourish. Especially in a home garden or an indoor setting, providing a healthy dose of fertilizer is very important.
Otherwise, the plant might die due to a lack of enough macronutrients and micronutrients.
Most plants require phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium as fundamental nutrients, and String of Turtles is no different it its requirement of these three minerals. Without adequate inputs of them, it won’t be able to produce new growth, and may even begin to wilt.
If you are planting your String of Turtles in spring, you need to double the dose. It means that you have to provide an appropriate fertilizer enriched with all, but not limited to, the three main nutrients – phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium – twice a month.
· Repotting a String of Turtles Plant
Repotting peperomia prostrata is an easy task. Since this plant has a relatively slow growth than all the other plants, changing pots might not be an issue for a long time. This plant grows in length as it trails down the pot.
It is a rare occurrence where the plant outgrows the pot you have placed it within a couple of months. In most cases, String of Turtles plants take almost a year to outgrow the pot. Until that stage has arrived, you can change the soil to ensure healthy growth.
Repot the plant during the growing season to limit the negative effects of repotting. Don’t repot it unnecessarily: wait until the plant’s length is getting out of hand.
When you repot String of Turtles, use a pot the next size up from the current one.
· Pruning String of Turtles Plants
Since this houseplant grows vertically, it is likely to grow some leggy strands that might hinder the growth of the entire plant.
Cut off these unruly strands if you see any.
You don’t need to cut them every day. However, if you see a dead strand, get rid of it ASAP.
How to Propagate Peperomia Prostrata
The String of Turtles plant grows slowly, reaching full maturity over five years. Meanwhile, you can tend to them, care for them, and let them unravel at their own pace.
However, if you want to spread its trail and make it look wider, you can do so by adapting to any one of the following methods:
- Potting mix propagation
- Water propagation
Propagating in Potting Mix
The following are the three ways to propagate the plant in a potting mix:
· Potting Mix Propagation Method No. 1
String of Turtles has a stem where the roots and the turtle-shaped leaves grow from. The first method involves shedding off the unnecessary or deteriorating strands. Use a pair of clean scissors to get rid of them.
That’s where the potting mix comes in. You have to attach the bottom of the cutting to the potting mix. Make sure the pot is spacious enough to cater to the nodes to accommodate the trailing plant. Nodes are essential for the new roots.
Once you have taken the cuttings, place them in a pot. Water them and provide them an adequate amount of fertilizer.
Just keep tabs on the cuttings and give them a slight tug now and then to check for the roots. If you feel a slight pull from the potting mix, it means the roots have started taking hold.
· Potting Mix Propagation Method No. 2
Instead of planting the entire cutting into the soil, let it lie over the surface with nodes lightly buried under the potting mix.
The rest of the process is the same. Just water the plant, keep the exterior of the potting mix moist and check for the roots to grow. A slight pull from the soil will notify you of the arrival of new roots.
· Potting Mix Propagation Method No. 3
The first two methods involved the whole cutting. However, in this method, you can use the leaves. All you have to do is to take out a few leaves along with their petioles and bury them into the moist potting mix.
Once you have buried the leaves, repeat the process by watering the plant, providing it the required amount of fertilizer, and placing it directly under a bright grow light. Keep the plant’s surface moist but don’t overwater.
Propagating Peperomia Prostrata in Water
This process is takes a bit longer for roots to develop than the potting mix methods. However, you will watch the roots propagate right in front of your eyes! How amazing is that?
Using clean scissors, snip off some stem cuttings just below a node (a node is where the leaves and/or roots grow out of the stem). Put the base of the cuttings into a glass jar of water. Make sure to insert at least one node under the water’s surface for roots to sprout from.
Join the base of the stem cuttings and let it grow in an ideal condition – bright indirect light and an adequate amount of water.
As soon as the water level starts to go down, add some more water or change the water altogether for a fresh start.
Within a few months, you will have fully propagated roots, which you can then place in a potting mix for further growth.
The String of Turtles Plant: Conclusion
String of Turtles is an exceptional indoor houseplant that fits well in every setting. This plant adapts to its surroundings and grows at its own pace.
Just pay attention to how much light your String of Turtles plant gets. Give it enough bright indirect light and avoid direct sunlight, as too much direct light is destructive to the plant.
Use a natural pesticide to keep spider mites and other pests at bay. Avoid overly wet soil, and keep the plant at normal household temperatures.
Like this article? Check out our guide to growing the star anise plant! Or browse through our blog for other cool gardening hacks!
I wasn’t familiar with “String of Turtles” until I saw your article. This looks like a plant that even I can have success with. 🙂 I’m looking forward to giving it a try. Thanks for the information!
String of Turtles is a great houseplant that even those without green thumbs can have and keep alive. I love the plant for that reason but I am also hooked on its gorgeous color and look. Feel free to post a pic if you decide to get one. I am sure you will love the plant.
All the best!