HomePlant Care and TipsString of Watermelon Plant Care and Growing Tips

String of Watermelon Plant Care and Growing Tips

String of Watermelon is a great little specimen that stands out with its unique leaves. Here’s all the details about growing it.

String of Watermelon 1

String of Watermelon, also popular as String of Melons or Senecio herreianus, is a unique and visually stunning trailing succulent that can be great for small spaces!

Check out the best string succulents that hang here

String of Watermelon Plant Profile

Native to South Africa, this succulent plant is a member of the Asteraceae family. It’s a trailing succulent that makes it perfect for hanging baskets. The plant can dangle down several feet once matured.

The pea-like green beads or leaves are what give it its common names like “String of Beads” or “String of Watermelon.” These succulent beads are plump, round, and have a pattern that somewhat resembles the stripes of a watermelon, especially when they’re slightly stressed and take on a light purplish tone.

When it blooms, the String of Watermelon produces small, fluffy white flowers with a cinnamon-like scent.

Botanical Name: Senecio herreanus

String of Watermelon Propagation

You can propagate String of Watermelon by:

  1. Leaf Cuttings
  2. Stem Cuttings
  3. Division

Stem Cuttings is the easiest and most commonly used method.

  • Prepare Materials: You’ll need sharp and clean scissors or pruning shears, a small pot, succulent or cactus potting mix, and optionally, rooting hormone.
  • Cutting: Select a healthy, long stem from your String of Watermelon plant. Cut a section that’s a few inches long. Ensure that there are multiple “beads” or leaves on the stem cutting.
  • Let It Callus: Place the String of Watermelon cutting in a shaded, dry area for a day or two. This allows the cut end to callus or dry out, which reduces the risk of rot when planted.
  • Planting: Fill the pot with the succulent or cactus mix. Insert the callused end of the stem cutting into the soil, ensuring that a few beads are above the soil surface.
  • Watering: Lightly water the soil, ensuring it’s damp but not soggy. Over the next few weeks, water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Location: Place the pot in a location with bright, indirect light.
  • Root Development: In a few weeks, roots should start to develop. You can lightly tug on the stem, and if you feel resistance, it likely means the roots have anchored themselves into the soil.

Propagate Any Plant Cutting Quickly Using this Trick

String of Watermelon Growing Requirements

  • Indoor: Place String of Watermelon a location that receives bright, indirect light. A windowsill with sheer curtains or a spot a bit farther away from a bright window is ideal.
  • Outdoor: If grown outside, ensure the plant is in a shaded or semi-shaded location. Direct sunlight, especially during the hottest part of the day, can scorch the leaves.


A well-draining soil mix is essential. Succulent or cactus potting mixes are ideal for String of Watermelon. These mixes prevent water from sitting around the roots, which can lead to root rot.

A slightly acidic to neutral pH (around 6.0 to 7.5) is preferable. For best growth:

  • Mix 2 parts of coarse sand or perlite.
  • Add 1 part of compost or garden soil.
  • Blend in 1 part of peat moss or coconut coir.


  • Frequency: Water sparingly. Allow the topsoil to dry out completely between waterings. Overwatering is a common mistake and can quickly lead to root rot in String of Watermelon.
  • Method: When watering, ensure you’re saturating the soil properly, allowing any excess water to drain away. Do not let the foliage get wet in the process.

Tip: It’s better to underwater than overwater. The beads/leaves of the plant store water, giving it the ability to withstand drought-like conditions.


  • Ideal Range: String of Watermelon prefers temperatures between 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C).
  • Tolerance: It’s sensitive to frost and should not be exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C). If grown outdoors in temperate regions, it’s best to bring them inside during the colder months or provide protection against frost.
  • Heat: In extremely hot conditions, ensure the plant is shaded from intense direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn.

String of Watermelon thrives in a moderately humid environment, with ideal levels between 50-60%. If the humidity is too low, the leaves may start to shrivel or curl. One way to increase humidity is to mist the plant regularly or place a humidifier nearby.

Ways To Increase Humidity For Houseplants That Work

String of Watermelon Plant Care



  • Frequency: Fertilize String of Watermelon sparingly during the growing season, which is typically spring through early fall. Once a month is often sufficient.
  • Type: Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a low nitrogen content. A 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 ratio can work well.
  • Dilution: Mix the fertilizer at half or quarter strength of the recommended dosage to avoid over-fertilization.
  • Application: Apply the diluted fertilizer when you water String of Watermelon, ensuring it’s well-distributed.


  • Mealybugs: These small, cottony insects often hide in leaf axils or crevices. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them, or apply insecticidal soap.
  • Aphids: Tiny, soft-bodied insects that cluster on new growth. You can dislodge them with a strong spray of water or use neem oil spray.
  • Spider Mites: These can cause stippling on String of Watermelon leaves and produce fine webs. Regularly misting the plant can help prevent them. If an infestation occurs, rinse the plant with water or use insecticidal soap.
  • Scale Insects: These appear as small, round, flat or dome-like growths. They can be removed manually or treated with neem oil.


  • Root Rot: Caused by overwatering and poorly-draining soil. Prevent by using a well-draining potting mix and allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
  • Powdery Mildew: A fungal disease that appears as white powdery spots on String of Watermelon leaves. Improve air circulation and avoid overhead watering to prevent this.
  • Leaf Spot: Circular brown or black spots on leaves. Ensure proper spacing and avoid splashing water on the leaves.
  • Fungal Infections: Keep the plant dry and provide good air circulation to minimize the risk of fungal infections in String of Watermelon.

Here’s How to Grow String of Pearls From Cuttings


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