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Are you contemplating on whether to grow a string of turtle houseplants in your garden this upcoming season and eager to know how best to make your planting experience less stressful? Then, you are on the right page.
In this article, we will outline all the essential string of turtles requirements that you need to know.
What Is A String Of Turtles Plant?
The string of turtles plant which is also known as Peperomia prostrata or Jade Necklace is an indoor succulent houseplant that originated from the tropical forest of Brazil.
It has tiny leaves which are about 0.5 inches in diameter with the shape and pattern of a turtle shell that’s swollen in the centre with green and brown marbled colours. The stems also have some reddish hues along their length.
Each of those tiny leaves on the vines has a multi-coloured pattern that’s covering the surface. The colours on them tend to diminish when it starts ageing and will lead to them becoming bicoloured by maturity.
One benefit of these leaves is that they can adapt to low-light conditions and can be useful especially when it comes to the beautification of your home or even office depending on where it needs a soft touch.
In addition, the leaves of these plants have the biggest at the top of the strings and can form may that can flow from the edge of the container about 12 inches long. As good as it sounds, you have to bear in mind that this plant is a slow grower.
Furthermore, it is quite a very pet-friendly species of plant as it can be kept in a place with pets, precisely dogs and cats.
Nevertheless, caring for this plant is quite difficult but not impossible compared to other plants but if given the right requirements that aid its growth, you will be amazed to see how smooth the ride will be.
String Of Turtles Light Requirement
The first requirement for growing and caring for your string of turtle plants is by ensuring that the plant is exposed to the amount of sunlight that it needs daily or throughout the growing process.
The string of turtles which is from the rainforest loves to be exposed to either filtered or indirect sunlight as it needs enough light to help the root and stem to form stronger and produce healthy colourful flowers.
When exposed to direct sunlight, it causes the plant as well as the leaves to get burned and damaged. That’s why you should expose your plant to 2-3 hours daily of indirect bright sunlight which means that it shouldn’t exceed the hours.
If you have this plant in your home or office, it is best to keep it at a window facing the south or the east.
Furthermore, you should avoid placing this plant on a shelf to show off its lengthy vines as it will cause the plant to lose out on the essential nutrients given by the sunlight.
Read Also: Black Pagoda Plant, Grow & Care Guide 2023
String Of Turtles Watering Requirement
As a semi-succulent houseplant, this plant loves storing water in its leaves and stems which doesn’t stop its watering needs as it needs to be moisturized at all times.
However, you should ensure that you plant your string of turtles in a well-draining pot and water the plant when you notice that the top 2 inches have dried out.
Within 2-3 weeks of watering the plant, you must check the soil out to see if it is still moist or needs to be watered. Also, if you notice any form of curling on the leaves of your plant, it is a clear sign that it needs to be watered regularly.
In addition, you should consider trying bottom watering as it will help to keep the plant healthy and disease-free. To do this method, all you need to do is to add water to a sink or bucket and place the plants in the water so the water seeps up the drainage holes in the base and is drawn up to the top of the plants.
Afterwards, leave the plant to sit in the water for around 30 minutes and then remove them from the water.
Drain them thoroughly before placing them back in position. Make sure the bottom of the pots does not sit in water to prevent root rot.
Furthermore, you should try to avoid overwatering this plant as it will lead to the rotting of the root and stunting growth. However, to avoid the occurrence of such, you can get a soil moisture meter to measure up the water needed at any point.
Best Soil Type
As you are growing this plant in your home, office or garden, you must know the perfect soil that suits the plant.
The string of turtles requires good drainage soil to avoid the roots from decaying as well as attracting pest infestations and the perfect soil that suits the above sample is a rich loamy organic mix with a pH level of 5-7 acidic or neutral.
You can make this soil by combining peat moss or coconut coir with some well-rotted compost or worm castings. You can also mix 2 parts peat moss with 1 part perlite.
The best ideal type of fertilizer is a water-soluble fertilizer or a string of turtle fertilizer that is within the ratio of 0.5-1-1. You can also use a standard liquid fertilizer with a 10-10-10 ratio which can be diluted.
Any of this fertilizer can only be used after the plant has been watered. Just pour the fertilizer slowly into the soil surface and ensure that it is spread out through all the plants.
Furthermore, the fertilizer must be applied every two weeks, especially during the growing season either in the spring or summer. However, you should avoid trying to feed the plant in the winter or fall.
Temperature & Humidity Level
The perfect temperature for this plant is between 68° F-75°F and shouldn’t be exposed to cold or draft. However, the humidity levels should be within the range of 50%, though, it can still thrive better in a humidity level above 40%.
Additionally, if you have an interest in growing this plant, then you will need to make arrangements to move the plant to a greenhouse especially when the temperature rate is dropping below your expectations.
Repotting Of String Of Turtles Plant
The repotting of your string of turtle plants is very essential to the growth and the productiveness of your plant. That’s why you must repot your string of turtle plants every 2-3 years.
When repotting, you should get a larger clay pot of not more than 2 inches to accommodate the roots of the plant which must have outgrown. The pot must have drainage holes as the plant shouldn’t be wet.
Furthermore, the perfect season to repot your plant is during the spring as it will help your plant to boost its nutrients when you must have replaced the old soil with a much fresher one.
Propagation Of String Of Turtles
The propagation of your string of turtles is mostly done through the easiest method of propagating by leaf cutting in the water. You can do so by following the steps below:
A. Get a mature mother plant after you must have cleaned and sharpened your scissors. Snip off a few cuttings just below a node and ensure that the cutting is at least 3 inches long.
B. Remove any leaves on the lower portion of the cutting, near where you removed the stem from the plant.
C. Afterwards, fill a small pot with a regular potting mix that is moist but not soggy.
D. Plant the cut end of the stem into the potting mixture, ensuring at least one node falls below the surface of the soil.
E. Place the plant somewhere that gets bright, indirect light.
F. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. After a few weeks, gently tug the cutting if you feel resistance that means roots have formed and you can now care for your plant as normal.
String Of Turtles Common Pests & Diseases
There are some common pests and diseases that attack your plant which include root rot, mealybugs, and whiteflies. This is mostly caused by the overwatering of your spring of turtles or lack of propagating of your plants which usually results in pests feeding off your plant.
To get rid of these pests from your plant, you should apply or spray insecticides or use insecticidal soap to wash off the pests. You can also use neem oil which is regarded as a very effective mixture against any form of pests.
In addition, you try repotting your plant when necessary as it will also go a long way in reducing and preventing the infestations of these pests.
1. How Do You Make A Turtle’s String Grow Faster?
To help your plant to grow faster, you will need to cut the end of the stem into the potting mixture and ensure that there is at least one node that falls below the surface of the soil.
Afterwards, expose your plant somewhere that gets bright, indirect light. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
2. Where Does A String Of Turtles Grow Best?
The string of Turtles grows in the shade of the tree canopy in the tropical rainforests, so while it does get some of the bright suns, it’s filtered.
3. How Do You Keep A Turtle String Alive?
Keeping your string of turtle plants alive is by avoiding any minimum temperatures below 55F (13C) as it will cause the plant to be cold and have excessive leaf drop.
4. What Fertilizer To Use For A String Of Turtles?
For fertilizer, it is best to look for your traditional houseplant fertilizer and not succulent fertilizer. You can dilute it in a 50/50 mixture.
5. Why Is My String Of Turtles Not Growing?
The main cause of such low growth can be the underwatering of your plant. Some of the symptoms of under-watering include deflated leaves, little to no growth and gradual foliage decline.
So do well to examine your plants and if you notice any of these symptoms, do well to start watering your plant immediately.
The string of turtles is one of the best types of houseplants that you can grow either in your home or office as it doesn’t necessarily require much maintenance.
All you need to do is to meet up with all the essential requirements and watch your plant glow while lightening your space.