How to Look After Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles) - A Care Guide

Here's some tips on how to care for Peperomia prostrata , so that you can make sure your string of turtles is a happy and healthy houseplant.

A Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles) being held up at the Garden Geeks store. | Garden Geeks UK
Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles) at the Garden Geeks store.

String of Turtles


Commonly called the String of turtles due to its tortoise shell patterned leaves (and sometimes also called Jade Necklace or Creeping Buttons), Peperomia prostrata is a trailing semi-succulent, native to South America's tropical rainforests.


This prettily patterned houseplant is relatively easy to care for and is perfect for adding a trail of character and colour to a space in need of it.

Light


Your String of Turtles enjoys bright, indirect sunlight. Somewhere with a skylight, or a north/east facing window are good locations. Grow lights work great too!


Avoid placing your Peperomia prostrata in too shady a location as a lack of light on the soil may spur on basal rot and make the plant grow leggy between its nodes.


Soil


Well draining soil is key to caring for your Peperomia prostrata as it is a semi-succulent. Good drainage will help avoid root rot - a common problem with String of Turtles.


Adding about 1/2 perlite to your potting your mix is a good idea to increase drainage and root aeration. A pre-mixed cacti and succulent soil should work just fine too.


Watering


You should let your String of Turtles soil dry out before waterings. As it is a semi-succulent it has some drought tolerance.


The most common problem with Peperomia prostrata is root rot, which is caused by the plant sitting in too much water for too long. Well draining soil, bright indirect light and only watering once the soil has completely dried will stop this from happening.


When you water your String of Turtles, give it a good soak and let excess water run out of the pot's drainage holes.


If you're unsure if the plant needs a water, pick your pot up after watering and again a week or two later and feel the weight difference. It should feel very light once the soil has dried.


Humidity


Peperomia prostrata will grow just fine in average household humidity. Just make sure not to place your String of Turtles right by a radiator or other dry heat source and you should be good to go.


Temperature


Your String of Turtles will prefer temperatures between 15° - 26°C. Avoid letting temperatures drop too far below 15 degrees Celsius if possible.


Toxicity


Peperomia prostrata / String of Turtles / Creeping Buttons ' Jade Necklace is classified as non-toxic and pet safe for cats and dogs. If they eat large quantities of this plant though, they may get a little sick, so keep it away from prying paws just to be safe / to avoid upset tummies.

Growth


String of Turtles is a rather slow grower and will on average reach around 1m in length (but can grow even longer!), which makes them great for trailing down a plant stand or for sitting in a hanging pot.


The plant's width will be determined by the pot size, as your Peperomia prostrata will creep across any available space. String of Turtles will take between 3-5 years to grow to their fully mature size.


Although the foliage is this plants main attraction, you may see small long, shaft-shaped flowers appear from the vine at the beginning of summer. To maximise the chance of a good bloom, you'll need to make sure your String of Turtles has an adequate dormancy period in winter; by reducing temperatures to the lower end of its limit, stopping fertiliser usage and cutting back watering, letting the soil stay dry for a couple of weeks before giving your Peperomia a good soak.

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