How To Grow String Of Turtles

Last Updated on February 2, 2023 by Clarisse Walters

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String of Turtles are a delightful addition to any indoor garden. They are semi-succulents and have bright fleshy leaves decorated with creamy white striations.

These plants produce overhanging branches which grow bushy when they reach their full size. They are easy to maintain, requiring no special care other than correct watering cycles.

They will live for many years and add to the beauty of your indoor garden. Since these plants are small they are especially good for people who have limited space.

String Of Turtles Plant Care Guide

String of turtles have fine root systems which are shallow and rot easily if hydrated too much. The leaves also need to remain dry otherwise they rot.

So temperature and moisture content must be right for them to grow to their ideal mature state. Bright indirect light is needed instead of direct sunlight which will damage leaves.

The soil must be moist but not flooded, while regular misting will help keep the plant humid. Soil should be able to retain some water and be acidic as these are semi-succulents.

Good air circulation and a drainage hole are essential for steady growth and flourishing of Turtle Strings. The potting soil must be enriched with fertilizers to provide adequate nutrients.

How Do You Get A String Of Turtles To Grow?

The ideal conditions needed for your string of turtles to grow are as follows:

  • Temperature should always be over 65°F with daytime temperatures going up to 75°F.
  • The plant should receive indirect sunlight during the day and complete darkness at night.
  • The soil must be aerated with high organic content to make it acidic.
  • The air should be humid but the leaves should not get wet.
  • Water the plant only if the top 5cm of the soil is dry and take care to keep the root system intact.
  • Avoid overwatering and maintain a clear drainage hole in the pot.
  • Add fertilizers to the soil especially during the annual growing season.

How To Sow And Grow String Of Turtles Seeds

Sowing seeds of Turtle Strings does create viable plants. But it is quite inefficient to do it this way with very little guarantee that the seed will germinate into an adult.

Placing the seed under moist soil with indirect sunlight and mild aeration can let the seed coat break and stem and shoot grow. But the soil water content should not exceed the normal water requirements of turtle strings.

The more common method to grow them is to select a stem with a few nodes and leaves. Remove the leaves and leave the stem in the water eater for 3-6 weeks and pot it when new roots appear.

Are Turtle Strings Easy To Grow?

Turtle strings are small plants that grow slowly. So they are easier to maintain and do not need to be repotted very often.

They can propagate through stem cutting. But that is a slightly technical skill and buying a mature plant is easier.

Turtle Strings from hanging pot

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The new plant needs plenty of indirect sunlight to avoid drying of the soil. They also need the right amount of water with the soil remaining moist and the environment humid.

String Of Turtles Light Requirements

Like most succulents, String of turtles like sunlight. They require some hours of sunlight every day to grow well.

String Of Turtles Leaves

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But since they are semi-succulents from the rainforest, hours of direct sunlight will bleach the leaves. Instead maintain the temperature between 65 to 75 °F (18 – 24 °C) and ensure indirect sunlight.

If you have a thermostat to regulate the temperature and a north or south facing window sill to place the plant in you will get the best results. This will ensure the right cycle of daily light and shade for the String of Turtle.

How To Grow String Of Turtles Flower

String of Turtle flowers do not look like traditional identifiable flowers. Since they do not add much to the aesthetics of this indoor succulent they are not usually paid any attention.

After the plant reaches maturity at 3 to 5 years old it begins to produce flowers regularly. They are 2 to 3 inches long and grow throughout the year.

The Turtle Strings do not need any special treatment to induce flower production. If the ideal growth conditions are met including light, temperature, aeration, humidity, and soil moisture, the flowers will come automatically.

How Fast Does String Of Turtles Grow?

String of Turtles is a small plant only growing to about a foot at maturity. But it grows very slowly.

As a result, it can take up to three years for its trailing stems to reach this length and a width of three to four inches. The plant grows slower when it is younger.

Once it reaches maturity the leaves become bushy fairly quickly especially after it reaches five years of age. At this time the leaves grow to be the most shiny and succulent with creamy white stripes.

What Are The Best String Of Turtles Soil Conditions?

String of Turtles are not like regular succulents so the succulent soil premix is not good enough for them. They need slightly acidic soil with good drainage to prevent their fine roots from rotting.

Organic soil must be mixed into the serrated potting mix to get the best results for these plants. Taking pearlite as the base, a mix of rich peat moss can be added in equal measure to get ideal growing conditions.

Give fertilizers in the soil mix to get the most healthy leaf growth. The Turtle strings need pellet or liquid fertilizers twice a month during spring and once a month in summer.

String Of Turtles Watering Needs

Maintaining the water needs of the Turtle Strings is critical at all times. So avoid the normal method of checking soil moisture to preserve the maximum number of leaves.

Instead of checking the soil with your finger, use a mini water meter to see if the top 5 cm of the soil is dry. When the top portion of the soil is dried up you can add water up to half the pot.

Should I Mist My Turtle Strings?

The turtle strings are semi succulents and should not be overwatered. But they are from the rainforests of South America.

These plants are well adapted for an environment with a high degree of moisture. As a result in indoor gardening situations they have to be provided with this additional humidity.

A way to do this is to use a humidifier. A regular misting every two or three days is good for the plant.

Should I Bottom Water My Turtle Strings?

Although turtle strings grow well in high humidity, you should make sure that their leaves do not get wet when you water them.

To make sure that the leaves remain dry, many people “bottom water” their turtle stings. This means they let the pot containing the plant sit in a larger container of water.

If the soil is dry, water will leach in through the bottom. But for this to work you should keep the plant in a pot with a drainage hole.

How To Find String Of Turtles Plant For Sale Near Me

You can acquire String of Turtle seeds from expert growers but if you want to start your gardening journey then try to buy a potted stem cutting. You can buy plants around 2-inch length for about $15.

Longer plants of around 4 inches should cost around $30. But mature plants with bushy leaves and foot-long overhanging branches will cost a few hundred dollars.

They are easy to find from several sellers. You can check out sites like Etsy, Planterina, Succulents Box to get an idea of the range.

FAQ Relating To How To Grow String Of Turtles

You must still have plenty of questions regarding the care of your Turtle Strings. Let us answer some of the most common questions to help you on your gardening journey.

How Do You Make A Bushy String On A Turtle?

Bushy String of Turtles

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To get bushy leaves on your Turtle Strings you must provide ideal growing conditions.

Add fertilizers to provide sufficient nutrients and maintain healthy root structure by avoiding overwatering.

Fertilizing the soil mix regularly during growing seasons is essential to get the best leaf quality.

Do Turtle Strings Like Small Pots?

Yes, turtle strings are like small pots. This is because they have compact root systems.

Since the roots do not grow too long or deep, they fit well within small pots. They grow slowly and they do not outgrow their pot in several seasons.

Besides, having a small pot is an easy reminder to not let water build up. As soggy soil is bad for turtle strings.

How Often Should I Water String Of Turtles?

Dry soil is bad for these plants and too much water is even worse as it makes their roots rot. So water the plant whenever the top half of the soil is dry.

This works out to watering the soil once every two to three weeks for indoor plants. Use a humidifier to maintain humidity without leaving the leaves drenched.

Why Are String Of Turtles So Expensive?

The string of turtles is a slow growing plant. They need years to grow into full size.

So mature plants have years of work put into them and as a result, sell for at least $100.

Key Takeaways

  • Turtle strings are semi succulents from South America.
  • The plant requires bright, indirect light.
  • Allow the string of turtles to dry out before watering.
  • They need a high amount of humidity.
  • The temperature must be maintained between 65 to 75 °F (18 – 24 °C)
  • You have to choose a potting mix that is well draining and well aerated.
  • Use small pots with drainage holes and repot once before the growing season, to change out the soil.
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