The String of Turtles plant is a popular houseplant. It grows in a delicate vine with leaves resembling little green turtles.
This plant (Peperomia prostrata) is a semi succulent houseplant that is native to the rainforests of Brazil. The string of turtles is a relatively slow glower compared to the string of hearts plant. This makes the plant a wonderful option for people with limited space.
Like other plants in the succulent family, the string of turtles holds water in its thick fleshy leaves. The leaves will become firm and bloated when filled with water. As the plant dries out the leaves can become softer and slightly wrinkled or squishy.
Common problems with this plant include overwatering. Make sure the soil dries out at least an inch or two down before watering. For plants that are semi drought resistant, I like the bottom watering method. For this method simply fill a bowl with a few inches of water and place the plant in the bowl. The plant will drink water up through the drainage hole.
Bottom watering encourages healthy strong roots that grow downwards in search for water. It’s also a great way to keep fungus gnats from laying eggs in moist soil.
If you overwater this plant you may see yellowing leaves, mushy leaves, or leaves dropping off the plant.
Is the string of turtles a rare plant? This plant isn’t in scarce supply however, because it grows very slowly it can be difficult to find a full mature plant. You can check for this plant in your local nursery or big box store. If you can’t find it you can check online shops or the Etsy listings.
More popular plants
We have compiled a simple and printable care guide for this plant.
- Pot (ceramic, plastic, or terra cotta)
- Potting medium (perlite, and soil)
- Rubbing Alcohol
- String of Turtles prefer well draining soil. The roots will rot quickly if they sit in moist soil.
- A mix of cactus potting mix and perlite or a peat based mix will keep the roots happiest.
- Make sure your pot has drainage at the bottom. Do not use a pot with no drainage hole for this plant.
- A heavy soil potting mix is not recommended for String of Turtle plants.
Pot Size and Type:
- The String of turtles plant can grow in many different kinds of pots, I like to plant mine in ceramic pots with a drainage hole.
- Repot every second year or when roots come out the drainage holes on the pot bottom To the next pot size up. Don't jump to a huge pot from a small one. Just go to the next size up pot.
- The String of Turtles will grow best in bright indirect light.
- This plant will do best in a West or South facing window.
- Make sure the String of Turtles plant isn't sitting in constant direct sunlight, the leaves can get burnt.
- If the leaves that it is producing are small, your plant probably needs more light.
- Water your String of turtles plant when the soil is dry at least an inch down. These plants are typically drough resistant and can withstand longer periods of dryness compared to other houseplants.
- A good test to tell if it needs watering is the leaves. If the leaves close to the base of the plant get soft and wrinkly, then the plant needs a good watering.
- Watering is best done on a regular schedule so the plant is not over or under watered. Both can cause stress on the plant.
- The recomendation for watering is every 1-2 weeks.
- In dormant winter months reduce watering to when the soil is dry.
- Never let this plant get wet feet. Overwatering causes yellowing leaves, root rot, and attract fungus gnats to your plant.
How to Fertilize:
- Apply a good quality fertilizer (linked in materials) monthly through Spring and summer.
- Decrease feedings by late Fall and allow the String of Hearts plant to rest through the winter months.
- The String of turtles plant will do best in temperatures between 60-85 degrees Farenheit.
- If it is warm outside during the summer, you can put this plant outside. However, take care not to let the leaves get burned from constant sun.
- The String of turtles plant can be attacked by thrips, if the leaves are turning white, check for thrips.
- Stress by longterm overwatering, poor light, extreme temperatures and soil conditions are contributors to plant stress..
- Spider mites, mealy bugs, scale, thrips and whitefly are the most common houseplant pests you will see.
- Read our post on How to get rid of aphids and other pests with our homemade pesticide soap recipe or neems oil.
- To minimize the possibility of pests be sure to check all nursery plants before bringing them home.
- Quarantine all new plants until you are sure no pests live in them.
How to Propagate:
Plant Propagation for the string of Turtles is similar to propagating the String of Hearts.
- Cut vine off the plant using sterile scissors
- Place vine in moist soil
- Place near a window with bright indirect light
- After several weeks roots will grow
- Propagate fallen leaves by placing them in moist soil with extra humidity
The string of turtles is a beautiful plant to add to anyones collection. This slow growing plant is the perfect option for a smaller space.
This plant is non toxic to both pets and humans.
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You can read more about the string of turtles specifications.