Peperomia prostrata, commonly known as the “String of Turtles,” is a low-growing succulent plant that can sometimes be difficult to care for.
However, this string of turtles plant care articles will help you get the most out of this unique succulent.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Peperomia Prostrata (String of Turtles)?
- 2 How to Care for a Peperomia Prostrata
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Other Peperomia Plants to Consider
- 5 References
What is a Peperomia Prostrata (String of Turtles)?
This plant from the Piperaceae family is also known as the Radiator Plant, Magic Marmer, or the String of Turtles.
This vining Peperomia is a perfect pick for new plant owners.
The vines grow oval-shaped leaves resembling turtle shells.
The light and dark green patterns or patches are the main reason behind the name, “String of Turtles.”
You will also notice some white veins on the variegated leaves. These veins might change color and turn purple or silver as the plant matures.
These Peperomia species belong to the tropical regions of Brazil, and they’re semi-succulent.
This Peperomia is not a fast grower; however, proper String of Turtles plant care can help to accelerate the growth.
This stunning plant will reach a maximum size of 12–24 inches (30–60 cm). The plant will take about 3-5 years to maturity.
This plant also produces spikey, non-fragrant white flowers, but these blooms are not as attractive as the foliage.
How to Care for a Peperomia Prostrata
Peperomia prostrate plants are not difficult to care for. Proper watering and lighting are essential.
The soil should be kept moist but not wet, and the plants should be in a bright, warm location.
Propagating new plants from cuttings is straightforward as well.
Read on for more information on String of Turtles plant care.
Temperature and Climate
The String of Turtles is accustomed to a certain level of warmer temperatures, and anything higher or lower than that can damage the plant and affect its growth.
It likes average household temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 23 degrees Celsius).
It has average humidity requirements, so you do not have to spend much time misting the plant.
Light is essential for plant growth and strength. Therefore, understanding light levels is critical for caring for any Peperomia variety.
This plant is adaptable in terms of light settings. It can survive in medium-bright light with minimal direct sunlight.
But for better plant growth and to maintain the variegation, you should keep it under bright, indirect light.
If you are growing Peperomia Prostrata in a hanging basket or the planter is placed at a high spot, pay attention to the light available for the vines at the top.
Although the surrounding leaves will get light, the foliage in the middle will suffer from a lack of light.
Keep the String of Turtles away from direct sunlight to damage the green leaves.
If you do not have sufficient natural light in your house, you can use grow lights to help it thrive indoors.
The fleshy round leaves of this succulent, Peperomia will store water like most succulents, so you have to be cautious not to overwater.
Your plant should be watered regularly, but you should also allow the potting mix to dry a bit because of its succulent nature.
This will prevent root rot or other fungal infections caused by excess water on indoor plants.
If the succulent leaves look shriveled, it’s time to add water. A better approach is to rely on the soil condition for moisture levels in the mix.
Check the soil with your fingers. If the top inch or two is dry, you can continue watering; otherwise, wait for a day or two to let the soil dry.
Make sure there is a drainage hole for a perfect plant environment.
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Soil and Fertilizer
Plant the String of Turtles in an aerated and well-draining potting mix.
A simple Peromia mix is created using perlite, regular potting soil, peat moss, sphagnum moss, and a soil pH of 5-7.
Some growers prefer using a premade succulent potting mix for Peperomia plants.
Still, you must ensure that the mixture does not get too compact over time, reducing the air supply and water distribution throughout the soil.
Fertilizers are a great source of food and nutrients for your String of Turtles plants—especially a mild dose of liquid fertilizer every one or two weeks will help spur new growth.
There are two points worth mentioning for fertilizing Peperomia: dilution of the fertilizer and never feeding in the winter months.
The one succulent soil that we always rely on is this succulent soil. We like it because our succulents seem to thrive in it.
Common Pests and Diseases
The String of Turtles plant has root rot caused by overwatering, but it can also be infected with pests like spider mites, mealy bugs, or whiteflies.
You will need to perform heavy root pruning on root rot infected plants. A regular spray of insecticidal soap and neem oil for pest treatment is enough.
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Peperomia prostrata does not like to be disturbed, so repot it only once it has overgrown the container.
In early spring, you can refresh the soil once a year to have nutrient-rich soil every growing season.
A pot with drainage holes will help this vining plant prevent soggy soil.
Repotting should be done carefully because you do not want to damage the roots or fragile stems while moving the String of Turtles.
Even if you end up with some broken leaves or vines while repotting, you can utilize these for propagation.
There are two standard techniques for propagating this semi-succulent plant. You can use the leaves or take stem cuttings from these vining plants.
Whatever method you use, have clean and germ-free tools for propagating String of Turtles.
You can take a 3-4 inch long stem cutting with at least one node or remove the leaves at the bottom for leaf nodes.
Once you bury the leaf nodes under soil or water, they will develop roots. You can also lay the cutting on the potting mix in a small pot.
For leaf cuttings, you can collect some leaves (with petioles) while pruning or repotting and bury these petioles in the soil.
Keep the soil moist and let the cuttings sit in bright, indirect light for necessary root growth within a few weeks.
For more information on propagating peperomia plants, read further about:
The delicate leaves of the String of Turtles require pruning and grooming every now and then.
It gives you a tidy look and even gets rid of unwanted growth. Always sterilize your tools before pruning or propagation.
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Is String of Turtles rare?
No, but the String of Turtles plant was formerly considered rare, but it is now readily available in nurseries, garden centers, and online because of its recent popularity. Its turtle-like leaves and patterns distinguish it from other vining plants, particularly when compared to other vining plants.
Is the String of Turtles plant hard to care for?
This is a versatile variety, and it can be trained to grow in different climates. This makes Peperomia Prostrata an easy-to-care-for houseplant variety. However, the String of Turtles plant thrives best in strong filtered sunshine with minimum watering. If the soil is wet for an extended period of time, the thin and delicate stems will decay quickly, so avoid overwatering the plant.
How much sun does a String of Turtles need?
The variegated leaves on the trailing vine of this tropical plant need bright, indirect light throughout the day for best growth. In the bright indirect sunshine, a String of turtles plants flourishes. However, keeping these plants in direct sunlight for an extended period of time can destroy their leaves, while providing them with little light will result in their failure to develop new growth.
Other Peperomia Plants to Consider
Peperomia prostrata is a forgiving houseplant, and gardeners love keeping this plant indoors because it is non-toxic, withstands average warm temperatures, and has a slow growth rate.
If you are looking for other Peperomia plants, read further:
Lindsey Hyland grew up in Arizona where she studied at the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center. She continued her gardening education by working on organic farms in both rural and urban settings. She started UrbanOrganicYield.com to share gardening tips and tactics. She’s happy to talk about succulents and houseplants or vegetables and herbs – or just about anything in a backyard garden or hydroponics garden.