How to grow and care for String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) Indoors

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String of Turtles, Peperomia prostrata Care

Botanical name: Peperomia prostrata
Family: Piperaceae
Common names: String of Turtles, Magic Marmer

String of Turtles Description

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) also called Magic Marmer is a compact perennial plant that is easy to grow and adapts well to indoor growing conditions.

String of Turtles bears succulent leaves about 1 in. long, heart-shaped with beautiful patterns of white veins which vary in color from maroon to dark blue to purple in young plants and they become silvery-white as the plant matures.

The veining on the leaves gives them the look of tiny turtles and hence the common name, 'String of Turtles'.

The String of Turtles Plant is a trailing type of Peperomia and is an ideal choice for a hanging basket.

String of Turtles Flower

The flowers in String of Turtles Plant are rat-tail flower-heads made up of cream-colored flowers on an upright spike.

String of Turtles Origin

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is native to the tropical rain forests in Brazil where it grows as an epiphyte on trees.

Buy beautiful and healthy String of Turtles Plant (Peperomia prostrata) from Etsy.

String of Turtles, Peperomia prostrata Care

Photo Credit: FlorAccess

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) Care Indoors

String of Turtles Light Requirements

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) grows best in bright light with a few hours of sunshine. It can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.

Too little light for your String of Turtles will result in leggy plants and loss of leaf color.

Keep your String of Turtles away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water String of Turtles

Water String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) liberally during the growing season and allow the soil to slightly dry out between waterings.

Significantly reduce watering for your String of Turtles during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your String of Turtles has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.


Temperature for String of Turtles

Average warmth between 18-250C is ideal for your String of Turtles.

Protect your String of Turtles from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for String of Turtles

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) thrives in a high humidity environment. Set pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your String of Turtles. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your String of Turtles in a terrarium as high humidity can be maintained. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for String of Turtles

Feed String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) with a balanced, liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your String of Turtles during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot String of Turtles

Repot String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound.

However, you can refresh the soil for your String of Turtles at the beginning of the growing season if not repotting.

Use a pot one size larger and ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease.

A shallow, terracotta pot rather than deep pot is preferable as String of Turtles has a small root system.

String of Turtles Soil

The best soil for String of Turtles should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to avoid getting soggy soil. The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough.

String of Turtles is prone to root-rot if the soil gets soggy (retains too much water), therefore, Cactus and Succulents Soil is ideal for String of Turtles as it drains easily.

How to Prune String of Turtles

Pruning String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy.

To encourage a bushy, compact growth for your String of Turtles, regularly pinch off the growing tips.

As the plant ages, it becomes straggly therefore, cut back the stems during the growing season to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) Propagation

String of Turtles propagation can be done in 3 ways; from leaf cuttings, from stem-tip cuttings or by plant division.

1. How to propagate String of Turtles from leaf cuttings in water

String of Turtles leaf cuttings root easily, therefore there is no need for a rooting hormone. Take leaf cuttings from a healthy String of Turtles and ensure each leaf cutting has a petiole.

Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of the leaf cuttings to prevent rotting.

Once callused, place the leaf cuttings in a jar of clean plain water or in a propagation station and change the water every 5-7 days.

Place the set up in warm, well-lit place until growth begins at the base of the cuttings leaf petiole. Allow enough time for substantial growth of the roots and new leaves.

Transfer the rooted cuttings to individual pots in moist, Cactus and Succulents Soil and place in bright, indirect light. For a fuller String of Turtles, plant several plants in one pot.

Maintain the soil moist until the new String of Turtles are well established after which you can begin routine care.

2. How to propagate String of Turtles from stem-tip cuttings

String of Turtles stem-tip cuttings root easily, therefore, there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy String of Turtles Plant and ensure each cutting has at least 2 sets of leaves.

Allow some time for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts of cuttings to prevent rotting.

Once callused, insert the cuttings in moist rooting soil and place in warm, shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed.

Transfer the rooted stem cuttings to individual pots in moist, Cactus and Succulents Soil and begin routine care. For a fuller String of Turtles, plant several cuttings in one pot.

3. How to propagate String of Turtles by plant division

Water the String of Turtles thoroughly at least 1 day before to make it easier to divide and also hasten establishment. A well hydrated plant suffers less shock and takes a shorter time to take root.

Take out your String of Turtles from its pot and divide it into several sections by pulling apart the roots. Ensure each section has adequate roots to hasten establishment.

Pot these String of Turtles sections in individual pots in moist, Cactus and Succulents Soil and place in a warm, shaded place.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges on the sections. Allow the new String of Turtles to be well established before transplanting after which you can begin routine care.

String of Turtles, Peperomia prostrata

Photo Credit: World of Succulents

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) Problems Indoors

String of Turtles brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in your String of Turtles are due to sudden drop in temperature from cold draughts.

Remove all the damaged leaves and keep your String of Turtles away from cold draughts like windy doors, drafty windows, air conditioners and maintain average room temperatures.

String of Turtles dropping leaves

Dropping leaves (leaf fall) in String of Turtles is caused by many and varied reasons like overwatering, insufficient lighting, overfeeding among others.

Here is an outline on 12 reasons why Peperomia is dropping leaves (with solutions).

String of Turtles brown, shrivelled leaves

The cause of brown and shrivelled leaves in String of Turtles is too dry air (low humidity). String of Turtles prefers a humid environment.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity for your String of Turtles. read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

String of Turtles can also grow in a terrarium as high humidity can be maintained. Read more on how to make a terrarium for houseplants.

String of Turtles dull and lifeless leaves

Exposure of String of Turtles to hot direct sunlight will cause the leaves to become dull and lifeless. Protect the plant from hot direct sunlight or move it to a shaded spot.

String of Turtles leggy stems

Leggy stems in String of Turtles are due to too low light. String of Turtles grows best in bright light to light shade.

Cut back the leggy stems to rejuvenate growth and move your String of Turtles to a brighter spot where it will receive bright light to light shade. It can also grow under a grow light.

String of Turtles wilted and discolored leaves and corky swellings under the leaves

String of Turtles wilted and discolored leaves and corky swellings under the leaves are due to soggy soil.

This is an indication of root-rot disease. Isolate the affected String of Turtles and treat it appropriately for the disease.

To prevent the soil from getting soggy, ensure that the pot has a drainage hole and that the soil is loose and free-draining. Cactus and Succulents Soil is ideal for String of Turtles.

String of Turtles diseases

String of Turtles diseases; leaf spot disease and root-rot disease. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

String of Turtles pests

String of Turtles pests; spider mites, whiteflies and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) toxic?

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) like other Peperomia Plants is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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