How to grow and care for String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) Indoors

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String of Lemons Plant, Curio citriformis

Botanical name: Curio citriformis
Synonmy: Senecio citriformis
Family: Asteraceae
Common names: String of Lemons Plant, String of Tears Plant, String of Teardrops Plant

String of Lemons Plant Description

Curio citriformis commonly called String of Lemons Plant, String of Tears Plant or String of Teardrops Plant bears erect stems on which oval, teardrop-shaped or lemon-shaped leaves grow.

The leaves in String of Tears Plant are green to dark-green with translucent longitudinal stripes (windows).

Each leaf in String of Lemons Plant bears the translucent windows that run the length of the leaf and allows light to reach into interior of the leaf where photosynthesis takes place.

The odd shaped leaves is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air.

This greatly reduces water loss as the fleshy leaves and stems store water, which allows the String of Tears Plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered.

String of Lemons Plant Origin

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) is a perennial, succulent vine native to the drier parts of Southwest Africa.

Buy beautiful and healthy String of Lemons Plants (Curio citriformis) from Etsy.

String of Lemons Plant, Curio citriformis

Photo Credit: World of Succulents

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) Care Indoors

Light Requirements

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) grows best in bright light with some morning or late afternoon sunlight of at least 4-6 hours.

Regularly turn the pot to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water String of Lemons Plant

Water String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) moderately during the growing season and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead in root-rot disease and eventual death of your plant.


Temperature

Average warmth between 20-270C during the growing season is ideal for String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis).

A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for your String of Tears Plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for this plant.

Ensure that there is good air circulation for your String of Teardrops Plant to prevent fungal diseases infestations.

Feeding (Fertilizer)

Feed String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer. This plant is not a heavy feeder so be careful when feeding.

Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary.

Repot String of Lemons Plant at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes crowded in its current pot.

Use a pot that is only 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.

Use a shallow pot as the root system is tiny and be careful not to bury the stems to prevent rotting.

Soil for String of Lemons Plant

The best soil for String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) 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.

Cactus and Succulents soil is ideal for String of Tears Plant. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for your String of Lemons Plant from Etsy.

Pruning

Pruning String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) involves removal of any dead leaves or stems to keep your plant neat and tidy.

Propagation

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.

How to propagate String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) from stem cuttings

Take 3-5 in. of String of Lemons Plant stem cuttings and allow the cuttings to dry (callus) for about 7 days.

Lay the String of Lemons Plant stems on moist free-draining soil and lightly press the stems into the soil at the nodes.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist until String of Lemons Plant stems are rooted.

Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new String of Lemons Plant.

String of Lemons Plant, Curio citriformis

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) Problems Indoors

Sudden leaf drop

There are two possible causes on sudden leaf drop in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis).

One possible cause of sudden leaf drop in String of Teardrops Plant is watering with very cold water. Being a tropical plant where temperatures are warm, watering with too cold water will shock the plant.

Water your String of Lemons Plant with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.

The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in your String of Tears Plant is underwatering.

Water your String of Lemons Plant moderately and allow the soil to dry out but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

Leggy growth (elongated stems)

Leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Lemons plant (Curio citriformis) during the cold season is due to too much water (overwatering) or soggy soil.

Water your String of Lemons Plant less during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

If leggy growth (elongated stems) in your String of Lemons Plant happens during the growing season, then the cause is too little light.

String of Teardrops Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours. Too little light will cause the plant to grow weak, elongated stems in an attempt to reach the light source.

Move the plant to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light with some direct sunlight of at least 4-6 hours. Also, turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.

Brown dry spots

Brown dry spots in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) are due to underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil.

Water your String of Lemons Plant moderately during the hot season while allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Wilted and discolored leaves in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) are caused by overwatering during the cold period.

Reduce watering for your String of Tears Plant during the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist.

Rotting base and stem collapse

Rotting plant base and stems collapse in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.

Avoid overwatering during the cold season. Use the upper stem to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts.

Brown, soft leaf spots

Brown, soft leaf spots in your String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) are an indication of leaf spot disease.

Avoid wetting the leaves and improve air circulation for your String of Teardrops Plant to prevent disease infestations.

Diseases

The common diseases in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) are Powdery Mildew and Leaf Spot. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the diseases.

Pests

The common pests in String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) are Mealy Bugs, Scale Insects and Spider Mites. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) toxic?

The foliage of String of Lemons Plant (Curio citriformis) is toxic to humans and pets. If String of Lemons Plant is ingested, it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Contact with the String of Tears Plant sap may cause skin irritation or skin rash in sensitive skin therefore, always wear gloves when handling the Plant.

Keep your String of Lemons Plant from the reach of children and pets to avoid mishaps.

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