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Botanical name: Senecio herreanus
Synonmy: Curio herreanus
Common names: String of Watermelons Plant, String of Raindrops Plant, Gooseberryplant
Senecio herreanus (Curio herreanus) commonly called String of Watermelons Plant, String of Raindrops Plant or Gooseberryplant bears pendant thread-like stems on which succulent oval-shaped leaves grow.
The leaves in String of Watermelons Plant are dark-green with purple stripes and resemble the rind of the watermelon fruit and hence the common name, 'String of Watermelons'.
The odd shaped leaves in String of Raindrops Plant is an adaptation to arid conditions and allows for the storage of water while exposing minimum surface area to the dry desert air which greatly reduces water loss.
The fleshy leaves and stems store water, which allows the String of Watermelons Plant to go for a considerably long period without being watered.
Each leaf in Gooseberryplant bears a translucent window that runs the length of the leaf which allows light to reach into the interior of the leaf where photosynthesis takes place.
Senecio herreanus also called Curio herreanus is a creeping, perennial, succulent vine native to the drier parts of Southwest Africa.
In its natural habitat, the plant grows as a trailer, with stems trailing on the ground, rooting where they touch and forming dense mats.
The String of Raindrops Plant is found growing in the shaded conditions growing under other plants and rocks.
String of Watermelons Plants are readily available online at Etsy. Buy String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus) online from Etsy.
String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus) thrives in bright light with some direct sunlight, moderate warmth and moderately moist, fertile, well-drained soils coupled with regular feeding during the growing season.
Curio herreanus requires pruning to keep the plant neat, to reduce pest and disease infestations and rejuvenate growth. Repotting is only needed when the plant has become pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
String of Watermelons Plant grows best in bright light with some morning or late afternoon sunlight of at least 4-6 hours. Bright light enhances the purple tones on the leaves.
Rotate the pot regularly to ensure that the String of Teardrops Plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.
Curio herreanus can also grow under a grow light where the natural light is not adequate.
Water String of Watermelons Plant liberally during the growing season and allow the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.
Decrease watering during the cold period to maintain the soil barely moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely as it can lead to wilting and leaf drop.
Ascertain 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 the plant.
Average warmth between 20-270C during the growing season is ideal for String of Watermelons Plant. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for this plant.
Keep the Senecio herreanus away from cold draughts as they cause sudden drops in temperature which can lead in sudden leaf drop.
String of Watermelons Plant has no need for high humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for the plant. Ensure that there is good air circulation to discourage fungal disease infestations.
Feed String of Watermelons Plant monthly during the growing season with a Cactus and Succulents Fertilizer. This plant is not a heavy feeder so be careful with feeding to avoid excessive feeding.
Stop feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time and feeding at this time can cause fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant.
String of Watermelons Plant has a small root system so frequent repotting is not necessary. Repot it 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 than the current one and one that has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting.
Use a shallow pot and be careful not to bury the stems of the String of Raindrops Plant to prevent rotting.
The best soil for String of Watermelons Plant 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 this plant as it drains easily. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil for String of Raindrops Plant online from Etsy.
Pruning String of Watermelons Plant involves removal of any dead leaves or stems to keep the plant neat and also reduce pest and disease infestations. Trim the stems if they become too long or straggly to rejuvenate growth.
String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus) can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings.
Take 3-5 in. of stem cuttings from a healthy String of Watermelons Plant and allow the cuttings to dry (callus) for about 7 days.
Lay the 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 away from direct sunlight and maintain the soil moist until the stems are rooted.
Allow substancial growth before transplanting the new String of Raindrops Plant after which you can begin routine care.
String of Watermelons Plant (Senecio herreanus) problems indoors include leaf drop, leggy growth, leaf spots, rotting, wilting, plant death, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Rotting plant base and stems collapse in String of Watermelons Plant is an indication of basal stem rot disease which is brought about by overwet conditions.
Use the upper healthy stems to propagate new plants and discard the infected parts to reduce spread to the rest of the plant.
Thereafter, water the plant moderately during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of the soil to dry out between waterings.
Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to maintain the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time.
There are two possible causes on sudden leaf drop in String of Watermelons Plant. One possible cause is watering with very cold water.
Being a tropical plant where temperatures are warm, watering with too cold water will shock the plant.
Therefore, water the String of Raindrops Plant with water that is at room temperature to avoid shocking this tropical plant.
The second possible cause of sudden leaf drop in String of Watermelons Plant is underwatering.
Water the plant moderately and allow the soil to dry out but never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.
Leggy growth (elongated stems) in String of Watermelons plant during the cold season is due to too much water (overwatering) or soggy soil.
Reduce watering 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 the String of Raindrops Plant happens during the growing season, then the cause is too little light.
Gooseberryplant 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 or instal a grow light if the natural lighting is inadequate.
Also, turn the pot regularly to ensure that the plant receives light on all sides for uniform growth.
Brown dry spots in String of Watermelons Plant are due to underwatering resulting in too little moisture in the soil.
Water the String of Raindrops Plant liberally during the growing season while allowing the soil to dry out between waterings to keep it moderately moist.
Lessen watering during the cold period to maintain the soil slightly moist but do not allow the soil to dry out completely.
Wilted and discolored leaves in String of Watermelons Plant are caused by overwatering during the cold period. Cut down on watering during the cold season and maintain the soil barely moist.
Brown, soft leaf spots in String of Watermelons Plant are an indication of leaf spot disease. Avoid wetting the leaves and improve air circulation to prevent disease infestations. Read more on how to treat leaf spot disease in houseplants.
Apart from leaf spot disease, String of Watermelons Plant is also prone to powdery mildew which is characterized by spotting or coating of the leaf surface with a white powdery deposit.
Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.
The common pests in String of Watermelons Plant are Spider Mites, Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests. Read on how to identify and get rid of pests in houseplants.
String of Watermelons (Senecio herreanus) like other Senecio species is toxic to humans and pets as outlined by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
If ingested, it can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.
Contact with the plant sap may cause skin irritation or skin rash in sensitive skin therefore, always wear gloves when handling the plant.
Keep the String of Raindrops Plant away from the reach of children and pets to avoid mishaps.