Growing guide of rosary plant Senecio rowleyanus (String-of-pearls)

It will not be the first time that you have seen a hanging plant with some species of balls that fall down from the pot, as if it were a rosary. Well, yes, now we name this curious species, known as the rosary plant ( Senecio rowleyanus ), and that little by little has been introduced in hypermarkets and large stores, gaining much fame for the curious shape of its stems.

Its common name could not otherwise represent the great physical resemblance it has with a Rosary , this object used to pray in the Catholic Church. In addition, this plant is totally different from what we may be used to, with a total absence of leaves, something that makes it very striking and arouses the curiosity of buyers.

In this article we are going to tell you about the main characteristics and the care of the indoor plant Senecio rowleyanus , commonly known as the rosary plant or hanging Senecio .


The asteraceae ( Asteraceae ) or compound family is one of the largest within all botanical classifications, with almost 40,000 species divided into more than 1900 genera.

In it we find totally heterogeneous species, and one of those 40,000 is Senecio rowleyanus .

Its origin is African, being a succulent or crassulaceous perennial plant where it emits stems of great length and creeping bearing. However, if it is hung in a hanging planter , it acquires a fantastic ornamental value, offering the hanging balls that are so appreciated to decorate the interior of the home.

These balls or knots, as they are known in botany, are spheres of about 5 or 6 mm in diameter. In flowering, it produces small white flowers but with a very particular shape , shaped like a crown .


  • Order:  Asterales
  • Family:  Asteraceae
  • Genus:  Senecio
  • Species: Senecio rowleyanus

Common names:  rosary plant, hanging senecio, Rosario cactus.


Within the Senecio genus we find several related species with a certain resemblance to the rosary plant. Therefore, it is important to know them since interesting mixtures can be made that will make us win in the ornamental aspect.

  • Senecio radicans:  more than balls, it has a kind of pods (similar to peas but small in size), so it combines very well with the ball plant, with a green of the same characteristics and also used as a hanging plant.
  • Senecio herreanus: more similar to S. rowleyanus since it also has small balls but it has striations that remind us of the tapenera cultivation .
  • Senecio citriformis: very similar to the previous case, with teardrop-shaped balls of intense green color and in great numbers, also used as a hanging plant and highly valued for its ornamental appearance.



    Due to its African origin , it needs warm temperatures almost throughout the year. It is a perennial plant that does not lose any part throughout the year. For this reason, it is usually grown as a hanging plant indoors, being able to have it in spring and summer on the balcony or terrace.

    It is usually grown with exposure to shade or semi-shade , although it does not lose value if it is grown in full sun with warm temperatures.

    In general, at the temperature level, the growth of the hanging rosary stops when temperatures drop below 10 ºC, and we will have problems in its appearance if they drop below 5 ºC.

    Therefore, winters in Spain will be spent with great pleasure indoors.


    The most recommended way to grow your hanging senecio is protected from the cold in autumn and winter indoors, in an area with indirect lighting and without Sun. In spring and summer, you can arrange it on the balcony or terrace so that it takes advantage of all the heat environment and maximum light to stimulate budding and the lengthening of its stems.

    Of course, try to avoid direct sunlight during the central hours of the day, since otherwise, its stems will lose a lot of water due to evaporation and it will lose its original greenness, making its appearance ugly.


    Senecio rowleyanus is preferably grown in pots , choosing a substrate with general characteristics, rich in humus and nutrients but ensuring good drainage.

    The universal substrate is valid for its cultivation, although we will improve its behavior by introducing more porous materials and with a greater capacity to oxygenate the medium. We talk about vermiculite , perlite or even coconut fiber .


    The correct way to water our Senecio rowleyanus  hanging plant is to keep a slightly humid substrate throughout the entire period. Likewise, we can let the substrate dry before adding, but without letting many days pass so that the plant does not lose its lively appearance.

    Inside the house, it will be enough with 1 weekly watering during spring or summer (2 maximum depending on the heat conditions and the type of substrate), and one watering every 10/15 days in winter.

    Although these recommendations are usually met, check the substrate yourself and prevent it from drying out, adapting your own home microclimate to the conditions of hanging senecio.


    At the end of summer and beginning of spring, we will stimulate the emergence of new stems with balls with the renewal of the nutrients that the substrate has been losing with the drainage of each irrigation.

    We will use a general fertilizer rich in NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) and micronutrients. We can apply calcium and magnesium, although in low quantity, with drinking water.

    We can apply 1 of every 2 irrigations with fertilizer, obtaining a green and strong plant.


    One of the advantages that Senecio rowleyanus offers is its ease of propagation. The usual way to do it is by selecting a stem of about 10-15 cm that we see young and with a healthy appearance.

    When you have it cut, sow it in a pot with good substrate and slightly moistened, placing a small ball buried in it.

    With the passage of time, and if the environmental temperature is pleasant and there is sufficient humidity in the substrate, the cutting will emit roots to become a totally independent plant from the original one.

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