When and Where Should I Trim My String of Tears?

By Kiersten Rankel

Jun 17, 20243 min read

String of tears
  1. Spring is prime pruning time for String of Tears, signaling growth.
  2. Use sharp tools; trim <25% to maintain plant health and aesthetics.
  3. Propagate cuttings for new plants, and avoid over-pruning to prevent shock.

Best Times to Give Your String of Tears a Haircut

🌱 Seasonal Timing for Pruning

Spring emerges as the champion season for pruning your String of Tears. It's when the plant shakes off its winter slumber and gears up for a growth spurt. Summer can also work for light trimming, especially to remove any out-of-place strands that disrupt the plant's graceful flow. Fall and winter? Forget about it. Your plant is on a break, and snipping now could send it into shock.

🌿 Plant Growth Cycles and Pruning

New growth is your cue; it's the plant's way of saying, "I'm ready for a haircut." Look for fresh, green tendrils reaching out—this is prime time to prune. But keep your eyes peeled for signs of distress, like droopy or discolored leaves. These are SOS signals that your plant could use a little TLC, and perhaps a strategic snip to redirect its energy.

String of Pearls plant in a mug used as a pot, with visible soil and healthy green leaves.

Getting Down to Business: How to Prune Your String of Tears

🛠️ Choosing Your Tools

Sharpness is non-negotiable. Grab precision pruners or micro snips, and make sure they're sterilized. A quick dip in alcohol does the trick. Dull tools? That's a hard no—crushed stems are not on the agenda.

✂️ Pruning Techniques for a Lush Look

Inspect your plant. Look for the deadweight—dead, damaged, or unsightly leaves. Now, make the cut. Aim near the base, but not too close—leave a little space to protect the main stem. Remember, you're going for a trim, not a complete makeover, so remove no more than 25% of the plant. Precision is your ally here.

🌱 Aftercare: Post-Pruning Tips

After the haircut, it's all about the comeback. Dispose of the cuttings, unless you're propagating. Then, give your String of Tears some TLC—water sparingly and ensure it has plenty of light. This is the path to a robust rebound.

Hanging pot with a healthy String of Pearls plant.

Propagation: Turning Trimmings into Treasures

🌱 Making the Cut for Propagation

Pruning your String of Tears isn't just maintenance; it's a propagation party. Select cuttings with a few plump beads and a node or two—these are your future plant babies. Snip just below a node, and voila, you're halfway to more green friends.

🌿 Rooting Your Pruned Cuttings

Now, for the rooting rodeo. Water or soil? Your choice. If you're the water type, submerge the node and wait for roots to show up like uninvited guests. Soil starters, bury the node in a well-draining mix and keep it as moist as a cake—no sogginess allowed. Patience is your new best friend; roots take time, but the payoff is a pot full of new String of Tears.

A healthy String of Pearls plant in a small pot, held by a hand.

Pruning Pitfalls: How Not to Turn Tears into Tragedy

🌱 Overzealous Cutting: Finding the Balance

Pruning your String of Tears should be mindful, not a free-for-all. Over-pruning can leave your plant looking bare and stressed, like a partygoer after a weekend bender. To avoid this, never remove more than 30% of the plant at one time. It's like a trim at the barber—take off just enough to maintain shape and health.

🩹 Healing the Wounds: Dealing with Accidental Cuts

Oops, cut too much? First, don't panic. Plants are resilient, and your String of Tears can bounce back. If you've made an accidental deep cut, keep the area dry to prevent rot and disease. Think of it as a plant's version of a band-aid. And remember, after pruning, water your plant like a ninja—stealthily and without splashy drama, to avoid soggy soil conditions that can lead to root rot.

Trim your String of Tears to perfection this spring by letting Greg send you custom pruning reminders ✂️, ensuring you never overdo it and always promote vibrant growth.