How Do I Fix String of Tears Root Rot?

By Kiersten Rankel

Jun 17, 20243 min read

String of tears
  1. ๐Ÿ‚ Yellow leaves and mushy stems signal root rot; inspect roots.
  2. โœ‚๏ธ Sterilize tools, prune bad roots, then repot with well-draining soil.
  3. ๐Ÿ’ง Water wisely: only when dry, and use pots with drainage holes.

Spotting the Red Flags: Symptoms of Root Rot

๐Ÿ’ก Visual Clues

Yellowing or browning leaves are not just a fashion faux pas for your String of Tearsโ€”they're distress signals. When the vibrant greens start to look like they've been through a desert without water, take note. Mushy stems and a stench that reminds you of last week's forgotten leftovers? That's your cue: Root rot is likely crashing your plant party.

๐Ÿ’ช Physical Examination

To confirm your suspicions, suit upโ€”it's time to play plant detective. Gently coax your plant from its pot and brace yourself. Healthy roots are the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the plant worldโ€”firm, robust, and typically white or light tan. If they're more like overcooked noodles, brown and squishy, you've hit the root rot jackpot. Don't ignore a swamp-like smell either; it's a telltale sign that something's rotten in the state of your pot.

String of Pearls plant in a small glass container with visible soil and sparse growth.

The Rescue Operation: Treating Root Rot

๐Ÿฅ Surgical Precision

When root rot strikes your String of Tears, it's time to channel your inner surgeon. Sterilize your scissors or shearsโ€”this is a no-germ zone. Snip away the soggy, brown roots with the precision of a seasoned pro. Remember, healthy roots are firm and white, not limp and discolored.

๐Ÿ’จ Drying Out and Starting Fresh

Post-trim, let the roots breathe. Think of it as enforced R&R for your plant. Once the roots are no longer in a state of damp despair, it's repotting time. Choose a soil mix that's the botanical equivalent of a well-draining gravel road. Perlite is your friend here, ensuring water runs through faster than gossip in a small town.

๐Ÿ’ง Watering Wisely

Now, let's talk water. Your watering can is not a fire hose; moderation is key. Water only when the topsoil feels like a dry handshakeโ€”not too moist, not a desert. And when you do water, it's a gentle sprinkle, not a monsoon. Your plant will thank you with the silent applause of perky leaves and robust growth.

String of Pearls plant in a white pot on a pebble tray, showing some dried stems.

Keeping It Dry: Preventing Future Root Rot

๐Ÿ’ง Watering Do's and Don'ts

Watering is more art than science, and your String of Tears is the canvas. Consistency is key. Establish a watering schedule that adapts to the seasons, because your plant doesn't care what month it isโ€”it cares about staying alive.

  • Check the soil before watering; if the top inch feels like a desert, it's time for a drink.
  • Water deeply, then let the soil become the setting for a miniature version of the Sahara before the next watering session.
  • Moisture meters are your undercover agents in the field, use them to avoid overwatering tragedies.

Soil and Pot Harmony

Choosing the right soil and pot is like picking a tailored suitโ€”it needs to fit just right.

  • Well-draining soil is non-negotiable; think of it as your plant's life jacket.
  • Mix in some perlite or sand to keep the soil's airiness on point.
  • Drainage holes in pots are the escape routes for excess water; no holes, no mercy.
  • Pot size should match your plant's ambitions; too big, and you're inviting moisture to overstay its welcome.

Remember, your String of Tears doesn't have nine lives. Keep it dry, and it'll keep on hanging.

Healthy String of Pearls plant in a black pot with green, spherical leaves cascading over the sides.

Trim the rot, repot with care, and let Greg's reminders ensure your string of tears thrives with just-right watering ๐Ÿšฟ.