Easy methods to Plant, Develop, and Care For String of Rubies

Relating to trailing succulents, string vegetation are among the many hottest decisions. Their ease of care and engaging development habits make these vegetation nice for hanging baskets within the dwelling or outside.

String of Rubies is a particular species of string plant with some placing traits. Let’s get to know this fascinating plant. 


Close-up of string of rubies in a large pot. This unique succulent was prized for its trailing growth habit and vibrant red foliage. It is characterized by its slender stems adorned with cylindrical leaves that range in color from green to deep red at the tips.

Native Space

Cape Province, South Africa

Watering Necessities

Low to Reasonable

Pests & Ailments

Root rot, mould, fungus, mealybugs, scales

Soil Kind

Nicely-draining, Cactus soil

What’s a String of Rubies?

String of Rubies is a species of succulent with a enjoyable and interesting character trait. When uncovered to vivid mild, this plant’s foliage morphs right into a deep ruby purple. The distinctive, scarlet, bean-shaped foliage additionally garners plant nicknames akin to Ruby Necklace and String of Pickles. 

In nature, it’s a low-growing succulent plant with a trailing or spreading behavior. In the meantime, in cultivation, this plant is mostly grown as a dangling plant due to how engaging the trailing stems with plump, fleshy leaves look when grown this manner.  It might probably, nonetheless, be grown as a floor cowl, however solely in tropical climates. 

Historical past

Close-up of Othonna capensis in a black pot against a blurred green background. This captivating succulent is prized for its trailing stems adorned with small, cylindrical leaves ruby-red in color.
This trailing succulent is a member of the Crassothonna genus.

String of Rubies was initially named in 1865 by Irish botanist William Henry Harvey. In 1901, American horticulturist L.H. Bailey printed the Cyclopedia of American Horticulture, through which he described the plant as Othonna capensis. Later, the genus was renamed Crassothonna, making the present title of the plant Crassothonna capensis.

Native Space

Close-up of an Othonna capensis succulent plant outdoors in a large stone planter. This trailing succulent features slender, trailing stems adorned with small, cylindrical leaves of green color. The stems are purple.
This well-liked flowering plant is native to South Africa.

Native to the Cape Province of South Africa, String of Rubies may be present in sub-tropical areas. The plant originates within the southern Drakensberg area, the place it generally grows on rocky flats. It has naturalized in Tunisia and Algeria. It’s a well-liked flowering houseplant and backyard specimen in Australia, the place it’s generally named Ruby Necklace plant.


Close-up of a flowering String of Rubies succulent plant against a blurred background. This succulent features purple slender stems adorned with small, cylindrical leaves bright green with purple tips. The succulent leaves are fleshy and glossy. It produces small, yellow, daisy-like flowers along its stems.
This Asteraceae member of the family has small, daisy-like yellow flowers.

String of Rubies is a member of the Asteraceae household, as is obvious upon examination of its flowers. The yellow flowers are small and daisy-like. When the plant is hanging, the flower stems curve upward, holding the blooms suspended away from the foliage. When grown within the floor, as is the pure development behavior of the plant, the flower stems develop above the foliage, holding the flowers about two inches above the remainder of the plant.

Though it’s a member of a special genus, it’s associated to and has many traits in widespread with the opposite string vegetation that fall beneath the Senecio genus. The stems of the plant are skinny and delicate with a trailing behavior, and the succulent leaves are formed like small beans. The stems of the plant are purple, and of their pure state, the leaves are vivid inexperienced.

What units this plant aside from the opposite sturdy vegetation is its shade, or reasonably, its color-changing behavior. When pressured by chilly temperatures or daylight, the foliage on this plant modifications to a deep ruby-red shade. 

If the plant will get sufficient mild and correct care, it could possibly bloom practically year-round. Small yellow flowers emerge from ruby-colored buds, doubtlessly from spring by means of fall. The foliage is evergreen and really cold-tolerant. Its pure development behavior is creeping, and it’s sometimes a ground-growing plant. 

Makes use of

Close-up of a succulent in a white hanging pot outdoors. The slender stems adorned with glossy, succulent-like leaves that cascade gracefully, resembling a cascade of deep crimson jewels. The leaves, reminiscent of tiny rubies, are delicately veined.
You’ll be able to develop this plant outside or as a houseplant.

String of Rubies is grown as a decorative and has no widespread sensible makes use of. In zones the place it’s thought of hardy (5-10), you possibly can develop it outside the place it makes a pleasant addition to the rock backyard and may also be grown as a floor cowl.

It works properly in xeriscaping, terrariums, and hanging baskets, as properly. In colder climates, it makes an exquisite houseplant, offered that it will get sufficient daylight. 

The place to Purchase

String of Rubies vegetation have been thought of fairly uncommon till pretty not too long ago. These vegetation may be reliably bought from on-line retailers, however I’ve seen them in one of many close by nurseries on occasion.

They’re often offered as houseplants, so look in locations the place uncommon houseplants are offered, and also you simply would possibly discover one. 


Close-up of a girl holding orchard othonna capensis indoors. The girl is wearing a checkered beige apron. The Othonna capensis showcases slender, trailing stems adorned with elongated, cylindrical leaves that taper to a point. The stems are purple in color, cascading down. The leaves are a dark green-purple hue.
Present well-draining soil and ample daylight.

Due to its development habits, most String of Rubies are stored in cultivation as houseplants or outside potted vegetation. A mature plant may be potted or planted within the floor in well-drained soil. These vegetation don’t must be planted deeply, and actually, cuttings are finest left sitting on prime of the soil. 

Begin by selecting a container that has superb drainage. Succulent vegetation are inclined to rot after they keep moist, so it is very important preserve the soil drained and never overwater. Then choose a sunny spot, both indoors or out, as this plant prefers extra daylight than most.

Easy methods to Develop

This succulent is simple to develop, and it grows shortly. As soon as you understand how to take care of this plant, it would actually take off and impress you with its development and engaging foliage. 


Close-up of an Othonna capensis plant under sunlight. This succulent features cylindrical leaves of bright green color. The stems are trailing and purple in color.
The signature reddish-purple hue develops with vivid daylight publicity.

Whereas many succulent vegetation desire oblique mild or vivid shade, this one is extra of a solar lover. It’s with an abundance of solar publicity that the foliage takes on the wealthy reddish-purple tone that it’s recognized for. 

Discover a spot in a sunny window, ensuring that your plant will get a minimal of six hours of direct daylight per day. If you’re rising it outside, search for a spot that will get loads of solar early within the day. The afternoon solar may be hotter and extra intense, so think about discovering an area that has morning solar and a few safety within the afternoon. 


Close-up of Othonna capensis leaves with water drops. Each leaf is cylindrical with a slightly flattened surface, resembling tiny pickles or fingers. The surface is smooth and glossy, bright green. The stems are purple-pink in color.
Water reasonably and let the soil dry out barely between waterings to forestall root rot.

I’ve discovered this plant to be considerably difficult in terms of watering. As a succulent, it tends to be inclined to root rot if overwatered. Nonetheless, it appears to understand extra water than most different succulents in my container backyard, so my recommendation right here could seem in contradiction with what you’ll discover from different sources. 

Let the soil dry out between waterings, however don’t let it sit dry for lengthy. As quickly because the soil is dry an inch down, be certain that to provide this plant an excellent soaking. Once you do water, water it completely. These little bean-shaped leaves maintain loads of moisture, and when this plant will get dehydrated, they have an inclination to shrivel and dry out. 


Close-up of a garden trowel in a succulent potting mix. A garden trowel features a compact, elongated metal blade with a pointed tip and a gently curved shape. The blade is attached to a sturdy handle made of wood. The soil is brown, loose, with perlite and coarse sand components.
Use a barely acidic potting soil or buy a cactus and succulent combine.

String of Rubies vegetation want superb drainage. Their roots are delicate to moisture, and if the soil stays damp, you run the chance of root rot. This plant additionally prefers barely acidic soil, with a pH within the vary of 6.0-6.5. You’ll be able to’t go unsuitable with a industrial cactus and succulent potting combine

In the event you desire to combine your potting soil by yourself, you can begin with a regular potting combine after which add supplies that may enhance the drainage, as commonplace potting soils will maintain extra moisture than this plant wants. Mixing in a wholesome dose of perlite, coarse sand, or pumice will assist improve the drainage of your combination. 

Temperature and Humidity

Close-up of Othonna capensis plant in a terracotta hanging pot outdoors. This succulent plant has trailing stems adorned by succulent, cylindrical leaves. Its stems are purple, slender and tend to cascade gracefully. The leaves, arranged in a spiral pattern along the stems, are cylindrical and fleshy with a purplish green hue.
Preserve indoor temperatures between 50°-80°F (10°-27°C).

The best temperature vary for this plant is 50°-80°F (10°-27°C). In case your plant will get left outside when the temperature drops beneath 50°F, it would start to endure chilly injury. I convey mine indoors as quickly as there’s a danger of nighttime temperatures falling into the 40s (~4°C).

It prefers a better humidity stage than most succulents. This plant shall be happiest when the humidity stage is between 40-50%, which is about common for inside the house. In case your plump leaves are wanting shriveled and also you’re watering correctly, it might be resulting from low humidity. That is one succulent that gained’t thoughts the occasional misting


Close-up of female hands holding pile of granular mineral fertilizer on blurred white background. The woman is wearing a light brown apron and bright red gloves. Granular mineral fertilizers are small, round, blue granules.
Fertilize sparingly with a low-nitrogen method.

Like most succulents, solely sparing fertilization is required for this plant. If you wish to encourage and help new development, it’s high quality to fertilize a few times a yr, in spring and summer season. Select a fertilizer with a decrease nitrogen method; a ratio of 0.5-1-1 is right, and a slow-release method will assist to forestall over-feeding.


Close-up of a flowering plant against a blurred background. This plant displays a captivating appearance with trailing stems adorned by succulent, cylindrical leaves in a vivid shade of purple-burgundy. The stems are slender, purple, cascading. It produces small, daisy-like yellow flowers.
Trim String of Rubies often to advertise branching and propagate for rejuvenation.

You don’t must prune this houseplant. Nonetheless, you could discover that because the stems develop longer, they get woody and look slightly scraggly as they spill over the sting of the container. One of the best treatment for that is to propagate some new stems. You’ll be able to reduce parts off of the plant and easily add them to the highest of the plant or propagate in one other container.

Trimming your plant will promote branching, which may be good and unhealthy. It would make for a fuller plant on the backside, however that may exacerbate the problem with density on the crown of the plant. Repotting is required occasionally, because the roots are delicate, and this plant doesn’t thoughts being root-bound. Once you do repot, which ought to solely occur each two to a few years, select a pot that’s solely barely bigger and ensure it has correct drainage holes.  

Rising in Containers

Close-up of the hanging stems of the String of Rubies succulent plant from a large hanging terracotta pot. The stems are long, trailing, drooping, thin, purple in color, adorned by succulent, cylindrical leaves of bright green with purple tips.
Be sure your container has drainage holes to forestall soggy soil.

As a result of it can not develop outside exterior of zones 10-11, this plant is mostly stored in a container. When selecting a container, search for one which has ample drainage holes within the backside. Terracotta pots work nice for succulents, as they wick moisture and assist forestall overly moist soil. Any pot with good drainage ought to work, although.

Use soil that drains properly, as we mentioned earlier within the soil part. Cactus potting combine is a ready-to-use choice that may be bought at most locations the place vegetation are offered. Be sure to decide on a container that’s not a lot bigger than the nursery pot. Holding this plant barely root-bound is right.


Close-up of a potted String of Rubies succulent plant in a white plastic pot under sunlight. The plant has slender, trailing stems with small cylindrical leaves of bright green color with purple tips.
Propagate by way of cuttings in water or soil simply.

Sting of Rubies is a simple plant to propagate and a enjoyable one to share with mates. Regardless that it’s a succulent, I’ve had success propagating this plant in water. Nonetheless, soil propagation can also be efficient and would possibly prevent from coping with root rot. 

Whichever methodology you select, start by reducing sections of the dad or mum plant which have a minimum of three or 4 leaves, ideally extra, as these assist to help root development. Gently take away a couple of leaves from the reduce finish so that you’ve got a number of nodes to work with. 

In the event you’re propagating in water, merely place the reduce ends down in water and set it in a sunny window. Roots ought to start to kind inside two weeks. These vegetation root shortly, which provides to their ease of propagation. As soon as your cuttings have a couple of inches of root connected, switch them to the soil and preserve them moist for a couple of weeks to assist the roots adapt to the soil.

In the event you resolve to go the soil propagation route, fill a shallow container along with your cactus soil combine or dwelling combination. All you want to do to root your cuttings within the soil is lay them on prime of the soil and mist them often with water. Preserve the soil moist, however not moist, till the cuttings have roots.

Frequent Issues

This plant isn’t particularly inclined to many pests and illnesses, however there are some things to maintain an eye fixed out for. Good plant hygiene is the very best protection, and new vegetation ought to at all times be inspected earlier than introducing them to your different houseplants. 


Close-up of Mealybug on a thin purple stem indoors. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that infest plants, characterized by their oval-shaped bodies covered in a white, waxy, cotton-like substance, giving them a powdery appearance.
Scale and mealybugs may be handled with alcohol or neem oil.

The most typical family pests to look at for are scale and mealybugs. The excellent news is that each of those bugs are straightforward to see and establish. Mealybugs are white and have a fuzzy look, and scale bugs are rounded and have a tough outer shell. They’re often amber or brown. 

Each of those bugs may be handled by taking a cotton swap soaked in alcohol and wiping them away. Be sure to take away all affected and broken foliage to provide the plant an opportunity to get better and preserve power. If treating with alcohol doesn’t eradicate the infestation, neem oil is an efficient different to conventional pesticides. 


Close-up of a succulent plant Othonna capensis in a white ceramic pot. This plant is a visually striking succulent characterized by its trailing stems adorned with cylindrical, bluish-green leaves. The leaves are elongated and resemble miniature pickles. The leaves are dark green with a slightly purple tint at the base near the purple stems.
Monitor for fungal illnesses, particularly root rot, resulting from poor drainage.

Fungal illnesses and mould are the commonest disease-related points. Root rot is usually a downside for this plant whether it is planted incorrectly. A container with inadequate drainage or soil that retains an excessive amount of moisture can result in root rot. Different fungal or mould points may result from extra moisture within the soil or air and poor air circulation.

Lack of Flowers

View of a large white hanging pot with a succulent plant Othonna capensis, in a greenhouse. The plant produces slender, trailing stems adorned with cylindrical leaves that are a vibrant bluish-green color.
Blooming is prolific with ample daylight publicity.

Sting of Rubies can bloom for a good portion of the yr beneath the suitable circumstances. The most probably motive for a scarcity of flowers is a scarcity of solar publicity. This plant likes extra solar than the typical succulent.

In the event you haven’t seen flowers on a mature plant for a full yr, it in all probability wants extra mild. I discover that a couple of weeks outside partly solar kicks my String of Rubies into blooming gear.

Leggy Progress

Close-up of a variety of succulents in a small round planter on a wooden surface. Graptoveria, Crassula tetragona and String of Rubies growing in a pot. Graptoveria boasts a rosette form with thick, fleshy leaves arranged in tight, overlapping layers. Crassula tetragona has slender stems that are densely packed with tiny, triangular leaves arranged in opposite pairs along the stem, giving the plant a tiered, branching structure reminiscent of a pine tree.
Stretched development may be improved by rising daylight publicity.

Progress that’s woody on the prime with few leaves is widespread to this plant. This attribute can depart a plant wanting unhealthy. Though it doesn’t essentially imply that the plant is unhealthy, the looks may be lower than fascinating. You’ll be able to assist your plant to fill in on the prime by pulling particular person stems again and utilizing hairpins to tack them in place. These stems will behave like cuttings, rooting on the soil. 

One other potential motive for leggy development is a scarcity of daylight. In case your stems are wanting stretched out with more and more lengthy spans between the leaves, transfer your plant to a spot the place it will get extra mild. 

Incessantly Requested Questions

No, all elements of the plant are fully protected for pets and folks. It’s protected to have throughout the attain of animals.

It was once however not too long ago has seen an increase in reputation, so it may be discovered in lots of locations the place unique houseplants are offered.

Sure. The leaves are typically a bit fragile and break off simply. It’s finest to deal with your plant as occasionally as doable.

Last Ideas

This quirky and delightful succulent makes a wonderful addition to the succulent backyard or houseplant assortment. Its enchanting color-changing behavior makes it an attention-grabbing dialog starter, and also you and your fellow plant lovers will love how shareable it’s!

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