How To Care For Your String of Bananas
Written by Natalie Anstey
In This Article:
Love String of Pearls but looking for something a little different? You’ll go bananas over this! The Seneco radicans is a trailing succulent from South Africa with tiny banana shaped leaves growing in excess of 3ft long! The String of Bananas looks very similar to the String of Fishhooks, but has lush green foliage and thicker leaves and is super easy to care for.
|Botanical Name:||Senecio radicans|
|Common Name(s):||String of Bananas, Necklace Plant, String of Fishhooks|
|Place of Origin:||South Africa|
|Sun Exposure:||Direct sun|
|Watering Schedule:||Every 14 days|
|Seasonality (best time to plant):||Spring to summer|
|Bloom Time:||Autumn to winter|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to dogs and cats|
How to Grow and Care for String of Pearls
String of Bananas Plant Care
String of Bananas Soil Requirements
String of Bananas like a free-draining, sand-based compost which is high in acidity and low in nutrients like their natural habitat. They will however be more than happy in a specialist succulent/cactus soil.
String of Bananas Light Requirements
String of Bananas like bright indirect light. The ideal spot would be about 3-5ft from a south or west facing window that receives full sun in the morning and tails off towards the afternoon.
String of Bananas Water Requirements
Water every 14 days or when the top inch of soil is totally dry between spring and fall. The plant goes into dormancy in the winter and does not need the same watering schedule. Keep the plant just moist enough that your little baby bananas do not shrivel and die off.
Rule of (Green) Thumb: String of Bananas hate being sat in water so do not overwater as this will cause roots and leaves to go mushy and rot.
String of Bananas Temperature Requirements
Native to South Africa, the String of Bananas prefers a warm spot that reaches temperatures above 65-70℉ from spring to fall. In the winter this can be reduced down to 50℉. Keep this plant out of drafts as this may cause foliage to shrivel or drop.
String of Bananas Humidity Requirements
String of Bananas prefer low humidity and can tolerate a dry surrounding of the average home with relative ease. Thriving in humidity levels of 40% , do not keep in a room such as a bathroom as this could cause the foliage to rot.
String of Bananas Fertilizer Requirements
Fertilize once a month in spring and summer with a weak solution of fertilizer diluted down to half. During fall and winter reduce to once every two months.
String of Bananas Repotting
The String of Bananas is such a prolific grower that you can repot it yearly. The best time to repot is in spring and plant it in a pot only one size bigger.
Your plant may need to be repotted earlier if it is showing signs of overcrowding, the roots are pushing out of the bottom of the pot, or if your plant’s health is declining as this could be down to root rot.
String of Bananas Propagation
String of Bananas are super easy to propagate and the best way to propagate is by taking cuttings. The ideal time to take a cutting is during the summer as the plant will be in its growing season and so will take better.
Planting your String of Bananas Cuttings
Take a long and healthy stem of 10cm - 15cm in length. Leave the cutting to dry for a few days so that the cut heals or callouses over. Now there are several paths you can take Dip the end in rooting hormone and plant in sandy soil/succulent compost and water and monitor.. Plant the cutting in a sand based soil/succulent soil as is, making sure to water and monitor.
Now there are several paths you can take:
1. Dip the end in rooting hormone and plant in sandy soil/succulent compost and water and monitor..
2. Plant the cutting in a sand based soil/succulent soil as is, making sure to water and monitor.
3. Place the cutting in a small glass of water (making sure none of the bananas are underwater as they may go mushy - you can remove these if you like) and after 2-3 weeks roots should begin to form which you can then plant.
String of Bananas Common Problems
This is caused by overwatering. Signs of root rot include pale leaves and/or mushy stems. If the stems or foliage have gone mushy then it may be too late, but if just the leaves are affected then repot in free draining soil with gravel and water sparingly.
Underwatering commonly shows up as shriveled up foliage. Imagine a deflated balloon and you’ll get the idea. If you are sure that there are no pests that could be gorging on the plant then maybe bring forward your watering regime by a few days and see if that helps.
Aphids, Mealybugs, & Spider Mites:
Unfortunately due to the plant's juice-filled foliage they can attract hungry insects who feast on newly formed buds that are full of juicy sap. You may be able to see the insects or at least their trail of destruction as foliage will wilt and look dehydrated. Remove by hand or spray with insecticide/neem oil.
String of Bananas Toxicity
Although they look like cute little bananas they are toxic for both humans and our furry friends. Hanging it up in a pot holder or placing it on a high shelf will make the most of its cascading nature and keep it out of harm's way!
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