One of the easiest ways to propagate String of Turtles plant (Peperomia prostrata) is by using stem cuttings, which you can collect during pruning of this vining plant.
To do so, you would take a cutting that has a stem approximately 2” to 3” inches long with several leaf nodes and at least a couple of leaves on the petiole. Trim off the lower leaves.
The string of turtle plants is semi-succulent. Like some other peperomia plants, the peperomia prostrata propagation has thicker leaves than some other houseplants. That’s the “semi-succulent” nature of the plant.
Dust the stem with rooting hormone, but this is not entirely necessary. String of turtles is one of my favorite indoor plants, with its elegant trailing vines. It’s basically like having a plant and a bunch of very low-maintenance pets in one.
Plant this cutting into a small pot containing a slightly moist, well-draining potting mix. At least one of the nodes should be below the surface level of the soil.
Keep the cutting in a consistently warm (68° degrees Fahrenheit) sheltered area that provides bright, indirect light. Water is enough to keep the soil slightly moist.
Using this simple method, you should see new growth within a couple of weeks. In addition to this method of string of turtles leaf propagation, there are a number of other successful ways to propagate the String of Turtles.
In this article, we explore the possibilities. Read on to learn more.
How To Propagate Peperomia Prostrata Plants
The string of Turtles is a semi-succulent, rambling plant bearing variegated, rounded leaves that look very much like a turtle shell. As a rambler, this plant has a propensity for a string of turtles propagation.
As a semi-succulent plant, it is a hardy, easy-care plant. These qualities combined make it very easy to end up with more of this delightful Peperomia than you had expected.
How to propagate a string of turtles in soil: Cut off two-inch pieces of a vine from the mother plant with scissors or shears (this is the familiar part!). Remove the bottom leaves so only the bare vine is placed into the soil.
Luckily, because String of Turtles is sort of hard to find, having extras should never be a problem for you. Your gardening friends will probably be happy to take unwanted cuttings off your hands, and small, potted Peperomia prostrata plants make wonderful gifts.
3 Tips for Success
Use A Light Soil Potting Mix
When potting up String of Turtles cuttings, use a light, airy, sharply draining potting mix and a pot with drainage holes. Commercially prepared succulent or cactus mix will do.
If you lack natural light, get grow lights. Let the soil dry out fully before watering Prune some stems to encourage branching out.
Speaking of grow lights, you can definitely grow a string of turtles under grow lights, but you’ll need to play around with the lights’ proximity and intensity to ensure they don’t harm the plants.
This could be from too much direct sunlight or too much direct light from a grow lamp. Speaking of grow lights, you can definitely grow a string of turtles under grow lights, but you’ll need to play around with the lights’ proximity and intensity to ensure they don’t harm the plants.
Be Careful With Water
Remember that this plant is semi-succulent, so you should never overwater it. Both cuttings and established plants like to have slightly moist soil.
You may also wish to mist your cuttings and plants occasionally to help keep humidity levels high.
Use a cactus or succulent soil with peat, perlite, or sand to keep the soil from retaining excess moisture. Let the top fourth of the soil dry out between waterings.
Misting every few days is one way to do this. I prefer a method that is a little more foolproof and longer lasting—using a humidifier.
Well, like most houseplants, you’re better off underwatering than overwatering. Not only can overwatering lead to root rot, but it can also damage the plants’ thin stems and leaves.
All you need are a few materials: sterilized scissors and a container or jar of water, and you’ll be ready to go!
Here’s how it works: First, use your sterilized scissors to cut off a few stem cuttings just below a node.
Don’t Use Fertilizers Right Away
Cuttings should not be fertilized because the fresh soil you start them in should provide plenty of nourishment for the first year.
After that, give established plants a light feeding of a generalized water-soluble houseplant fertilizer twice a month during the growing season.
How To Start a String of Turtles by Air Layering
It is also possible to propagate this easy-going plant by simply guiding long tendrils onto the surface of moist, fresh potting soil in nearby containers.
Lay the runners on top of the soil and continue caring for the parent plant and the soil in the intended pots just as you would a mature Peperomia prostrata.
Watch how to root string of turtles to form. When they do, anchor the tendrils to the soil using a hairpin or similar device.
Clip the tendrils free from the parent plant and continue caring for your new Turtle Peperomia as a mature plant.
As an alternative to the air layering method, you can lay lengthy cuttings of String of Turtles on the surface of fresh, moist, well-draining soil.
Care for them as described above. The cuttings will eagerly set down roots, just as if they were still attached to the parent plant.
Use Leaf Cuttings as a Last Resort
String of turtle propagation is also possible by just using leaves with long stems. You can poke these into the soil and care for them just as you would the stems of cuttings.
It’s worth noting that this method is not quite as successful as the many alternatives. You can propagate string of turtles from a leaf.
Repotting a String of Turtles Plant
The string of turtles plant likes to be a bit rootbound and has a slow growth rate, so you won’t have to repot it for 2-3 years, and it won’t need to be larger than a 6″ pot for a very long time.
Repotting peperomia prostrata is an easy task. Since this plant has a relatively slow growth than all the other plants, changing pots might not be an issue for a long time. This plant grows in length as it trails down the pot.
A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite can be used to create a well-draining soil. While repotting, gently remove the plant from its current pot and loosen the roots.
Let the potting mix dry out between waterings, and do not overwater them, or you could put your plant at risk of root rot. Be sure to feel the potting mix first to determine how wet or dry it is before you water it!
Repot the plant during the growing season to limit the negative effects of repotting. Don’t repot it unnecessarily: wait until the plant’s length is getting out of hand.
When you repot String of Turtles, use a pot that is the next size up from the current one.
Related: Details on Propagating Peperomias
People also often ask, can you propagate string of turtles in water?
The answer is YES!
How To Propagate String of Turtles in Water
Propagating a string of turtles in water is simple and is similar to other “strings of” plants like string or hearts or string of pearls. It is most easily done in potting mix, but I’ll discuss water propagation too.
A well-draining soil mix is best for propagating Peperomia Prostrata. Make sure to have all of these materials on hand before you begin the process to ensure a smooth and successful string of turtles plant propagation.
Like many rambling succulent plants, this type of peperomia is also very easy to propagate in water.
To do so, clip off and prepare some cuttings as you would for soil propagation and set them into a jar or a vase filled with fresh water.
You could also put the plant into a mixture of sphagnum moss and perlite to help with air circulation.
Make sure to give it a well-draining and well-aerated soil. Add some coco coir, peat, or fine moss to your soil mixture to help improve airflow and retain some moisture without making it too wet.
Keep the jar or vase in a consistently warm setting that receives bright, indirect sunlight. Prevent stagnation by changing the water every couple of days.
You should see some root growth right away, and when the roots are several inches long, you can transplant the cuttings into the soil.
When transferring cuttings started in water into the soil, you should begin with a quite damp soil.
Allow it to dry gradually, and when it has reached the slightly moist level, water lightly to keep it slightly moist.
The roots should take hold within a couple of weeks, and you can begin treating these plants as mature plants.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases on Peperomia Prostrata
Although string of turtles plants are easy to care for, they have some issues to be aware of, like any other houseplant. Let’s chat about them.
Root rot and how to fix it in a string of turtles We already went over how too much water can lead to root rot, which will quickly kill a plant. So I don’t want to beat a dead horse there.
Like most houseplants, string of turtles are susceptible to a range of pests, like spider mites, mealybugs, or white flies.
Monitor your plant for signs of insects; use a spray bottle to spritz the plant with a houseplant insecticide or a solution of 1 gallon (3.8 L) warm water, 1 teaspoon (4.9 mL) of castile soap, and 4 tablespoons (59 mL) of neem oil.