String of Turtles


Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles)

Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles) is a small, vining plant with round, succulent leaves. They are green with white veins and up to…


The string of turtles is a Brazilian native perennial with leaves looking like small turtles. These small succulent leaves grow on long delicate stems, have green bases with prominent veins. These veins are brown or purple in the juvenile leaves and get silvery-white on maturity.

The miniature can hardly grow around 2 to 3 feet. This makes it look beautiful in hanging baskets, table pots, and terrariums. This low-maintenance plant needs indirect light and watering right after the soil gets dry. While enjoying this unique beauty, don’t ignore the mild toxicity. Make sure you never leave kids and pets unattended to mingle with your String of turtles Plant.

Root rot is one of the biggest diseases this plant can face. If left unchecked, it will stunt a plant’s growth, turn it yellow, and kill the vines. Rot can also poison the soil and work its way into the roots and stem of your plant. To stop the rot from spreading, you need to dry out the soil around the string of turtles completely. If the plant is in a pot, transfer the plant to another pot with brand new soil but don’t water it for two weeks.

Red foliage is what happens to the leaves and vines when the string of turtles is exposed to too much direct sunlight. They can receive direct sunlight, but not a lot, and the sun can’t be intense. When this happens, limit the amount of sun the plant can receive to only one hour a day. You also have to remove all of the leaves that were damaged, and it turned red or yellow.

Leaf Drop occurs for several different reasons. The first reason is that there could be too much fertilizer in the soil or the water. String of turtles do well in regular potting soil and don’t like extra nutrients. The second reason is that the roots of the plant are waterlogged, and nutrients are being washed away from the roots. These problems are easy fixes. Just stop using fertilizer in the water for a while and allow the soil to try out more than you usually would before you water it again.


String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) (Williams): Extremely rare and utterly charming trailing succulent. This adorable plant grows long, cascading stems covered with coin-like leaves that resemble turtle backs. The lime green leaves have a somewhat marbled pattern and are slightly succulent. This South American species makes a fantastic house plant, particularly in a hanging pot near a sunny window. It has similar care needs as the popular String of Pearls. It is a slow grower, but mature plants can grow stems around 12.0" long.

Please Note: Leaves can fall off easily with handling, but will eventually re-sprout.

Soft succulents will not survive a hard frost, but if there is a risk of freezing temperatures they can be brought indoors to grow on a sunny window sill or under a grow light. They need ample sunlight, good drainage, and infrequent water to prevent rot. Pick containers with drainage holes and use well-draining cactus and succulent soil with 50% to 70% mineral grit such as coarse sand, pumice, or perlite. Water deeply enough for water to run out the drainage hole, then wait for the soil to fully dry before watering again.

How to Grow String of Turtles

Dysmorodrepanis, via Wikimedia Commons

String of Turtles (Peperomia prostrata) is a tiny little Brazilian native succulent that thrives in a climate that mimics those found in the average house. This is why it is featured in houseplant collections and apartment jungles worldwide.

It is small in size and has a slow growth rate, reaching full maturity in three to five years. This makes string of turtles a good choice if you have limited space. The plant's attractive leaf shape has also made it a favorite to use in fairy gardens, container gardens, and terrariums.

That same leaf shape is what gives the plant its common name. Each one looks like the shell of a miniature turtle strung together. Every tiny leaf on its trailing vine has intricate multi-colored patterns covering its surface. The colors become muted with age and eventually become bicolored by maturity, usually a darker green contrasted by light green. But still, this little succulent never really loses its charm.

No matter how it is used, the uniqueness of Peperomia prostrata will make it a valuable addition to any indoor plant collection and an excellent conversation piece.

Botanical Name Peperomia prostrata
Common Name String of Turtles
Plant Type Succulent
Mature Size 12 inches.
Sun Exposure Bright but indirect light
Soil Type Loamy, moist
Soil pH Neutral to acidic
Bloom Time Usually does not flower.
Flower Color Cream colored.
Hardiness Zones 10 to 12, USA
Native Area Brazil
Toxicity Yes

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