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Question
Hi there,
i bought a string of pearls plant last week i watered it a little and put it up high in my kitchen to trail down away from direct sunlight.My doesn't get direct light but has two big windows which look onto a shady area.Today i noticed it looked quite shrivelled and not a lush so i felt it and it was dry so i gave it one cupful of water.I called the florist where it was purchased and he said it could be over watered but wasn't sure and said call back tomorrow.I'm a bit lost after reading an answer that was given you gave to someone who had similar situation but her scenario was very different.I thought the best thing would be to water it as it was dry and i haven't had it long enough for it to have been overwatered.What do you think.How often should they be watered for the future.
Thank-you.
Zoe

Answer
Hi Zoe,

Your Senecio rowleyanus should not be showing signs of deterioration after only a week in your possession. Few plants react to improper light or watering in a week's time. That suggests to me that it may not have been properly cared for by the florist and the symptoms are just now showing.

If the florist kept it too moist for a month or more, then the roots may have rotted and that is usually fatal. If the florist allowed it to get to dry, it should revive after you watered it. I think this is an issue that you need to address with the florist because it is their responsibility to sell you a healthy plant.

In general, this plant needs lots of light, including a few hours of direct sun each day and very bright indirect the rest of the day. Locations at or near the tops of windows do not provide enough light because the light comes in at a downward angle.

It should never be repotted and if the florist repotted it, then that is most likely the cause of the deterioration. Over-potting causes root rot for the fragile roots of this succulent. The porous soil needs to dry out deep into the pot in between thorough waterings. I cannot predict how long that will be, just make sure it dries out sufficiently. When properly potted that usually takes about a week.

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed, Interior Landscaper
Horticultural Help, NYC

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Will Creed

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I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.

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I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

Education/Credentials
BA, Amherst College

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