Peperomia Prostrata Care – String Of Turtles Growing Tips

Peperomia Prostrata is a rare and unusual exotic trailing plant that makes a glorious hanging plant on your front porch. Commonly known as the “String of Turtles,” it has succulent-like foliage with distinctive markings that resemble a turtle’s back.

Peperomia Prostrata is simple to care for, with tiny fleshy foliage. It thrives in bright, indirect light and temperatures of 68 to 75°F. Also, water the Prostrata once the first two inches of soil dry out in the spring and summer and fertilize it every second week during its growing season.

The Peperomia Prostrata is slow-growing and easy to care for under most average household conditions. However, even with below-average care requirements, the String of Turtles has preferences to encourage vigorous growth. So, let’s take a look at the appropriate care for a Peperomia Prostrata.

Characteristics Of Peperomia Prostrata

String of turtles houseplant in terracotta flower pot at home

Native to Brazil, the Peperomia Prostrata is a petite creeping or trailing succulent belonging to the Piperaceae plant family and often referred to as the String of Turtles. 

The Peperomia Prostrata has fleshy, succulent foliage only about one-fourth of an inch. In addition, Peperomia Prostrata portrays exotic dark green and blue variegated foliage with gorgeous patterns of veins that are reminiscent of a turtle’s shell.

When potted, the Peperomia Prostrata forms a thick mat of delicate foliage that cascades over the sides of the pot.

Peperomia Prostrata has insignificant blooms; it produces petite, odorless, creamy-white flowers on long flower spikes. Therefore, the Peperomia Prostrata is mainly grown for its distinctive foliage.

In addition, the Peperomia Prostrata takes three to five years to mature and grows 12 inches long and 3 to 4 inches wide. Its slow growth rate and petite stature make it an ideal choice for homeowners with limited space.

Related: Peperomia Scandens – Detailed Growing Guide

How To Care For Peperomia Prostrata

With the proper care, Peperomia Prostrata can easily be the pride joy of your exotic plant collection with its unique vining foliage. However, the String of Turtles plant will take more effort than caring for most succulent plant species.

It is advisable to try to mimic the Peperomia Prostrata’s native tropical climate as closely as possible. Although the ideal care for a String of Turtles plant is slightly different from your average succulent, it’s not at all complicated.

Here’s how to care for Peperomia Prostrata.

Temperature Requirements For Peperomia Prostrata

The Peperomia Prostrata prefers cooler temperatures to what most succulent plant owners would suspect.

Ideally, keep the Peperomia Prostrata in a consistent environment with temperatures of 68 to 75°F.

In addition, the Peperomia Prostrata should never be exposed to below 50°F to prevent it from wilting; like most Peperomia and succulents, the String of Turtles plant is intolerant of cold and freezing temperatures.

Tip: consider moving an outdoor String of Turtles plant indoors before chilly autumn and winters strike.

Humidity Requirements For Peperomia Prostrata

The Peperomia Prostrata is generally tolerant of most average household humidity levels. However, the String of Turtles is native to the tropical areas of Brazil and will appreciate humidity levels above 60%.

If you’re uncertain of the humidity percentages in your home, consider purchasing a hygrometer to help you test the moisture levels in your home.

In addition, consider using a mister or humidifier to improve the environment for the plant during drier seasons.

Light Requirements For Peperomia Prostrata

The Peperomia Prostrata prefers growing in dappled sunlight outdoors or medium to bright, indirect light indoors.

In addition, the Peperomia Prostrata does not like copious amounts of direct sunlight as the sun easily harms its petite succulent foliage.

So, to ensure a healthy Peperomia Prostrata plant, you will want to place your outdoor String of Turtles plant in dappled sunlight to partial shade. On the contrary, indoor Prostrata plants will thrive near north or east-facing windows to receive bright, indirect sunlight.

In addition, the Peperomia Prostrata grows well under fluorescent light.

Soil Requirements For Peperomia Prostrata

We mentioned earlier that the Peperomia Prostrata’s care looks lightly different to most succulent plants; its soil requirements are of vast differences.

Outdoors, the Peperomia Prostrata thrives in moist, loamy soil with a neutral to acidic pH. Whereas indoors, the Peperomia Prostrata prefers a mixture different from most premixed succulent soil.

The Peperomia Prostrata’s ideal conditions consist of tons of rich organic matter with a generous helping of peat moss. In addition, peat moss will ensure that the soil is acidic, further allowing the String of Turtles to thrive.

Peperomia Prostrata plant

Watering Guide For Peperomia Prostrata

The Peperomia Prostrata is a semi-succulent that does need frequent watering as it stores water in its fleshy succulent-like foliage. Therefore, the plant tends to suffer from overwatering faster than underwatering.

However, the String of Turtles plant is native to the rainforests of Brazil and prefers slightly moist soil conditions.

So, ideally, aim to keep the soil moist during the spring and summer (its growing season) and use the “soak and dry” method during the fall and winter to prevent root rot and bursting leaves.

To test if the String of Turtles plant’s soil is dry enough, stick your finger into the ground, and when the top two inches are completely dry, water the plant again. Alternatively, use a moisture meter if you’re uncomfortable with the first method.

Fertilizer Requirements For Peperomia Prostrata

Occasional feeding will encourage the Peperomia Prostrata to maintain healthy, colorful foliage throughout the growing season.

Therefore, provide a slow-releasing fertilizer at the start of the growing season, or supply a diluted houseplant fertilizer every second week during the spring and summer.

In addition, do not fertilize the Peperomia Prostrata during the fall or winter.

Pruning Guide For Peperomia Prostrata

If you do not prune the Peperomia Prostrata regularly, it will develop an unkempt and leggy appearance. So, prune the Peperomia Prostrata to avoid an untidy appearance by managing the plant’s growth according to your preference.

Pruning will also encourage new growth. However, be sure to use a sharp and sanitized knife or pair of scissors to prevent potential diseases.

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Potting And Repotting Peperomia Prostrata

The Peperomia Prostrata is a miniature plant with slow-growing habits; therefore, it often does not require repotting.

The String of Turtles plant generally needs repotting every two to three years. When repotting, use a container slightly larger than the previous size and ensure that it has drainage holes.

How To Propagate Peperomia Prostrata?

Propagating the Peperomia Prostrata through cuttings is a straightforward way to increase your tropical plant collection. Here’s how:

  1. Fill a pot with a moist potting mix similar to the mother plant.
  2. Using a sanitized and sharp pair of scissors, snip off a few cuttings just below the node of a mature mother plant, ensure that the cuttings are at least 3 inches long.
  3. Then, remove the leaves on the lower piece of the stem cutting.
  4. Plant the stem cutting into the potting mixture while ensuring that at least one of the plant’s nodes is below the soil’s surface.
  5. Place the cuttings in a spot with bright, indirect light.
  6. Lastly, ensure that you keep the soil moist but not soggy. Then, after a few weeks, you can care for the Peperomia Prostrata plant as usual.
Man hand touching and inspecting leaves of Peperomia Prostrata

Pests And Diseases In Peperomia Prostrata

Fortunately, the Peperomia Prostrata is generally not overly susceptible to pests and diseases.

The Peperomia Prostrata can be susceptible to overwatering and root rot if the plant does not receive ample draining. Symptoms of root rot include wilting foliage, moldy soil, and stunted growth.

A too dark setting can cause the vines of the Peperomia Prostrata to develop tiny, juvenile leaves, and the length between the nodes will dramatically increase, giving way to an unattractive, leggy appearance.

In addition, Peperomia Prostrata can be vulnerable to spider mites, aphids, root mealybugs, and whiteflies. So, keep an eye out for common pests; they generally hide in the cubbyholes and undersides of the Peperomia Prostrata plant’s foliage, except for root mealybugs that you’ll find lurking on the plant’s vulnerable rooting system.

Treat the Peperomia Prostrata using insecticidal soap or neem oil if you notice early signs of diseases or infections.

Conclusion

Peperomia Prostrata is a tropical plant with exotic, dark green, fleshy leaves and variegated markings similar to a turtle’s shell. The Peperomia Prostrata is sure to be a conversation starter with its gorgeous trailing branches.

Try to follow the appropriate care requirements by mimicking the String of Turtle’s native climate as best possible.

Enjoy taking care of this rare showstopper!

Resources:

https://www.thespruce.com/growing-string-of-turtles-5091591

https://worldofsucculents.com/peperomia-prostrata/