String of Tears – Curio herreianus


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The String of Tears (Senecio herreianus or Curio herreianus) is an interesting succulent plant hailing from Namibia in South Africa.

This member of the Asteraceae family is a tender perennial succulent desired for its creeping stems and attractive, tear-shaped foliage.

This plant is a close relative of Senecio rowleyanus (String of Pearls Plant) and Senecio Radicans (String of Bananas Plant).

The plant’s genus name, Senecio (sen-NEESH-shee-oh) is Latin and means “old man”.

This is a reference to the hairy aspects of the blooms.

The specific epithet, herreianus (her-ray-ee-AY-nus) honors botanist, Hans Herre, who was an expert on the topic of South African succulents.

Common names for this plant include:

  • String of Raindrops
  • Gooseberry Plant
  • String of Beads
  • String of Tears


Care Guide

Size & Growth

  • The String of Tears is typically a low growing, trailing plant.
  • Stems may attain a length of one foot in ideal circumstances.
  • The String of Tears has trailing stems ranging in shade from green to purple.
  • The stems are fairly stiff and can grow to be more than a foot long.
  • They have a trailing or creeping growth habit depending upon how they’re planted.
  • The leaf shape is of a teardrop or raindrop.
  • They are equipped with clear leaf windows allowing more light to get in.
  • When you peek in the window, you will see the interior of the leaf has very fine purple stripes.
  • When the plant is grown in bright sunlight, the purple hues of the stems and leaves will become darker.

Flowering & Fragrance

Senecio herreianus String of Tears produces cinnamon-scented, trumpet-shaped white flowers during the spring and summer.

Light & Temperature

The String of Tears does best in partial shade or indirect bright light rather than in the full direct sunlight.

As a houseplant, it does well in an east-facing or west-facing sunny window.

If you’re growing the plant outdoors, you should bring it in before the cold months of winter.

Alternately, if you’re growing it as a groundcover, take cuttings to keep indoor plants as houseplants and return them to the outdoors when winter is over.


Watering & Feeding

  • All plants of this type are adapted to live in fairly arid environments.
  • They are able to store water in their stems and leaves for long periods of time.
  • Water as you would any trailing succulent or cacti sedum.
  • Wait until the soil is almost entirely dry and then water very deeply.
  • Allow water to run through the soil and out of the drainage hole of the container.
  • Fertilize these succulents once a year during the summer.
  • Use a weak solution of a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer.