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 Watermelons
- String of Raindrops
- Gooseberry Plant
- String of Beads
- String of Tears
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.