How to Grow and Care for a String of Bananas or Fish Hook Plant

Hi Judy, my son has a potted succulent (at least we think it is), which was doing great and suddenly seems to be getting sick. Perhaps we have misidentified the plant and are caring for it incorrectly. Thanks for any advice you have!

Hi Mark,

Your son’s plant is a succulent called “String of Bananas” or Fish Hook plant (Senecio radicans).” This is a hanging succulent plant with plump leaves that resemble bananas or fishhooks.

Here are some care tips to help him grow the plant.

Water: Water well, until the water comes out the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. There must be drip holes so the excess water can drain out. Never allow the plant to sit in the excess water. Do not water again until the soil has practically dried out.

Light: Bright indirect light from a west or south facing window is best. Morning sun is great, but avoid afternoon sun or the leaves will be damaged.

Fertilizer: A String of Pearls needs little or no fertilizer. Feed once in the spring and once in the summer with a liquid, balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Too much plant food is worse than too little.

Temperature: A String of Bananas likes mild temperatures between 45°F (7.2°C) and 70°F (21.1°C). If you have it hanging outside in the spring and summer, be sure to bring it indoors before the night time temperatures get too cold.

Soil: Use a cactus or succulent soil mix that drains quickly.

Resting period: This plant goes dormant and rests in the winter; during that time a String of Pearls plant needs even less water and absolutely no plant food.

Propagation: You can easily start new plants from stem tip cuttings; only use cuttings from healthy stems. You can read more about propagation techniques in the Glossary of the website.

Poisonous Plant Info: Although there is not much formal information about the toxicity of this plant, it is known that it’s close relative the String of Pearls is poisonous. I would err on the side of caution and keep a String of bananas away from small children and pets