Thinking of having some hanging plants for an indoor garden? Hanging plants add elegance to the décor of your home garden and a perfect choice is the string of bananas.
Senecio Radican, popularly known as the string of Bananas is a type of succulents that has banana-shaped tiny leaves blooming in the winter. The string of bananas is also known as necklace plant, creeping berry, banana vine plant, the string of fishhooks, the string of pearls.
Highly used as ornamental plants due to their creeping nature, the plant is a favorite for indoor gardens although being intolerant to frost.
The string of bananas is a descendent of Cape Province in South Africa with the capability of growing outdoor as well as indoors. These houseplants are best suited for indoor plantation, a great alternative to the String of Pearls.
Here, you can find some tips on how to grow and care for the string of bananas for your home garden.
The string of Bananas – Is it succulent?
In Latin, “sucus” means ‘sap’ or ‘juice’, succulent are plants that store water in leaves and stems. The leaves & stems of these kinds of succulents are basically fleshy and thickened, modified in such a way so that they can store water.
The string of bananas, just like any other succulents comes with varied shapes and textures with tiny & round-shaped leaves with yellow, lavender, or white blooms. These plants can easily survive in rough and arid climatic conditions.
The string of bananas is an exotic category from the family of succulents.
Senecio Radicans vs Senecio Rowleyanus
Are you confused by the above terms? Well, you do not need to be, let me clear it out for you. The string of pearls has its scientific name as Senecio Rowleyanus while the string of bananas scientific name is Senecio Radicans.
Most of the gardeners want to know if Senecio Radicans glauca is the same as Senecio Rowleyanus? A simple answer would be ‘No’. They might be of a similar kind and even similar in appearance but are actually different.
The prime difference between the string of bananas & the string of pearls is their leaves shape. The string of pearls has pea-shaped leaves while the string of bananas has banana-shaped leaves.
Senecio Radicans glauca is robust in nature while the string of pearls is more inoffensive. Obviously, the choice is completely yours but in my opinion, if you are a beginner with such succulents, go with the string of bananas succulent.
The traits of String of Bananas
The succulent plant has an attractive texture with its fascinating stems which can grow up to 3 feet long. The leaves are plump and similar to that of bananas which are specially abled to retain water.
Let us know some of its distinguishable traits now.
- The plants are fast-growing in nature.
- The leaves are shiny and semi-transparent.
- The succulents usually bloom during the springtime.
- The plant’s aroma is somewhat like cinnamon.
- The look of the string of bananas is like stoplights.
The plant seems to grow faster in a vertically downward direction from a hanging pot than on the ground when planted outdoors.
The String of Bananas – How to grow these plants?
The plants do not require much effort to grow, firstly because they are succulents and secondly because they have a higher growth rate compared to others of their kind.
The maintenance cost for this plant is also very low similar to that of every other succulent.
The preparation of the soil mixture is one of the vital steps in the context of gardening since it is very crucial for the plant’s growth. The soil should be light in nature and well-drained with organic constituents, like a cactus mix.
The roots of succulents are prone to rotting. Therefore, you need to ensure that the soil is loosely packed for proper aeration and drainage.
A proportion of Pumice or tree-bark can add to the betterment of the drainage factor. You can also opt for soil mixture available in the online stores.
Watering the plant
Since you now already know that succulents are prone to rotting roots, you need to take extra care about watering your cactus. Remember, overwatering your string of bananas can kill the plant.
You can water for every 2 weeks alternatively keeping in mind the quantity that you pour. The plants do not require its soil to be moist throughout but certainly, dry soil can affect it adversely too.
Temperature & Sunlight Requirements
The plants are highly capable of adjusting themselves to their surroundings and they cannot only be termed as indoor plants but outdoor too.
Direct exposure to sunlight is not advisable since in such cases you can have the banana plant leaves turning brown. You can keep it in bright places with partial sunlight which is effective for its growth.
A comfortable house for you is also a comfortable home for your houseplant. Are you confused? In simple words normal home temperature is apt for the string of bananas.
The plant has the capability to accustom itself to various temperatures as it is also used as an outdoor plant where temperatures are usually unpredictable and harsh. In winter it is advisable to keep the plant indoor where the temperature is above 45 F and apply some grow lights.
Fertilizers & Pests
If you think fertilizing constantly will give better growth, you are completely mistaken. But if you are still willing to give your plant some extra nourishment, you can opt for organic fertilizers like worm compost or vermin compost in appropriate proportions.
In case you want to go with liquefied fertilizers, you can choose fish emulsions or liquid kelp. Remember to dilute these before you apply since strong fertilizers can also harm the string of bananas plants.
You can opt for gentle pesticide sprays once every 3 weeks to avoid the string of bananas succulent bugs since the plant is prone to mealy bugs and aphids. Refrain from fertilizing the plant during the winters.
Repotting String of Banana Succulent
Now, it is not only the string of bananas but every other succulent that requires to be repotted for better growth and sustainability.
Unlike other succulents of its kind, the leaves of the string of bananas do not fall out easily making the repotting an easier task. You can choose to re-pot your plant every 2-3 years of time.
An important tip – You must remember not to push the top of your plant deeper than 1” in the new pot where you are going to place it.
Caring the Succulent – String of Bananas
A key to the sustainability of your string of bananas plant is string of bananas care. The string of bananas succulent care is not that difficult provided you follow all the above-mentioned steps for growing your plant.
These plants as you already know are susceptible to all kinds of weather conditions and even drought. Propagating string of bananas is very critical towards banana leaf plant care. The best way to propagate this succulent is by growing the cutting in water.
During winter, the banana vine plant enters into the latent period, so do not water it more frequently. Instead just provide some moisture to keep the plant alive.
How to care String of Bananas?
Let us find out how strings of bananas care can be done at your home with some basic ingredients.
- Keep the plant in a pot with several holes to drain out the excess water.
- Do not leave the plant in scorching sunlight.
- Water it on alternative days.
- Misting it when the roots start growing.
- You can cactus mixed with Pumice (1:1).
- Keep away your pets and children from the plant.
Provide shade to your plant if you have placed it outdoors to save it from the direct sunlight and rains which might turn the bananas into mush.
Blooms of the String of Bananas
The flowers are puffy and fuzzy with a whitish appearance somewhat similar to the blossoms from the string of pearls. You can also find the flowers in the shades of yellow or purple on some occasions.
The odor from the flowers of the string of bananas is somewhat vanilla-like or maybe like that of cinnamon. The blooms seem to appear on the stems which tend to curve in an upward direction.
A strange thing which you may notice or face is that your string of bananas plant astonishingly may not flower during its blooming period. Do not worry, just take it outdoors and it will surely bloom then. Once the flowers start appearing, you can once again shift it inside your house.
How to propagate String of Bananas?
The string of bananas plants, on a few occasions, are grown on the ground with other succulent vegetation. In cultivation, banana succulent is very popular and gown as if they are ground cover.
Both in U.S.A and South Africa, people grow this string of bananas like this. Moreover, in the U.S.A, they propagate the string of bananas like a hanging plant. So, they can grow as banana vine plants.
Propagating String of Bananas plant is moderately easy. The procedure for growing the String of Banana can be listed down as below.
- Firstly, you need to choose a healthy plant.
- Now, cut the stem from the callus (for 3-7days). You will observe the stem getting divided into 2 or 3 parts.
- As of now, you should allow the stems to grow. The banana plant roots start growing along with the stem.
- Plant the stem in the soil mixture and keep it in a moist condition
The container where you planted the Sen ecio string of bananas should have proper drainage systems to keep away the plants from rotting. You can totally do this process at your home without anyone’s help.
A key point to note – The process of growing the string of bananas and the string of pearls are mostly the same.
Methods for Propagation
Let us now know about 3 different techniques that you can use for the propagation of the string of bananas.
- As you know you need to first cut stems from a healthy plant. Once done, take the cuttings and stick the end part into the water.
Use an adequate amount of water and it is advisable to opt for purified water.
- A lot of new roots will be observable within 2-3 weeks and by the end of 4 weeks, there will be many such.
- Now, you can transplant the plant into a pot or a hanging container. The pot should have holes to drain the water. You can use 1:1 cactus mixture with a Perlite solution for better drainage.
- Spray water every other day or when it looks dry. Once the plant starts growing properly water it every day. If you live in a humid area, water it once a week.
- Do not keep the senecio string of bananas under direct sunlight. Otherwise, the plant could get a sunburn.
Stick cuttings in soil
- Stick the cut part of the stem into the soil after cutting it at least 3 inches from the bottom.
You can eliminate a few beads from the stem. Use that end to stick in the soil for faster root growth.
- Use any container with a proper drainage facility. Add sand to the soil mixture to obtain better drainage.
- After 2-3 weeks, you will find the roots coming out. The new plant will be visible at around 4 weeks.
- To prevent sunburn or bananas from dying, keep the plant away from the sunlight.
Lay on soil
- After cutting the stem from the plant keep that cutting on the soil, that the soil could the stem. In this case, the roots will shoot out from anywhere.
- Use any container with draining (1:1 solution of cactus mix and perlite).
Moreover, you may add sandy soil to the mixture in 1:1:1 proportion for better drainage.
- The roots will appear after nearly 2 weeks and the new plant will rise during the 4th week after plantation.
- Keep the succulent away from the sunlight to prevent sunburn from causing brown string.
For your query about how to propagate string of bananas, you can use any of these 3 methods mentioned above in order to propagate string of bananas at home. You can apply any of these methods to grow them if you are using wider pots.
A key point – Trimming string of bananas can lead to faster growth of the plants.
String of Bananas – Are these poisonous?
Succulents like strings of bananas are tagged as indoor ornamental plants. But you might have some queries like are string of bananas poisonous?
They look very attractive and beautiful but are hazardous as well. Infants and some animals think that these are good to eat. But banana poisoning can occur if your pets or children accidentally eat them.
According to the University of California, the toxicity of string of bananas in humans is classified as class 2 or 4. Minor toxicity like vomiting and diarrhea is considered class-2 toxicity. Dermatitis or skin irritation is considered class-4 toxicity.
The possible symptoms of swallowing string of bananas are as follows-
- Vomiting or lethargy
- Irritation in skin and mouth
Contact your family doctor or pediatrician immediately if your child ingests string of bananas. It can lead to severe problems for them if you do not take action as soon as possible but it is not deadly. Read more on 10 succulents and cactus toxic for pets and children.
Is String of Bananas toxic to pets?
People often ask are string of bananas toxic to cats? Yes, they actually are, but the toxicity is mild for pets. If you too are wondering is a string of bananas succulent safe for cats and dogs, here you can find some information.
But are you also thinking about why are cats afraid of bananas? Well, the string of banana has a captivating look that distracts and horrifies the pets.
They sometimes think these are edible and there is where the issue begins. Ingesting these plants can cause vomiting, skin allergies, etc. in animals because they are toxic in nature.
If you notice any kind of symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, skin allergies, etc. visit a veterinarian with a portion of that string of bananas to help them diagnose.
How to keep your pet away from plants?
Now that you are clear on your query regarding is a string of bananas succulent safe for cats and dogs, let me tell you that have to be very careful if you are having both succulents and cats. Sometimes they might skip your attention and end up chewing a succulent leaf.
To avoid such circumstances you can opt for pet repellent sprays readily available in online stores. Just spray the repellent around the plant and the pungent smell will do the rest. Smelling the strong odor your cat won’t come across your string of bananas plant.
If chemical repellent sprays are bothering you, you can prepare one at your home too by using ingredients from the kitchen.
Propagating the succulent is not that difficult but you put an extra effort to string of bananas care for obtaining a longer lifespan. The string of bananas can be propagated with ease using the simple methods that we discussed.
Although the string of bananas has mild toxicity, you do not have to remove your plants in order to keep your pets safe. You just need to ensure there is enough space for both of them to grow together without coming in each other’s vicinity.
For more details, you can refer to the website ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) poison control center or call the Pet Poison helpline.
Hope this content regarding tips on propagating, caring, and toxicity of string of bananas is informative and helpful to you. I wish you a happy planting now.