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Othonna Capensis: Your Ruby Necklace Plant Care Guide

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Othonna capensis, or the Ruby Necklace plant, is one of my favorite hanging succulents to grow indoors. It also goes by the name String of Pickles, or Little Pickles, and you can see from the photos in this post exactly how it has gotten these names!

If you are looking for an easy to grow, trailing succulent, look no further than the Ruby Necklace Plant! Keep reading to learn all about how to care for this remarkable succulent.


Othonna Capensis Care Indoors

I’ve read some sources online that say that these plants are harder to keep indoors, but honestly, it has been just fine for me (as long as you provide the conditions that it likes)!

Ruby Necklace is a native of South Africa and is a member of the Asteraceae (or Aster) family. If you are familiar at all with Aster flowers, you will see that their flower are very typical of that plant family!


Othonna capensis likes to grow in full sun to partial shade outdoors. What does this translate to indoors? It means that you should provide as much light as you can indoors.

This succulent MUST be grown right in front of a window. Aim for the sunniest one that you have, and if you don’t have one, it will best be grown right under a good grow light.

Depending on the light that this plant gets, the leaves will be a different color.

In relatively lower light, the leaves will be greener. With more and more direct sun (or even under a stronger grow light), the leaves will become a deeper reddish purple color, hence the name Ruby Necklace!

When I had my own plant just a few inches below a very bright LED grow light, it was a beautiful red color. Since I moved it, the leaves are more green, but the stems maintained a beautiful purplish color.

The plant will also turn more red if it is stressed by drought or cooler temperatures (around 50F but don’t go any lower than this if you ever move your plant outdoors). It will survive lower than 50F, but is not frost tolerant.

(Just remember that cold and wet will spell death for succulents so always keep this in mind so that they don’t rot!)



Standard succulent watering applies!

Water thoroughly and let excess water drain away completely. Water again only when the soil has completely dried out.


A standard soil appropriate for succulents is perfect for Ruby Necklace.

I like to mix 2 parts of a good succulent soil with 1 part of 1/4″ pumice. This creates a really sharply draining mix for your succulents. Excellent drainage is really important for the health of any succulent.

You can use perlite instead of the pumice, but I prefer pumice for succulents.


This plant is not a heavy feeder, but you should fertilize at least a couple times during the growing season.

Use a fertilizer low in Nitrogen, such as Schultz Cactus Plus.


Small yellow flowers can appear throughout the year, and they look very typical of any flower in the Aster family. The daisy-like flowers will appear on long, thin stems.

My blooming Ruby Necklace

Here is what the plump flower bud looks like (look in between my fingers in the photo below) before it opens.


Looking to purchase an Othonna capensis? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops to buy practically any plant is Etsy. Check out the Othonna capensis selection (link to Etsy) today!


“Little Pickles” is easy to propagate. Simply take stem cuttings, let them air dry for a few days (this allows the cut to callous over and prevent rotting), and then insert the cuttings in a pot of soil.

The more cuttings you add to your pot, the better so that you can have a nice, full plant from the start.

Keep your pot in bright indirect light, but a little direct sun is OK as long as it’s not mid-day sun.

Keep the soil barely moist as the cuttings are rooting. This only applies to when you’re trying to root succulent cuttings. When you have rooted plants, you’ll want to let the soil dry out completely before soaking again.

Once the cuttings have rooted and growth has started, place the plant in the brighter light that it enjoys.

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Monday 20th of March 2023

I have mine inside with a grow light. It seems to be growing really well. However, the middle of the pot looks empty. Like it just grows out to the edges. This week I've actually had a couple of strings die on me. I'm thinking I need to repot it, but I would like to propogate as well. Should the middle of the plant be building up as well? Should I wait to propogate?


Monday 20th of March 2023

You can really propagate it anytime you want. Sounds like the crown of the plant thinned out somehow. It can happen if it has dried out for too long or maybe if the crown of the plant didn't have enough light for a while. You can always start new with fresh propagation. Once the base of the plant is bare, it doesn't really come back.


Thursday 2nd of March 2023

Hi, I purchased a 4” pot for indoors. When should I transplant to (larger?)pot for indoors. I am a neophyte. Thanks, David


Thursday 2nd of March 2023

Hi David! If you see roots coming out of the bottom, you can go to a larger pot. If your plant is in a 4" pot, I would recommend only going up one size to a 6" pot.


Sunday 20th of November 2022

I grew this plant from a small stem cutting last spring and it is now thriving. However the stems near the roots have grown very woody and brittle and I have had three 4-6 inch stems break off at these woody spots. The plant is right in front of my south facing window and had been doing great there all summer. Wondering if the cold from the window has weakened those stems or if it is just a natural part of this plant and I should be more careful when watering and handling? Thank you!


Sunday 20th of November 2022

I don't think the cooler temps weaken the plant. It may have gotten just fragile over time from moving the plant, etc. Just try and be careful when you're moving and handling the plant. Sounds like you're doing a great job with it though!


Tuesday 9th of August 2022

What size pot should I start with. I just purchased a small cutting.


Tuesday 9th of August 2022

Hi Diana! If it's just one single cutting, I would place it in a 2 or 3 inch diameter pot.


Wednesday 27th of July 2022

Hi! My ruby was thriving and then I repotted her into a pot with a hole (which she should’ve been in the whole time), and now she’s flagging. It seems the soil can’t hold on to any water—she’s shrivelly and soft, though the stem is still firm and thick. I’ve tried bottom watering in addition to typical top watering, and nothing seems to help. This has been going on for about two weeks, since I repotted her. She’s in standard succulent soil; previously I had her in the mix described above, but I forgot about this mix when I was switching pots. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you!


Thursday 28th of July 2022

Hi Ashley. I suspect that your potting mix has gone so dry that it has turn hydrophobic (repels water). This is easy to tell because when you water, the water seems to run straight through and doesn't seem to get absorbed. In this case, you'll have to water several times in a row until you can feel the weight difference and you know that the medium has absorbed water. If you've done bottom watering, have you waited long enough? You should let it sit in water for a few hours, and then come back and drain the excess. And maybe top water at the end if you don't feel any moisture on the surface. Also, is your plant super root bound? There are many factors so hopefully some of my comments have sparked an idea.