How To Make Your String Of Bananas Plant Bushy

One of the first succulent plants I bought for my office was a Curio Radicans, also known as the “String of Bananas” plant, due to its long-shaped leaves that resemble bananas hanging from a string.
The string of bananas is a beautiful succulent plant, with cascades of long stems of green leaves that give a nice exotic jungle vibe to any environment.
This plant is originally from South Africa, but adapts very well indoors and outdoors, as long as we take some small precautions so that they can last a long time and thrive.
The String of Bananas plant is very similar to its cousin, the String of Pearls plant (Curio Rowleyanus) I mentioned in my previous article. They share the same characteristics, and their care and maintenance are practically identical. The only big difference is in the shape of the leaves. The String of Pearls has round, spherical leaves, while the String of Bananas has elongated leaves, reminiscent of bananas attached to a string. Both plants bloom in the warmer months with small flowers which inebriate the surrounding environment with a delicate spicy scent.

string of bananas plant
String of Bananas plant in bloom

How To Make String Of Bananas Bushy

The String of Bananas plant shows its maximum splendor when its top is completely covered by leaves, and the stems fall abundantly in a voluminous cascade.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes the plant shows spare leaves on its top or very few and bare stems hanging from it.
The reason might be that your String of Bananas is not getting enough light and needs to be relocated. This plant needs lots of bright indirect sunlight during the day. Try to expose this plant to as many hours of light as possible. Make sure that also the top part of the plant gets exposed to a good amount of light. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to the fact that, especially with hanging baskets, only the hanging stems enjoy the light, while the top of the plant suffers in the shade (this is true especially if we hang the plant higher than the window!).

Another tip to make your String of Bananas fuller is to encourage its growth by pruning its stems with scissors. In a few weeks, two new stems will grow where you cut, filling your vase in no time!

Comics by AnatPlantz

Mistakes To Avoid With The String Of Bananas Plant

This plant is relatively simple to grow, even for beginners. However, there are some small precautions that we must pay attention to if we want our String of Bananas plant to thrive.

Right at the beginning, when I bought the plant, I made my first three big mistakes (and no one at the nursery advised me!). Unfortunately, due to my succulent ignorance, I didn’t even ask what the right conditions for a succulent plant were. I walked out happy and excited with my purchase, unbeknownst to the fact that I would have paid dearly for those mistakes.

My first mistake: I chose a deep plastic container!

So, here is my list of mistakes to avoid when caring for a String of Bananas plant:

1. Type of container. Don’t put your String of Bananas into a plastic container. It is not suitable for drainage. Better to use something natural such as a clay pot that allows the water in the soil to evaporate and not stagnate. It is always better to have something that “breathes” and does not encourage the development of fungus, bacteria, and root decay. Next time I will be shopping for these stylish terracotta planters cause they are just beautiful.

2. Depth of container: This plant has shallow roots. Repotting it into deep containers will only encourage water stagnation and root rot.

3. The right soil: being a succulent, the String of Bananas behaves like any other cactus. This plant loves sandy, porous soil. Best to use cactus potting soil. This is the one I like.

4. Don’t overwater it: this plant thrives on neglect. Its leaves act as water reservoirs, therefore there is no need to worry if you forget to water it since it tolerates drought very well. It is essential to wait for the soil to dry out completely between watering. Overwatering will cause water stagnation which will lead to root rot, which is one of the most common problems with this plant. If you want some tips on how to dry the soil of your plant faster, I wrote an article about that.

The fact that this plant does not require much watering makes it the perfect beginner’s plant. During the winter months, water once a month, while during warmer months once a week or ten days is enough.

5. The right location for the String of Bananas: As I said before, this plant needs lots and lots of bright light. Place it near a sunny window. If you put it in a dark corner of your house, you will not enjoy this plant to its fullest. If a String of Bananas grows in the shade, its stems will begin to thin out, and the bright green color of the leaves will fade and no longer show its splendor.

Do not put this plant in a place exposed to cold drafts. This plant can’t stand the cold!

The String of Bananas can also be grown outdoors if your climate is warm enough and the temperature does not go below 20F (-6c). If you choose to grow this plant outside, ensure it gets the best light exposure in the first hours of the morning. Ensure you do not place this plant under direct sunlight. . This will cause the leaves to burn. The first sign of burned leaves is brown tips.

Comics by AnatPlantz

Best Companion Plants for String of Bananas Plant

It is possible to mix in one container your String of Bananas plant with other succulents, as long as they require the same care and conditions. Great companion plants for your String of Bananas are:

  • String of Pearls
  • String of Hearts
  • Jade Plant
  • Sedum
  • Molded Wax agave (or any Echeveria variety)
  • Any variety of Crassula succulents

How Long Does The String of Bananas Plant live?

Although it is considered a perennial, the String of Bananas plant has a short life. It will last between three to five years. For this reason, it is important to propagate this beautiful trailing succulent by stem cutting. This way you will revive the plant endlessly! The propagation is very easy, follow these simple steps:

  • Choose a long, mature, and healthy stem to cut from
  • let the stem dry out for a few hours to a day (depending on your climate)
  • Stick the cutting into potting soil (you can cut a few leaves if they are on the way to make the process easier). Alternatively, you can even just lay the cuttings flat on the soil, making sure the stem touches the soil. Within two weeks, you will see that the stems produced new roots.


To conclude, the String of Bananas plant must be included in our succulents collection given its beauty and ease of care. A last word of caution: all varieties of this plant are considered poisonous. Be careful that children and pets won’t reach this plant since its leaves are considered toxic.

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Hope you enjoyed my post! You might also be interested in these articles:

How To Make String Of Pearls Bloom

Do Jade Plants Need Succulent Soil?

Anat Goldberg

Hi! My name is Anat and I have lived all my life in the countryside. I grew on a farm in Northern Italy and from an early age, I took care of the animals on the farm and the family garden. Over the years I have developed a growing passion for organic cultivation and pest control.

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