String of nickels care infographicString of Nickels is a succulent with button-shaped leaves. This plant has a lot of unique requirements and you cannot care for it just the way you care for other succulents. How do you care for a String of Nickels? Read this essential guide to figure it out!

What Is String of Nickels?

String of Nickels is a vining succulent that is native to the tropical regions of Asia and Australia. This succulent is an epiphyte just like orchids and air plants. In its natural habitat, it receives nutrients from the air and debris. 

Dischidia nummularia is also known as Button orchid or string of coins plant. It gets the name “Nickels”, “Coins”, or “Buttons“ from the appearance of its leaves. In tropical regions, it is a perennial succulent that grows year-round.

– Identifying

string of nickels creeping green plant backgroundAsides from its similar appearance to nickels, here are more ways to identify Dischidia nummularia:

  • Plant appearance: String of Nickels can grow to become 12-18 inches tall. A collection of vines clumped together can spread 15-25 inches wide.
  • Leaves: The leaves of Dischidia nummularia are tiny, round, and resemble coins on a cord. The foliage is usually pale green and can have a bronze or silvery tone.
  • Flowers: String of Nickels produce flowers in summer and spring. The flowers can be yellow or white. They are very small and can be almost unnoticeable.

These unique string succulents are popular amongst succulent enthusiasts.

What do they use it for?

– Uses

String of Nickels makes a cool indoor plant because of its light requirements. You can grow a String of Nickels in hanging baskets or you can keep it as a table plant.

String of Nickels adds beauty to your home as a houseplant. You should definitely grow your own String of Nickels. Continue reading to learn how to care for the plant. 

String of Nickels Care

Just as Dischidia nummularia looks very special when compared to other succulents, it also has different care requirements. Growing String of Nickels is not like growing other succulents, but it is still easy to care for.

– Mixing Suitable Substrate

You want to give your String of Nickels a substrate that is similar to that of orchids and air plants. It should be very airy and loose. You can use an orchid potting mix. For regular potting mix, add some shredded coco coir or bark. The substrate should have a neutral or slightly alkaline pH.

Note that regular soil can suffocate your Dischidia nummularia, so don’t plant it in the garden. You can mount your String of Nickels on bark or a log of wood for further beauty.

– Light and Humidity

Unlike many types of succulents, String of Nickels does not like to be exposed to too much light. String of Nickels needs partial shade. Keeping your plant in a place where it can get early morning or late afternoon sun is sufficient. Your Dischidia nummularia will grow well in a well-lit room without access to sunlight.

While String of Nickels needs humidity, it can adapt to the humidity level of the room, so you do not have to mist it regularly to increase the humidity.

– Temperature

Remember that Dischidia nummularia is a tropical plant. This means that it cannot survive frost. If you are growing your plant in a hanging basket outside, make sure to bring it inside in winter. You can easily grow String of Nickels in USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b. This special succulent can tolerate temperatures from 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C).

– Water

One major difference between String of Nickels and other succulents is their water requirements. For other succulents, you should only water them when the substrate is fully dry. In the case of Dischidia nummularia plants, however, you should water them before the substrate is completely dry.

String of Nickels enjoys a consistently moist substrate. Make sure that the substrate is moist and near dry before watering. Overwatering your Dischidia nummularia can lead to root rot just like other succulents.

– Fertilizer

Fertilizing your String of Nickels is not needed. Just make sure that the potting mix is nutrient-rich. If you are growing your plants on a log or nutrient-poor soil, you can spray water-soluble fertilizer (quarter-strength) on the leaves every two months in the growing season.

– Grooming

Pruning your plants is not required, but they can sometimes grow out of control. Prune them to control their size.

– Repotting

You will need to repot your String of Nickels if you are growing them in a regular cactus or succulent potting mix. Make sure that the new substrate is very airy. Your Dischidia nummularia roots should always be aerated.

 

Propagation

How do you propagate your String of Nickels? It’s quite easy. Propagating String of Nickels can save you a lot of money as you do not have to buy more plants if you already have a matured one. To propagate your String of Nickels, use any of the several methods below:

– Stem Cutting

The easiest and commonest way to propagate your String of Nickels is through stem cuttings. If you carefully examine the stem of Dischidia nummularia, you will see some nodes. Roots can grow from these nodes, so you should cut a stem that has at least three nodes.

Allow the stem to callus (i.e. the wound should be dry) in three days and then plant it. Plant the stem bottom-side-down in a suitable substrate such as orchid mix. Water the stem cutting by misting until it has become a well-established plant. Water the String of Nickels by soaking afterward.

Only use this method of propagation in spring or early summer.

– Seeds

If your Dischidia nummularia bloom pollinates successfully, it will produce seeds that you can plant. Wait for the fruit to overripe and fall off from the plant. You can plant the String of Nickels seeds immediately or you can store them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

To plant the seeds, place them on an orchid mix or any suitable substrate that your plants can grow on. Mist the seeds with just a little water and then cover them with river sand or any preferred mulch.

When the seedlings emerge, thin them (i.e. remove a few) if you have more than enough. Continue watering them by misting them until they are well-established.

– Leaf Nodes

Do you remember the nodes that you saw in the stem of your Dischidia nummularia? You don’t have to cut away the stem for roots to grow from the nodes. All you have to do is bury a segment of the stem in the substrate. With proper watering, you should see that the segment is taking root.

When the new plant is well-established, you can cut it away from the mother plant. This method or propagation is best for plants grown in the garden soil.

Problems 

Some problems that you should watch out for when growing your String of Nickels are:

– Root Rot

Root rot in Dischidia nummularia is caused by giving your plant more water than it needs. Before you water your String of Nickels, wait until the substrate is near dry. If you water the plant long before the potting mix is dry, it will build up too much moisture and some roots of your plants will suffocate which will lead to their death.

As more roots die, the substrate attracts some fungi species. These fungi harm your plant and if you do not treat your Dischidia nummularia immediately, it may die. To treat your succulents with root rot, remove them from the substrate and prune off every dead root. Dead roots appear brown and weak.

Keep the String of Nickels under the sun until it is dry. Remember to dust off any substrate in the root. Plant the succulent afterward in a new potting mix. Make sure that your Dischidia nummularia potting mix is well-drained. Remember to water your plants only when the substrate is near dry. Not fully dry, not too moist.

– Brown Dry Leaves

If the leaves of your String of Nickels are dry and brown, they are dehydrated. You should give them more water. If you feel that they have enough water but their leaves are still brown and dry, however, it is a sign of giving too much fertilizer to your plants.

String of Nickels can grow in a nutrient-poor substrate and still grow fine. They do not like a substrate with too much fertilizer. If the substrate is rich in organic matter such as compost or topsoil, you do not have to fertilize your Dischidia nummularia.

– Chlorosis

Chlorosis is simply the discoloration of your Dischidia nummularia leaves. Most times, chlorosis occurs when your plants do not receive sufficient sun or because of nutrient deficiency.

To prevent chlorosis, make sure that the plants are receiving enough light. Also, make sure that the potting mix is nutrient-rich. You should fertilize your plants regularly. Make sure that your String of Nickels fertilizer has enough nitrogen.

– Elongated and Weak Stem

If the stem of your String of Nickels looks stretched and weak, your plant definitely needs more sunlight. Examine the position of the leaves and stem. If they are growing towards the source of light, you should take the plant closer to a south-facing window.

Even though Dischidia nummularia does not need as much light as other succulents, it cannot grow in complete darkness.

– Pests

Pests that you should watch out for are Spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealy bugs. You can easily avoid fungus gnats by not overwatering your String of Nickels. For other pests disturbing your plants, please use a pesticide.

– Toxicity

Please note that Dischidia nummularia is toxic, so you should prevent children, cats, and dogs from eating the leaves.

Conclusion

Dischidia nummularia or string of nickels creeping green plantWhat do you think? Is String of Nickels an easy succulent to grow? It surely is. Here are some points that you should remember:

  • You can grow your String of Nickels on a log. Whatever substrate you choose, make sure that it is very airy.
  • Water your Dischidia nummularia when the substrate is almost dry. This succulent loves a consistently moist (not damp) substrate.
  • Take your plants indoors in winter as they cannot survive frosts.
  • If the potting mix is nutrient-rich, you do not need to fertilize your plants. Mist water-soluble fertilizer on your String of Nickels if you must fertilize it.
  • String of Nickels prefers partial shade to full sun.

String of Nickels or Dischidia nummularia is beautiful and easy to care for. You should plant yours today and make sure to use this easy guide when caring for your plant.

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