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Fish Hook Plant (String of Fishhooks) Complete Care Guide

Fish Hook Plant (String of Fishhooks) Complete Care Guide

At present, there is a growing trend for trailing and cascading houseplants.

Unlike other houseplants that need to be trimmed and pruned back into shape, trailing plants like fish hook plants are one of those ornamental plants that you encourage to trail and cascade as far down as they like. 

How do you care for a fish hook plant? Make sure that your fish hook plant gets plenty of bright light every day, and water it once every two weeks during the growing season. Cut down on the watering in the winter, but make sure the soil drains well, and top dress it with organic compost or worm castings once in the spring.

It doesn’t take much to grow the fish hook plant in your house. Read more to find out how to care for this ornamental plant.

Fish Hook Plant Care

Although the fish hook plant is easy to grow, it does take some work to keep it growing and thriving.

Both light and watering should be your top priority since the plant needs a lot of the former and not that much of the latter.

Planting

The best place to plant the fish hook plant is a hanging basket. That’s when you get the full splendor of the plant’s trailing tendrils.

However, you can also plant it in the garden. Make sure the soil is draining well since this succulent doesn’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.

Temperature Ranges

The hardy fish hook plant can handle a wide range of temperatures from 25 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the temperature fluctuations are too extreme, the plant will suffer.

So ideally, you should grow it as a houseplant where you have better control over the temperature indoors.

Light Requirements

Bright indirect light is the key to the success of the fish hook plant. This succulent thrives in bright light as long as it doesn’t get direct exposure to the full sun.

If the plant is not getting enough light, bring it closer to an open window facing west or south. That way, it will get the most out of the light.

Otherwise, you can use grow lights, like this one with five adjustable arms and a variety of settings, especially in the winter.

Watering

As a succulent, the fish hook plant doesn’t need much watering. It stores water in its fleshy leaves and tendrils. You won’t need to water it more than once every two weeks during the spring and summer.

In the fall and winter, cut down on the water to once every four weeks. To know whether the plant needs water or not, check the soil with your finger. If it’s dry, water it.

Fertilization

Fertilization is not at the top of the list as far as the fish hook plant is concerned. It can do very well with the natural nutrients in the soil or potting mix.

Feeding this succulent houseplant is not necessary, but as an ornamental plant, light feeding can do a lot of good. Top dress the succulent with organic compost or worm castings once every spring.

Pruning

If you love the long trails of the fish hook plant, then pruning it will make those tendrils even bushier. When the tendrils get too long, trim them with sheers.

You can trim the succulent any time you want. If it’s during the growing season, the plant will replace every cut tendrils with two.

If you prune it during the fall or winter, the new shoots will come out the next spring.

Fish Hook Plant Propagation

To propagate your fish hook plant, all you need is a healthy tendril and a jar full of water. The tendrils tend to develop roots in water faster than in the potting mix or soil.

Cut a tendril about 6 inches long, and remove the lower leaves. Fill a jar about two-thirds full with room temperature water and place the cutting in it. Make sure the lower leaves are above the water surface.

When you have about 2 inches of root on the cutting, transplant it to the pot or hanging basket. 

Other Names for Fish Hook Plants

The succulent is known by many names. Some of these names include fishhooks plant, string of fishhooks, and senecio fish hooks.

Its botanical name is Curio radicans ‘String of Fishhooks’,  but it was formerly classified as Senecio radicans.

The fleshy, curved leaves that look like hooks are the reason for the many monikers.

Fish Hook Plant vs. String of Bananas

Both the fish hook plant and the string of bananas have curved leaves, but if you look closely, you’ll notice that the leaves of the fish hook plant are bluish gray and somewhat flattened.

The string of bananas, on the other hand, has green leaves that are not only bigger but plumper as well. The color and size of the leaves are key differences between the two plants.

Fish Hook Plant vs. Fish Hook Cactus

The fish hook plant is a trailing succulent with leaves that look like hooks. The fish hook cactus is a plump cactus with curved spines that look like hooks.

They’re totally different succulents that are hard to mistake for one another.

Is a Fish Hook Plant a Succulent?

Although the long and trailing tendrils may not make the fish hook plant look like it, it is a succulent. Those long tendrils and hook-like leaves are actually a storage place for water.

The fish hook plant acts like any other succulent by storing water to help it get through the long drought season in its natural habitat.

Do Fish Hook Plants Bloom?

The flowers of the fish hook plant are small and white, but they have a strong fragrance, not unlike cinnamon. The plant will bloom whether you grow it indoors or outdoors.

Are Fish Hook Plants Toxic?

The fish hook plant is a mildly toxic succulent that should be kept out of reach for children and pets. The leaves and tendrils are only toxic if ingested.

This is why you should hang the plant up high if you have pets or children at home. If you grow it in the garden, put wire mesh around the plant.

Seek medical help immediately if a child or a pet ingests parts of the plant.

Why Is My Fish Hook Plant Dying?

Water is the main problem when it comes to your fish hook plant dying. It’s easy to forget that this is a succulent that doesn’t need regular watering like many other houseplants.

If you overwater it, the roots will root and the plant will die. The same goes for underwatering it. If you forget to water and allow the soil to go completely dry, the roots will die, and the plant will follow. 

Why Is My Fish Hook Plant Shriveling?

A shriveling fish hook plant occurs when the plant drops its leaves and stops growing. It will look like the tendrils are shrinking. The main reason for that is low temperatures.

Either the plant got exposed to chilly weather or you’ve watered it with cold water. Take the plant away from any drafty windows and increase the temperature in the room.

It will revive shortly after and replace the fallen leaves.

Can String of Fishhooks Be Outdoors?

You can grow the fish hook plant either indoors or outdoors. It will bloom in either situation. However, the plant is not hardy to chilly conditions; nor does it like direct exposure to the sun.

So if you have moderate winter weather and your garden has a spot that gets plenty of indirect bright light, plant it there. Otherwise, keep it indoors, and provide the ideal growing conditions to keep it healthy.

How Much Light Does a Fish Hook Plant Need?

During the growing season, the fish hook plant needs as much light as it can get. Between 6 and 8 hours a day is good, and more is even better. As long as it’s not directly exposed to the sun, it will thrive.

The sweet spot is often near a window facing the west or south. That’s when the plant can get all the bright light of the sun without actually sitting in the sun. 

How Long Will String of Fishhooks Get?

The fish hook plant tends to grow as long as you let it. If left unchecked, the vines could grow to 3 feet or even more.

Pruning offers a temporary solution mainly because when you cut one vine, two vines will replace it.

That’s not a bad thing since the plant gets a bushier look and the tendrils grow thicker after pruning.

Conclusion

The fish hook plant is a succulent with long trailing tendrils. The bluish leaves look like fish hooks, which explains the name.

Since it’s mildly toxic, you should keep the ornamental plant out of the reach of children and pets. Give it plenty of indirect bright light, and water it once every two weeks.

Feeding is not necessary, but top dressing with organic compost in the spring will keep it thriving.

Image credit: Bryton Gilliard