Why Is My Ruby Necklace Plant Dying? Tips for Rescuing Your Dying Othonna Capensis

The hardy ruby necklace plant appears much more delicate than it is, but that does not mean it is entirely unkillable.  

You might be seeing signs that make you think this lovely plant is dying, or you are already sure it’s fading away, and you’ve come here for help. Rest assured, even if this glorious succulent is on its way out, we can bring it back to life with a few simple steps.  

A Ruby Necklace Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office  

This native South African plant whose leaves resemble tiny pickles and whose colors bring to mind bright ruby gems is beautiful in your home or office.  

A Ruby Necklace Plant Is a Great Choice for Your Home or Office

The Othonna capensis will encourage strong positive feng shui vibes into the space, purify the air, and fit in perfectly with virtually any other plant in the room.  

You can give it its own space on a side table near a window or hang it from the ceiling, and the string of rubies will be a conversation piece for years to come.  

Signs of a Dying Ruby Necklace Plant  

The ruby necklace shows the same signs of dying as most succulent plants:  

  • Crisping or burning leaves 
  • Soggy soil 
  • Yellowing leaves 
  • Pests  
  • Leggy stems 

Common Causes of a Dying Ruby Necklace Plant  

The most common causes of a dying ruby necklace plant are usually obvious. They include:   

  • Overwatering 
  • Underwatering 
  • Too little light 
  • Too much sun 

You are unlikely to underwater your ruby necklace plant or provide it with too much sun, but it is still important to keep an eye on it.  

Watering Needs of a Ruby Necklace Plant  

Again, you are unlikely to underwater your ruby necklace plant unless you completely abandon and neglect it, but it is highly possible to overwater it. For more on the issue of watering mistakes, you can check out my article on this topic for tips and tricks.  

With the ruby necklace plant, like with most succulents, the standard test for watering is to stick your finger in the soil. When you feel down 2 inches into the soil, if it feels dry, water it. If you can still feel any moisture, you can leave it.  

When you do water your ruby necklace plant, water the plant fully so it soaks through and drains out of the bottom of the pot then place it in bright, indirect light until it dries out.  

Am I Underwatering My Ruby Necklace Plant?  

Classic signs of underwatering the ruby necklace plant are yellow, burning, or crispy leaves.  

Restoring Water to Your Underwatered Ruby Necklace Plant  

If underwatering does occur, water the plant thoroughly then place it in bright, indirect sunlight.  

Am I Overwatering My Ruby Necklace Plant?  

Classic signs of overwatering are soggy soil and mushy stems as well as pests.  

Restoring Balance to Your Overwatered Ruby Necklace Plant  

If you notice any of these signs, you will probably need to repot the succulent, which is not as hard as it sounds.  

Remove the plant from its pot, cut away any mushy roots, and lay the plant out on a screen in the sunlight, allowing it to fully dry out.  

Once it has dried out, repot the plant in fresh succulent soil with pebbles in the bottom of the pot. Then water the succulent only when the soil is dried out.  

Soil Needs of a Ruby Necklace Plant  

This string of rubies succulent is glorious and does not need special soil. Just be sure it is not soil that holds onto moisture. A light, well-draining soil will be perfect.  

Soil Drainage Needs for a Ruby Necklace Plant  

If you notice your ruby necklace is not drying out thoroughly, you can repot it and place pebbles in the bottom of the pot. The biggest concern with soil drainage is to ensure you have soil that allows water to run all the way through and then dry out fully before watering.  

Resolving Soil Drainage Issues for a Ruby Necklace Plant  

Another step you can take is to mix two parts soil with one part sand.  

Lighting Needs of a Ruby Necklace Plant  

The ruby necklace plant wants bright, indirect sunlight and will even tolerate a few hours of direct morning sunlight. Just be sure it does not sit in too much direct afternoon sunlight.  

Resolving Lighting Issues for a Ruby Necklace Plant  

If you notice the leaves of your plant getting yellow or crispy, or if you notice the vines getting leggy, the ruby necklace plant may need to be moved out of the sunlight.  

Conversely, if you notice the leaves are not turning red like they will in bright sun, you may need to move it into bright, indirect light or even let it get more direct morning sunlight.  

Pests or Diseases that Can Cause Issues with a Ruby Necklace Plant  

Pests are typically only a problem with the ruby necklace when it is overwatered. You might find scale or mealybugs around your plant; in this case, you should see the points above about repotting your plant because it has probably been overwatered and now has soggy soil and mushy roots.  

If you find pests but have not noticed mushy stems or soggy soil, you can treat your plant with neem oil. Simply spray the plant every day until the bugs are gone.  

Fake Ruby Necklace Plants May Be an Additional Consideration  

If, after trying to care for the plant and revive it, you find you still cannot bring it into a thriving state, you can absolutely invest in a fake ruby plant. Succulents already look slightly artificial, so you can totally sell a fake ruby necklace as real in your home. 

If for any reason you’re stressed out that you won’t be on trend, check out my article on whether artificial plants and flowers are tacky.  

What do you think? Have you had success with a ruby necklace plant? Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping a ruby necklace plant alive? Let me know in the comments.  

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