Updated: April 17, 2022

The fish hook plant, also known as the string of fishhooks or Senecio radicans, is a popular houseplant known for its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. However, maintaining a healthy fish hook plant can be challenging, especially if you are new to plant care. If you notice your fish hook plant starting to wilt or turn brown, it may be a sign that something is wrong. In this article, we will explore some of the most common causes of fish hook plant death and offer tips on how to revive your struggling plant.

Lack of Proper Watering

One of the most common reasons why fish hook plants die is due to improper watering. Fish hook plants prefer well-draining soil and should be watered once the top inch of soil has dried out. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which can quickly kill your plant. On the other hand, underwatering can cause the plant to dry out and die.

To prevent overwatering, make sure your pot has drainage holes and remove any excess water that accumulates in the saucer. You can also use a moisture meter to help determine when your plant needs water.

Lack of Sunlight

Fish hook plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. If your plant is not getting enough light, it may start to wilt or turn yellow. Make sure your plant is placed near a window that receives plenty of natural light, but avoid placing it in direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves.

Pest Infestations

Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs can infest fish hook plants and cause them to wither and die. Look for signs of pests such as small webs or cotton-like clusters on the leaves or stems. To treat an infestation, isolate your plant from other plants and apply an insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.


Fish hook plants are susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases, which can cause the plant to rot and die. To prevent disease, make sure your plant is not overcrowded and has proper air circulation. If you notice any signs of disease such as wilting or discoloration, remove any affected leaves or stems and treat the plant with a fungicide.

Soil Issues

The soil your fish hook plant is planted in can also affect its health. If the soil is too compact or lacks nutrients, your plant may struggle to grow and thrive. To ensure your plant has healthy soil, use a well-draining potting mix and fertilize your plant every two weeks during the growing season.

How to Revive a Dying Fish Hook Plant

If you notice your fish hook plant is starting to die, don’t give up hope just yet. With proper care and attention, it may be possible to revive your struggling plant. Here are some tips to help:

  • Check the soil moisture level: Make sure your plant is not being over or underwatered. Adjust your watering schedule as needed.
  • Check for pests: Look for signs of pest infestations and treat accordingly.
  • Repot: If your plant is root-bound or the soil is compacted, consider repotting it into a larger container with fresh soil.
  • Trim: Remove any dead or yellowing leaves or stems to promote new growth.
  • Provide proper light: Make sure your plant is getting enough bright, indirect sunlight.

With time and patience, your fish hook plant should start to recover and thrive once again.


Can fish hook plants grow in low light?

Fish hook plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate low light conditions. However, they may not grow as quickly or produce as many leaves in low light.

How often should I fertilize my fish hook plant?

Fish hook plants should be fertilized every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced fertilizer.

Can fish hook plants grow in water?

Yes, fish hook plants can be grown in water. Simply place the cuttings in a jar or vase filled with water and change the water every week or so to prevent bacteria buildup. However, they may not grow as quickly as when planted in soil.

Can fish hook plants be propagated?

Yes, fish hook plants can be propagated by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in soil or water. Wait until the cuttings have produced roots before transplanting them into a new pot.