String of heart plant

Rosary Vine Houseplants: How To Grow Rosary Vines Indoors

Rosary vine is a plant full of distinctive personality. The growth habit appears to resemble beads on a string like a rosary, and it is also called string of hearts. Rosary vine string of hearts is native to Africa and makes an excellent houseplant. Rosary vine plant care outdoors requires a location in USDA zones 10 and above. Otherwise, rosary vine houseplants are the solution if you wish to grow this funky little plant.

Rosary Vine String of Hearts

Ceropegia woodii is the scientific designation for the wiry stemmed plant. Rosary vine houseplants have pairs of heart-shaped leaves about every 3 inches along the slender stem. The sparse foliage adds to the unique look of the plant. The leaves are etched lightly on the top surface with white and on the underside with purple. The stems drape over a pot or container and hang down to 3 feet. Little bead-like structures form on the stems at intervals between the leaves.

Rosary vine plant care is minimal and the string of hearts has a high heat tolerance and light requirement. Choose the sunniest room of the house for growing Ceropegia rosary vine.

How to Grow Rosary Vines

The little bead-like pearls on the stems are called tubercles and form after the plant has produced small tube-like purple flowers. The tubercles will root if the stem touches soil and produce another plant. If you are just in love with your plant and wonder how to grow rosary vines to share, take a look at the tubercles. You can pull them off, lay them on the surface of the soil and wait for roots. It is that simple to propagate and grow rosary vines.

Rosary Vine Plant Care

Rosary vine houseplants are old-fashioned indoor greenery that enchant with the thick heart-shaped leaves and slim stiff stems. Use a container with good drainage holes and plant string of hearts in average potting soil amended with one-third sand.

This vine must not be kept too wet or it is prone to rot. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. The plant goes dormant in winter, so watering should be even less frequent.

Fertilize in spring with a half dilution of food every two weeks. You can cut off errant stems, but pruning is not strictly necessary.

Growing Ceropegia Rosary Vine Outdoors

Gardeners in zones 10 and above should be cautioned about growing this funny plant outside. The tubercles spread easily and it takes only the lightest touch to dislodge them from the parent plant. That means rosary vine can spread easily and quickly. Try it on a rockery or trailing over a wall. Just watch out for the pearly little balls and their jackrabbit quick propagation.

A string of hearts plant.

String of Hearts, Ceropegia woodii, is just one of many species in the genus Ceropegia that are grown as ornamental houseplants. Native to southern Africa, from Zimbabwe to eastern South Africa, this tender perennial plant in the milkweed subfamily (Asclepiadoideae) of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae) is sometimes classified as C. linearis subsp. woodii. The genus name was given by Linneaus to describe his interpretation of the appearance of the flowers as fountains of wax from the words keros, meaning wax, and pege meaning fountain. The species name honors John Medley Wood (1827-1915), who collected native African plants after he retired from the East Indian Merchant Service.

Plants in this genus have many other colorful common names including bushman’s pipevine, lantern flower, necklace vine, parachute flower, and wine-glass vine. Rosary vine is another commonly used name for C. woodii, along with chain of hearts, collar of hearts, and hearts entangled (because the stems easily enmesh).

The pink or purple stems bear many heart-shaped leaves.

C. woodii, like many other species in this genus, is a straggly evergreen climber that in its native habitat would scramble up through other vegetation. The stringy, purplish stems are vining or trailing, making this best grown as a hanging plant. But the stems can also be trained up a small trellis or topiary frame. The simple, opposite heart-shaped leaves are 1-2 cm wide and long. They are dark green marbled with silver on the upper surface and green to purple on the underside. In other species the leaves may be rudimentary or absent, or may be thick, fleshy and succulent. With the tangled, trailing branches that can grow several feet long hanging down, the regularly spaced leaves resemble a row of large beads. Small tubers, which look somewhat like little potatoes, form at the nodes or leaf bases along the stems – another possibility for the “beads” that give rise to the common name of rosary vine.

The interesting flower of C. woodii.

Plants bloom primarily in the summer and fall, but flowers may appear sporadically at odd times throughout the year. The interesting and distinctive inch-long flowers have a bulbous base and tubular corolla in shades of white to pale magenta. The five purple petals are fused at the tips, forming a cage-like canopy so the blossoms resemble a small inverted pink vase. The waxy flowers are lined with small, downward pointing hairs that act to trap small flies that are attracted by the scent and enter the flowers. The insect is prevented from escaping until the hairs wither, and the fly departs with a pollinia (a mass of pollen grains that are transferred as a group) attached that can then be transferred to the next flower the fly visits. Hummingbirds may be attracted to the flowers if the plants are outside during the summer. If pollinated, the flowers are followed by horn-shaped seed pods characteristic of the milkweed family. The stacks of flat seeds each have a pappus – very similar to milkweed seed – that help the seeds disperse on the wind.

The succulent leaves become thickened when storing water.

C. woodii is a caudiciform plant, having a swollen basal stem or root for water storage. It develops a woody caudex at its base as it matures. Underground the roots may develop tubers, which can grow to fill a pot.

There are few cultivars of this plant. C. woodii f. variegata has cream and pink variegated leaves.

The leaves are dark green mottled with silver.

String of hearts can be grown outdoors in tropical or subtropical climates, but is also an easy indoor plant that can be grown in a west or south facing window. In strong light the leaves will be darkly colored, with distinctive marbling; if not given enough light they will be a light green color. Houseplants can be moved outside during the summer, but need to be acclimated gradually to the stronger light to prevent sunburn. If moved outside, be sure to bring indoors before the first frost. During the winter, keep the plants in relatively warm conditions, above 60°F.

This succulent plant requires excellent drainage and should be watered only when dry. It tolerates dry soil much better than soggy soil; it is easily killed by overwatering. Use a freely-draining potting medium with plenty of coarse sand, perlite or other large-textured component to allow for adequate drainage (such as a commercial cacti & succulent mix. Allow the soil to dry between deep waterings. Fertilize infrequently (at most monthly when actively growing) with half strength houseplant fertilizer. Plants do best with a winter rest period. Reduce watering in winter and do not fertilize during this time. This houseplant does best when crowded, so repot only when necessary. Repotting is best done in spring before new growth starts. It has few pests, but mealybugs can be a problem.

The small aerial tubers will root to form a new plant.

String of hearts is easily propagated from cuttings, from tubers produced at the base of the leaves or by seed. The aerial tubers (“beads”) can be planted to produce new vines. Just press the tuber – preferably still attached to the vine – into the soil of another pot. Keep the growing medium moist, but not wet, to encourage rooting. Once the tuber is rooted and growing in a few weeks or months, sever it from the original plant. Cuttings from the vine are best rooted with bottom heat.

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison


Download Article as PDF

Are you looking for a beautiful, unique, and easy to care for houseplant? The String of Hearts plant (Ceropegia woodii) is a delightful hanging plant to add to your home, with heart-shaped leaves trailing from thin, wiry vines and bearing a sprinkle of unique, pinkish flowers. This sweet plant goes by many names:

  • Rosary Vine
  • String of Hearts
  • Chain of Hearts
  • Sweetheart Vine
  • Hearts Enmeshed (because the vines tangle easily)
  • Ceropegia woodii

How to care for a string of hearts plant: Ceropegia woodii is a beautiful, trailing plant that needs very little effort to thrive. Provide bright, indirect light, water infrequently once the potting medium is dry, plant in well-draining soil, and fertilize every two weeks through the growing season to keep this drought-tolerant, tropical plant happy.

Keep reading to find out more about this unique plant, how to care for your String of Hearts, and how to propagate it.

Summary Of String Of Hearts Plant Care (Ceropegia Woodii)

  • Scientific Name: Ceropegia woodii
  • Common Name: String of Hearts plant, Rosary Vine, Chain of Hearts, Sweetheart Vine, Hearts enmeshed.
  • Origin: South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
  • Light Requirements: Bright, indirect light.
  • Watering: Only water once the potting medium is dry.
  • Soil: Cactus or succulent mix. Alternatively, a good potting mix with plenty of added coarse sand or perlite.
  • Temperature: 70-85°F (21-29°C). Will struggle below 60°F (15°C).
  • Fertilizer: Balanced, water-soluble fertilizer applied every two weeks through the growing season. I use this one.
  • Humidity: Low to medium humidity is fine.
  • Flowering: Small bulbous flowers are produced when good conditions are provided. Flowers tend to blend in with the leaves.
  • Pruning: Only necessary to control length of the vines
  • Propagation: Tubers, which grow along the stems are easily rooted while attached to the parent plant. Stem cuttings can also be taken.
  • Re-Potting: Rarely need repotting. Enjoy being root bound.
  • Diseases and Pests: Generally hardy. Will develop root rot if overwatered. Can be prone to mealybugs.
  • Toxicity: Non-toxic.

Characteristics

The String of Hearts is known for its wispy, trailing vines graced with variegated green and silver heart-shaped leaves. These pretty leaves usually grow as a deep green hue trimmed in little bits of silvery white.

The fleshy leaves generally have a pinkish underside with pink or even purple stems. New growth may appear tinged with pink, and its lovely Chinese lantern- shaped flowers offer up a pop of magenta color.

These pretty little vines are wiry and can grow two to three feet in length when grown as a houseplant. Small tubers, that look like bead-shaped bulbs, grow sporadically along the vines.

These little tubers can be planted to grow new String of Hearts plants. The String of Hearts is not a true succulent, but it is able to store plenty of water in its thick, fleshy leaves. It originates in Africa and likes heat and dry soil.

String Of Hearts Plant Light Requirements

The String of Hearts plant prefers to have some bright sun throughout the day, but it will do fine in bright, indirect light, as well. When grown in direct sunlight, the plant’s leaves will be dark green with variegated silver markings. In indirect light, the leaves will be a lighter green with softer variegated markings.

Your String of Hearts should do just fine in a low light situation, if needed, but the leaves will be a pale green with no variegation. The loss of variegation is probably permanent and the variegation will not return even if the plant is moved to better light.

How To Water String Of Hearts Plant

The meanest thing you can do to a String of Hearts plant is to overwater it. Your plant is far more likely to die from overwatering than it is from underwatering. Just give this drought-tolerant semi-succulent a good drink when the soil completely dries out, and then don’t water it again until the soil is dry again.

During the winter months, let the plant rest by watering it a little bit less. It might seem a little droopier during the winter, but don’t be tempted to compensate with extra water. This happens when the plant goes into a semi-dormant state and prepares for new growth to start in the spring.

Learn how to tell when your houseplants need water by reading my article which shares some handy tips to make sure you don’t overwater or underwater your plants.

Soil

Sometimes the String of Hearts Plant is called a semi-succulent because it stores a lot of moisture in its fleshy leaves. Because of this, it does not enjoy having “wet feet.” In other words, it does not like to sit in wet soil. Be sure to use a soil mix that drains well and dries out completely in between waterings to avoid damaging your sweetheart vine.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Master Gardener Program recommends a pre-mixed cactus soil or any well-draining potting soil mixed with a good amount of sand or perlite.

A more complicated mix recommended by Joyusgarden.com is to use equal parts of coco coir, succulent & cactus mix, and a combination of orchid bark and charcoal. They also incorporate compost and worm castings.

Certainly, this rich mix would help your String of Hearts grow quite well, however, this plant is pretty hardy and should be fine in any type of well-draining soil with or without the worm castings.

Potting mix with added sand and perlite to ensure rapid drainage.

Temperature

The String of Hearts is a tropical plant, native to South Africa. Because of this, you’ll want to keep yours above 60°F (16°C). Ideally, it should be kept between 70-85°F (21-29°C). Think about it this way, if you are comfortable in a t-shirt, then your String of Hearts plant probably is comfortable, too.

This plant definitely can be grown outside in tropical climates. Even in more temperate areas, you can move yours outside for the summer. But you’ll need to acclimate your plant to the outdoors slowly so it doesn’t go into shock or get sunburned.

Move it outside for one hour per day, gradually increasing the amount of time outside over the course of a couple of days so it can adjust to being outdoors. Make sure you bring it back inside before the cooler weather hits, again acclimating the plant to the indoors a little bit at a time.

Some folks have reported being able to keep their String of Hearts Plants outside even when the temperature gets down into the low thirties. This is certainly possible with a healthy and well-adjusted plant, but it is risky to expose any tropical plant to such temperature extremes and you take the chance of losing the plant.

How To Fertilize Your String Of Hearts Plant

Fertilizer will help your String of Hearts grow longer vines and be more healthy and resistant to pests.

Ceropegia woodii has two seasons. The growing season runs from spring until about the middle of summer, and the semi-dormant season from autumn through winter. You only want to fertilize the String of Hearts during its growing season.

The easiest way to fertilize your String of Hearts is to use a balanced, water soluble or liquid fertilizer, and follow the manufacturer’s directions. Some growers prefer to use a diluted fertilizer at every watering so they do not have to remember when they last fertilized the plant. Either method should work equally well. This is the fertilizer I use for my String Of Hearts plant.

In mid-summer, stop fertilizing your String of Hearts. The plant will need time to slow down and go into its semi-dormant stage for fall and winter.

Humidity

Like many succulents, the String of Hearts does not require a lot of humidity to thrive. Your average, indoor humidity should be just fine because this plant prefers low humidity. You may not need to water the plant as often in a very humid environment.

Flowering

One of the characteristics of the String of Hearts plant is its unique flowers. The small flowers of the String of Hearts grow along the vines, easily blending in with the leaves. These small blossoms are shaped like small vases or lanterns, ranging in color from purple to burgundy.

They have a bulbous shape at the base of the flower, a long cylinder, and the plant is topped with a pretty ‘tent’ of petals that are attached at the top. String of Hearts plants usually flower in mid-summer and fall, but blooms can appear at any time.

Ceropegia woodii from my visit to Belfast Botanic Gardens. Plenty of flowers, but the leaves really steal the show.

Pruning

The String of Hearts is a wispy plant, and grown as a houseplant, vines typically only reach around two feet long. In its natural habitat, String of Hearts plants can grow as much as twelve feet long.

You do not need to prune your String of Hearts plant. However, if the vines are too long for your taste, look too leggy, or you want to propagate some cuttings, then you can freely prune your plant. Otherwise, it’s probably just fine without pruning unless there are parts of the plant that are dying or rotting.

Pruning is easy. Simply snip off the vine with a pair of scissors or shears where you would like it to end. This plant is hardy enough to withstand a pretty harsh pruning, so don’t worry too much about being precise. You can use the clippings to start new plants either by putting the clippings in water or planting them directly in good soil.

How To Propagate Ceropegia Woodii

Propagating the String of Hearts is easy and almost always successful. There are two easy ways to propagate this little tropical plant. Small tubers grow along the vine that look like peas or beads. You can propagate the String of Hearts by planting these small beads, or by taking cuttings.

The best way to propagate the String of Hearts from tubers is to plant the tubers while they are still attached to the mother plant. For example, set your pot with your String of Hearts into a shallow tray of succulent soil mix. Arrange the vines so that the tubers lay on the soil in the tray.

Gently mist the soil so that it is damp, but not wet. Once the tubers take root and begin to grow new leaves, you can cut them from the mother plant by cutting the vine in between.

Repot them into their own pot. If this isn’t an option for you, you can stick the tubers or beads into the soil of the pot the plant is already in, or if necessary, you can cut off the tubers and replant them separately. Keep in mind, you’ll probably have better results if you allow the tubers to stay attached to the mother plant for a while after being planted.

It is also easy to propagate the String of Hearts from cuttings. Cut off several vines and poke the cut ends into their own pot of soil. Dampen the soil to encourage rooting, but make sure it isn’t too wet.

If this type of propagation isn’t for you, you can always snip off a couple of vines and put the ends in a bit of water. In time, they should naturally grow roots and then you can repot them into a succulent mix or other well-draining potting soil.

You can see the woody tubers along the stems, which can easily root to form new plants.

Tips For Planting

If you need to plant your String of Hearts, you need a smallish pot with a drainage hole or two. Do not overpot or use a pot that is too big for the plant because this species of plants prefers to have its roots slightly restricted.

Porous pots, such as terracotta, will help the soil dry out more quickly, while plastic containers tend to keep the moisture in. Choose a well-draining potting mix, such as a succulent soil or mix of potting soil and sand.

Fill the pot about half full with the potting mix, and then gently set the roots of the plant into the soil. Cover the roots gently with more soil and press the plant in lightly. Arrange the vines to trail down the side.

Any tubers that rest on the soil will turn into new plants over time. Give the plant a deep and thorough watering, but do not water it again until the soil has completely dried out.

Re-Potting

The String of Hearts enjoys being a bit rootbound, so there is no rush to repot the plant and you won’t need to do it often, if at all. The best time to repot this plant is in the spring, when the new growth begins to show or slightly before.

Use a pot with drainage holes to help promote good drainage so the soil can dry out completely. Prepare your soil mix, such as a succulent mix as mentioned above. Dampen the soil, then put it in your pot.

Lay your string of hearts on its side, and gently slide it out of its current pot. If you have multiple plants in one pot, this would be a good time to split them into multiple pots. Gently place the roots into the new pot, and lightly press the soil around the roots.Wait for the soil to dry out completely before watering.

Varieties

There are many different varieties of ceropegia, including String of Hearts and Turtles on a String. Other related plants include necklace flower, wine-glass vine, and bushman’s pipevine. Surprisingly, these widely varying plants are related to the milkweed species.

However, there are very few actual cultivars of String of Hearts. Variations within ceropegia woodii are often due to the presence of bright or poor light, causing a variance in the color and variegations in the leaves.

Diseases And Pests

The String of Hearts is a pretty hardy plant, and typically only has two main issues to worry about. The number one problem with string of hearts plants is getting over-watered, which causes the plant to rot. You can easily avoid this by being careful not to overwater and allowing the soil to completely dry out between watering. The second problem is a pest – the mealybug.

Mealybugs are small pinkish bugs that hide in a white, cottony webbing. They feed on the plants and can weaken and kill them. You can wash them off with water or dip a cotton swab in alcohol and wipe them off. Mealybugs are a common problem for most house plants.

Read all you need to know about getting rid of houseplant bugs using natural methods in this article.

Is String Of Hearts Plant Poisonous?

Ceropegia woodii is on the California Poison Control System non-toxic list for people, and the plant does not appear on the ASPCA’s toxic list for cats or dogs. Therefore, this plant is generally regarded as safe.

However, allergic reactions could still be a possibility in sensitive individuals and the little tubers could pose a choking hazard for small children. Also, just because a plant is generally regarded as safe, (GRAS), does not mean that it won’t cause vomiting and upset stomach.

Common Problems And Questions

Ceropegia woodii is a perfect hanging plant for your home.

Overwatering

Overwatering is the number one cause of death in String of Hearts plants. The leaves may turn yellow, droop, and eventually the plant will rot. For best results, err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering and allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Also, the plant may look slightly droopy when it goes into a semi-dormant state. This does not mean the plant needs more water.

Is Pruning Necessary?

No, you don’t need to prune your String of Hearts. However, you may want to control its length, cut off any dead leaves, or remove leggy vines. You can use any clippings to start new plants if you wish.

Troubleshooting String of Hearts Plant Pests and Problems

  • Yellow, dropping leaves and a dying plant may be a sign of rot and overwatering.
  • White, cottony webs on the plant may be a sign of mealybugs.
  • Pale leaves are a sign the plant isn’t getting enough light. Move it to a brighter spot in your home with more natural light.
  • Soft tubers are a sign that the plant is being overwatered and the roots are rotting and unable to spread moisture to the rest of the plant.
  • Scorched leaves can mean the plant is getting too much direct sunlight, try moving your plant to a slightly shadier location.

Display Tips for Ceropegia Woodii

  • Plant your String of Hearts in a hanging pot or basket and hang it in a window for a pretty display while it still gets plenty of light.
  • Set your pot on a small plant stand so the vines can trail down on all sides, showing off its heart-shaped leaves and delicate flowers.
  • Place your Rosary Vine in a pretty bowl and set it on your piano, a shelf, or any sunny spot where the delicate vines can be admired.
  • Hang your plant in the dappled shade of a tree outside for the summer where it can get some bright light without being scorched by the sun.

With some basic care, the String of Hearts plant is easy to care for and beautiful to admire. Bright light, well-draining soil, a warm home, and just a little water will help your String of Hearts to thrive and grow.

When I first started my “planty” Instagram in March 2018, one of the most notable plants that I first fell in love with was the String of Hearts Ceropegia woodii or also called Rosary Vine or Chain of Hearts.

I vividly recall when I first saw a variegated String of Hearts in my local nursery. It was a small 3” starter pot with two stems, one was trailing over the pot and was around 4-5” long. At that point, I was determined to make my tiny starter plant lush and full just like the gorgeous specimens that I have been seeing all over Instagram.

I was at the beginning of my plant journey and just like anyone who’s first started, I was anxious, I did a lot of reading. I know I was lucky to find one locally and since I bought the last pot, I was terrified of killing it.

A few months passed and I was so lucky to find a fuller pot which was decently priced and was already trailing for a little over 2 feet long during my trip to LA. I was at the peak of my plant obsession and I immediately bought the last three 6” pots and left one reserved for a friend of mine who was also in the hunt for one.

Now let me spare you months of anxiety and fear because I will share how I managed to make my String of Hearts thrive and flourish.

String of Hearts Care

LIGHT

I give mine the brightest light possible indoors. They are placed on top of an 8ft ledge that gets a lot of bright indirect light from a S-W facing skylight. They get a lot of afternoon sun but since they are a few feet away from the skylight, they seem to do fine. You can keep them outdoors but make sure they will not be under direct sun.

WATER

This is a succulent vine therefore it likes to dry in between watering. They don’t like to stay wet and are prone to root rot. Water less frequent during winter. I prefer to water using fish-poop water (water from my aquarium) or rain water. If not available, these tolerate the usual tap water.

SOIL

I have not changed the soil in mine yet but they are planted in fast draining soil. Preferably a mix of succulent/cactus mix soil and some perlite or sand works best for these. Make sure your container, be it terracotta or plastic, has a good drainage hole.

FERTILIZER

I rarely fertilize mine. A few months back I use the general houseplant fertilizer that I mix with my water. Recently, I have been incorporating SuperThrive in lower concentration as prescribed.

PROPAGATION

You can propagate them just by cutting the stems to include a few nodes in either water, soil or sphagnum moss. I only tried water propagation and they root fast. When your string of hearts is matured enough, it will produce tubers and you can just lay the tubers in soil and they will start to root even without cutting them off.

I hope you find success in growing your String of Hearts and may they reward you with more hearts and blooms throughout the year!

ABOUT OUR GUEST BLOGGER:

Cyril Sontillano

Cyril considers himself as a plant enthusiast that expresses his creativity through different avenues such as DIYs, décors and art. His collection is mainly composed of Aroids, Sansevierias and Cacti.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links.

Share this post!

297shares

  • 297

String of Hearts, or Ceropegia woodii, is one of the most delightful and satisfying trailing plants that you can grow indoors! It is super easy to care for, grows at a satisfying rate, and so easy to propagate! Let me teach you all my tips so keep reading all about how to care for String of Hearts.

This is definitely an unusual and quirky houseplant and I find it very fun to grow. Some people consider this plant a succulent, and some say it is not, but in the end, whether it is technically a succulent or not, you want to treat the plant similar to succulents when it comes to care.

String of Hearts Light

String of Hearts definitely is a higher light plant so give this plant at least some direct sun when growing it indoors if at all possible!

If you don’t give it enough light, what happens is that there will be more space between the leaves and this will make your plant look more spindly.

This is not the fullest, bushiest plant by nature to begin with, so having lower light will make it more sparse.

So give this plant as much sun as you can, or at least a few hours if at all possible! North facing windows would be least preferable since they will not get any direct sun.

String of Hearts Soil

Like I mentioned earlier, treat this plant like a succulent. Any well-draining soil will do. There are so many different potting mediums that you can use. As long as they drain well, you are good to go!

My potting mix recommendation would be the following:

I like to use the Miracle Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus mix and add some Bonsai Jack 1/4″ pumice to the mix. This works really well for me for this plant. I also use this formula for any succulents that I grow.

I honestly don’t measure the proportions, but I would say I use roughly 1 part pumice to 2-3 parts of the soil mix.

You’ll be amazed how much the pumice will improve the drainage and aeration of your potting mix. This will allow more oxygen to your roots and help prevent root-rot.

I specifically like the pumice from Bonsai Jack because it is uniform and sifted. You may pay less for other brands, but the quality of many of them is inferior. Do it right from the start and you won’t regret it!

I also started adding horticultural activated charcoal to the potting mix whenever I repot. There are a number of reasons why activated charcoal benefits potting mixes. I always add some to every potting mix.

String of Hearts Watering

As far as watering goes, if you follow me closely, you know how I like to water! Water thoroughly and let all the water drain away.

Make sure you moisten all of the potting medium. Then simply wait for the potting medium to dry out before you water again.

Please please please water the proper way. If you need more convincing, check out my blog post on watering myths. Proper watering is one of the pillars of plant health so be sure to get it right!

Let at least the top inch or two of the potting mix dry out, before watering it again. Don’t keep it excessively dry for TOO long though otherwise you will get a lot of brown crispy leaves to clean up and your plant will become more sparse.

In the winter when growth can slow down or completely stop, I would recommend letting it dry out completely before watering again.

Final words on watering…NEVER let this plant sit in water and NEVER grow this plant in pots without drainage holes. That would be a complete no-no.

String of Hearts Fertilizer

I prefer to fertilize dilutely with every watering. That way I don’t have to remember the last time I fertilized.

I have switched to using Dyna Gro Grow fertilizer pretty much for everything now. I have used many other fertilizers in the past with success, but Dyna Gro Grow provides even better results!

It provides all the macro and micro nutrients that plants need and is urea-free which is another plus. You will not be disappointed with the results.

Of course, fertilizing should supplement a plant care routine that is already good. You should not use fertilizer to “fix” any cultural issues that may be absent.

Propagating String of Hearts

My very first String of Hearts that I grew was actually from cuttings that a friend sent me. There are a couple ways of propagating string of hearts so let me explain both ways for you!

This is the plant that I propagated just from a handful of strands. I’m actually going to chop it off a bit and propagate more so I can plant them back in the original pot and make the plant a bit fuller.

There are two good ways that you can propagate String of Hearts. You can choose whatever is easiest for you!

The first way is simply to take stem cuttings and place them in water. This is how I propagated the plant I have shown above. After a few weeks, the cuttings grew roots and then I simply potted them up! Easy peasy.

The second way is to propagate your Ceropegia woodii using the tubers that form along the stems. They can be of varying sizes. Take a look at the one on my plant below.

String of Hearts tuber

This is an exceptionally large tuber that formed on the stem, but it was easier to show in a photograph than a smaller one. Look for any of these along the stems.

Then you can simply lay the tuber on top of a moist potting mix. You can either leave the tuber attached to the plant while you do this (this may give you better results), or simply cut it off and lay the tuber on top of the soil mix to root.

For a more detailed post on various methods of propagating, check out my 5 Ways to Propagate String of Hearts blog post.

Repotting String of Hearts

I have an older string of hearts that desperately needs repotting. Another friend sent me this plant (I have great friends don’t I???) and I never changed the pot. Take a look at the woody caudex that the plant developed.

It’s going to be a doozy repotting this one! But I will do it.

When you do repot, make sure that you follow the tips for the potting mix I described earlier. The best time to repot most plants is going to be the Spring when growth starts back up.

For more tips on how I repot houseplants, be sure not to miss my repotting post with step by step details on how to properly repot a houseplant! There are some very necessary steps so don’t miss it!

That’s all folks! I hope you have enjoyed reading about how to care for String of Hearts, or Ceropegia woodii. It is a unique plant that should be part of any collection!

Do you have any String of Hearts?

How to take good care of String of Hearts

  • String of Hearts Plant like heat and bright light but they don’t tolerate direct sunlight. They can beplaced indoor in South or West facing window with a lot of light and if outdoor, they can be in bright shade area. One of the easier ways to see if they get sufficient light is to see the color of the leaf and the gaps between leaves: String of Hearts leaves will be wider apart and lighter in color with less marbling if the plant needs more light.

    If you want to grow string of hearts indoor make sure you give them the brightest window possible and keep the temperature around 80 to 85 degrees, 60 in winter time.

    Water

    Chain of Hearts water need is just like other succulents, so make sure you give them a good soak after the soil is completely dried out from the last watering. In the winter, the plants need even less water than summer.

    Fertilizer

    String of Hearts only need infrequent fertilizers and half-diluted fertilizers. They can be fed at most once a month during their active growth period in May – August. They don’t need any fertilizer during winter, their dormant period.

  • String of Hearts Succulent |

    Repotting

    If you want to repot your String of Hearts, the best time is during summer, their active growing period to minimize the risks.

    How to propagate String of Hearts

    String of Hearts is relatively easy to propagate, there are three main methods to propagate them, as introduced below:

    Water Propagation Method

    This propagation method is popular as it is quite easy to carry out. All you need to do is to prepare a vase, scissors, and some water. Then cut off the vine pieces you want to root, put them in the vase, and wait for root to grow. Remember to place the vase in a warm area with enough light so that the root can grow more quickly.

    The time needed for roots to grow depends on light and temperature, with the right conditions, roots will appear after a couple of days.

  • String of Hearts Plant |

    Soil Propagation Method

    To carry out this method, you need to cut off the vines, yhen remove the leaves on the side that you will plant and stick the vines into the soil. In this step, you have to ensure that the nodes are covered in the soil so that the root can grow. Make sure the vines are placed in a light and aerated area with the soil slightly moist (water once a week) for the roots to grow out.

    Tuber Propagation Method

    For the tuber propagation technique, you need to find the biggest tuber possible. A fingernail-sized model may be a good choice. You can leave the tuber on the vine and press it into the soil to grow root. Once it grows root you can cut the vine from the mother plant

    Another way is to remove the vine with the tuber from the mother plant. Place it in a pot with soil and slightly cover the tube in the soil mix. Keep it in a bright area and water weekly, a few weeks later, the tuber will be rooting.

  • 5 Houseplants With Heart

    The day of love, Valentine’s, is almost upon us. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to buy Valentine’s Day gifts. Most people are satisfied with the traditional gifts of flowers, dinner, jewelry and the like. However.. there are a few among us who are not so swayed by sweetness. If your girl is just not the romance type, or your hubby thinks “flowers are for girls” then this suggestion is for you!

    There’s nothing like flowers and plants on Valentines Day. They bring a life and energy with them you won’t get from any other gift. If your Boo says boo to a bouquet, why not give the gift of green via a lush houseplant that is full of heart — heart-shaped leaves that is!

    Here are a few heart-shaped suggestions to get you started:

    1. Heart-leaf Philodendron

    The Heartleaf Philodendron is known as the sweetheart plant because of the unique heart shape of its leaves. With the many variations of heart-leaf Philodendrons available, there is sure to be one that will stand out to you. You might like the lush green leaves, or perhaps the varieties with splashes of bright yellow color on the leaves. These heart-leaf plant is easy to care for and it’s evergreen vines, if allowed, will grow up ledges or walls, enhancing any room.

    However, if your Sweetie has cats, other pets or small children who would be prone to eating the leaves, this may not be a good choice. This plant is toxic if ingested.

    Check out this article for more information on how to care for Heart-leaf Philodendron

    2. Flowering Cyclamen

    This is a small houseplant with big dreams. It’s heart-shaped foliage is beautifully colored on it’s own, but the up-swept petals of the flower add striking color that elevates this houseplant to favorite status. These plants usually bloom in late winter or early spring and are sweetly scented, making them a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

    This plant is also mildly toxic and you should take precautions to keep this plant away from pets and small children.

    Check out this article for more information about how to care for a Florist Cyclamen

    3. Green Nephthytis

    This climbing, heart-shaped houseplant can add a sense of the dramatic to any interior. The Green Nephthytis has a beautiful color palette even the artistic masters of old would appreciate. This plant will climb a trellis or wall with ease, but can be pruned back for fullness. Caring for this houseplant is relatively easy, but it does like a moist, humid environment, so good watering habits are important.

    Again, this is a plant that is moderately toxic to pets and small children, so take precautions.

    Click here for more information on how to care for Green Nephthytis Plants

    4. Anthurium

    Not only does Anthurium have heart-shaped leaves, the ‘flowers’ are also heart-shaped, making this a great gift for anyone on the Day of Love. Anthurium blooms come in a variety of colors and sizes; your local florist will be able to help you choose the right one for your needs.

    Be sure to keep this plant away from small children or pets, as it is moderately toxic.

    Check out this article for more information on how to care for Anthuriums

    5. Golden Pothos

    Golden Pothos plants are among the most popular houseplants for their versatility and easy care. This heart-shaped houseplant has a yellow and green variegation which make them easily recognizable and popular in a variety of settings. Also known as Devil’s Ivy, Golden Pothos is typically a fast-growing, strong climber.

    Golden Pothos is also moderately toxic and homes with small children or pets may want to take caution.

    For more information on how to take care of Golden Pothos, check this article.

    Where To Find Houseplants

    It’s always always always best to shop locally, especially for houseplants. Your local florist is a good place to start when looking for houseplants. Simply give them a call or stop by to see just what they have to offer. Many florist decorate their containers and plants with accessories for the season. Expect to see these heart-shaped houseplants dressed up and ready for Valentine’s Day.

    Gallery of houseplants available from your local florist.
    Houseplant Toxicity List.
    Houseplant Care Information.

    Heart-leaf Philodendron

    If you’re looking for a fool-proof house plant, you couldn’t do much better than a heart-leaf philodendron. These easy-growing foliage plants thrive with indirect light and very little maintenance.

    Heart-leaf philodendrons are often grown in hanging baskets which allow the thin stems and heart-shaped leaves to beautifully spill out of their container.

    Characteristics

    Heart-leaf philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum var. oxycardium) are a vining type of philodendron with dark green heart-shaped leaves, generally 2–4 inches in size.

    Grown in a container indoors, heart-leaf philodendrons can be displayed as a specimen plant on a table, shelf, or wall bracket, where the long, trailing vines of the plant can have room to spread. They can also be trained to climb up a screen, trellis, pole, or a bark board.

    For those in warmer climates (USDA hardiness zones 10B through 11) heart-leaf philodendron can also be grown outside for completely different results. As a groundcover, heart-leaf philodendron will quickly provide a dark green carpet in shady areas. When allowed to grow up trees or other vertical supports leaves can grow quite large, reaching 12 inches or more in length. Indoors, the growth of your heart-leaf philodendron will be dependent on the height of their support, training, and pruning.

    If you have pets in the house, make sure your heart-leaf philodendron is place where curious paws will not be able to get to it. Philodendrons are toxic to pets; chewing on plants can cause oral pain, drooling, foaming, vomiting, and moderate to severe swelling of the lips, tongue, oral cavity, and upper airway. People can also have mild allergic reactions to the sap, resulting in an itchy rash.

    Planting and Care

    Philodendrons are versatile and hardy plants, and are generally easy to care for in your home. Heart-leaf philodendrons enjoy bright diffuse light, but will tolerate a range of lighting conditions from diffused light to shade; just avoid direct sunlight as this can burn the leaves.

    One of the reasons heart-leaf philodendron does so well indoors is that it prefers the same temperature range as we do; temperatures below 50°F are too cool for this particular plant.

    Water your philodendron when the top inch of soil becomes dry to the touch. Using a light weight, well-drained potting media will help ensure that your plant does not become too wet or water logged. While philodendrons prefer high humidity, they are capable of tolerating the low humidity levels of a typical household. Fertilize your philodendron every 3-4 months to keep your plant looking great.

    While philodendrons are easy to maintain, too much water or too little light can cause yellowing leaves, and too much fertilizer can cause the leaf tips of your plant to brown and curl. Although generally pest free, they have been known to be infested by aphids, mealy bugs, scales, and spidermites.

    Heart-leaf philodendron is also very easy to propagate; you can start new plants for yourself or to share by planting short stem cuttings in clean potting media. This versatile, easy-to-grow plant is a great way for both novices and seasoned gardeners to bring the outdoors in.

    • Heart-leaf philodendron is the plant of the month for February. See other featured plants.

    UF/IFAS Sites

    • Florida Plant ID: Heart-leaf Philodendron

    UF/IFAS Publications

    • Philodendron scandens Heart Leaf Philodendron

    Also on Gardening Solutions

    • Houseplants for the Forgetful Gardener
    • Houseplants That Clean the Air
    • Hybrid Philodendrons
    • Philodendrons
    • Versatile Vines

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *