Ceropegia woodi is a trendy plant these days, but string of hearts care couldn’t be easier! Learn how to care for this cute little plant, as well as how to propagate it!
String of hearts care: All about ceropegia woodii
The string of hearts plant has become super popular in the last year, and for good reason. Although it’s been around for a long time, houseplant lovers have recently discovered what an adorable little trailing vine it is.
This plant is part of the ceropegia genus, woodii variety. It’s a lovely little plant that is also sometimes referred to as rosary vine, hearts on a string, or chain of hearts. String of hearts is from South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
How large does a string of hearts plant grow?
String of hearts is a trailing succulent-like vine that doesn’t grow very tall but can trail well over 10 feet when grown in the right conditions outdoors. As a houseplant, it typically can grown a few feet long. Many think it is a succulent, but it isn’t. It’s easy to think it is, though—the leaves do look quite succulent.
These little leaves stay small, but the veining on each heart-shaped leaf helps to give it a more textured, dimensional look. The stems are very thin and delicate, sprouting leaves every inch or so. Since the stems are so thin, the leaves can easily “hook” onto one another, tangling the plant up. This is fine—it still looks beautiful.
How much light does a string of hearts need?
String of hearts plants enjoy bright indirect light. Enough light helps the string of hearts plant keep its deep green color. I’ve got mine on my tiered plant stand I made on the top tier, front-left corner.
That is the corner of the plant stand closest to the windows, and those windows get bright light in the afternoon well into the early evening. This spot also gets supplemental light from a hanging grow light I’ve got on the stand.
You definitely want to make sure your plant doesn’t get too much direct sun or else the foliage can burn. Indoors, make sure you don’t let the foliage rest directly on window panes if you’ve got this plant in a windowsill. Extreme heat in the summer and cold in the winter can really hurt the leaves.
Watering and soil
This plant behaves a lot like succulents behave, so sparse watering is an essential part of string of hearts care. It’s best to let the soil dry out between waterings. I’ve got mine indoors, so that means I water it once every 7-10 days in the summer, once every few weeks once things cool off. It doesn’t need much water at all through the winter. If you’ve got your string of hearts outdoors in higher heat, you’ll obviously need to water it more often.
Soil and drainage are big parts of ensuring your string of hearts has an adequate amount of water. Planting your string of hearts in a well-draining succulent or cactus soil mix helps to ensure that the soil doesn’t retain too much water. A drainage hole in the bottom of the pot also helps—you don’t want your plant’s roots sitting in water!
Pests and problems
The string of hearts is fairly resistant to pests. However, overwatering can lead to fungus gnats, and the plant can be host to the whole range of normal household pests. If your plant’s leaves are a faint green or are yellowing, you could be overwatering, not giving the plant enough light, or both. Dry, crispy leaves? You don’t want to overwater this plant, but it does need some water!
How to propagate string of hearts
Much like many other houseplants, string of hearts is fairly simple to propagate. Propagation can be done through cuttings in water, cuttings in soil, or through tuber/leaf propagation. The first step to propagating cuttings is to take a good cutting from a healthy plant.
Propagating string of hearts cuttings in water
The vine should be roughly 6 inches long with a few sets of leaves. Remove the bottom set of leaves so that the bottom few inches of the cutting are bare. Be really careful when removing the leaves; the stems are so thin and fragile, and you don’t want to break them. This is the same problem string of pearls plants have when propagating!
Then place the bare end of the cutting into a small container of water. I like using test tubes to propagate and even made a test tube propagation station to keep things organized. Give the cuttings enough bright indirect light and monitor the plant for evaporation. Ensure the bare end remains submerged in water and the roots should emerge within a week or so. Super fast rooter!
Once the roots are at least an inch or so long, you can plant the cutting in well-draining soil and water. Keep the soil evenly moist for another week or so to encourage further root development, then begin to water the plant as normal. Ensure it gets plenty of light and you’ll soon see new growth!
Propagating string of hearts cuttings in soil
For this process, take the same type of cutting you took for water propagation, removing the leaves from the bottom of the stem. Plant the cuttings in soil and keep the soil lightly moist, watering when it begins to dry out. Ensure the small container has drainage and is getting enough light.
String of hearts soil propagation is nice because you don’t have to transplant your new plant once roots emerge. However, you can’t monitor root growth as easily. You can plant your cutting in a small clear plastic cup with holes drilled in the bottom to give you some more visibility on what’s going on in the soil.
But the best way is to gently tug at the cutting after a week or so to see if its rooted. The plant is kind of fragile, though, so I’d hold off as long as you can before starting to tug. As a general rule of thumb, if your cutting is still looking pretty good, it’s probably rooting successfully!
The tuber propagation method
Again, this propagation method is a lot like propagating string of pearls. To propagate a string of hearts plant through the tuber method, find a large, healthy tuber (aka leaf). You can even leave it on the stem—but cut off the piece of stem.
Press the leaf lightly into the soil. Make sure the bottom side is pressed into the soil and that the area where the leaf meets the stem is lightly covered. Water sparingly, enough to keep the soil lightly and evenly moist. It will begin to take root and grow a new plant.