Care Guides

String of Hearts Care Guide

The Ceropegia Woodii Variegata is a very elegant trailing succulent that is becoming more and more popular among succulent lovers.

It is often thought to be difficult to care for because of its delicate appearance, but, with the right knowledge, it is one of the easiest plants to care for.

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about how to take good care of this lovely semi-succulent.

What is String of Hearts

String of Hearts belongs to the Asclepiadaceae family. It is native to South Africa but has long been widespread as a houseplant.

It is also commonly known as:

  • Sweetheart Vine
  • Hearts Entangled
  • String of Hearts
  • Chain of Hearts
  • Rosary Plant

It is a lovely-looking, trailing vine with delicate, cotton-like stems and heart-shaped leaves. It is surprisingly tough, easy to grow, and very drought-tolerant thanks to the root tubers it develops to store water as it matures. If happy, String of Hearts will flower in late summer, producing little, pink, tubular blooms.
Rarely diseased and without any bugs enemies, it is a very fashionable plant to add to any living space.

Its ornamental value is mainly in its tiny but very attractive heart-shaped leaves.

With its decorative hanging stems, it becomes more beautiful when grown in hanging baskets.

How To Propagate String Of Hearts

Ceropegia Woodii Variegata “String of Hearts” can be propagated in several ways, You can choose whatever is easiest for you!:

  • Soil Propagation Method

This method involves cutting the vines, then removing the leaves on the side where you are going to plant them, and pushing the vines into the soil. Make sure that the nodes are covered with soil so that the root can grow.

Also, ensure that the vines are kept in a light and well-aerated space with a slightly moist soil so that the roots can grow. For watering, it should be done once a week.

  • Water Propagation Method

This is the most popular method of propagation because it is quite easy to carry out.

Prepare a vase, scissors, or a sharp, sterile knife and some water. Cut off the vine pieces that you wish to plant, then put them in the pot and simply wait for the roots to grow.

Remember to place the vase, as with the previous method, in a warm place with enough light to allow the roots to grow faster.

  • Tuber Propagation Method

It’s also an easy way to propagate your Chain of hearts:
Choose a fingernail-sized tuber, keep it attached to the stem, then press it into well-draining soil, it will take root and form a new plant in few days.

The following video gives an overview on how to propagate a String Of Hearts the easiest way:

 

How to take care of a String of Hearts?

Thanks to their exceptional ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, String of Hearts requires almost no care. Nevertheless, to ensure that it thrives, some conditions must be taken into consideration.

   Watering

Chain of Hearts is an expert in water management. It is called a semi-succulent because it stores moisture in its thick parts then uses these reserves in drought periods. Therefore, it just needs to be watered moderately.

From spring to late summer, the plant is in the growing phase. During this period it can be watered once or twice a week.

It is also important to ensure that no excess water remains in the container as X cannot tolerate excessive watering. Also, let the soil dry between waterings.

Of course, the amount and frequency of watering must be adjusted according to temperature and humidity. In a rather dry living room and under a blazing sun, Ceropegia woodii should of course be watered more than in a slightly shaded and very humid bathroom.

String of Hearts Care   Fertilizing

Chain of Hearts grows quite quickly from April to September.

As it can reach a length of up to two meters, it needs a regular supplement of nutrients.

Ideally, a liquid Cactus fertilizer is a good source of nutrients and is administered in low concentrations with the water used for watering. In winter When the plant goes into dormancy, it is no longer necessary to continue to fertilize it.

String of Hearts Care   Pruning

String of Hearts can be cut all year round if it gets leggy or you want to propagate it by cuttings. A large pruning should then be done in early spring so it can regenerate quickly afterward. Otherwise, it is probably fine without pruning, unless some of its parts are dying or rotting.

To do this, simply cut the vine with a pair of scissors or shears where you want it to end. Don’t worry if you’re not very accurate because the plant is strong enough to withstand rough pruning.

String of Hearts Care  Repotting

The Chain of Hearts should be transferred to a larger pot only if there has been no change in the soil for three years.

Repotting is done in the spring, immediately after hibernation.

To perform this task correctly, proceed as follows:

Lay your plant on its side, and carefully slide it out of its current pot, then remove old soil from the roots (carefully to avoid any damage).

If you are growing several plants in one pot, this is an ideal opportunity to spread them out in several pots.

Insert the roots into the new pot and gently press the soil around them. Apply a layer of sand about one centimeter thick on top to provide extra protection against rot. Finally, make sure that you do not expose the plant to direct sunlight for at least two weeks.

Troubleshooting String of Hearts Problems

Like most plants, diseases and pest infections are due to carelessness or over-watering.
If your plant lacks light, the right temperature, or a correct watering, you may have problems with mealybugs or aphids.
String of Hearts can also suffer from fungal attacks if it is overwatered or kept in a cold place. Too much sunlight can also cause burns.

Pests

String Of Hearts can be infested with mealybugs. These are small pinkish bugs that hide in a white, cottony web. They suck the sap from the plant and inject it with toxic substances that harm its growth. Infested leaves turn yellow and curl until they finally fall off.
If the infestation is not treated in time, the plant gets weaker and weaker and can eventually die. Wash it first with diluted soap, and then use a cotton swab soaked in rubbing alcohol and clean the vines and leaves. Repeat this process every two weeks until there are no pests anymore. Put them in a bright, cool place.

String of Hearts Bugs

Other problems and fixes

Keep an eye on your plant to diagnose possible problems in time:

String of Hearts Care If the leaves are pale, it means that the plant is not getting enough light. Move it to a place in your home where there is more natural light.

When you notice that the leaves are dropping, turning yellow, and the plant is about to die, then these may be signs of rot and over-watering.

Scorched leaves are often a sign that your plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight. Try to move it to a slightly shadier place.

Soft tubers tell you that the plant is over-watered and that the roots are rotten and are therefore unable to transmit moisture to the rest of the plant.

 

Common String of Hearts questions

Why is my String of Hearts dropping leaves?

Overwatering is the main cause of leaf fall. What will happen next is that the whole plant will start to rot in case you continue to overwater.
To avoid this scenario, reduce watering immediately. (In fact, Ceropegia Woodii is a succulent plant and therefore needs less watering).

Why are my succulent leaves curling?

If the leaves of your Chain of Hearts are curling, chances are you are depriving it of water. It indeed prefers dry periods, but if they last too long and the water reservoirs of the tubers are exhausted, its leaves tend to curl.
The fix to this is to follow an appropriate watering program with a watering frequency of every 2 or 3 weeks if you place it indoors, but if it is outdoors, in dry and hot conditions, you may have to water them every day.

Is String of Hearts plant poisonous?

There is no information available on possible toxic substances. The milky juice in the Ceropegia’s flower is considered harmless.  As a precaution, sensitive persons should wear gloves to avoid possible skin irritation. There is also no known danger for cats and dogs to eat the plant.

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