The string of hearts plant, or Ceropegia woodii, is an easy-to-care-for, attractive, and one-of-a-kind houseplant originating from South Africa. Some homeowners find it challenging to maintain, but this plant is actually one of the most tolerant and rewarding houseplants when subjected to proper care. If you are planning to introduce this gem into your home, this guide tells you everything you need to know about propagating, pruning, fertilizing, and watering a string of hearts plant.
Does The String of Hearts Plant Have Any Other Names?
The string of hearts plant, a South African native plant, originates from the Apocynaceae family. It is also known by other common names such as:
- Ceropegia woodii
- Sweetheart Vine
- Collar of Hearts
- Rosary Vine
- String of Hearts
- Chain of Hearts
- Hearts Enmeshed (because the vines tangle easily)
Different Types of String of Hearts Plants
Due to lighting differences that cause a variation in color and variegations in the plant’s leaves, there are numerous varieties of Ceropegia woodii, including Turtles on a String and Strings of Hearts.
Main Uses of String of Hearts Plants
In addition to the String of Hearts plant being a houseplant, it is sometimes used as a sprawling ground cover in rock gardens. There are other uses of the strings of hearts plant. For example, you can:
- Hang it in the dappled shade of a tree outside for the summer.
- Plant it in a basket or hanging pot and hang it on your window.
- Place it in a pretty bowl and set it on a shelf, piano, or on any sunny spot.
- Set it on a small plant stand to allow the vines to trail down on all sides.
Other Plants With Outdoors & Indoors Uses
How to Prune String of Hearts Plants
The Strings of Hearts plant is wispy, and its vines typically reach around two feet long, which might be too long for your taste. If this is the case, you can prune the plant by simply cutting off the vine with a pair of shears or scissors according to your length preference. You do not need to be too careful since the plant can withstand harsh pruning.
Best Soil for String of Hearts Plants
The string of hearts plant grows successfully in well-drained, cacti potting mixes. If you opt to use an ordinary potting mix, you will need additional well-draining materials such as perlite or pumice to ensure sufficient drainage.
How Much Light Do String of Hearts Plants Need?
String of Hearts plants can successfully grow under bright light indoors and are best placed on a South or West facing window, especially in the winter. If you wish to check whether your plant is getting enough light, examine the leaf color and gaps between the leaves. Light-colored leaves and wide gaps indicate inadequate light.
How Often to Water String of Hearts Plants
String of hearts plants are naturally drought-resistant and, thus, you should not overwater them. Water pooling could result in leaf drop, swollen foliage, and stunted growth. Instead, interchange shallow watering with deep watering to allow the soil enough time to dry.
Ideal Temperature Conditions for String of Hearts Plants
These plants can handle temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods. However, they will not do well under prolonged exposure to cold conditions, especially if they have insufficient moisture. The string or hearts can also not tolerate intense heat. It tends to thrive in places with warm or moderate temperatures and good air circulation.
Humidity Conditions for String of Hearts Plants
The chain of hearts plant is very tolerant and can easily adapt to many humidity levels. That said, you should invest in a good humidifier for when the air is too dry. It is also crucial that you keep an eye out for signs of stress related to moisture content and adjust the humidity around your plant appropriately.
Best Fertilizer for String of Hearts Plants
The best fertilizer for your sweetheart vine should be designed explicitly for succulent plants. This means that it should not have a high nitrogen content as this causes the plant to become excessively soft. If you are unsure of the appropriate nutrient content, consult your local gardening store.
How to Propagate String of Hearts Plants
Unlike normal seed germination, the string of hearts plant is generally propagated via stem cuttings with a minimum of two internodes. This method of propagation allows for the plant to take root within 2 weeks to 2 months. When using it, make sure that the potting medium is kept moist and positioned in a warm place away from direct light at all times. You can transplant your cuttings into the potting medium once the roots form.
Growth Rate of String of Hearts Plants
Provided the plant is treated well and kept under optimum conditions, it will grow and fill a pot rapidly.
Ideal Pot Size for String of Hearts Plants
The string of hearts plant prefers to have its roots slightly restricted. Therefore, you will need a smallish pot with at least a drainage hole or two. The exact pot size will depend on how large your plant is.
Repotting Tips for String of Hearts Plants
In order to minimize the risks involved in repotting, the string of hearts plants should be repotted during summer – its active growing period. Proper care must be taken while repotting as the plant’s delicate vines can easily break. When repotting small desktop plants, it is advisable to choose a potting vessel between 1 to 2 inches larger in diameter to prevent the plant’s roots from drowning. A larger plant can be repotted in a container 2 to 4 inches larger than the original.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The String of Hearts Plants Edible?
The string of hearts plant is generally regarded as safe (GRAS). However, you should avoid consuming it as it might trigger severe allergic reactions, vomiting, or an upset stomach in some people.
Are String of Hearts Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?
String of heart plants are non-toxic to both humans and pets. However, its long and dangling strings might be tempting for curious pets or children to tug on, so you should make sure they are out of their reach.
Is The String of Hearts Plants Poisonous?
The string of hearts plant is safe for both humans and pets, including dogs and cats.
The string of hearts plant will grow fast and flower abundantly under the proper moisture levels, warm conditions, and light intensity. Moreover, the plant is suitable for inexperienced houseplant growers as it can cope relatively well with periods of neglect.