How to Grow and Care for a String of Hearts

Mar 8, 2022 | Gro Guide

Nothing says I love you more than a heart. Now imagine an entire plant filled with love and hearts. That is exactly what a String of Hearts plant is. A plant full of hearts and love. Once you see the dark green leaves with variegated silver markings or cream, pink and light green heart shaped patterned leaves, you will be mesmerized and want one.

Typically growing 2-4 inches tall, with purple toned stem that can reach 1′-4′ feet long, so make sure you hang this center piece high and out of the reach of animals and hands that can pull and tug on the vines. When a plant is mature, it can resemble a waterfall of flowing heart shaped leaves.

I am here to help you find out how to grow and care for a String of Hearts succulent plant.

The botanical name form String of Hearts is Ceropegia wood, and it is thought to have originated from Africa. This beautiful plant is know as a trailing succulent or it is also known as “Rosary vine..”

The structures are aerial tubes called bulbils, that start out as white patch leaf nodes and then swell to form white balls. Placing these balls in soil will cause roots to develop, and you can have another string of hearts plants. This process takes about 8 weeks.

At first, this plant may seem a bit hard to care for, but knowing a few general guide lines, this plant will flourish, and give you decades of beauty and enjoyment.

Picture of String of Hearts

Hearts Need Sunlight

Interesting fact about string of hearts, is that the more light the plant receives, the closer the heart shaped leaves will grow together. So if you want a lot more hearts make sure it is in a a place where it will get a ton of direct sunlight. This plant looks so beautiful and full when there is a lot of hearts, so put your plant in some bright light. It is not a small change either. You can change where the leaves grow on the vine anywhere from 3-6cm per leaf. Now run that down the just one of the vines and you can imagine how full and beautiful you can transform this plant with just one easy step.

The other important sunlight transformation rule to remember is that the more sun the plant and vines receive, the more the leaves will change to a blush pink hue with white edges, as opposed to a greenish color through out.

String of Hearts

Watering your String of Hearts

When it comes to watering this magnificent plant, remember, this is a succulent. As a succulent, it does not require a lot of water, and too much water might seem like a little bit of water for the plant. Plants in the succulent family do not like a lot of water, and can drown or cause other rotting issue from too much water. When you think of succulents, think of those big thorny cacti in the desert. No water, no rain, and hit with the hot intense sun all day. Well string of hearts plant, although it might seem weird, is in the same family.

Make sure the pot you have your plant in is a well draining pot, with lots of holes on the bottom. This will help you not have root rot, or other fungi develop in the soil.

The plant will give you signs if it needs, more water than you are providing for it. One of the biggest signs is the heart leaves will begin to look deflated when they are in need of water. The leaves will look sad, and your spider-sense will activate. You will look at your plant, and know something is not quite right.

It is always tempting to soak our plants with water and soak the soil because it seems like the right thing to do. But do not flood the soil.

Do not over water this plant or your will kill it. The main reason these plants die is due to overwatering. Also, never use cold or hot water when you are watering your plants, especially indoor plants. The intense cold or heat can damage the very temperamental roots, and can cause unwanted stress on the plant, or shock the roots.

String of Hearts

Feeding your Heart

I will always first recommend the best way to fertilize your plant, or soil you should use is home made compost. Compost has the riches nutrients for your plants, and it will grow the best fruit, vegetables, and foliage on plants you will ever see. But not all of us have time to start our own compost.

When you think of fertilizing your plant, remember the soil will only need extra nutrients about once a week. You can easily go once every other week if you wanted to. Since you are not flooding the soil, there will not be a lot of nutrients running off with the water, so the nutrients in the soil will stay longer.

If you add too much fertilizer, you will kill your plant. I have a friend who does not fertilize his plants at all, and they are still growing and happy. But I recommend occasional feeding so your plant will grow healthy large and strong. At the least using a good fertilizer once every 3 months will keep your plant happy and healthy.

You will do well buying a 5-5-5 NPK balanced fertilizer. NPK stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium, and they are the 3 elements every single plant on this plant requires. Of course use a cacti or succulent potting mix if you have some.

The best way to know if your plant is requiring a boost of food is the leaves on the vines. If the leaves look weak, discolored, or the plant has an infection or pests problem, then it might be time to hit itwith as dose of fertilizer.

String of Hearts

Potting your Plant

When you buy your string of heart plant from the store, I recommend repotting it. This is so you can add your fertilized rich soil or compost to the mixture, and place the plant in a bigger container so it can grow bigger and brighter.

Regularly this plant comes in a small 9 inch plastic pot that will do no justice for the life of your plant. The pots they come in is plastic, does not have good drainage, and can destroy the roots if they come in contact with them.

I believe this plant does not need very deep pots to replant your plant in. The roots systems I have noticed stay pretty shallow.

Propagation of your String of Hearts

After some time of taking care of your plant by placing them in the sun and giving them lots and lots of love, the vines will creep really close to the ground, and even hit the floor. This is okay, because it gives you a perfect opportunity to propagate your plant, and make sting of heart babies.

I usually cut and remove the hearts close to the bottom about 6 inches from the bottom of the strand. Important to know, the nodes where the hearts have been removed will be where the new roots will grow from.

Over a couple days, your will notice where you cut your plant a callus will form. I place my cutting directly in water, and leave it there for a couple weeks in more indirect lighting so it can develop roots. The fresh cuttings will do best in a warm bright place.

Choose one day a week, and change the water very week on that day. If you live in a dry hot environment, make sure the water level is good.

Once you see roots have developed from the cutting, it is time to plant your new string of hearts plant.

You can also cut and plant directly to soil. To do this, simply cut off the vine you want to propagate, and remove some of the leaves where the vine will go into the soil. Ensure the nodes are covered in the soil so the root can grow. Again, you want the vines placed in a light and aerated area with the soil slightly moist for the roots to grow out.

Final Thoughts

Pruning your String of Hearts is very simple, and will encourage your plant to grow fuller and bushier. If you want to do this, simple cut 2 or more vines from the mother plant with a clean and sharp scissors. Whenever cutting, always cut under one of the nodes along the stem.

Love to hang interesting trailing plants like this you might like to check out it’s family member String Of Turtles.

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