String of Hearts – Growing & Care Guide

Scientific Name: ceropegia Woodii | Blooming season: spring & summer

👍 Loves: Well-drained soil and cactus mix, bright indirect light | 👎 Hates: Direct sunshine, wet roots

The string of hearts plants is just as pretty as its name suggests. With trailing vines of heart shaped leaves, it is a popular house plant that requires little maintenance and care. Find out how to grow your own string of hearts house plant!

Guide contents

  1. Identification
  2. Growing conditions
  3. Growing and care tips
  4. How to repot
  5. Propagation

Identification

String of hearts in a white pot

There are several varieties of the string of hearts plant, although they all share similar qualities. Here are some of the main features of the string of hearts plant:

Height2 – 5 cm
Spread2 – 4 m
FormationTrailing
ColoursWhite, pink
Identifying FeaturesHeart shaped, dark green leaves Light green pattern Pink-purple undersides

Growing conditions

🌱 Inside in hanging baskets | 🌞 Partial sun | 🌡️ Temp above 15°C

String of hearts are native to South Africa, where they thrive in the warmer temperatures and spread quickly. However, although the string of hearts can grow outdoors, they will not survive British winters, so they are best grown indoors in hanging baskets or pots on shelves. This way, they will be able to reach their full spread without taking over.

Due to the higher temperatures that string of hearts require, it’s best to plant it in summer. Once these fast growers have out grown their pots, you’ll have to repot them, which we’ll get into very soon!


Growing and care tips

The string of hearts is a relatively low maintenance plant that requires regular watering and little fertilizing. Here are some top care tips to help your string of hearts thrive:

Watering: String of hearts don’t need too much water, but you should water them regularly throughout spring and summer. Ensure that you allow the soil to dry out completely after each watering. Then, you can reduce your watering schedule during autumn and winter. However, you should never leave a string of hearts to sit in water, since this can cause the roots to rot and eventually kill the plant.

Fertilizing: String of hearts doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizer, but it’s best to fertilize it once or twice a year for healthy growth. You can fertilize it with regular house plant fertilizer during spring and summer, the string of hearts growing season.

Pest Control: Unfortunately, house plants are not immune to pests. The string of hearts can fall attack to several common house plant pests, including aphids, mealybugs and scale. The earlier you spot these pests the better, but you can bring infestations under control with vigilance. If you spot aphids on your string of hearts, your best course of action is a strong spray of water across the affected leaves. However, for a more urgent infestation, you can spread flour across the plant, which will suffocate the aphids upon ingestion. On the other hand, if you’ve spotted mealybugs or scale on your string of hearts, you can use soapy water or neem oil to clean your plant.     

Disease: String of hearts are particularly hardy plants and don’t usually suffer from common diseases. However, if you overwater them, string of hearts can develop root rot. You can identify root rot by the appearance of soft brown roots. Fortunately, as long there are some healthy, white roots left on the plant, it can be saved. To do so, you should replant the string of hearts in a container of fresh soil with good drainage. 


How to repot a string of hearts plant

Since the string of hearts grows so fast, you will eventually have to repot it. Repotting plants is vital to their continued growth since it gives the roots more room to grow on a fresh foundation. When the roots of your plant are starting to pop out through the drainage holes, then you can be sure that it’s time to repot it. However, you should avoid repotting your string of hearts during winter and autumn. This is the plant’s dormant period, and repotting during this time may negatively affect its growth.

Here’s how to repot a string of hearts plant:

  1. First, you’ll have to remove the plant from its current pot. You can do this by lying the plant on its side, holding the stem close to the soil line and gently pulling it out. Alternatively, you may decide to break the current pot by carefully hammering or cutting it to remove the plant.
  2. Next, you’ll need to loosen the roots to help your string of hearts grow better in its new pot. To loosen the roots, simply remove as much soil from them as you can. If you come across any clumped soil, you can gently remove it by hand. Once you have loosened the roots, you can trim them if they have become too long or chop off any unhealthy ones.
  3. Then, you can prepare the new pot for your string of hearts. Make sure that the pot you are moving the plant to is at least one inch bigger than the current pot to give the roots more room. Fill this new pot halfway with fresh potting mix, then add your string of hearts plant to the mix. Make sure that you cover the roots completely with soil and press it gently around the plant to give it support
  4. Finally, place your newly potted string of hearts plant in an adequate spot with indirect sunlight and water it well. After a few weeks, your string of hearts will have adapted to its new pot and start growing quickly once more.

Propagation

The string of hearts is the perfect plant for propagation or cutting one plant to create and grow another. There are two ways to propagate the string of hearts, although one is much easier than the other.

The easiest way to propagate the string of hearts is through layering, which you can start once it has flowered:

  1. First, look for the tubers on the string of hearts vine. These aerial tubers are known as beads, and they grow around the base of the leaves of the plant. Try and find the largest tuber to use for your propagation. It’s best to keep the tuber on the vine for propagation.
  2. Next, push your tuber into your soil mix. So long as you keep the tuber on the vine, you can place your pot of soil mix beside the original plant and simply push the tuber slightly into the soil.
  3. Now, you have to maintain the tuber. To do so, you need to water the soil, so it remains constantly damp without overwatering. We’d recommend spritzing your propagated string of hearts with a spray bottle every day to help it stay moist.     

Alternatively, the other method of propagation involves stem cuttings from your string of hearts, and can take several months. Once you have trimmed a length of stem from below a leaf, you should remove any lower leaves and place the cutting in water. Then, leave the stem to develop a strong root system, which can take several weeks. During this time, you should regularly replace the water. Finally, once the cutting has developed roots, you can plant it in house plant compost and keep it well watered until it starts to grow strongly.

Since the chances of success are limited with propagation from cuttings, we’d recommend taking several cuttings for this method. 


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