String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia Woodii) Care Guide {proven tips that won’t kill the plant}

string of heart care

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Caring for String of Hearts

Loves being in a bright well lit room, only needs watering when the soil is dry, provide well water drained soil, and fertilize once to twice a month in the summer.

History of String of Hearts

Native to Africa, the string of heart plants are full of unique personality. Also known as Ceropegia, it is a must-have kind of trailing plants you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

Caring for String of Hearts

Structurally, it looks like a string with heart-shaped beads as the name states. It is a great choice for interior decorations especially for those who love a touch of nature in their living space.

Scientifically, it’s known as Ceropegia woodii which stands for a plant with a wiry stem. Along its trailing stem, this plant has a couple of heart-shaped leaves at intervals. This sparse distribution of the leaves in pairs creates a unique appearance perfect for indoor complementation.

Why you need a String of Heart plant in your life!

But that’s not all, its foliages are quite distinct in that they are green with white variegation on top and purple on the underside. With this plant, you can either have it cascading on your hanging pots or have it trail along a designed string path. Their trail can be as long as 5 ft or more.

How do you take care of a string of hearts plant?

And just like any other indoor plant, a string of heart plant requires care and maintenance for normal growth and performance. So, let’s have a look at the various ways you can care for your plant to maintain their beauty and the way it will complement your living space.

How much sun does String of Hearts need?

Lots! These plants love nothing more than being placed in a location that receives a lot of bright lighting. The brighter the lighting, the better.

That said, you should consider placing this plant close window that receives plenty of natural indirect sunlight. You can bring it outside for direct sunlight if you wanted to, but only for a few hours.

My String of Hearts thrives so much more when I hang it near a window rather than a corner that also has bright lighting.

And these plants will let you know when they need more lighting, just in case they’re not receiving enough. They tend to wear their emotions on their leaves by fading in color and having larger empty gaps in between your leaves.

How much sun does String of Hearts need

The solution is simple. Move your plant to a location with plenty of bright light, preferably near a window. Or if possible, bring it outdoors in the morning for a few hours. But remember to bring it back inside.

For an exquisite look, place the plant in a hanging basket so that it can leave a trail, making it feel like you are one with nature.

How often should you water string of hearts?

String of hearts would rather be underwatered than overwatered. This is where its similarity to the succulent plant is seen. The water is being stored in its heart leaves. Thus, it requires less watering compared to other house plants.

Every plant needs sufficient water for healthy development and this plant is not an exception. Being a partially succulent plant, this plant can withstand bits of neglect when it comes to watering. However, you should not allow it to stay without water for long.

To water the plant efficiently, ensure you check whether the top inch of the soil is dry before watering. You can use the finger method if you’re unsure if you should water the plant or not. Furthermore, the drought tolerance of this plant enables it to perform better in moist soil when compared to wet soil.

That said, you should avoid overwatering string of hearts as this may promote root rot and subsequently, the death of this plant.

Another important point to note is the plant’s response to winter and autumn. Due to the cold weather, these plants often become semi-dormant. As a result, the growth rate drastically reduces as well as their water demand. Therefore, you should limit watering during these seasons.

However, on growing seasons of summer and springs, you need to ensure your plant gets sufficient water.

When should you fertilize String of Hearts?

With a string of heart plants, you should celebrate when it comes to feeding them. These plants are light feeders. Therefore, you can neglect to feed them up to a month and they will still be okay. I may have done it once or twice. But I do try to remember to feed it at least once a month!

When should you fertilize String of Hearts

Consider using an all-purpose gardening fertilizer to nourish your plant. But don’t feed it with full strength; dilute the fertilizer to half strength for better results. Trust me, this process works best. Lastly, avoid feeding the plant during autumn and winter. They won’t need fertilizing in the colder months.

I usually stop fertilizing my string of hearts towards the end of the summer to slow down its growth process and get it ready to transition into the colder seasons.

In the colder seasons, it is on a semi-dormant phase, hence, its growth drastically reduces or ceases to occur until spring and summer when the temperatures are warmer. It’s therefore, important to nourish these plants with fertilizer during the growing period and cease to feed them when they are dormant.

What kind of soil does String of Hearts need?

Soil plays a huge role when it comes to the growth and development of plants. It provides support and is the main source for the plant’s nutrients. Therefore, its extremely important for you to consider what type of soil is best for your plant.  

With that said, it’s important to get a well-drained potting soil with organic nutrients you’re your ceropegia woodii plant. Avoid soils that tend to retain water for a long period of time because they can lead to root rot. The soil should be able to drain off excess water and keep moist rather than staying wet.

It is recommended to use the same type of soil for succulents or cacti for your Ceropegia Woodii plant. Your plant would benefit and thrive even more if you added some perlite to help provide more air to the roots so that they can also retain water more efficiently.

What is the best temperature for string of hearts?

Temperature is essential in various physiological processes of this plant and growth being one of them. In that case, this plant does well in a temperature range of 65 degree Fahrenheit to 84 degree Fahrenheit or 18oC to 29oC.

Thankfully, this lies within the room temperature range, making this plant suitable for being indoors Its also a perfect houseplant for beginners, considering how little care you’ll need to provide.

How do you repot a String of Hearts plant?

Repotting is essential in all indoor plants. It gives the plant root a chance to develop freely without getting overstuffed. That said, consider repotting this plant in a larger container than the previous one to give the developed plants roots more room to explore.

However, while repotting, avoid using extremely larger containers than their previous ones. As mentioned earlier, this plant is semi-succulent, therefore, it performs well in a soil that is moist to dry and not wet.

With a bigger pot in relation to the size of this plant, you will have to add more soil. And with more soil, the water demand will be high with a slower rate of drying. This in turn will promote root rotting and the unfortunate death of the plant in some circumstances.

Read the article below for further details on repotting your String of Hearts plant!

Related: How to repot a String of Hearts plant?

Does the Ceropegia Woodii like to be root bound?

Yes. Another reason to not choose a pot too big is that the Ceropegia Woodii plant prefers to be somewhat root-bound. But be careful that the pot isn’t too small that the roots will eventually push the plant out of the pot.

Does the Ceropegia Woodii like to be root bound

Should I mist my String of Hearts?

Yes you should!Like any other indoor plant, it’s important to moisten the foliages of these plants. You know very well that the humidity level in the house is quite different from that outside. And due to low humidity in the house, there is a need to mist the plant from time for optimal performance during growth and development.

Do String of Hearts like Humidity?

No, String of Hearts does not like humidity. It prefers to be in a low to medium humidity environment. Remember that these plants are semi succulents. Which means that they should be comfortable being in an area with room temperature. So there’s no need to raise the humidity level for String of Hearts nor will you have to water it often. Thus, it is an amazing houseplant for beginners. Its heart-shaped foliage leaves along with its trail of stems make it even more appealing to have in the home, possibly in every room!

Should I prune String of Hearts?

Yes, but not often. This plant is mostly loved due to its cascading vines. So there’s no need to prune string of hearts unless its necessary.

You will only need to prune it if starts to appear leggy during the spring and summer months, when its actively growing. You may need to prune the leaves and stems that appear dead to keep it in healthy condition, but other than that, there’s no need to prune it, unless the plant is too long for your liking.

If possible, avoid pruning during the dormant seasons of winter and autumn. Instead, do this during spring and summer, when the plant is at its growing peak. There will be a lesser chance of something going wrong during the process.

The process of pruning Ceropegia Woodii is so simple. You can use a pair of scissors but make sure to sterilize it first and in between cuttings to avoid any chances of diseases. All you have to do is cut off the vine where you would like it to end and then you’re done. You can even use the vines to grow a new String of Hearts plant if you wanted to by simply placing it in water until the roots start to grow.

Can you propagate String of Hearts?

Yes. And there are different ways of doing so. If you need several of these plants in your home, you can either buy another from online garden shops or at your favorite physical garden.

Do String of Hearts like Humidity

Alternatively, you can choose a more economical route of plant propagation. It is quite easy to propagate this plant. In this case, we’ll have a look at three different ways you can make this possible.

How do you propagate a String of Hearts?

Tuber Propagation

For this technique to work very well, preferably, you will need the largest tuber if possible, but if not, a fingernail size tuber will be just as fine. Tubers are the round looking beads that grow along the stem and may also be found on the base of the leaves.

  1. To start, find a tuber with a vine and put it in moist soil in another pot of its own with moist soil ready for the roots to develop. To help clarify, you’ll be placing two pots next to each other. Your original pot with the plant and the new pot where you want your plant to grow. The vine will be trailing along with the two pots.
  2. When the roots are about ½ long, then you can cut off the vine from the parent plant and separate the two pots from each other.  
  3. Alternatively, you can simply cut off the tuber with a vine from the parent plant and put it in moist soil. Ensure you place this in an area that receives bright light for a couple of weeks while watering and the roots will develop.

This is considered the most effective method compared to the next two.

Water Propagation

Water propagation is a popular and relatively simple means of propagating your plant. All you need is a vase, clean water, and sterilized scissors.

  1. To start, obtain a plant cutting that is a few inches in length using the sterilized scissors.
  2. You will then place it in the vase with water but remove any leaves before putting it in the water to avoid the leaves rotting as well as making sure there’s a node or two on the stem.
  3. Nodes are where the leaf and stem intersect. That’s where the roots will start to grow.
  4. Afterwards, wait a few weeks or so for the roots to develop.
  5. And don’t forget to position the vase in a warm area with bright light. This will stimulate the first root development. It helps to change the water on a weekly basis or when the water starts looking misty.
  6. Lastly, the development of the root depends on temperature and light conditions. So, when these conditions are right, it will take less than a few for roots to form.  

When the roots are about ½ an inch or so, you can transfer the Ceropegia Woodii plant into a planter with soil. Remember to water the soil once you finish repotting it.    

Soil Propagation

This process is similar to water propagation but instead of placing the cuttings in water, it’ll go straight into a pot with soil.  

  1. Obtain a good vine cutting from your plant using sterilized scissors.
  2. Ensure it has a node and a couple of leaves.
  3. To propagate it, get rid of the leaves from the node you are going to place in the soil.
  4. Afterwards, prepare moist soil and place the vine in it.
  5. Ensure the node fully submerges in the soil for roots to develop first.
  6. Lastly, to complete your process; place the plant at a spot that receives bright light. Maintain moist soil and the roots will form after several weeks.

This method is considered the easiest in my opinion.

How do you propagate a String of Hearts

Common Problems, Diseases, and Pests of String of Hearts

  • Insufficient lighting
    • This plant is very specific when it comes to light requirements. You need to place it in a spot that receives enough light but indirect light from the solar. So when you notice the foliage spacing further apart then you need to relocate your plant to a section that receives even more lighting.
  • Root clogging
    • This problem occurs as a result of overwatering. When it happens, your plant foliages will begin to turn yellow as a sign. Therefore it’s important to check the top inch of the soil before watering to avoid such kinds of problems. Also, since it’s a succulent plant, they are adopted to deal with dry condition rather than wet soil.
  • Root rotting
    • Root rot is a common disease among plants that are not adapted to grow in wet soil. And a string of heart plats being one of them also suffers from this disease when you overwater this plant. To protect your plant, use well-drained soil and only water the string of hearts when the top inch soil feels dry when you do the finger test.
  • Mealybugs
    • Mealybugs thrive well in a warm climate, the same type of climate that is of their natural habitat of Ceropegia Woodii. These bugs are literally insects but unarmored, with the majority of them being pests. Structurally, they are tiny and white. In most cases, you will notice them fly away when you are caring for your plants.
    • And just like aphids, they feed on foliage sap, diminishing the plant’s health while promoting wilting and leaf yellowing. It’s therefore important to get a relevant insecticide or pesticide and take care of them once and for all.
  • Scales
    • When it comes to scales, you will notice a very small shell-like collection of bumps on the plant’s foliage and stem. And just like their fellow pests, the mealybug and aphids, they also infest plants and feed on their sap. As a result, you will notice leaf yellowing, plant weakening, and leaf wilting.
    • So when these pests are left untreated, your plants may succumb to their attacks and just die out. It’s therefore extremely important to respond quickly to their attacks the moment you notice some of them. In this case, insecticides and pesticides are quick remedies to get rid of these pests.
  • Aphids
    • There are tons of varieties of aphids distributed all over the world, so when they infest your plant in low numbers, they are pretty harmless. However, the challenge kicks in when there is a heavy infestation.
    • In this case, the foliage will begin to lose color and become yellow, wilting, and curling. So when you notice these pests on your plant, quick response with insecticide or pesticide is essential.

FAQs of String of Hearts

What’s the sign to know whether I am watering properly or under-watering?

As mentioned earlier, this plant is a semi-succulent; this means it stores some of its water in the leaves. So when the leaves are looking fresh and healthy, then you are watering your plant well. However, when you notice soft and wilted leaves, then the plant must be suffering from the neglect of watering or drought.

Why is my string of heart plant not developing flowers?

This plant only blooms during springs or summer when the conditions are right. This means sufficient water, nutrients, and surrounding condition such as temperature and humidity. If these conditions are unavailable at your living space, then consider providing them.

However, don’t be tempted into providing more fertilizer for the plant is can burn it. You should, therefore, adhere to the rules and instructions provided by the houseplant fertilizer pack.

How will I know whether I am overwatering?

This plant is semi-succulent, thus, it does best in moist or relatively dry soil. Therefore, when you overwater, you will be making the soil wet, an unsuitable growing condition for this plant.

You will notice this when the plant leaves begin to turn yellow and dies off. When this happens, immediately drain the soil to prevent the eventual death of the plant.

How frequently should I fertilize my plant?

All indoor plants thrive well when they have access to organic fertilizer in the soil. That said, there is a need to fertilize the plant after a given period to enhance its growth rate. But to do this, it has to be during summer or winter when these plants are on their growth peak.

To fertilize, only do it once a month to avoid burning the plant. Ensure its organic houseplant and dilute it to half the strength before applying it to this plant. Before applying, ensure you have followed and understood the specific instruction provided by the fertilizer package.

How long does it take before repotting the plant?

During planting, we normally use a relatively bigger container to hold the plant and this is correct. However, with time, this plant becomes bigger and the roots can no longer be contained. As a result, there is a need to report the plant to enhance healthy root development.

That said, you can report small plants after 12  to 18 months. So while repotting choose a considerable-sized container. Bigger sizes often tend to hold more water and promote root rot. And this is not the same case with a considerable size that ensures uniform water distribution, absorption as well as drying.

NOTE: the best time to repot the plant is during their growing season, spring and summer, to avoid repotting problems.

But for those with larger plants then consider repotting after a year and a half to two months. In this case, the larger container allows for plant roots to move around freely as well as allowing the plant to grow tall and healthy.

But if you choose to retain the current the same plant size, all you have to do is get rid of the soil and replace it with a new and organic type. And that’s not all, you can trim the plant to give it a younger look.

Conclusion of String of Hearts

From the above information, I am sure you can now tell that string of heart plants is among the easiest to keep and care for indoor plants. By maintaining regular watering when the soil dries up, supply it with nutrients at least a month, and position it where it can receive indirect bright sunlight, your plant will perform best with no needs for more expense. It also helps tremendously to check on this plant (and every other plant) often to prevent common problems, diseases, and pests from appearing.

Additionally, it’s a great choice to add to your collection of delightful plants. With its long vines and foliage intervals, consider this plant in decorating high shelves in your living space or perhaps just have it on a tall plant stand.