How to grow and care for String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia woodii) Indoors


String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia woodii) also called Rosary Vine, Chinese Lantern or Chain of Hearts is an unusual succulent which is ideal for a hanging basket.

Ceropegia woodii is easy to grow but the heart-shaped leaves are sparsely spaced and the tubular flowers are insignificant.

Chain of Hearts Plant bears trailing stems and fleshy grey-green leaves with an eye-catching marbled pattern which make it ideal for a hanging basket.

String of Hearts Plant, Ceropegia woodii

Botanical name: Ceropegia woodii
Family: Apocynaceae
Common names: String of Hearts Plant, Rosary Vine, Chinese Lantern, Chain of Hearts

Origin

Ceropegia woodii is native to southern Africa where it is found hanging on rocks.

Size

Rosary Vine purple-colored, thin stems can grow to 3 ft. long and they easily tangle. The plant is ideal for a hanging basket.

Flower

Chinese Lantern flowers are about 1 in. long and they have a bulbous base which forms into enclosed beads which gives this plant one of its common name "Rosary Vine".

Toxicity

String of Hearts Plant is not known to be toxic to humans or pets. The plant is safe to grow in the home.

Where to Buy

If you are looking to add this beauty to your collection, they are available online on Etsy.

String of Hearts Plant Care Indoors

String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia woodii) requires bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight, average warmth and moderately moist, rich, well-drained soil coupled with monthly feeding during the growing season.

Ceropegia woodii requires pruning to keep it neat, to discorage pest and disease infestations and to encourage a compact growth.

Repotting is only needed when it becomes pot-bound. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.

String of Hearts Plant, Ceropegia woodii

Watering

Water Ceropegia woodii liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2-3 in. of soil to dry out between waterings to maintain the soil moderately moist.

Significantly reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil barely moist as growth is minimal at this time but do not let the soil dry out completely.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole inorder to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the plant. Learn more on how to water houseplants the right way.

Light Requirements

String of Hearts Plant grows best in bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight. A brightly lit or sunny window is ideal for this plant.

Keep the Chain of Hearts Plant away from direct sunshine as it can lead to scorching of the leaves.

Regularly rotate the pot to ensure that the plant gets adequate light on all sides for even growth.

Where the natural lighting is not sufficient, the Rosary Vine can be grown under a grow light to supplement it. Take a look at these full spectrum grow lights on Amazon.

To keep or make the String of Hearts Plant fuller, ensure that it receives bright, indirect light at all times. If it does not get enough light, it will become leggy with wide spaces between the leaf nodes.

Temperature and Humidity

Average warmth between 16-250C is ideal for String of Hearts Plant. Keep it away from cold drafts as they can cause yellowing, leaf drop and brown leaf tips and edges.

Average room humidity is adequate for String of Hearts Plant. It has no need for high humidity.

Potting Soil

The best soil for String of Hearts Plant should be rich in organic matter, loose and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy soil.

The soil should be loose enough to allow water to drain out fast enough. Most Cactus and Succulents soils are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Cactus and Succulents Soil from Amazon.

Fertilizer

Feed String of Hearts Plant with a balanced, liquid fertilizer monthly during the growing period for a lush growth.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn and death of the plant.

Repotting

Repot Ceropegia woodii at the beginning of the growing season only when it becomes pot-bound. Take care not to damage the fragile stems.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one. Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting. Check out these succulents pots available on Amazon.

A shallow rather than deep pot is preferable as the Chain of Hearts plant has a small root system.

Pruning

Pruning String of Hearts Plant involves regular removal of dead foliage to maintain the plant neat and tidy as well as reduce pest and disease infestations.

To encourage a bushy compact growth and to control growth, regularly pinch off the growing tips.

Plant the Chain of Hearts Plant tips in the pot to fill up the empty spaces for a fuller plant or use them to propagate new plants.

Propagation

String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia woodii) can be propagated from leaf or stem cuttings.

How to Propagate String of Hearts Plant from leaf cuttings

String of Hearts Plant leaf cuttings root easily therefore, there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take leaf cuttings from a healthy plant while ensuring each leaf cutting has a petiole.

Allow sometime for the formation of a protective callus tissue over the cuts.

Insert the leaf petiole in moist, free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit place until growth begins at the base of the petiole.

Allow for substantial growth of the roots and new leaves on the leaf cutting.

Transfer the new plants to individual pots and place in a warm, well-lit place. For a fuller plant, transfer several cuttings into one pot.

Maintain the soil moist until the new Ceropegia woodii are well established after which routine care can begin.

How to Propagate String of Hearts Plant from stem cuttings

String of Hearts Plant stem cuttings root easily and there is no need for a rooting hormone.

Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy String of Hearts Plant and ensure each cutting has at least 2 sets of leaves.

Lay the cuttings on moist rooting soil and place in warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight. For a fuller Rosary Vine, plant several cuttings in one pot.

Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed after which you can begin routine care.

String of Hearts Plant, String of Hearts, Ceropegia woodii

String of Hearts Plant Common Problems

String of Hearts Plant (Ceropegia woodii) common growing problems include leaf drop, yellowing leaves, brown tips and edges, pests and diseases among others. Keep reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.

Pests

Common pests in String of Hearts Plants are Spider Mites, Aphids and Scale Insects. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other plants and treat it with appropriate products like neem oil and insecticidal soap among others.

Leaf drop (dropping leaves)

String of Hearts Plant may drop its beautiful heart-shaped leaves if the correct growing conditions are not provided.

Leaf drop in String of Hearts Plant may be due to improper watering, too little light, wrong temperature, poor feeding among others. Here are 11 Causes of String of Hearts Plant Dropping Leaves & How to Fix Them.

Yellow leaves

Yellow leaves in String of Hearts Plant is caused by various reasons which are related to incorrect growing conditions.

String of Hearts Plant leaves may turn yellow due to improper watering, wrong temperature, pests and diseases among others. Check out these 11 Causes of String of Hearts Plant Yellow Leaves & their Remedies.

Wilted and discolored leaves

Wilted and discolored leaves with corky (scabs) on the underside in String of Hearts Plant are an indication of root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.

The disease is characterized by wilted, discolored leaves, corky swellings under the leaves, yellow and dropping leaves and eventual death of the plant.

Take the String of Hearts Plant out of its pot and inspect the roots. Brown-black mushy roots indicate root-rot, trim them off and treat the healthy roots with a copper-based fungicidal solution.

Disinfect the pot with the fungicidal solution or use a fresh pot to repot the String of Hearts Plant in fresh, free-draining soil. Keep the plant dry for some time before resuming watering.

Always use a pot that has a drainage hole and soil that is well-drained to prevent it from getting soggy in the future.

Lessen watering for the String of Hearts Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time, therefore, the plant does not require much water.

Brown leaf tips and edges

Brown leaf tips and edges in String of Hearts Plant are due to sudden drop in temperature from cold draughts.

Remove all the damaged leaves and keep the plant away from cold draughts like windy doors and windows, air conditioning units.

Leaf spot disease

String of Hearts Plant is also prone to leaf spot disease which is prevalent in overwet growing conditions and is characterized by brown, moist spots on the foliage.

In a serious attack the spots can enlarge and merge, killing the whole leaf. The disease is caused by various bacteria and fungi.

Remove and burn the affected parts to reduce the risk of spread to the rest of the plants.

Spray the affected plant with a systemic fungicide and that ensure all the parts are completely covered with the fungicidal solution.

Dull and lifeless leaves

Exposing String of Hearts Plant to hot direct sunlight will cause the leaves to become dull and lifeless. Shield the plant from hot direct sunlight or move it to a more shaded spot.

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