The string of hearts, a wonderful trailing succulent (also known as Ceropegia woodii), is low maintenance, easy to take care of, and a plant that really grows on you. What’s more, it’s straightforward to propagate (and it grows fast), so you will be sharing these with your friends in no time.
The string of hearts is a really tolerant plant, too, so it’s a great plant for beginners. Non-toxic both to pets and humans, this one makes a wonderful gift too.
All the relevant info at a glance. Please read the whole article for more in-depth information about String of Hearts / Ceropegia woodii, caring for the plant, and how to keep it happy and thriving in your home.
Plant name: String of Hearts, Ceropegia woodii, Sweetheart Vine, Hearts Entangled, Chain of Hearts, Rosary Plant
Native to: South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe
Light: moderate sunlight, bright indirect sunlight
Care: watering when soil is dry, warm temperatures
Common Problems: root rot, mealybug
Toxicity: Considered Non-Toxic to Humans and Pets (read more here)
How To Care For String of Hearts Plant
- Bringing the plant home
- Light conditions
- Toxicity Information
- Pests and other common issues
Ceropegia woodii Care
Watering sparingly keeps this plant happy; it will be happier in dry soil than if you leave it to sit in water (which will cause problems).
It does well in indirect sunlight but will tolerate other conditions too.
Bringing the Plant Home
When you bring your string of hearts home, the first thing you will need to do is to untangle it. If you notice the plant was damaged and a string is loose, do not throw it away! You got your chance to propagate your chain of hearts on day one (exciting!). We talk more about it in how to propagate sting of hearts section.
If you are hanging your plant away from others, you can showcase your new family member. If you will have your string of hearts close to other plants, it is recommended to put your chain of hearts in quarantine (a week or two). To make sure you have not brought any uninvited guests to your home with your new plant.
Generally, there should not be any issues with your new plant adapting to its new environment, so you can soon expect to see new (and rapid) growth.
Light – Where to Place Your Chain of HeartsPlant?
The string of hearts will grow fastest in bright places with a small amount of direct sunlight. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight at all times at this could burn the leaves.
It will do well in bright areas with indirect sunlight too.
Depending on the amount of sunlight it receives, its leaves will be colored differently. More light will make the leaves darker green and will keep them variegated.
How often should you water your string of hearts plant?
The string of hearts doesn’t need frequent watering. In fact, you can do more harm with over-watering than forgetting to water here and there.
These plants naturally grow in a harsher environment, so they are pretty drought resistant. They do a great job at storing water.
Check the soil regularly and give your string of hearts a good watering when the soil is dry.
What kind of water should you use to water this plant?
Rainwater is great. Bottled water, obviously not an ideal solution, is fine too. If you are using tap water, let it sit overnight to dechlorinate. Water heavy on minerals? Use a water filter to get rid of those.
This plant does not require a lot of humidity to thrive. No extra measures to ensure higher air humidity are necessary.
If you have high humidity in the room the plant is in; you might need to water it less frequently.
Cleaning / Plant Maintenance
How do you clean the string of hearts plant? You mostly don’t. They aren’t as good at catching dust as leafy plants, so you won’t see it collecting on these plants. Also, the leaves on this plant are pretty delicate, so you could damage them if you opt for cleaning.
If you absolutely need to clean a part of the plant, we recommend using a cotton swab and gently removing dirt/dust/other things that you wish removed from the leaves.
Do you need to fertilize the Chain of Hearts plant?
Adding fertilizer during the growing season will help your plant grow better. The growing season starts in spring and goes through summer. Add fertilizer in spring (liquid fertilizer is great) – add it according to the fertilizer instructions. We use regular houseplant fertilizer.
You can repot the plant every 2-3 years. Spring is optimal for repotting.
A string of hearts is succulent, so a succulent or cactus mix soil (you can usually buy these mixes already prepared) will work out best.
String of Hearts Propagation
These are insanely fun to propagate and share with friends. There are more than one ways to propagate, so choose whatever method is most convenient.
- propagating cuttings in water
- propagating cuttings in soil (wonderful for making the mother plant fuller)
- tuber propagation
- propagating in sphagnum moss
Ceropegia woodii is considered nontoxic to humans, cats, and dogs (source); however, it’s a plant that will likely get the attention of your cat. Even if it’s considered non-toxic, ingestion of larger amounts of any plant can be harmful.
* There have been no negative health issues reported with this plant. Keep in mid toxicity information on plants can change. This is something that is best talked about with your veterinarian. Even with non toxic plants, nibbling plants should be avoided and keeping plants away from pets, especially if they like to eat them, is best.
Common String of Hearts Problems and Pests
This is a sturdy plant that doesn’t have a lot of problems. It is not prone to pests nor diseases. This makes it a great beginner plant.
As far as plant pests go, mealybugs can be an issue.
Why is my string of hearts loosing color / patterns on leaves?
This is an issue mostly seen with variegated versions, and a lack of light causes it. While this won’t harm the plant, its visuals will be impaired.
If you notice the leaves starting yellowing on your string of hearts plant, the cause can be root rot. Inspect the tuber