String of Hearts Care Guide: How to Help This Gorgeous Plant Thrive

The String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a beautiful trailing houseplant that’s perfect for adding some color and life to your home. But if you’re like most people, you have no idea how to take care of it properly.

Luckily, String of hearts is an easy going plant that will thrive in your home, and look great doing it!

Follow this string of hearts care guide to grow a healthy, happy plant. Your friends will think you’re a gardening expert when they see how beautiful your string of hearts looks!

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What is the String of Hearts and Why Do You Need One

The String of Hearts is a beautiful little plant with gorgeously patterned heart shaped leaves. It trails and tangles it’s delicate-looking vines and hearts in a curtain.

In short, it’s super pretty. Especially the variegated version!

small variegated string of hearts plant in red plastic pot

It’s also very easy to care for – it’s a type of succulent plant native to South Africa. In fact, if you choose a good position for it where it gets enough light, you’ll just need to remember to water it occasionally.

Where to buy a String of Hearts plant?

There are many places you can go to get your String of Hearts, but if you can’t find one at your local nursery, the easiest way to find it is by looking on Amazon or Etsy.

===Amazon==> Amazon usually has a lot of different options that are all well priced and come with free shipping in most cases. String of Hearts seems to be a little hard to find on their site, however, here is one listing you could check out. Don’t forget to check out customer reviews before buying!

===Etsy==> Another place where you can buy string of hearts plants is through Etsy’s marketplace. They offer more variety than Amazon, and may come at a slightly higher price. Check out this listing!

Make sure you check the individual seller reviews before making your purchase! It can be difficult to ship live plants, so make sure the vendor knows what they’re doing!

String of Hearts in Brief

Common Names – String of Hearts, Chain of Hearts plant, Rosary Vine, Hearts entangled, Collar of Hearts, Sweetheart Vine
Plant Type – Trailing, succulent-like vine
Size – can grow trailing vines to 3 feet (1 metre)
Lighting – bright, indirect light
Temperature – prefer warm temperatures, 60-80F (18-26C), USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 to 12.
Humidity – low to average
Watering – every 1-2 weeks or as needed, make sure soil dries out between waterings. If the leaves start to wilt, you waited too long (it needs water)
Soil – good drainage essential, use potting mix with 1/3 coarse sand or succulent potting mix.
Growth – fast growing during Spring and Summer, dormant during Autumn and Winter
Fertilizer – monthly during growing season
Propagation – easily propagated by cuttings, seed or via small tubers that form between the leaves. Tubers form roots when touching the surface of the soil. Learn more about How to Propagate String of Hearts here.
Varieties and Similar Plants – String of Spades, Variegated String of Hearts, String of Pearls, String of Tears, String of Dolphins, String of Turtles

How to Care for a String of Hearts Plant

String of Hearts are a fairly hardy plant, but that doesn’t mean they can tolerate total neglect! The more you know about String of Hearts, the happier your plant will be. Here are some helpful tips and tricks about String of Hearts care.

How to Grow String of Hearts in a Pot

If you want to grow the beautiful String of Hearts plant indoors, you’ll need to find the right pot for it.

The ideal pot for String of Hearts is a terracotta pot with drainage holes as this will stop the plant going soggy and succumbing to root rot.

As a semi succulent, the String of Hearts needs good drainage and prefers succulent soil mix – you should also make sure to let it have dry soil at least some of the time as it definitely won’t tolerate excess water and moist soil.

Best Lighting for String of Hearts

young string of hearts in terracotta pot on a windowsill

The String of Hearts grows best in bright indirect light. Indoors this can be achieved by placing your String of Hearts plant near a window with the sun coming in through it, but not directly on the plant.

Outdoors, String of Hearts may be able grow in full sun, so long as you acclimate it first.

How can you tell if your String of Hearts is getting enough light?

  • are the leaves light green or dark green?
  • are the leaf markings light or vibrant?
  • are the leaves close together or are there long portions of vine without leaves?

Your string of hearts is getting enough light if:

The leaves on the vine are dark green and well marked.

There is a smaller amount of space without leaves on the plant. If your plant seems sparsely leafed, this is a sign it might need a bit more light.

What Temperature Does My String of Hearts Plant Prefer?

The ideal temperature for your String of Hearts plant is warm days (60-80F/18C-26C) and are perfect for USDA Hardiness Zones: 9 to 12. This plant will struggle in temperatures under 50F/10C.

How Often Should I Water My String of Hearts?

The String of Hearts doesn’t need to be watered often! This plant is a semi succulent, and like succulents, it stores water in its leaves.

To keep your String of Hearts healthy and happy, only water it when the soil is dry 1/3 to 2/3 down the pot.

You’ll know your String of Hearts needs to be watered if:

  • The leaves are soft, or wilted and can easily be folded (sometimes called the ‘taco test’).
  • You can see the soil has dried out and cracked on top.
  • If you poke your finger into the soil, it’s dry.

How to Propagate String of Hearts Plant

If you’d like to propagate your String of Hearts plant, you’re in luck! It’s known for being prolific. There are three easy ways you can do it:

  1. By stem cuttings
  2. By tubers
  3. By seed

To Propagate String of Hearts By Cutting:

Choose a mature vine with healthy looking, plump leaves.

Using clean scissors, cut the vine around half an inch (1 cm) above a leaf or a tuber.

Remove the last set of leaves and allow the wound to dry for a day.

Make a small hole in potting mix and plant the cutting in the soil close to the next leaf on the vine.

Position in bright, indirect sunlight and water when the potting mix starts to dry out. New growth at the roots should take about a month to form.

Note: You can propagate a single vine cutting or take multiple cuttings from the mother plant for a fuller new plant. If your plant has longer vines, you can divide them when making cuttings. Just make sure each cutting has several mature leaves to sustain it!

The String of Hearts plant I bought yesterday is only two vines and last week I saw several for sale that were just one vine!

To Propagate String of Hearts By Tubers

string of hearts flower on vine of hanging string of hearts plant

Once the plant has flowered, tubers will form on the vines. If these tubers touch soil, roots will begin to form and a new plant will grow.

The best way to propagate by tuber is to simply place a new pot next to the mother plant and press a tuber from one of the vines into the soil. You don’t need to worry about cutting the vine until the baby plant has established its roots.

To Propagate String of Hearts By Seed

Growing String of Heart plants from seed is a slow process, but it can be done.

To grow it from seed, after flowering, wait until the seed pods harden up and start opening. The best way to make sure you catch all the seeds (and they don’t blow away), is to cover the seed pods with a small breathable bag. String of Hearts seeds have a little fluff attachment to help them ride the wind to a new location.

Plant seeds in seedling potting mix during the growing season (Spring – Summer). Don’t try to plant the seeds in Autumn or Winter months as this is when the plant is usually dormant.

How to Grow a Fuller String of Hearts

If your String of Hearts plant is looking a little bare on top, what can you do to get a luscious full and bushy top?

The key with this type of plant is actually really simple (it also works for other ‘String of’ plants too!) All you need to do is choose one of more vines and coil them in the top of the pot. The tubers that grow at the base of each leaf will take root and you’ll be rewarded with fullness on top and lots more beautiful trailing vines!

How to Display Your String of Hearts

string of hearts in planter basket trailing down from a coffee table

String of Hearts look great when they’re full and cascading gracefully over the side of a hanging planter or plant stand. This plant is so pretty, it suits all kinds of planters, pots and settings.

Here are just a few we like:

  • in a planter like this one for your desk – or this one.
  • in a hanging basket in a window
  • in a hanging basket under a tree in dappled shade
  • on a plant stand
  • in a planter basket on a coffee table or your mantlepiece
  • in a pot on a windowsill

How are you going to display your String of Hearts? I’ve got mine in a cube terracotta pot on my desk… but I may move it to a sunny spot in my bathroom later!

How to Keep a String of Hearts in a Terrarium

Can you keep a String of Hearts in a terrarium?

Yes, but only in an open, dry terrarium. This plant won’t survive in a closed terrarium.

Terrariums tend to be best for tropical plants that love humidity – not semi succulents like String of Hearts that like low to average humidity and to dry out between waterings.

In order to keep a mature String of Hearts alive in a successful terrarium, you need to make sure that:

  • the terrarium is open for good air flow, heat and humidity regulation.
  • you’ve planted it with other plants with similar needs.
  • the terrarium is protected from direct sun, as direct sun can cause the inside of the glass to heat up.
  • you’ve planted the String of Hearts in well draining soil.

A String of Hearts would look great in a large terrarium planted high above the soil (perhaps in the cleft between two large rocks?) with its vines spilling down over the rock face.

Common Problems With String of Hearts

The String of Hearts is a very easygoing plant, however, there are two common problems you might find with it:

Signs of Overwatering String of Hearts

If you’re used to thirsty houseplants, it might feel weird NOT watering the String of Hearts frequently.

But, for this plant, the rule of thumb is ‘if in doubt, don’t.’

How to tell if you’ve overwatered your String of Hearts:

  • the leaves are turning yellow
  • the soil is damp and mushy
  • root rot is setting in

If you’ve got any of these signs, how can you save your plant?

You can try repotting it:

  • remove your plant from the wet soil and allow the roots to air dry for a few hours.
  • fill a pot with drainage holes with new potting mix
  • replant the String of Hearts in the new pot and leave it.
  • only water it when it appears to need it

Alternatively, you can make cuttings and replant those.

Mealybugs on String of Hearts

Like most indoor plants, the String of Hearts is susceptible to mealybug infestation. Mealybugs look like white cottony masses on your plant’s leaves or stems. They feed on your plant, kinda like a mosquito, but for plants. If you’ve got a big infestation it can jeopardise your plant’s health.

How do you know if you’ve got mealybugs?

If you’ve never had mealybugs before, you might not know where and what to look for:

  • Look at the underside of leaves, and on the stems of your plant
  • Check for cottony looking eggs and small white masses

What to do if you’ve found mealybugs?

If you’ve got mild infestation, you can wipe them off with a damp cloth or use a q-tip and rubbing alcohol.

If you’ve got more than a few, try an insecticidal soap or neem oil.

FAQ on String of Hearts

Does the String of Hearts Flower?

Yes, this plant flowers during summer and somewhat sporadically at other times. It has distinctive, tubular blooms that are a pretty purple color.

string of hearts flower on vine of hanging string of hearts plant

Why are my plants leaves yellowing?

Yellowing leaves is a sign that your plant is either getting too much water or it’s too cold for it’s taste.

Check the soil for dampness level – if it’s wet, hold off on watering it for a while. If the soil is really wet, you can try repotting it to save the plant.

If the soil is dry, move the plant to a warmer location indoors.

Why are my String of Heart’s leaves turning light green?

For a true, deep, vibrant coloring, the String of Heart’s requires adequate lighting. The leaves turning light green means that the plant is not getting sufficient sun. You may also notice that your vines are growing with sparse leaves.

The Final Word on String of Hearts Care

The String of Hearts plant is a beautiful trailing houseplant. It is easy to care for and propagate, if you provide the right conditions it will thrive and bring you joy. We hope this post has given you some new insight into how to care for your own String of Heart plants or that we have inspired you to purchase one!