Beautiful Easter Cactus – Hatiora Gaertneri

Easter cactus which is also known as spring cactus is related to Christmas cactus. It is a species of the epiphytic plant in the Rhipsalidiae tribe, which is within the subfamily, Cactaceae. It is named so since it blossoms during the Easter holidays in the northern hemisphere. The beautiful succulent makes a lovely houseplant. Hatiora Gaertneri grows on trees or rocks only. When growing, it requires a regular amount of water for it to survive.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus @brcuyanikvolkan

How to grow Hatiora Gaertneri

As a newbie gardener, you may wonder where to start for you to have this wonderful plant in your garden. Below are the guidelines on what to do and the conditions required to grow Hatiora Gaertneri.

Light

Hatiora Gaertneri does well in bright natural light. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight as this will burn the fleshy leaves of a spring cactus. When growing them outdoors, ensure they are under a bright shade. On the contrary, you can opt to grow them indoors and let the light penetrate through the open windows.

Water

Despite being in the cactus family, they differ from the desert cactus. They are epiphytic cacti, growing on other plants and rocks, not in soil. This gives them the need to breathe. Water your plant with plenty of water and let it drain thoroughly out of the pot. Before another watering session, make sure the plant has gone dry to avoid the roots rotting out due to constantly moist. The watering process is exercised until the plant blooms. At this particular period of blooming, water your plant more often since you don’t want it to go completely dry at this time.

Soil

Hatiora Gaertneri requires rocky soil to grow well due to its nature of growth being on trees and rocks. You will need a mixture of soil to tree bark, perlite, or pumice in the ratio of 1:1. The use of pumice is the best. This soil should be neutral and well-drained.

Temperature

Hatiora Gaertneri is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They do best in warmer temperatures. Ensure that you keep them away from any heaters and any cold drafts. To set the plants blooms, ensure the evening temperature is cool. This could be between 45-55 degrees. If you are in template climates, growing them outdoors is advisable.

Humidity

The Easter cactus requires a humid environment for it to survive. To stimulate the needed moisture, mist the plant daily with a sprayer, even during the resting period. Alternatively, you can place the plant on a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. The air around the plant will be moistened through evaporation.

Fertilizing

Hatiora Gaertneri requires fertilization, preferably every 14 days. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength. Do not fertilize the plant during the resting period. You can also top-dress the plant with an organic granular fertilizer. They always respond with abundant growth during summertime when fed regularly despite them being moderate feeders.

Propagation

Propagate any segment that is at least 3 inches long. This is done in late spring. Allow the cut surface to dry before being placed in slightly moist soil.

Repotting

Once the flowering has finished, you can repot your plants. It is always important to use a well-drained potting mix with good air porosity preferably the ones used for any succulent or cactus.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Cacti Family @jana_hylocereus

Getting the Hatiora Gaertneri to bloom

Having followed and maintained the points above, you should have a healthy green cactus. For you to accomplish flowers, you will be required to have a special set of conditions. The first thing to do is to stop feeding them. Secondly, move the plant to a place where it will have 12-14 hours of darkness. Ensure the temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius for the best bud set. Thirdly, water the plant sparingly from October to November. By the time it hits December, moves the plant to somewhere warmer with 16-18 degrees Celsius range. The plant will be ready to flower from February to March.

Challenges faced when growing Hatiora Gaertneri

Despite having followed the procedures for its growth, they are met by some challenges, one of being infested by insects.  Scale and mealybugs are the common insects that attack this plant. It usually occurs if the plant is indoors. To curb this, you can wipe the stems down with some alcohol. This will remove the insects and the honeydew they excrete- which can attract fungal spores and the dust that has accumulated. 

If the infestation becomes severe, take your plant outdoor and use insecticide made for succulent plants to treat it. Always follow the directions on the package for application.

Another great problem with this Easter cactus is the root and stem rot caused by a wet, heavy potting mix. To avoid this, you can use the special cactus soil available for use with succulents and cactus. Consider growing your plant in a clay pot which will provide a quicker dry down of the potting mix and better soil aeration. Also, the Easter cactus will fail to flower in the following year, if it is fertilized in the 30 days following blooming.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Hatiora Gaertneri @leaf_as_we_know_it

The next time you are interested in adding some springtime color to your home, be guaranteed to witness it by having this plant in your garden or in that corner of your house. It is easy to grow and brings that bliss in your home. Make your next Easter colorful with Hatiora Gaertneri.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! 🌵

The Lovely String of Hearts Succulent – Ceropegia Woodii

There is no denying that succulents are heaven-sent beauties to us, the plant lovers. These living jewels are hardy, making them a breeze to grow.

But that’s not all.

Perhaps their biggest strong point is the huge assortment they bring to the table (or to the pots). With over 10,000 known types of succulents, they sure give everyone a taste for their preference. Be it the colors, shapes, sizes – name it. What more could you ask for?

Speaking of variety, string of hearts is just one of these gems that is courting some serious attention out there. This is why it’s only natural to have a closer look at it.

And so we begin…

The Lovely String of Hearts Succulent – Ceropegia Woodii
Ceropegia Woodii @littleandlush

Ceropegia Woodii

The lovely string of hearts is known as Ceropegia woodii in botanical circles. As you would have guessed, it belongs to the genus Ceropegia which is under the Apocynaceae family. It is a close relative of Ceropegia linearis so it isn’t exactly unusual to find it classified as subspecies of the latter plant.

Aside from a string of hearts, other oft-used common names include

  • Sweetheart vine
  • Collar of hearts
  • Hearts-on-a-string
  • Chain of hearts
  • Rosary vine

These names are based on the heart-shaped leaves. The hearty beauty is endemic to the southern parts of Africa, growing in the wilds of Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Ceropegia woodii is a trailer, with the vine attaining a height of close to 4 inches. From there, it spreads to as far as 2 meters on the lower end to 4 meters maximum. The leaves (remember their shape?) take on a shade of green depending on the amount of light available. Under sufficient light exposure, they are deep green and turn pale in low light conditions. You’ll do the sweetheart vine good growing it in a hanging basket.

The string of hearts completes its charm with a multi-colored flower having a mix of white, purple and magenta.

Just how good of a plant is this succulent? Taking into account its Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, it is a safe bet to place it among the best.

Why is the strings of hearts so popular?

  • Requires little water to grow
  • You don’t need a huge pot to grow it as the better part of is out there hanging
  • Can thrive outdoors and indoors
  • Completely harmless to pets and humans
  • More options for propagation – via tubers and stems (more details a few paces down)
The Lovely String of Hearts Succulent – Ceropegia Woodii
String of Hearts in a planter @melissamlo

How to take care of string of hearts succulent

The adage about succulents still holds for the string of hearts – can still thrive in the face of occasional neglect. Simply put – easy to care.

Too busy to be watching over your plant every day? Or maybe you’re just getting started with growing houseplants? Either way, the string of hearts should be a top priority for you.

That said here are the conditions this succulent will need for it to show off its real beauty.

Lighting for string of hearts

The string of hearts loves light, plenty of it. So be sure to have it as exposed as possible.

But that doesn’t mean leaving it to battle with direct sun rays. That’s a sure way of killing it. Always ensure it is sheltered when grown outdoors. Inside the house, make a point of placing it near the brightest west or south-facing window.

As mentioned above, the leaves will let you know if your plant is not receiving enough light – pale leaves. Additionally, the said leaves will be more apart.

Thinking of using a grow light for your succulent? Check out “Are Grow Lights Bad for My Succulents” to see if using grow lights is bad or not for your succulents.

Ideal climate for string of hearts

Ceropegia woodii can thrive outdoors only in tropical and subtropical areas. Even then, the temperatures should always be above 150 C. So remember to bring it in during the very cold winter months.

Room temperature is enough for the string of hearts to thrive indoors so there isn’t much to worry about on that front.

For more on taking care of your succulents during the winter season…check out “How To Care For Indoor Succulents During The Winter“.

Watering the string of hearts succulent

Just as with any succulent, the string of hearts doesn’t need gallons of water. Remember the golden rule – only water when the soil is completely dry. While at it, see to it that the potting medium is soaked.

This applies during the growing seasons of the plant; that is spring and early fall. In winter, when the string of hearts is dormant for a larger part, moistening the soil when it dries out will serve the plant just right. Anything beyond this is inviting trouble in the form of root rot.

Be sure to also take a look at “5 Dangers Of Overwatering A Cactus” to see the limits on watering your succulents.

Best soil for growing string of hearts

Be sure to give your Ceropegia woodii a well-drained soil mix. A clogged potting mix is a sure way of losing your plant to rot.

You can purchase a succulent/cactus potting mix to use. Alternatively, you can make your own ideal mix real quick. All you need is regular potting soil, coarse sand and pumice/perlite. Throw their measured quantities in a container and you’ll be set in no time.

Also need some tips on which fertilizer is best for your succulents? Check out “5 Safest Fertilizers For Your Succulents” for more info.

The Lovely String of Hearts Succulent – Ceropegia Woodii
A person holding string of hearts succulent @stayathomeplantmom

Propagation

As indicated above, string of hearts has two main propagation avenues – tubers and stems.

Propagation by tubers

A glowing Ceropegia woodii plant bears small white tubers on the stems. All you need to do is pluck off these white structures and set them up in a fresh potting mix – a well-draining one at that.

Just place your tubers of choice on top of the soil, keep it moist and shield your set up away from direct sunlight (but it should still get enough light). You should see new development in no time – after a few days, that is.

Check out also our full guide “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for all things propagating.

Propagation by stem cuttings

This is more like using tubers above only that you’re going with stems in this case. So a well-draining potting mix and shelter from direct sunlight still hold.

Cut up the stem into sizeable portions and stick them into your potting mix. Supply the buried cuttings with water every once a week as you wait for your babies to come out.

Another preferred way of using stems for propagation is using water instead of soil. Follow the same procedure of obtaining your cuttings and place them in a vase containing water. Wait for a few days for the cuttings to root before moving them to a potting mix.

Check out “7 Mini Garden Hand Tools For Your Succulents” for our full listing of garden tools you’ll need when propagating and repotting your plants.

Repotting string of hearts

You should repot a string of hearts succulent every 1-2 years. Your pot of choice should be slightly larger than the plant to allow for better growth.

You should dive into the whole process during the plant’s growing season – summer and spring. While at it, be sure to cut off any dry or sickly roots so that your plant starts in the new pot with a bang.

You’ll have to cut back on the watering a little bit to allow the plant to settle in better. Too much water before the roots have caught on may end up inviting rot.

Check out “How to Repot a Cactus Plant” for our full guide to repotting succulents.

String of hearts pests and problems

Pests

The pests likely to attack your Ceropegia woodii are aphids, mealybugs, and scale. Keep your plant under close surveillance to pick up any sign of these pesky little things.

Usually, you can blow them away with a jet of water and be done with them. But if this doesn’t produce the desired results, a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water will come in handy.

Pale leaves

Pale green leaves are an indication of insufficient light. If you notice this, move your plant to a bright spot well-sheltered from direct sun rays.

Root rot

This comes about due to your plant having to bear with prolonged periods of wetness – due to heavy-handed watering or slow-draining potting mix. Droopy leaves without any visible signs of a disease or pests can point to a possibility of root rot.

Check the roots to ascertain this. Depending on the extent of the rot, you might have to start all over again with propagation from stem cuttings.

Ceropegia woodii toxicity

The good thing is the string of hearts is devoid of any poisonous juice or secretions. It is, therefore, a safe bet to have it around even if you have a couple of pets or kids (or both).

The Lovely String of Hearts Succulent – Ceropegia Woodii
Hanging String of Hearts @urbanjungling

Thank you for reading! Do you own a string of hearts succulent? Share a picture of it with us in the comments below! Make sure you go check out related articles to keep your succulent interests nice and high with “How To Crochet A String Of Pearls” or even “Super Interesting Fuzzy Succulents You Have To See“.

Enjoyed learning about the lovely string of hearts succulent? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

Super Cute Bunny Succulents For Your Garden

Have you heard about Kawaii, the ‘cute item’ that went viral on Japanese Instagram about two years ago? Or maybe you have come across the endearing Easter themed, succulent centerpieces that Martha Stewart caused a rage with, alongside a spring-inspired floral arrangement. They are completely adorable, easy to look after, and can make a fascinating addition to your garden.

Super Cute Bunny Succulents For Your Garden
The Monilaria obconica is a delightful deciduous succulent @canalacultura

Potted Bunnies Are the New Craze

The Monilaria obconica is a delightful deciduous succulent that looks like bunny ears popping out of a pot. This seasonal plant is indigenously found in the Vanrhynsdorp and Vredendal districts of Western Cape in South Africa. The succulent has a fat stem that pops out of the ground resembling a ginger root with two types of leaves growing from the tip of the stem.

Thanks to its appearance like the furry ears of a rabbit, this succulent has earned the names Bunny Succulent, Bunny Ear Succulent, String of Pearls, Beaded Vygie, Bearded Ice Plant, and is natively known in Afrikaans as Knopiesvygie.

A Scientifically Special Succulent

The Bunny Succulent is a unique plant because it is a heterophyllous plant, meaning that it can grow more than one type of leaf on the same plant. It has a caudex form, bearing a swollen, above-ground trunk.

From the top of the root, the first set of leaves begins to form. These are usually tightly packed together and look like they have been symmetrically cut in half by a divine force. These first leaves are generally about 10 mm in diameter. They grow wholly fused and are covered by a sclerotic brown sheath.

As the plant grows older, the second set of leaves start to appear. These leaves are long and cylindrical, measuring about 10 to 15 cm long and 3.5 mm in diameter. They begin to sprout together at the base then spread out into two distinct leaves, taking the shape of bunny ears. These leaves are covered in small, crystalline cells that give them a furry look. These cells are specialized storage cells that are rich in sugars, helping the plant retain moisture for long periods.

Check out our article to “Best Gardening Tools for Succulents” for our guide to best tools for your succulent growing needs.

A Seasonal Deciduous Species

The Bunny Succulent mostly remains dormant during summer while its growth season starts in winter, between September to March. While the plant is in the resting period (dormant months), the plant may appear dead, but that is only because the segmented branches make the plant look like it has dried out.

During the spring, the Monilaria obconica produces white, rose-like flowers growing on solitary white, long stalks. These stalks grow to 35 to 40 mm in diameter, while the flowers carry filaments that may be white, purple, yellow, or orange.

This winter grower has its bunny ears maturing to a length of 8 inches (20 cm), and after a few months, the ears begin to give off a red hue, especially under the sun and curl under their weight giving the appearance of Bugs Bunny ears.

Don’t miss out on “How To Care For Indoor Succulents During The Winter” to see how to take care of all your succulents during the cold season.

Start Sprouting Your Very Own Bunnies

The Bunny Succulent can reproduce by cuttings or seeds. When propagating from a cutting, ensure that you are getting your cutting from a mature mother plant. The cutting should have one or more branches and should include a bit of the root. These succulents like to reside in areas with proper ventilation and can tolerate cold temperatures up to -2°C.

Bunny Succulents fancy soil with good drainage, and they prefer cactus or succulent potting mix. If the potting mix is not available, you could add some small pieces of gravel or horticultural sand to increase soil drainage and provide space for proper root development. These succulents like to grow in a tiny pot for as many years as possible. They do not flower well when placed in a relatively sizeable growing container, and they also do not like being repotted.

Monilaria obconica is different from most succulents as it is not a sun worshiper and should not be placed in direct sunlight. This succulent enjoys the right amount of shade, with movement into colder areas during the summer. Another fact that makes the Bunny Ears different from other succulents is that it requires regular watering during the winter months, especially after the new long leaves start to appear. During the summer, sporadic drinks of water will do just fine.

Super Cute Bunny Succulents For Your Garden
Bunny Succulent

Whether you were thinking of revamping your garden patio or you were looking for a small succulent to train little green thumbs, the Monilaria obconica or Bunny Succulent is the perfect, inconspicuous addition to your home or office. And think of all the fun you could have picking out the perfectly cute bunny container for your Bunny Succulent!

Thank you for reading! Enjoyed learning about the bunny succulent? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About“. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

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