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! 🌵

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