String of Hearts Complete Care Guide

This is the case where the name says it all huh. It’s a string with hearts on it 😅

Scientific name: Ceropegia Woodii

Also called: String of Hearts, Chain of Hearts, Rosary Vine

Family: APOCYNACEAE

If you learn better by watching videos, we have the care guide for this plant right here:

care meter: 7/10

I wouldn’t say this is the easiest plant to care for, but once you get it right, there is nothing to stop you. I had all kinds of problems when I started out, but more on that on the pest segment.

light

Like almost any other plant, Ceropegia Woodii likes bright indirect light. Lack of ideal light will slow the growing process and also affect the vines. Leaves will fall off and vines will get empty.

I experimented with my string of hearts and left it outside during summer (on a north-west facing balcony). I got unexpected growth in less than three months, so it’s safe to let your plant outside if the sun is less harsh.

And don’t forget, if your home is not very bright but you still want a SOP, you can use grow lights. Any source of extra light is beneficial for the plant.

String of Hearts starting to get leggy from lack of light

watering

It’s safe to let the soil dry out completely before you water the plant again. Depending on your home conditions, you can water it every 7 to 10 days during summer and slow it down to 2 weeks during winter.

Check the soil every time before you water your Ceropegia Woodii. String of hearts doesn’t like excess water.

temperature

String of hearts prefers average temperature. It should thrive just fine in temperatures between 18-25°C.

Left outside can grow well in even higher temperatures. By all means, don’t let it drop below 15°C or the foliage will suffer.

humidity

I’ve grown string of hearts in all kinds of humidity from 50% to 80% and they did fine as long as the light was plenty. If you have higher humidity in your home, there is nothing to worry about, but somewhere below 30-40% should be encouraged with a humidifier.

fertilizer

String of hearts can be fertilized once every month. I sometimes forget to do it 😅. You can use a regular liquid fertilizer with a balanced NPK of 10-10-10 or anything similar.

Usually during winter, we stop fertilizing. However, if the plant keeps on growing you can definitely feed her. Use a more diluted fertilizer a bit less often and the plant should be fine.

substrate

The Rosary Vine likes a lightweight mix that doesn’t retain water. Going with one part coco fiber and one part perlite usually does the trick. I also like to add some pine bark for even more drainage, but it’s totally optional.

We don’t recommend using just regular potting soil. A lot of them are usually very heavy for the string of hearts’ roots and they don’t help water drain that well.

plastic versus terracotta

Ceropegia Woodii likes both plastic or terracotta so it’s just a matter of choice. We tried growing them in both pots and there are just slight differences regarding the water schedule. Terracotta helps watering evaporate faster so you should check your plants more often.

I have mine growing in plastic for now, but I can see it in a cute terracotta pot maybe soon.

repotting

Best time to repot is when you see the roots coming out of the pot. And the roots on String of Hearts are very interesting. You’ll see tiny tubers that help store water and don’t need to go to deep on the ground.

If you just got the plant, please let it be for at least one month. Let it adjust to the new environment without causing it further stress.

propagation

There are a lot of ways to propagate string of hearts and the one I know best involves cuttings and water. The nodes will develop tubers along with the regular roots.

Other ways to propagate String of hearts is by cuttings directly into soil or sphagnum moss. I tried with coco fiber and covered them to maintain a high humidity. It does go well.

pests

Okay so now I have a whole rant to write in this category. For me string of hearts was not easy to deal with. First, I got aphids that were spotted a little late. By the time I got to see the problem, the plant got very “bald”. I treated it with regular pest repellant but the vines were so fragile that I had to cut them and wait for new growth to come.

aphid infestation on String of Hearts

Second time dealing with pests: my worst nightmare, the thrips family. After getting rid of aphids, my string of hearts was doing great until a few months later the thrips decided to start a new gang. Another set of treatments was made, but thrips were no fun. My plant was bald again and I had to start over. So I kind of left it on the balcony to see if the sun can revive it. And it did, it grew more in three months than it did in any type of indoor light.

And that’s the rant about pests, not great to deal with on such a delicate plant. Inspect your plant every time you water it, and you should be able to spot the problems early on.

toxicity

The good news is, this plant is finally pet friendly wohooo!

Other tips and tricks to consider:

Ceropegia Woodii has tiny tubers developing on the vines as well. One reason it is called Rosary Vine. Those can be used in propagation, just cut above the tuber and place it into soil or water and you have a new plant.

String of hearts can bloom in very great lighting conditions. Mine bloomed during summer, on the balcony and it was a very pretty surprise.

String of hearts is a very fragile plant and it could take ages trying to untangle it. I tried that at first and at some point, I just gave up.

If this helped, share it with someone else! ❤️