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String of Heart, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is a gorgeous trailing succulent to add to any living space. While to some, they might be difficult to care for, however once you get the hang of it, String of Hearts Succulent is one of the most tolerant houseplants. You can find some basic knowledge to take good care of String of Hearts in this article.
1. Growing String of Hearts outdoors
The String of Hearts can be grown outdoors as a sprawling ground cover, in rock gardens, or for cascading down walls during the summer months or even all year round, given that you are located in USDA zones 10 and above or where the temperature is consistently maintained at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Otherwise, it's better to grow this succulent in a pot or container where you can easily carry it indoors as soon as the temperature starts to drop for protection.
2. Growing String of Hearts indoors
Additionally, like any other succulents, too much sunlight can cause the leaves of String of Hearts to scorch (browning or crispy leaves, dry leaf-edges, stunted growth), and lack of exposure, on the other hand, will cause issues like discoloration or overwatering. So if you plan to grow yours outdoors, make sure to put it in a spot where this plant can get at least 3 to 4 hours of bright, indirect sunlight and some shade in the afternoon. Also, remember to gradually acclimate it first to stronger light when moving this plant from indoors to outdoors during the summer to prevent sunburn.
1. Light and Temperature
The String of Hearts plant likes heat and bright light but doesn't tolerate direct sunlight.
So if you plan to grow your String of Hearts as an indoor houseplant, make sure to place it near the brightest window possible (South or West facing windows is highly recommended), and keep the temperature at 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and 60 degrees Fahrenheit during wintertime. If grown outdoors, the plant should be placed in a bright, shaded area.
In case you are not sure whether your String of Hearts is getting all the light it needs, one easy way to tell is through its leaves. If you see that the leaves are starting to become pale in color (with less marbling), and at the same time, wider apart than it normally should, then better transfer the plant to a brighter spot to supplement its lighting needs.
In addition to that, it is important to rotate the plant as well from time to time. This will ensure that all sides of your String of Hearts will get a balanced amount of sunlight and that all sides will have an even color.
Click here to learn more about DEMYSTIFY NATURAL LIGHT FOR SUCCULENTS
Since the Chain of Hearts has a succulent-like nature, root rot is most likely to happen, especially when left sitting in wet soil for too long. This, however, can be prevented by giving this plant a good soak of water once a week or whenever the top 2 to 3 inches of the soil is completely dry during its growing season, which happens in Spring and Summer. In the Autumn and Winter months, on the other hand, this succulent will go dormant, and therefore your watering should be cut back to once every 3 to 4 weeks or when the soil feels completely dry through the pot.
Another way to ensure that your String of Hearts only gets the right amount of water it needs to thrive and grow happy is by watering it from the bottom. To do this, you simply need to submerge 1/4th of the pot in a container filled with water for about 10 minutes. And remember to allow for the water to drain before putting the plant back in its place to avoid root rot.
Click here to learn more about bottom watering your succulents.
Also, one way to help you determine whether it's time to give your Chain of Hearts a good soak of water is through its leaves. If you feel that they are firm to the touch, then your succulent doesn't need to be watered for a while more. However, if the leaves feel soft as you gently squeeze them and can easily bend, then it's time to give it a thorough watering.
Although String of Hearts is a succulent that can be kept in drier areas that most plants may not tolerate as much, it's better to place them where they can enjoy about 40 to 50% humidity.
String of Hearts only need infrequent fertilizers and half-diluted fertilizers. They can be fed at most once a month during their active growth period in May – August. They don’t need any fertilizer during winter, their dormant period.
String of Hearts only need infrequent fertilizers and half-diluted fertilizers
If you want to repot your String of Hearts, the best time is during summer, their active growing period to minimize the risks.
Click here to learn more about HOW TO REPOT SUCCULENTS
When overwatering happens, the leaves of your String of Hearts will most likely start to shed or turn yellow, brown, or black, and at the same time, will feel soft and mushy.
Once you see these signs, hold off with your watering right away and allow the soil to dry out completely. Also, since overwatering also means the soil might have already become poor in quality, it's better to replace it with a fresh, new one that's well-drained and porous enough to prevent root rot.
The leaves of overwatered String of Hearts will most likely start to shed or turn yellow, brown, or black, and at the same time, will feel soft and mushy. Photo credit: @Joe Earley on Houzz
Underwatered String of Hearts, on the other hand, will show you symptoms of leaves curling up and may begin to look thinner as there’s no water left from its storage. Now when this happens, immediately give the plant a good drench of water (again, letting the soil dry in between waterings), and move it in a shaded spot. Doing this should allow your String of Hearts to recover in 2 or 3 more cycles of watering.
To get detailed information about this, check out our underwatered vs overwatered succulents.
One trick to make your String of Hearts look fuller and bushier is through pruning. Though this process isn't really necessary unless the stems of this succulent have become leggy and the leaves have started to lose their bright color.
Pruning can make your String of Hearts fuller and bushier
Pruning String of Hearts is simple. All you need to do is to cut 1 or more vines from the mother plant using a clean, sharp knife or a pair of scissors. Make sure to cut it right under one of the nodes along with the stem (take whatever length you desire), allowing it to grow roots in water first before putting the cuttings back in the soil for an instant fuller String of Hearts.
String of Hearts is relatively easy to propagate, there are three main methods to propagate them, as introduced below:
1. Water Propagation Method
This propagation method is popular as it is quite easy to carry out. All you need to do is to prepare a vase, scissors, and some water. Then cut off the vine pieces you want to root, put them in the vase, and wait for root to grow. Remember to place the vase in a warm area with enough light so that the root can grow more quickly.
With water propagation, roots will appear after a couple of days
The time needed for roots to grow depends on light and temperature, with the right conditions, roots will appear after a couple of days.
2. Soil Propagation Method
To carry out this method, you need to cut off the vines, then remove the leaves on the side that you will plant and stick the vines into the soil. In this step, you have to ensure that the nodes are covered in the soil so that the root can grow. Make sure the vines are placed in a light and aerated area with the soil slightly moist (water once a week) for the roots to grow out.
3. Tuber Propagation Method
For the tuber propagation technique, you need to find the biggest tuber possible. A fingernail-sized model may be a good choice. You can leave the tuber on the vine and press it into the soil to grow root. Once it grows root you can cut the vine from the mother plant
Another way is to remove the vine with the tuber from the mother plant. Place it in a pot with soil and slightly cover the tube in the soil mix. Keep it in a bright area and water weekly, a few weeks later, the tuber will be rooting.
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