String of” plants are some of the most fun and easy plants to grow – as long as you give them plenty of neglect! These plants are considered to be “semi succulents,” as they store some of their water in their “leaves,” but they also have a rhizomatous root system that also stores water. For this reason, these “String of” plants need very little water. As with most succulents, you want to let the soil dry out between watering, and you can also use the “leaves” as a guide. If they are firm, that means they are full of water and not in need of any extra. If they have become a little squishy, and the soil is dry, they are ready for a drink. Just water the plant until water begins to seep out the bottom of the pot. If your pot does not have a drainage hole, take extra care when watering, and err on the side of too little water. Succulents and Semi Succulents are very susceptible to root rot, which is caused by over watering.
The scientific name of String of Hearts is Ceropegia woodii, and it belongs to the Apocynaceae family. Its claim to fame is its thick heart shaped leaves. They are medium green in color, with light sage green veins running artfully through the surface. A rare flowering houseplant, String of Hearts’ flowers are tiny, pink, and shaped like trumpets, and have curios looking dark purple (and fuzzy!) fingers reaching out from the center. String of Hearts will flower around Spring and Summer under the right conditions. String of Hearts grows in a trailing habit and can grow to be up to 12 feet long in its natural habitat in South Africa, but as a houseplant it can be expected to grow to at least 2 feet in length. Pet safe and somewhat air cleaning, String of Hearts is a friend to all. Give it a place in indirect but bright sun that is warm (between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit), and keep it away from drafts and vents. If you notice that the “hearts” are spacing themselves out further and further, and are growing lighter in color, it’s a good indication that they may need more light.
Use a hanging pot, or place a non-hanging pot on a high shelf or stair. It’s not necessary to repot String of Hearts upon purchase, but when the time does come, use a cactus and succulent soil mix. As mentioned about, plant String of Hearts in a pot that has good drainage. If you’ve read many of our other Plant Parent blogs, you know all about Moisture Meters. But if you haven’t, a Moisture Meter is key for pots that do not have good drainage. Remember that you can gauge the water needs of succulents by testing the leaves to see if they are strong or if they give when gently pinched between the fingers, but a moisture meter can help you make sure there’s not excess water in the bottom of the pot.
String of Hearts, also known as Chain of Hearts, Rosary Vine, or Sweetheart Vine is closely related to the Hoya plant, and is very easy to care for. We’re rating it as a great option for beginners. It’s also great for travelers who can’t always water their plants often.