String of Hearts Is the Sweet Trailing Plant Your Succulent Collection Is Missing
String of hearts—also know as Ceropegia woodii or Rosary Vine—is a trailing succulent that is native to the warmer temperatures of South Africa. Named for its heart-shaped leaves, these beauties range in color from deep green to silver. Needless to say, they are a stunning addition to any houseplant collection. Ahead, how to grow yours.
Since they are succulents, string of hearts will appreciate being under-watered rather than overwatered, says Justin Hancock, a horticulturist with Costa Farms. "One easy way to check its moisture level is to insert a wood toothpick in one of the drainage holes," he explains. "If it comes out clean, with no potting mix on it, then the plant could use some water." If you do see soil, there is more than enough moisture left to meet the variety's needs. Just be sure you're keeping the leaves dry. "This succulent doesn't mind average humidity levels, but doesn't appreciate its leaves getting wet a lot," Hancock explains.
Lighting and Fertilizer
Your string of hearts will be happiest with as much indirect light as possible. It thrives best in natural light or under grow bulbs—a mix of both works, too. "In general, it's best to keep this plant out of direct sun, especially in southern areas—it can suffer sunburn if not acclimated," he explains. As for feeding it? Hancock says there's no one-size-fits-all guideline here—it's really up to you and how much you'd like your string of hearts to grow. "The maximum rate is whatever your fertilizer manufacturer recommends, but you can always scale back," he explains. "And if you want to make it super easy, just use a little time-release fertilizer once a year in the spring."
Soil and Pruning
For the best results, choose a soil mix designed for cacti and succulents—especially if you're not confident about determining water needs. "If you feel your watering skills are solid and you're not worried about overwatering, any high-quality potting mix should be fine," notes Hancock. If your string of hearts gets too long and sparse, he says to simply snip the stems back to a length you'd like. "Pruning doesn't harm the plant in any way and can be done at any time of year."
Get Your Own
If you're looking to add this pretty variety to your home, you're in luck: They are fairly easy to find (check your local garden center). If you have trouble sourcing them in-store, there are plenty of online retailers that will ship an established plant directly to your door. If you go that route during the winter months, bring your package inside immediately; these trailing succulents don't respond well to prolonged low temperatures.