String of Hearts: Care Guides & Tips - Absolute Gardener

String of Hearts: Care Guides & Tips

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on telegram
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
String of Hearts

String of hearts are cacti that have stringy, string-like ribs and long needle-shaped spines. They come in a variety of colors including red, green, yellow, purple and pink. String of hearts are native to the deserts of North America where they grow as low shrubs or small trees with stringy leaves. The stringiness is caused by shallow roots that make it difficult for them to absorb water from the ground which forces them to rely on dew and rain for hydration. Read on below if you want more information about string of heart care tips!

What is a String of Hearts?

String of Hearts are also known as Ceropegia. They come in a variety of colors, but string of hearts typically have either white or pink flowers on them. They are found in warm climates and string of hearts can be commonly seen growing on the sides of buildings. When string of hearts get enough water, they will grow very tall to reach for rainfall.

String of Hearts
Image: Severin Candrian via Unsplash

Origins of String of Hearts Plant

String of hearts originate from Africa, but string of hearts are now grown in warm climates around the world. Ceropegia woodii is the string of hearts genus name, and string of hearts are found in both Asia and Africa.

String of heart plants were first introduced to England by the botany collector Robert Fortune between 1847-1850 from China or India, but string of heart plant is now grown worldwide for their ornamental value. The string of heart plant grows in the wild in string of heart habitats and is also often grown as a houseplant.

The string of hearts plant has been used for hundreds of years by different cultures to symbolize love.

String of Hearts Plant Care Guide


String of hearts prefer soil that is well-drained, light and porous. They will grow in almost any type of soil but string of heart plant’s roots are sensitive to overwatering or waterlogging.


String of heart plant prefers full sun or partial shade. They will tolerate low light levels but string of hearts plants prefer more sunlight because they need a lot of photosynthesis to grow and produce flowers.

There are different types of string-of-hearts that have varying needs for light, for example the string-of-heart succulent string-of-hearts, for these plants more sunlight is better.

For string of hearts to grow well and produce flowers they need at least six hours of direct sun a day with indirect light the rest of the time. If string of heart plant does not get enough light it will stretch in an attempt to reach as much sun as possible.

If string of heart plant is in low light levels it may look droopy or wilt, if string of heart plant has been getting too much water from overwatering and the soil becomes saturated all that additional water will drown string-of-hearts plants roots which can lead to death.

If it is in low light levels string of hearts flower are produced less. String of hearts with a lot of direct sunlight can be sunburned and scorch on their leaves, string-of-heart plants prefer filtered or indirect sunlight to prevent this from happening.


String of Hearts need to be watered about once a week, depending on the size of string. If string is in soil, water enough so that it’s wet through and through. In pots or containers with drainage holes, water until drips come out from bottom – this means string has been watered sufficiently.

String should never sit in water, or be submerged in water for long periods of time. String can also suffer from overwatering – string should never sit in a saucer full of standing water and there should always be free drainage below string of hearts’ roots to avoid this.


String of hearts prefers to stay on the cooler side, string should not exceed a temperature above 65°F. String can also suffer from heat stress if string is left out in direct sunlight for long periods.

If string of hearts cannot tolerate low temperatures or hot weather conditions, string may need to be moved inside during these times.

String of hearts should never be exposed to temperatures below 32°F, string will not survive this long or cold period and string may need to be disposed of if string’s temperature does drop low enough for a prolonged amount of time.

String of Hearts
Image: Severin Candrian via Unsplash


String of hearts like humidity at around 50% to 70%. A string of heart will not be happy if it is too dry. In fact string of hearts will often shut down their leaf production and stop flowering in response to dry conditions.


String of hearts have a reputation for needing little care. This is not the case, string of heart plants need to be fertilised every month or so with an all-purpose plant food that has been diluted at half strength. String of hearts typically do best when they are mulched and watered evenly in good quality soil supplemented with organic matter like manure or compost.


String of hearts are toxic to pets and people. If string of heart plants come into contact with string of heart planters or their families, they should be immediately given a large glassful (litre)of milk – string of hearts contain calcium oxalate which is poisonous if not neutralized by the milk’s protein.


String of hearts need to be pruned regularly, string of heart plants should not only have their stringy roots trimmed (leaving a few on the plant) but also some of its leaves.

Propagation and Growth

String of hearts is propagated by stringing cuttings onto a string and then tying the string to something. Cut string should be from six inches down to an inch long, before being tied on it needs to have one leaf removed so that it’s not touching the soil when placed in water.

String of heart plants grow best with full sun and string of heart plants also need to be watered regularly.


String of heart plants need to be regularly repotted. String of string plants should never, ever stay in a pot that’s too small for them. When stringing string roots have reached around the edges and up over the sides, they will need to be transplanted into a larger container with fresh soil – this is typically done every year or so.

String of Hearts
Image: Severin Candrian via Unsplash

String of Hearts Variegated

Variegated string of hearts are stringy and tinged with white, cream or yellow string. They can be propagated by taking string cuttings and treating them like the non-variegated string plants – removing leaves from one spot on the cutting before tying it to something so that it doesn’t touch soil when placed in water.

Common Issues with String of Hearts

String of string plants are very sensitive to stringy fertiliser, over-watering and being planted in string too small for them.

The typical issues with string of hearts is that they suck up all their water after one good watering, the leaves will start drooping until eventually it dies – this happens because string has been overwatered or not given enough stringy fertiliser.

Another common issue is that string of heart plants will start to get string and not look as healthy, this happens when string of hearts are in a pot thats too small for them or they’re being over-watered.

String of heart plants can also become infested with insects which makes it difficult to keep string of string plants alive.

Tips for Keeping a String of Hearts Happy

Plant string of hearts in a pot with lots of bright light. String of Hearts prefer direct sunlight, but can tolerate some shade too. If the string has to be kept outside, put it on the side or back porch where there is still plenty of sun shining through.

Keep string’s soil moist all year long – string of hearts like to stay moist. It’s better if string of heart plants are watered on a daily basis.

String of Hearts can be grown indoors too – string needs bright light, warm temperatures and dry air. They do not need much water or fertilizer when grown in this way as they will get their moisture from the humidity of the air.

String of hearts can also be grown in containers – string prefers soil that is light and well-draining, but it will tolerate most soils as long as they are kept moist.

String of Hearts Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take care of a string of hearts?

String of hearts are relatively easy to care for and require little maintenance. The string of heart can go without water, light or fertilizer throughout the winter months in most climates when they will be dormant. String of hearts should only need watering during their active season after a rainstorm has soaked the ground and there hasn’t been enough time for it all to dry up.

If string of hearts are in a pot, they will need to be watered from time-to-time and the soil should be kept moist but not soggy. It is important that string of heart plants do not have their roots sitting in water as this can lead to root rot which could kill your string of heart plant.

How much sun does string of hearts need?

String of hearts prefer full sun but can do well in light shade, as string of heart plants are tolerant to a wide range of conditions. String of hearts should not be placed next to walls or fences where they will receive too much reflected heat from the structure. A string of heart plant that receives too much sun on its leaves during hot weather may develop sunburn spots.

String of hearts are a perennial flowering plant that some people might commonly refer to as string of heart plants or string of pearls (Ceropegia). String of heart plants do best when they have plenty sunshine and don’t get too much water on the leaves because string of heart plants can be sensitive to sunburn.

A string of heart plant can last for years if maintained properly, but string of hearts may need to be divided occasionally or else they will get too large and crowded in their pot as string of heart plants grow from horizontal rhizomes that produce new string of heart plants throughout the growing season. String of hearts are a type of succulent plant.

String of Hearts
Image: Severin Candrian via Unsplash

Why are string of hearts so expensive?

String of hearts are expensive because string of heart plants have unique architectural qualities that make them worth a lot on the wholesale market. They can be planted in pots or hanging baskets and string of heart plants need very little maintenance once they’re established.

The string of heart plant is prized for its beauty and uniqueness, as string of heart plants grow horizontally from the ground and string of heart plants have become a popular plant to grow indoors as they are easy to care for.

String of hearts can be expensive because string of heart plants need little maintenance once they’re established, string of heart plants do best when planted in pots or hanging baskets and string of hearts prefer full sun but can also tolerate light shade.

Get yours here.

Should I mist my string of hearts?

Mist string of heart plants with water to keep the leaves from getting too dry, but be careful not to leave wet leaf surfaces sitting for long periods as this can lead to mold. String of hearts should only need watering after a rainstorm or when it is needed during their active season.

Why is my string of hearts dying?

String of hearts may die if string of heart plants have been exposed to too much heat or water. String of heart plant leaves can also wilt from excessive exposure to sunlight, so string of heart plants should not be kept in direct sun for long periods.

How do I make my string of hearts Fuller?

Potting soil, peat moss or compost. Mix in the potting medium with new dirt until it is moist enough to hold its shape when squeezed between your fingers but not so wet that water seeps out from between them. For larger pots you can mix a layer of organic mulch such as straw, shredded leaves or pine bark.

String of hearts are not picky about soil type and will grow in that conditions with little care or water.

Where to buy string of hearts?

Purchase it through Amazon, and get it delivered to you in days.


A string of hearts is a plant that thrives in harsher climates and doesn’t need much care. String of heart plants are also known as Ceropegia. The string of hearts are very easy to take care for so if you’re looking for an inexpensive houseplant, this one might be right up your alley!

You might also like:

Absolute Gardener is a reader-supported site. When you purchase through affiliate links on our site, we may earn a small commission with no extra cost to you.

Scroll to Top