Most habitual and professional ornamental gardeners who make string of hearts plants a peculiar addition to their garden do so for one primary reason: the characteristic array of its succulent flowers, outlined in peculiar umbels that could be described as a lantern, a parachute, or even a chandelier.
Ceropegia, or String Hearts, is a genus of trailing perennial succulents initially found in Australia, Africa, and Asia.
They can be propagated by stem cuttings, from bulbils that grow at the stems’ bottom parts, or by germinating their seeds. Let’s take a closer look at the various Propagating String of Hearts methods.
Propagating String of Hearts from Bulbils
This is my first choice method of propagating String of Hearts because it is also the easiest way to go, even for newbie propagators.
Your mature String of Hearts plants develop bulbils or aerial tubers along their nodes (where the leaves branch off the stems) which look like white balls attached to the stems.
Each bulbil can be propagated by snuggling it onto the surface of the Potting Mix and adding some soil on top of the Bulbils to provoke root development.
You don’t have to cut the Bulbils off the mother plant; bend it with its vine into the potting and add more soil to cover its bottom section.
The newly propagated plant can be removed from the parent plant and repotted as a new plant after it must have developed its roots.
Rooting String of Hearts Cuttings in a Soil Mix Potting
A string of hearts can also be propagated from prepared cuttings of its stem and leaves. The stem cuttings are prepared by selecting the best stems on a mature plant and cutting them off.
Each selected stem should carry its network of leaves and fine bulbils. Allow the stems to get calloused before rooting them in a Soil Mix Potting.
Remove the leaves at the base of the stem cuttings, where they will be inserted into the soil mix potting to prevent the the stem cuttings from rotting.
It takes an average of three to four weeks for the stem cuttings to be well-rooted for the next phase of propagation. Sometimes, with some luck, you may start seeing results in less than five days.
Rooting String of Hearts Cuttings in Water
Rooting String of Hearts Cuttings in Water is quite helpful because it allows you to easily monitor the development of roots in the cuttings.
That way, you can quickly tell if you’re doing everything right or if something wrong is happening.
All you really need to root the cuttings is a glass jar or transparent glass container filled with water.
Each cutting bearing its leaves and nodes should be gently placed in the water jar with the water level just about three inches high.
It takes an average of three weeks to see fully developed roots form on the cuttings. Once the roots are about an inch long, the cuttings can be transplanted in a soil mix potting.
Propagating String of Hearts from Leaf Cuttings
You can also propagate your String of Hearts from Leaf Cuttings, but you should be prepared to wait a long time for them to develop roots; sometimes, it might take up to a year.
Leaf Cuttings are prepared by selecting healthy leaves and cutting them from the nodes. The leaves are then allowed to heal by spreading on a dry, warm surface for about three hours.
Next, the leaves can be rooted in water or a soil mix potting. You can try out both methods until you find the one that works well.
Rooting your leaf cuttings in water means you’ll be transplanting them once the roots are fully developed, up to one inch long.
Place the leaves with their calloused nodes on the water jar and continue to observe until new growth develops.
You should ensure the water in the jar is replaced regularly to avoid microbial buildup.
Rooting your leaf cuttings in a soil mix potting is the safer and faster way to go, and the chances of success are way higher than rooting in water.
The leaf cuttings are gently dipped in honey or other natural rooting hormones before laying them carefully on the surface of the soil mix potting.
Watering should be done lightly to keep the soil moist and well-aerated, and the set-up should be well-positioned for sufficient doses of bright indirect sunlight.
Propagating String of Hearts by Seeds
The seeds are collected after the pods harden and open up, right before they touch the soil surface. A simple way to collect the seeds is to place a bag around the pods so that once they open up naturally, the seeds fall into the bags and not on the soil surface.
The collected seeds can be easily planted in the middle of the growing season using a seedling potting mix; Careful not to use your regular garden soil to propagate the seeds.
It’s best to target planting your seeds towards the middle of spring or early summer for maximum results. The planted seeds should be kept in a moist soil potting and under bright indirect sunlight.
Young String of Hearts plants typically develops from seeds in less than a month of planting.
How often should the String of Hearts Potting be Watered?
String Hearts or Heart Chains require minimal amounts of water for their growth because they’re generally more adapted to dry conditions and quickly rot when left too long in a wet environment.
In their growing season, you should water the soil potting thoroughly until it’s appropriately soaked, then allow the excess water to drain out.
Afterward, allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again, leaving an interval of one or two weeks.
However, winter watering must be reduced considerably to once in two or three weeks. They do better in damp soil potting, so avoid misting or hand sprays altogether for best results.
The suitable method for their propagation is practicing the bottom watering technique. This is done by dipping the potted string of Hearts in a container filled with water until almost a quarter of the pot is fully submerged.
Allow the pot in this position for up to ten minutes before transferring it back to its original position.
How much Sunshine should I allow for the new Plants?
A string of Hearts plants does enjoy the morning sunshine. I usually take my pots out when I can to allow them to enjoy fresh direct sunlight for up to four hours.
They look much better when allowed to bask in the early morning sunshine before returning them to shade right before the mid-day sun hits the horizon.
What is the best Soil Mix for propagating Sting of Hearts?
They don’t require a large-sized potting for propagation; a small-to-medium-sized one will do just fine because the roots like to be crowded and entwined in their mesh, forming a dense network.
Ensure drainage holes are punched at the sides and bottom of the pots to prevent soggy or slushy soil medium. Any Cacti Potting Mix with good drainage will be excellent for them to flourish.
The string of Hearts has been called many names, peculiar to different societies where they’re propagated, including the Branched Candlestick plant, lantern flower, bushman’s pipe, Rosary Vine, or Necklace vine.
Whatever name you’re familiar with, you’ll always find an explanation once a new pot blooms and the vine grows further away.