How to Grow and Take Care of Variegated String of Hearts
If you’re looking for a vine-like succulent that’s low maintenance and has pinkish variegation, you should seriously consider variegated strings of heart. This vine is known botanically as Ceropegia woodii variegated.
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Succulents are well-loved because they’re aesthetically pleasing, drought-resistant, and neglect-resistant. Even if you don’t give them much attention and forget to water them, they will still thrive. You only need to know if they grow under direct sunlight, partial sunshine, or under shade.
If you’re looking for a vine-like succulent that’s low maintenance and has pinkish variegation, you should seriously consider variegated strings of heart. This vine is known botanically as Ceropegia woodii variegated. It has heart-shaped white and green leaves that are pinkish on its edges. These edges also darken at the back, leaving the plant even more beautiful.
You can start planting succulents if you want to grow plants but aren’t confident about having a green thumb. The same goes for growing ornamental plants that would thrive under less than ideal conditions. In this post, you’ll learn more about this plant and tips on how to grow them. If you’re ready, read on.
What Is a Variegated String of Hearts?
Variegated strings of hearts are native to South Asia, Africa, and Australia. In 1753, Carl Linnaeus introduced this genus to the world. This plant’s main feature includes a tubular corolla with more than five petals. The said petals join uniquely at their tips to form an umbrella or tube-like canopy. This structure is why the plant earned its “wax fountain” genus name.
Ceropegia grows like creepers and a few erect growers. This plant is associated with different names like lantern flower, parachute flower, rosary vine, necklace vine, and wine-glass vine. The one with pinkish hues is popularly named the pink variegated String of Hearts. Some Africans chew on their raw roots while homeowners and succulent enthusiasts extensively use this plant as ornamentation.
Woodii variegate is like the original plant. Their only difference is the presence of the pinkish hues in the latter. In the former, white borders are present instead of the pinkish edges. Apart from that, all other variegated cultivars are similar to the parent plant.
There are five common varieties, and they are the following: regular String of Hearts, mini star, orange river, silver glory, and strings of spade. Their distinctive features are discussed below:
1. Regular String of Hearts
They are known as one of the most common and easiest-to-find varieties. You can find this in your local plant shops, mountain gardens, Amazon, Etsy, and other online plant stores. This variety is delicate and beautiful but only requires little attention to thrive. They are perfect indoors, with short exposure to bright light and high humidity. They can cling to any object they encounter, so keep them away from other home greenery; they might choke.
2. Mini Star
This particular vine is also heart-shaped and best for terrariums and as a hanging plant. It grows in opposite pairs of green lace patterns that can trail as high as ten feet. It may not be a succulent plant; it belongs to the said category because it also stores water. It only needs less water and attention since it’s drought-resistant and neglect-resistant.
3. Orange River
This plant variety is more subtle, with mainly green leaves instead of orange. Surprisingly, when the plant gets stressed, its leaves and under leaves start to discolor, showing an attractive shade that makes the plant even more vibrant.
4. String of Spades
This rare and beautiful plant is a cousin of the common Ceropegia Woodii. It has more pointy leaves that resemble diamonds or spades. They grow slower compared to other Ceropegias because of their delicate nature.
5. Silver Glory
If you’re looking for a fun Ceropegia Woodii variety to grow, your best bet is the silver glory. This houseplant is an option to explore if you’re looking for a different plant than the usual String of Hearts. The former’s bottom part and leaves are pointier, rounder, and less pronounced than the latter.
How to Grow Variegated String of Hearts
You can grow this plant indoors and outdoors. Like other succulent varieties, you only need to water them sparingly while giving them enough sunlight and humidity to thrive. To learn how to grow them in these varying conditions, here are some expert tips to follow.
Growing This Plant Indoors
Like other succulent plants, the variegated String of Hearts doesn’t like too much sunlight since it will scorch its leaves. On the other hand, if you keep them under the shade for too long, they might also suffer from overwatering and discoloration. Here are some steps to help them thrive indoors.
Step 1: Choose the right potting mix and succulent pot.
These two factors are crucial when planting succulents since they hate overwatering. If you doubt the potting mix, go for the cacti mix. This kind of soil has an excellent water-draining capacity, keeping the ground from absorbing too much moisture. The pot should also have an exceptional water-draining ability to keep the plant roots from absorbing excessive water. When water can’t flow from the pot, the accumulated moisture can cause a fungal infestation of the roots.
Step 2: Choose an ideal spot for your plant indoors.
Your plant needs just the right amount of sunlight. You need to place them in a strategic area indoors, like near the window, under the skylights, or anywhere where they can get the sun exposure they need. A maximum of three to four hours of bright yet indirect morning sunlight is what they need. You can reposition them to an area with partial shade in the afternoon.
Step 3: Supply your plant with its basic needs.
Since this plant is drought-resistant, you only need to water it sparingly. Check if the soil is 90 percent dry before pouring in water. Keep the temperature at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Also, ensure to repot them when you see them outgrow their old pots.
Growing This Plant Outdoors
If you want to see your variegated String of Hearts as a ground cover, the best thing to do is grow them outdoors. You can let them crawl in your rock garden or allow them to cascade down your walls in the summer months. If you’re going down this route, consider the following steps:
Step 1: Pick the perfect spot outdoors.
Remember that these plants grow best in USDA zones ten and above or in areas with a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. When you’re unsure if the spot you chose satisfies these temperature, zoning, and humidity requirements, it’s best to plant your succulent in a pot. This way, you can quickly move them around to get better conditions.
Step 2: Bring your succulent in when the temperature drops.
Suppose the outdoor temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You need to bring your potted succulent indoors. They might not withstand the frigid climate. Hence, you should bring them in.
How to Care for Variegated String of Hearts
Image source: iStock, skymoon13
Succulents like the variegated String of Hearts plants are called neglect-resistant for a good reason. You don’t need to constantly look after them or ensure that they have the best living conditions. These are the essentials that you need to feed them regularly.
The variegated String of Hearts plant is a vine that can thrive despite neglect in watering. You only need water to wet the soil and let it dry before rewatering. If you notice that your succulent soil is already 90 percent dry, that’s the time to rewater.The frequency of watering depends on the growth zone and weather. You only need to water them once or twice per week during summer. During winter, when they’re dormant, it’s enough to water the plant once every 12 to 15 days. Never overwater your succulent since it will make the plant soggy.
This vine loves indirect yet bright sunlight. In this case, ensure to position them in a well-lit spot or windowsill to keep them happy. Never allow the sun’s rays to reach the plant foliage directly, as it will cause sunburn.
The best temperature range to encourage plant growth is between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the nighttime, keep the temperature at 40 degrees Fahrenheit and above. The plant is not tolerant of frost and cold, so you need to move them to a warm space when the temperature drops.
Fortunately, the variegate String of Hearts plant is not demanding with humidity. They can survive and thrive in your area’s average humidity level.
Use any well-draining potting mix for your variegate String of Hearts plant. In case of doubt, go for cacti mix. Suppose you plant them in a regular pot or a hanging basket. You need to be mindful of the soil mix used. The right one for potting or repotting is a well-draining mix. Overwatering can lead to overly wet soil that can encourage root rotting.
The String of Hearts plant is a delicate vine that’s not favorable to heavy feeding. Here, you only need to use ordinary diluted house fertilizer once a month, starting from March until August. During wintertime, they’re dormant, so you don’t need to fertilize them.
Cutting and Pruning
Remove the older leaves from the mother plant when you see them wilt to keep your vine healthy and pleasant-looking. You can also trim your plant and get rid of overgrown, straggly, and dead foliage.
How to Propagate Variegated String of Hearts
1. Water Propagation Method
This is the most popular method among all three, mainly because it’s the easiest to carry out. You would only need a pair of scissors, a vase, and water. First, cut the vine that you intend to root and place them in a vase. Allow the roots to grow. Ensure that you position the vase in a warm area with sufficient sunlight to allow the roots to expand quickly. Under the right conditions, the roots will appear only after a few days.
2. Soil Propagation Method
First, you need to cut the vines off and remove the leaves from the side you intend to plant. After that, stick the stem cuttings into the potting mix you’ll use as soil. Ensure that the nodes are fully immersed in the soil to allow the root to grow. You also need to ensure that the vines receive enough air and light to stimulate the perfect environment where the roots would grow out.
3. Tuber Propagation Method
For this growing technique, you need a big tuber the size of a fingernail. Leave the said tuber on the plant vine and push it into the soil to allow the roots to grow. You can easily cut the vine off the mother plant once the root grows. You can also remove the succulent vine from the mother plant using a tuber. After which, place it in the soil and ensure that enough soil covers the tube. Keep it an area with enough light and water them weekly. This will encourage root growth in just a few weeks.
How to Repot Variegated String of Hearts
Repotting your succulent is necessary to ensure that it will not outgrow its old pot. The plant also needs new soil to replenish all lost nutrients. However, you don’t need to repot all the time. Note that you only need to do this once every one to two years. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you repot properly.
Step 1: Pick the right season to repot.
The best and most appropriate season to repot your succulents is in early summer. But there are exceptions to the general rule. You can also repot if there is no new plant growth, when the roots start to emerge from the pot’s drainage holes or when the leaves discolor.
Step 2: Choose an appropriately sized repotting container.
One of the two primary purposes of repotting is to give the plant roots enough space to spread out. It will therefore be counterproductive if you repot in a similar-sized new pot. Choose a bigger pot with enough drainage holes to allow excess water to flow through.
Step 3: Choose the right potting mix.
Apart from allowing the roots to spread, you need to repot to ensure that the soil’s lost nutrients are replenished. In this case, you need to use the right potting mix with an excellent drainage capacity. This will allow water to flow between soil surfaces and keep them from drowning your plant.
How to Protect Variegated String of Hearts From Plant Problems
Here are the variegated String of Hearts plant issues you need to check out. When you notice any of these conditions affecting your plant, remedy the problem to avoid more significant issues.
When your plant’s leaves turn brown or pale yellow, they’re wilting from overexposure to direct sunlight. The best approach to this problem is to remove the affected leaves and keep the plant away from too much direct sunlight.
Leggy Vines With Sparse Growth
If you see your succulents growing leggy, they are not getting enough sunlight. This condition can happen whether you grow the plant indoors or outdoors. To fix this, let your plant enjoy at least four to six hours of bright yet indirect sunlight in the morning. This simple hack will encourage plant growth.
The variegated String of Hearts is a resilient plant, so they don’t get affected by harsh environmental conditions easily. However, if you overwater or overfertilize them, they might start to attract pests like mealybugs and scale insects. The first thing to do is stop overwatering and overfeeding the plant with fertilizers to remedy the problem.
If you’re dealing with mealybugs, you can use rubbing alcohol or soap and neem oil mixture. Spray your mixture on the affected leaves and see the pests die. However, if you see some brownish bumps or slight tan on your plant, you’re dealing with scale insects. In this case, mix one part of rubbing alcohol with one part of water before adding drops of dish soap. Spray the mixture on the affected parts and watch the scale insects go away or die.
5 Tips on How to Take Proper Care of the Variegated String of Hearts Plant
Here are a few smart and easy tips on keeping your variegated String of Hearts plant happy and healthy all year round. This care guide can save you from a host of succulent-related problems.
- Never overwater your ceropegia woodii variegata plant. While water is essential for your succulents to grow, overwatering them will only rot their roots and invite pests. Remember to water them sparingly.
- Pick the right potting mix and container for your plant. The soil will supply your plant with the necessary nutrients, while a pot with excellent drainage capacity will ensure that the roots won’t rot because of overwatering.
- Repot when you see the roots growing from the drainage hole. Do this at least once every 12 to 24 months.
- Expose your String of Hearts to sufficient sunlight. If you grow them indoors, ensure that your plant is positioned in a south-facing window. They need this to grow but ensure that you don’t overexpose them since excessive bright light can burn the leaves.
- Never overfeed your semi-succulent plant. Just like overwatering, overfeeding can lead to pest infestation. Ensure that your plant only gets fertilized once during its growing season, from March to August. You don’t need to do this in winter when they’re dormant.
Discover and Shop for the Right Plants at Neverland
You may be doubtful whether or not you have a green thumb, and this doubt has been holding you down from growing flowers and plants. If you are in this predicament, stop worrying and try growing a variegated String of Hearts plant. Like other succulents, this vine doesn’t need the perfect conditions to thrive. As long as you place your new plant in the pot with the right potting mix or potting soil, you’re already doing enough to encourage its growth.
You can also rely on the help and sound pieces of advice from the team behind Neverland. They have the best seeds for your plant of choice. You can check the website to explore any kinds of plants for different occasions. Whether you’re exploring your green thumb or encouraging a friend or family member to start their respective dream garden, Neverland got your back. You can also explore the site for planting guides and plant maintenance tips. Having them around is like having a real planting ally who will be with you every step of the way.
FAQs on Variegated String of Hearts
You only need to keep them in the prescribed growing condition to keep the leaves pink. Give them sufficient water, sunlight, and air. Also, avoid exposing them to a frigid climate and never overwater or overfeed them with fertilizers.
The only reason why this plant suddenly became so expensive is that they were endorsed by “plantfluencers” on social media and other platforms. The price grew along with the demand and popularity.
You will get more variegations if you expose the plant to four to six hours of bright but indirect sunlight.
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