Introduction: How to Grow String of Hearts or Rosary Vine, a Sweet Succulent-Like Trailing Houseplant
Oh sweet little String Of Hearts, many people think you’re a succulent but you aren’t. This trailing houseplant is durable, easy as can be and the care is similar to a fleshy succulent but it shares the same family with another plant I love, the Hoya. They are both considered to be a succulent vine. The botanic moniker is Ceropegia woodii but it also goes by Rosary Vine or Chain Of Hearts.
This unusual beauty with heart-shaped foliage, hence the name, came with me when I moved from Santa Barbara to Tucson. In the 4 months that I’ve lived here, this plant (which hangs in my pink grapefruit tree) has grown like the dickens. The trails were all about about 12″ long and now the longest are 43″. I’ve fast discovered that Rosary Vine loves the heat!
This succulent-like vine loves the heat but not direct sun.
Although a healthy String Of Hearts has a lot of foliage on many stems, it’s not a full and bushy vine. It stays on the wispy side but this, along with the flowers, are a big part of its appeal. Mine got hopelessly tangled on the 9 hour “car crammed full of plants drive” to my new home and that way it’ll stay. Tangles and all, it’s doing just fine.
Here are some things to know about the Rosary Vine:
Size: The trails of a Rosary Vine can reach up to 12′ long in its natural habit. Usually when grown as a houseplant it doesn’t get much past 2′ long. Mine grows outdoors & is well on the way to 4′ long.
Exposure: Indoors you want to give it very bight light with no direct sun. A west window is fine but just make sure it isn’t up against the hot glass. Outdoors I keep mine in bright shade with no direct sunlight – it grows under my pink grapefruit tree.
Water: When grown as a houseplant, you want your String Of Hearts to dry out in between waterings. As I said, this plant isn’t technically a succulent but you want to treat it like 1. I was watering mine every other day here in the desert in those hot summer months but now it’s October (the highs are right around 90) & I’ve backed off to every 3-5 days. Give it too much water & kiss it goodbye!
Important to know: water even less in the winter because the Rosary Vine goes dormant.
My String Of Hearts is a trailing machine!
Hardiness: Mine lived outdoors in Santa Barbara where the winter temps could dip into the high 30’s F, low 40’s. I read somewhere that it’s hardy to 25F so I plan on leaving outside here in Tucson & see what happens.
Soil: A succulent & cactus mix is just fine. If you have some coco coir, your String Of Heats would love it added to the mix. Or, a combo of half cymbidium orchid & half succulent mixes would work fine too. Just make sure the mix drains really well.
Transplanting: It’s best to transplant your Rosary Vine in spring or summer.
Fertilizer: Like most of my plants, I top dress with worm castings in the spring. If you feel yours needs some feeding, then an application of balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer in spring would work too.
Flowers: Yes it does! Mine started flowering at the end of summer & the blooms just keep on coming.
Here are those sweet but funny little flowers.
Pruning: Not much of any is needed. I’ve only cut a few dead stems out. If yours gets leggy or you want to propagate it by cuttings, then you’ll need to prune.
Propagation: The easiest ways are by stems cuttings & by laying the tubers right on top of a mix. They root very quickly.
Pests: Mine has never had any but reportedly mealybugs can appear. Keep your eye out for aphids & scale also. There are 2 reasons why people have trouble with the
Rosary Vine: not enough light &/or too much water, especially in the winter months.
The String Of Hearts or Rosary Vine is a great trailing houseplant. In warmer climates, you can grow it outdoors year round.
There’s also a variegated form of it which has a touch of pink. I’m going to plant mine in a large hanging basket with String Of Pearls and String of Bananas.
Stayed tuned for that post and video!
If you like trailing succulents then check out Fishhooks Senecio, it’s very easy to grow!