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How To Propagate String of Hearts For Best Results

How To Propagate String of Hearts For Best Results

String of Hearts plants can be easily propagated using several propagation methods. They can be propagated by division, in water, and by using a soil method.  These beautiful plants are easy to grow and take little care. Let’s learn how to propagate String of Hearts.

String of Hearts Plant
Photo Credit Hootshack

A String of Hearts (SOH), also known as Ceropegia Woodii, is a beautiful plant that originated in South Africa. It grows long trailing vines and is also often referred to as a Chain of Hearts or a Rosary Vine. They grow beautiful long vines similar to a String of Pearls and are hearty and easy to grow. 

It is easy to propagate new plants and indoor gardeners will argue over which is the best method.  You will likely have success with any of these methods but I’m going to start with the method that I find easiest, followed by different methods.

How To Propagate String Of Hearts By Division

For some reason, most articles fail to mention this method.  It’s honestly one of the easiest ways to propagate SOH. 

  1. Prepare your pot with soil and set it (or hang it) next to your existing plant.  Take a long vine from your existing plant and coil it into the new pot but don’t cut the vine.  The two plants will still be connected by the vine you choose to propagate with.
  2. Use the longest vine you can find and if you have an aerial tuber (that little brown crusty-looking thing that grows at the base of the leaves), even better.  If you have the aerial tuber, press it into the soil a little deeper but leave a bit of the top of it exposed.  If you have two, do the same. 
  3. Keep the top of the soil misted daily.  Don’t over-water it.
  4. Once you see that the new vine is getting new growth and rooting into the new pot, you can separate the two plants by snipping them apart. I like to wait a couple of weeks longer just to be sure.

How To Propagate String of Hearts In Water

Water propagation is one of the most fun ways to grow a new plant. It’s generally best to propagate during the growing season of your plant. Spring is usually the best time but some climates will be different.

Water propagation is one my my favorite methods because I enjoy watching the process of the roots growing in water. This method is also an easy way to propagate SOH. I like to use a very tiny vase at first since I change the water so frequently. As the roots grow, I’ll choose a bigger vase.

propagating a string of hearts in water
  1. Cut several stem cuttings from your mature plant using sterilized scissors or a sharp knife.
  2. Carefully pull any leaves off of the vine that will be touching the water. This will expose the leaf nodes where the roots will grow.
  3. Place the stripped ends of the vine in a clear glass vase of water letting your leafy pieces dangle out. You don’t need too big of a vase. A small glass of water will work.
  4. Place the vase in a window that gets indirect but bright light.
  5. To make String of Hearts grow faster, add an appropriate amount of Suprthrive to the water. (generally 1 drop per cup of water)
  6. Change the water every other day if possible to promote new growth. Freshwater gives the plant oxygen to aid in the growing process. Use filtered water if your tap water is not good quality or if you have a water softener. Always keep the stem with leaf nodes completely underwater, but not the leaves themselves.
  7. After you see 2 -3 inches of new roots growing you’ve achieved successful propagation and you can move your plant to a new pot if you wish.
String of Hearts Plant in pot

How To Propagate String of Hearts in Potting Soil

There are two different ways to propagate String of Hearts plants in succulent soil or cactus mix (some use sphagnum moss). The first is to plant cuttings directly in soil using the butterfly method. More about that in a bit but my preferred method is to coil cuttings on top of the soil.

  1. Cut several vine cutting pieces from your mother plant using a sharp knife or clean scissors.
  2. Choose a pot with drainage and add a layer of pebble or rocks to the bottom of the pot so the drainage holes don’t plug up with potting mix. This also aids in the drainage process which will help prevent root rot.
  3. Prepare potting mix made for succulents by stirring in water to make the soil evenly damp all the way through before adding it to the pot.
  4. Fill the pot with damp soil (not soggy).
  5. Coil your String of Hearts cuttings in a circle over the surface of the soil focusing on keeping the leaves facing up. If you choose cuttings with tubers attached to the vines, you can bury the aerial tubers under the soil. These aerial tubers are basically seed pods that grow outside the soil.
  6. You can use hairpins or folded paper clips to hold the pieces down if you’d like but it’s not necessary.
  7. Mist the top of the soil a couple of times per day for the first week or so. Pouring water directly on the plant can disturb the rooting process.

The goal is to keep the soil damp until the plant becomes established but never over-water a String of Hearts. In very dry climates, you may have success creating an environment with high humidity by placing a cloche or some sort of a clear lid over your plant while it grows. For best results, check your plant daily and remove the cover if you see mold growing on the surface of the soil.

A couple of weeks after propagation, you’ll see new vines growing. Because of their long trailing vines, String of Hearts makes a great hanging plant.

How To Propagate Sting Of Hearts With Aerial Tubers

String of Hearts forms little brown growths that are called aerial tubers. Don’t pick these off, they grow new plants. Here’s how to propagate String of Hearts tubers.

  1. Find a tuber on one of your vines but don’t cut it off.
  2. Coil the vine into the top of the pot
  3. Bury the tubers almost all of the way under the soil.
  4. Place the plant in a window that gets indirect light and water like you usually would.

Propagating String of Hearts Using The Butterfly Method

The butterfly method is when you take pairs of leaf sets and trim them down at the base of the leaves and plant the cuttings directly in the soil. 

Here is what the leaves look like when you use the butterfly method of propagating String of Hearts. You would want to start with several of these cuttings.

string of heats butterfly method for propagation

This is another one of the good ways to propagate String of Hearts. If you’re using the butterfly method, you may have better success if you dip the roots in rooting hormone prior to placing them in the potting mix for better root growth.

Many people start the butterfly cuttings in soggy sphagnum moss instead of soil and then move them to soil after they are growing roots. Put moss in a plastic container and soak it until the moss is very wet then drain off any excess water. Plant your cuttings in the moss.

Care Tips

String of Heart plants are easy to grow in the right conditions. They will grow outside as a groundcover in certain zones (above Zone 10 and generally in a tropical environment), but if you plan to plant them outside, you may want to consider using container gardening so you can move plants around if weather conditions require. They make great indoor plants just about anywhere as long as the room is kept reasonably warm. (around 65 -90 degrees)

They require enough water to keep the soil slightly damp but you generally only need to water them about once per week. I like the method of bottom watering which is when you place your pot in water and allow the plant to soak up what it needs. Place the watered plant on a saucer and you won’t need to water it again for at least one week, sometimes longer.

String of Hearts prefer bright indirect light but don’t place them in direct sun because it can burn the leaves. They like warm temperatures which makes them great indoor plants for any zone.