How to Propagate String of Hearts?

String of Hearts (Source: Flickr)

The String of hearts, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is the perfect trailing succulent to hang in your living space.

If you wish to populate a String of hearts, there are multiple propagating methods for it.

As a String of hearts is native to South Africa and grows naturally in tropical and subtropical, it will need warm temperatures to grow after propagating.

Generally, to propagate a String of hearts, obtain a healthy set of 2-4 inches long stem cuttings or fresh seeds and root them in damp peat moss or potting mix. Root division, tuber, and butterfly are other methods to propagate. 

Beautiful String of Hearts. (Source: Flickr)

I agree propagation seems complicated until you do not do how to do it.

They are effortless to grow, and they will bloom properly as long as you can provide them with proper care.

This article will discuss various ways to propagate a String of hearts.

Why Propagate String of Hearts?

Propagating your String of hearts is a cost-effective technique to increase the species and develop new cultivars and types with distinct traits.

The dark green heart-shaped leaves with magnificent silver marking are an eye-catcher to many gardeners.

As a result, you can share, collect or even sell this beautiful vine plant!

Here are a few reasons to propagate your String of hearts.

  • When your plants have healthy roots, you can use these roots to successfully propagate your plant.
  • Similarly, if your plant’s roots have developed into a dense, knotted mass with little or no place for new growth.
  • If your String of hearts suffers from root rot, you’ll need to propagate it into a fresh medium to protect it from dying.
  • They are super-easy to grow, and you can decorate your house with a beautiful String of hearts.

Best Time to Propagate String of Hearts

Since we know why we need to propagate, it is also critical to understand when we need to propagate.

The best time to propagate the String of hearts is the growing season of the plant such as spring and summer. 

Taking a cutting from an active plant during these seasons is also less likely to stress the plant.

Furthermore, springtime encourages the growth of green and flexible stems. They’re simple to cut and develop roots in a matter of weeks.

However, you should avoid propagating during the winter days when your plant is more vulnerable and have less chance of succession.

String of Heart cascading in a planter
The string of Hearts (Source: Etsy)

Material Required for Propagation

Here is a list of materials you’ll require for the successful propagation of your String of hearts.

Most of these items may be found in your home, while others can be found in nearby stores or on Amazon.

ItemsPurpose
Pruning ShearsFor trimming and pruning tasks of the plant
98% Isopropyl AlcoholTo sterilize pruning scissors or shear
Potting MixA coarse soil such as cactus mix or peat moss potting mix works well
Clean, tepid waterFor propagation via water
3-4 inch clay, terracotta, or plastic potEnsure the container has multiple drainage holes
500 ml transparent glass vaseFor propagation via water
NewspaperTo collect scraps, debris and to protect the surface

String of Hearts: Propagation Methods

You can propagate your String of hearts in many different ways.

Although some approaches might take significantly longer than others, stem cuttings, root division, or seed germination are all feasible options to reproduce them.

1. Propagation via Stem Cutting

When it comes to stem cutting, you can propagate your String of hearts in soil or water medium.

You can multiply the plant as per your time and process convenience.

Taking the Cutting

Properly cutting the stem is a crucial step of propagation as the entire process depends on it.

You can follow the steps below to cut the stem correctly.

  • Inspect your plant for a healthy set of green stems full of leaves.
  • Ensure to take the two-inch plant section and have at least two healthy leaves at the top and a few nodes (bumps on the stem).
  • Cut the stems with an exposed node that is slightly protruding. Snip right below the node to leave as little stem as possible.
  • The more nodes you have, the better your chances of success.
  • Remove all of the lower leaves except two at the top.
  • Snip the plant’s leggy sections and use them for propagation instead.
Stem node with aerial roots
Stem node with aerial roots (Source: Wikimedia)

Rooting the Cutting in Water

If you are a beginner in propagation, water propagation is the easiest method.

Similarly, with this propagation method, you’ll be able to see your String of hearts develop new roots and timely inspect the condition of the roots.

Growth of Water Propagated plant (Source: Pixabay)

Here is the water propagation step-by-step guide.

  • Immerse your vine cutting in clean water in a vase, glass container, or other. You can use tap water or rainwater; however, room temperature is the most favorable water.
  • Be sure not to immerse the leaves into the water to avoid bacterial infections.
  • Then, position your String of hearts in a well-lit, warm environment with plenty of indirect sunlight.
  • Similarly, change the water if it becomes hazy, evaporates, or discolored. You can also change the water in two weeks.

You’ll notice the plant’s roots sprout in one or two weeks.

It’s essential to transport your propagated plant into the pot once the roots are at least 1/2″ long.

As water propagation takes place in a transparent container or glass, you’ll be able to track the growth of the roots of your cutting and pot the cutting as necessary.

However, water propagation is quite a long process requiring more attention and effort.

Rooting the Cutting in Soil

Propagating your String of hearts in the soil is another easy process that you can follow.

Compared to water propagation, soil propagation is a more direct and easy variation.

Here, you can forget the water process and move the cutting to the soil right away.

Illustration of stem propagation
Plant propagation via stem cutting (Source: Biosphere Experiment)

Here’s a step-by-step instruction for soil propagation.

  • Coat the ends of your plant’s cutting with rooting hormone powder to promote root development and boost the rate of propagation success.
  • Then, prepare the well-draining succulent or cactus mix and hydrate the soil until it’s moist. Well-draining soil will drain moisture reasonably without puddling around the soil.
  • After preparing the potting mix, insert your cutting into the soil. It would be best if you buried the leafless nodes in the soil. However, be sure not to plant it too deep in the soil.
  • Put your pot near the area where there is plenty of filtered sunlight.
  • Cover your container in a transparent bag to maintain a high humidity level.
  • Similarly, spray your potted cutting every day to stimulate rooting.
variegated string of hearts
Variegated String of Hearts in pot (Source: iStock)

In soil propagation, rooting might take two weeks to two months.

Unlike water propagation, it’ll be difficult to track the progress of the cutting.

However, as long as there is a healthy stem and no signs of rotting, your plant is good to go.

Similarly, you can gently pull on the cutting and note the plant’s resistance to know whether your cutting is rooted.

Did you know heat is a great medium for development of roots?

If you want your plants to root faster, consider laying the pot on a heat mat.

In soil propagation, you won’t have to bother about moving the plant into containers. You can pot the cutting in the soil and watch it develop.

2. Propagation by Root Division

The String of hearts propagation by root division is a simple process and typically the effective and quickest method to generate new species.

You can use this approach in various ways; you can divide the root ball, utilize the aerial tubers or split individual bulbs in the soil.

The most basic strategy for developing a more extensive, healthy String of hearts is to separate the root ball into portions containing many tubers.

Dividig root for propagation
Dividing root for propagation (Source: Pexels)

Here’s a step-by-step instruction for root division propagation.

  • Pick a new container (with drainage holes) along with the division of your plant.
  • Fill the bottom of the container with a coating of well-draining soil mix and carefully pack the soil down.
  • Now, untangle the vines and roots of your plant and break them into significant parts.
  • Fill in around each new division with soil and place it in a pot at the same depth as it was in the original container.
  • Carefully compact the dirt around the roots to avoid huge air pockets as you try to fill the hole.

There are fewer threats of diseases and pests when replicating through root division.

However, there may be prolonged growth with the division process.

3. Propagation by Tuber

If you observe your String of hearts, you’ll be able to notice aerial tubers which grow along the strands of your old plant.

These tubers resemble marbles in size and may be placed in soil to generate new vines.

New vine generated from Tuber Propagation (Source: Planty.io)

Here is a step-by-step guide to propagating a String of hearts through tuber.

  • Remove the biggest tuber from your plant and cut it, leaving a small portion of the original vine intact.
  • Bury the tuber gently down the potting soil; however, be sure not to bury the timber entirely in the soil. It would be best to bury it until it is halfway submerged in the soil.
  • After burying the tuber, be sure to regularly moisture the soil, and after a few weeks, you’ll notice the generation of roots and new vines.

Tuber propagation is an excellent approach to utilizing an older String of hearts plant to generate a new plant. 

Note: You can find tubers only on an older plant, making this method inaccessible to the gardeners with a younger String of hearts.

4. Propagation by Seeds

One of the most interesting aspects of the String of hearts is that this plant blooms.

You’ll notice strange blooms resembling flamingo heads and can yield seeds that can be used to start new plants.

Your seed pods will emerge if pollinated. The seed pods can be visualized as lengthy and woody with splits in both directions.

It would be best to allow the seed pod to crack on its own and the seeds to fall out before proceeding.

Once the seed pod opens up, you’ll notice tiny seed parachutes similar to dandelion seeds.

If you don’t have a mother plant to collect seeds, you can easily get seeds from local or online stores.

String of heart blooming flower
The string of hearts flower (Source: Hirts)

You can grow your String of hearts from seed by following the steps.

  • Prepare a seedling tray, preferably with a humidity dome, to constrain the moisture.
  • Sow the seeds with tweezers, insert 1-2 seeds per container filled with succulent soil mix and lightly cover the seeds with soil.
  • You should not soak the soil, however, sprinkle the soil using a spray bottle to avoid damaging the set ground of the seeds.
  • Put your seedling tray in a warm position where it’ll receive bright indirect sunlight.
  • It’ll take up to 2-3 weeks for the seeds to germinate, and once the seedling is noticeable, you can remove the humidity dome.
  • Make sure to keep the soil mildly moist until the leaves have emerged, and then you can transit to a regular watering pace for the plant.

Unlike other propagation, you’ll be able to store the seeds of String of hearts for a long time, making it easier to propagate and produce new plants.

Seed Germination growth stages
Seed Germination Growth (Source: Dallas International University)

However, seed propagation might take more time and is comparatively less efficient than the other methods.

5. Propagation by Butterfly Method

Butterfly propagation is a unique and different method to reproduce the number of your String of hearts plant.

Butterfly Propagation Method
Propagating via Butterfly Method (Source: Youtube)

You’ll require sphagnum peat moss for this method, which is uncommon in all previous methods.

  • Firstly, choose a vine where a couple of leaves connect and cut off on both sides, leaving about 1/4 inch of the vine.
  • Fill a bowl halfway with warm water and soak sphagnum peat moss for 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze out the excess moisture from the soaked moss and fill a container halfway with moss.
  • On top of the sphagnum moss, arrange the leaf cuttings. Make sure to place the nodes in direct contact with the moss.
  • Like the before methods, place the cuttings in an indirect but bright light area and cover the container with a transparent lid.
  • Be sure to check the container weekly to see the resulted growths.

Due to additional nutrition, your String of hearts will turn out fuller and more significant.

However, the butterfly is relatively long compared to other approaches, and it might be time-consuming for a first start at propagation.

Tips to Care for a Newly Potted String of Hearts

Congratulations! With one of the propagation methods mentioned above, you have successfully propagated your String of hearts.

However, propagation is not the end of your String of hearts; you need to make sure to care for your plant for them to thrive and grow healthily and happily.

Small watering can and young tree sprout in the ground
Small Plant Sprout and Water Can (Source: Flickr)

Here is a list of things for you to note after propagation so you can adequately care for your plant.

  • You can keep your String of hearts at room temperature; however, 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for your plant.
  • Use a humidifier or pebble tray to increase the humidity and temperature of your plant.
  • Keeping your plant away from cold drafts, air conditioning, and drafty windows is essential.
  • When picking containers, choose a planter that will allow your String of hearts to drain, such as porous terracotta or an unglazed pot.
  • Make sure to re-pot your String of hearts every 1 to 2 years in an inch more giant planter than its previous one.
  • Similarly, during the growth season (spring to fall), make sure to water your plant once a week.
  • After the propagation, you can feed your String of hearts once a month with a diluted standard houseplant fertilizer during the growing season to produce more new growth.

FAQs About String of Hearts Propagation

Can a String of Hearts Tubers be Rooted in Water?

It is feasible to root the String of heart tubers in water for propagation.

However, it is a complex and unreliable process. You should always keep the bulb above the waterline, and if submerged, the tubers will suffer from rot.

Is it Possible to Grow a String of Hearts from a Single Leaf?

Growth from a single leaf is conceivable for a String of heart; however, this method lacks a high success rate.

As per many gardeners, even if the roots are generated through a leaf, they cannot grow further.

Similarly, for this process, the leaf of the String of hearts should be in good condition, and you are unable to utilize the fallen leaf of your plant.

Also, watch the video for more care tips,

Conclusion

You don’t have to be worried about the propagation of this lovely vine.

Any of the mentioned propagation methods are simple and you’ll successfully have new procreation with the method.

I hope these methods and guides will help you multiply your String of hearts and create happiness when gifted to your loved ones.

Please let us know if you try any of these methods in the comments section below. Till then, take care and happy gardening.

Do you want to know more about care for your String of hearts? Here is Variegated String of Hearts Care: The Definitive Guide.

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