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Variegated String of Hearts Care: The Definitive Guide

Variegated String of Hearts is not only easy to care for, but its incredible heart-shaped leaves in different shades can also be an excellent addition to any space.

Generally, Variegated String of Hearts prefers 4-6 hours of bright indirect sunlight, 65-90°F temperature, and 40-50% humidity. Provide it with monthly fertilization, weekly watering, and biennial repotting for healthy growth.

Follow this article till the end for the complete care guide on the Variegated String of Hearts.

Variegated String of Hearts Overview

The Variegated String of Heart is a magnificent hanging plant native to South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Botanical NameCeropegia woodii
NativeSouth Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe
USDA Zone10 and 11a
Flowering SeasonSpring
FoliageHeart-shaped leaves
White and Green with Pinkish touch on the edges
ToxicityNon toxic to pets and children

Variegated String of Hearts Care Guide

For the most incredible view, you can place the Variegated String of Hearts plant on a hanging basket.

Here is a quick overview of the optimum requirement of the plant.

RequirementsOptimum Condition
LightBright, indirect light
Minimum 4-6 Hours per day
Watering7-10 days during summer
Once a month during winter
Ideal Soil MixWell-Draining Mixture
FertilizationMild fertilizer every month during the summer
Once in 2 months during the winter
RepottingOnce in 1-2 years
PruningOnce a year
PropagationStem, seeds, tuber
PestsMealybugs, Spider mites, Scales, Thrips
DiseaseRoot rot

1. Sunlight and Temperature

Variegated String of Hearts requires bright indirect light for at least 4-6 hours and a temperature between 65-90°F for proper functioning.

This plant can’t tolerate temperatures below 40°F, so it’s best to place them in a warm location facing east or south.

Excessive light cause its leaves to be dark, crisp, and wither, whereas leaves retain dark green color with leggy vines due to low light.

Bring your plant indoors to avoid frost and nurture it under artificial light during cold days.

Variegated String of Heart on a hanging basket
Always keep your Variegated String of Heart in bright indirect sunlight.

Also, it’s best to provide it with two hours of morning sun during winter.

Keep your plants away from cold drafts, vents, heaters, etc., and use heating pads or frost covers to protect them from the cold.

2. Water and Humidity

Variegated String of Hearts will be happy if you provide weekly watering and 40-50% humidity.

As this succulent can’t tolerate excessive watering, water only when the top 2 inches of the soil is dry to prevent root rot.

However, underwatering or too dry environments can cause brown or crispy leaves, wilting, curling, and stunted growth.

Moreover, water them monthly during winter and mist the plant daily during summer.

Despite proper watering, Variegated String of Hearts may suffer from root rot and fungal infections due to improper drainage.

Terracotta pots with enough drainage holes will solve this problem, but you must repot the plant immediately.

For even water distribution, you can water the plant with ice cubes, as slow melting benefits the plant.

Use the bottom watering method if the plant is excessively underwatered, or use a moisture meter for proper watering.

Plants grouping, pebble trays, and artificial humidifiers are also beneficial to maintain proper humidity.

3. Soil and Fertilizer

A Variegated String of Hearts thrives well in well-draining porous soil with pH 6-6.5.

Similarly, this variegated plant prefers slow-release liquid fertilizer diluted to 1/4 with a moderate value.

To fulfill this, you can use homemade organic fertilizer or buy a commercial one and feed your plant every 3-5 weeks.

However, only fertilize your plant once in two months during winter or completely cut it off.

Remember that low fertilizer deprives your plant of nutrition with yellowing, wilting, etc., and high fertilizer burns the plant roots.

4. Potting and Repotting

Usually, you can repot your Variegated String of Hearts after every 2 years only during spring and summer.

However, repot them immediately if your plant faces diseases such as wilting, stunted growth, root rot, and browning.

Also, repot your String of Heart whenever it becomes rootbound or emerges its roots out of the pot.

To repot your String of Hearts, prepare a succulent-friendly potting mix and fill it 1/3 of a terracotta container.

Next, prune the damaged parts of your plant after gently removing them from the old pot and repot the plant in the center of the pot.

Remember to water the plant only after the soil dries and avoid fertilizing for a week until the plant adjusts.

It’s normal for your Variegated String of Hearts to undergo the transplant shock, but they will soon revive after some time.

5. Occasional Pruning

Usually, Variegated String of Hearts doesn’t require extensive pruning, but the plant will be happy if you prune them annually.

You must prune the plant immediately whenever the plant suffers from any pathogenic diseases, root rot, or physical damage.

Pathogenic diseases are mainly spread due to different pests such as mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scales.

Apply suitable fungicides and pesticides weekly or switch towards neem oil if you want the safe option.

Improper watering also encourages pathogenic invasion, so water directly to the roots, not the foliage.

Always prune your String of Hearts at the end of winter or the beginning of the spring with sterilized equipment.

6. Variegated String of Heart: All About Growth

A completely grown Variegated String of Heart’s trailing stems can grow up to 6 feet (2 meters) long.

They would produce cute Heart-shaped leaves in white and green with pinkish touch on the edges.

The growth rate depends on the season, temperature, pot size, and more.

If your plant is root bound, the growth will be stunted.

You can see dainty small pink and purple lantern-shaped flowers at the end of the growing season.

You can encourage flowering by watering with a diluted liquid succulent and cacti fertilizer during summer.

This succulent has slow growth during winter, but you can see them growing rapidly during spring and summer.

7. Variegated String of Heart Toxicity

Did your children or pet accidentally swallow your String of Heart’s leaves? Don’t panic as this succulent is non-toxic.

However, don’t keep them within your children’s or pets’ reach, as damaged ones won’t look good.

Also, choking and stomach upsets are obvious if children or pets accidentally swallow the plants. 

Propagation Methods for Variegated String of Hearts

This ideal hanging heart-shaped plant can be propagated through tubers, seeds, stems, water, and seeds.

Propagating Variegated String of Hearts
Propagate your Variegated String of Hearts during spring and summer.

If you propagate it properly, you can see its roots emerging within five days.

1. Tuber Propagation

The Variegated String of Hearts produces tubers on its strings at the base of the leaves.

Tuber propagation is the easiest way of propagating your variegated strings with the highest success rate.

However, this method is applicable only if you have an old plant that produces tubers.

Quick Steps to Propagate Variegated String by Tuber

  • Cover the half tuber with new potting mix on a terracotta pot with good drainage.
  • Provide enough light and water until the tuber grows multiple roots and shoots.
  • If you are propagating in the same pot, repot the tuber after it grows 2-3 or more leaves.
  • Place the pot in a bright place and avoid overwatering.

2. Seeds Propagation

After the Variegated String of Heart flowers, you can collect its seeds can propagate them.

Quick Steps to Propagate Variegated Strings by Seeds

  • After the Variegated Strings blooms, you must wait until the seed develops and collect them.
  • Take a small container and soak the seeds in lukewarm water overnight. 
  • Prepare a well-draining soil mixture and place the desired number of seeds.
  • Maintain the growing environment. You can use a heating mat to sprout them well.
  • Always use a spray bottle for watering and avoid seed crowding as it leads to space, water, and nutrient competition.
  • You will see Your Variegated String of Heart’s seed sprouting within a week.

3. Stem Propagation

There are numerous ways of propagating Variegated strings by cutting their stem, but these two are the most common methods.

Propagation in Water

All you need is a pair of sterilized scissors, gloves to protect your hands, a suitable glass container, and some clean water.

Also, an existing mother Variegated String of Hearts is a must.

  • Select the healthy branch or String and make a clean cut just above the leaf nodule.
  • Leave 2-3 leaves on your 5- 15 cm long string and discard the remaining ones.
  • Gently place the String in the water submerging the base without touching the end of the container.

Propagation in Soil

To propagate Variegated Strings in soil, you need a healthy mother plant and some tools.

Prepare a pair of sterile scissors, gloves, soil mixture, pot, and growth hormones.

Steps to propagate Variegated String of Hearts in soil

  • Cut off a clean and healthy stem and plant it in the center of a terracotta pot with succulent-friendly soil.
  • You can add pebbles or sand to further well-draining and provide proper aeration.
  • Keep the soil moist and water once a week or only when the soil becomes 2 inches dry.
  • You can add growth hormone to enhance growth and rooting.
  • Keep the pot in a bright place and check for progress.

Also, watch the video to know more about growing a happy and healthy Variegated String of Hearts.


FAQs about Variegated String of Hearts

Is Variegated String of Hearts Rare?

The Variegated String of Hearts is not commonly found in plant stores or nearby nurseries.

However you can find them online, but they can be a bit on the expensive side.

Can Variegated String of Hearts Revert?

Excessive sunlight without any filter or too low light can give the Variegated String of Hearts a slightly pinkish look.

Do Variegated Strings of Hearts Grow Fast?

On receiving enough sunlight, i.e., 5-6 hours a day, the Variegated String of Hearts can grow pretty fast.

How can you Identify between the Variegated String of Hearts and the Original String of Hearts?

The Original String of Hearts is deep green with only silver lining edges.

In contrast, Variegated String of Hearts has a lighter color leaving whitish edges that gradually turns pinkish on growth.

From Editorial Team

Make your Own Potting Mix for a Variegated String of Hearts.

You can simply create your own succulent-friendly potting mix with some ingredients in your home.

Mix one part of perlite, two parts of drainage sand, and two parts of organic fertilizer well.

Your String of Heart will happily thrive in your homemade potting mix.

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