Variegated String of Hearts: Ceropegia Woodii Variegata

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A variegated string of hearts, also known by its scientific name Ceropegia Woodii Variegata, is one of the sweetest and most charming plants you can buy.

They look adorable and almost as though they aren’t real. Partly due to their waxy texture. But mostly due to their heart-shaped leaves.

Plants have become more and more popular in recent years. And succulents have definitely become some of the most popular. This is due to their appearance but also because of how easy they are to care for.

To find out more about variegated string of hearts, and to see if it is the right plant for you, here is our complete guide to these adorable succulents. 

The Basics

Family: Apocynaceae

Genus: Ceropegia

Species: C. woodii

Natural Habitat

Plants within the Ceropegia genus are native to Africa, South Asia, and Australia. This generally means that they thrive in hot, dry environments.

They are not particularly cold-hardy so do not thrive well in colder climates, especially outdoors.

Main Features

Leaves

The leaves of a variegated string of hearts are by far the most notable features. They are similar in texture to the leaves of most succulents. So they are thick and have a tough waxy exterior.

The shape of the leaves is similar to most leaves, except the indentation at the stem is more defined. This is what gives it its heart shape (and its name). 

The coloring of the leaves also contributes to its overall heartlike look. While the leaves are primarily differing shades of green, they also take on a red or pink tinge. This further emphasizes their resemblances to the cartoonish romantic heart. 

In general, each leaf can mature to around 4cm in size. This might not seem very large. But the growing style of this plant means that they cluster and many leaves will spring up on one vine. This means that they can grow quite a lot and to a relatively large size.

Growing Style

On that note, let’s move on to the growing style of the variegated string of hearts. As we mentioned above, the leaves grow very close to each other. They overlap a lot and do not grow very high. 

A variegated string of hearts are creepers and will grow slightly upward from the soil, usually no higher than 7 inches. Then they begin to grow and trail outward. These plants will usually creep to around 4 meters long.

This makes them great for placing on a windowsill, a hearth, or best of all in a hanging basket. 

Flowers

Although these succulents are best-known for their leaves, they do bloom flowers as well. The flowers of a variegated string of hearts are a purplish-pink (similar to the pink tinge of the leaves). These are tubular flowers that bloom in summer. 

These are very unique-looking flowers. They even have a slight heart shape as well. So this is another reason why a variegated string of hearts should be your next plant purchase.

Care Details

Now you know just how beautiful these plants will be in your home, let’s go over how easy they are to look after. There’s nothing worse than finding a plant you love, only for it to be a sensitive drama queen that requires constant care and attention.

While you might love your plants enough to give them this attention, the easy they are to care for, the better.

Watering

As with most succulents, a variegated string of hearts can do okay without water for a while.

Unlike some other plants, these succulents aren’t too sensitive to over or under-watering. So just make sure to water them thoroughly. Then, when the soil feels mostly dry, give it another good watering.

This is a great plant for beginners as it’s super-easy to care for. Trust us, you will have a hard time killing this succulent. 

As we mentioned above, these plants are happiest in hot, dry conditions. So they should be okay being watered only once or twice a week in the summertime.

But, even in winter, these plants are pretty easy to handle. They are dormant in winter so they need even less water. Every 2 weeks or so should do. As before, it’s best to check the dryness of the soil. This will give you the best idea of whether or not it needs watering. 

Sunlight

As we have already mentioned a few times, variegated string hearts enjoy a hot and dry environment. This generally occurs in countries that experience a lot of sunshine. Try to keep them outside if you live in a warm enough environment.

If not, keep them near a window. The leaves of these plants are surprisingly delicate. So it’s a good idea to make sure they don’t have too much direct sunlight. Keep them near the light. But don’t allow them to experience it directly too often. 

Temperature and Atmosphere

The best temperature for a variegated string of hearts is between 65°F and 90°F. This might seem quite high but they will be okay if they are in a warm environment and regularly near a warm patch of sunlight. 

As they are from areas that are very hot in the day and cold in night, they prefer a colder temperature in the nighttime. But this isn’t something you really need to consider. It’s just something to remember during especially hot days.

On especially cold days, it’s very important to remember that a variegated string of hearts does not do well in cold weather. They shouldn’t get below 40°F. Try and make sure they remain in a warm environment at all times.

If you live in an area with especially cold winters, it’s a good idea to keep them in a warm place, especially overnight.

This is especially important if you keep your variegated string of hearts outdoors. These plants do not cope well with frost or snow. So it’s a good idea to bring them inside if the outside temperature drops below 40°F.

As you will have guessed by now, these plants don’t enjoy a humid environment. Variegated string hearts thrive best in dry conditions. But an average and even amount of humidity will also be fine. Generally speaking, your variegated string of hearts should be okay with the natural humidity of your area. But try to move them somewhere cool and dry if your home becomes humid during the summer months.

Cutting and Pruning

A variegated string of hearts only requires a little regular pruning. It’s a good idea to trim off older leaves to maintain the health of the plant. This will allow the nutrients to reach the newer and healthier leaves. Only do this as and when needed.

Soil and Fertilizer

As a variegated string of hearts is a succulent, it requires a pot and soil with a good amount of drainage. You should be able to find a soil specific to succulents. You can use this or mix it with soil intended for cacti.

Succulents also don’t require much fertilizer. In spring and summer (from around March to August), it’s a good idea to use a diluted fertilizer intended for house plants. As mentioned above, a variegated string of hearts will go dormant during the colder winter months. This means that they don’t need any fertilizer during this time of the year.

Propagation

Propagation can often be a little difficult, especially if you haven’t done it before. Cutting the stems and leaves of a standard houseplant is easy. But it can be a little trickier with densely growing succulents.

But, a variegated string of hearts is surprisingly easy to propagate. (Cuttings will also sell for a pretty decent price).

Season

As we have already mentioned, a variegated string of hearts goes dormant in the winter months.

This means that the best time to propagate your plant is during the summer. This will yield the best results.

Method

The best place to take a cutting from a variegated string of hearts is around 5 to 7 inches from the end of one of its growths. Make sure that the stem cutting has nodes on it.

Place the cuttings in a jar of water and leave them in a warm place. After around 2 weeks, small roots should begin to show. Once the roots have reached around 50mm, it’s time to place the cuttings in the soil. 

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