Ceropegia woodii, also known as chain of hearts plant or rosary vine, is a lovely small houseplant appreciated for its heart-shaped leaves and trailing growth. The perfect choice for a hanging basket and, luckily, not difficult to grow at all!
Keep reading for everything you need to know about Ceropegia woodii and growing your own chain of hearts plant at home.
|Easy||Some direct sun||Let dry a little||Well-draining|
Chain of hearts plant care
Though not a true succulent, Ceropegia woodii is able to store quite a bit of water in its stem and wonderfully patterned leaves. It’s naturally found in the southern parts of Africa and is fully adapted to grow on hillsides and other ‘vertical’ habitats.
This gives us a few good care indications. Most importantly, it’s a good idea to treat Ceropegia woodii somewhat like a succulent. Use a well-draining soil mix, let the soil dry out at least partly before watering again and provide direct sun if possible.
Chain of hearts plant light, location and temperature
- In its natural habitat there are few trees and other plants to shelter Ceropegia woodii from the harsh African sun. It likes similar conditions in the home, so be sure to place your chain of hearts plant in a location that gets at least a few hours of sun every day. Without the light it needs this plant will quickly start looking pale, sparse and just not very happy at all.
- If you’re not able to provide direct sun a grow light might prove helpful.
- Ceropegia woodii does fine at room temperature. It doesn’t react well to cold so be sure to protect it from drafts and keep it away from icy windows during the Winter months!
- Like most (semi-)succulents this plant doesn’t need high humidity, which means it can be placed in dryer locations that wouldn’t be appreciated by tropical plants.
Chain of hearts plant soil and planting
As discussed earlier, Ceropegia woodii needs well-draining soil and won’t respond well to constantly wet feet. A regular succulent soil mix should work well for this plant: just combine equal parts potting soil and perlite to create a light, airy and fast-draining mixture.
Because water standing in your Ceropegia woodii’s planter can quickly cause tuber rot be sure to always use a container with a drainage hole. Regular old terracotta planters allow extra water evaporation through the porous sides, which makes them a great option for plants like this one. These terracotta pots come with a handy saucer.
Watering chain of hearts plant
Although Ceropegia woodii needs a bit more water than ‘real’ succulents, it’s still quite important to prevent overwatering. During the growing months (Spring through early Fall) when the plant is regularly producing new leaves and maybe even a few flowers, you can water it when the soil is mostly dry.
During Winter, when your Ceropegia woodii is mostly dormant, much less water is needed. A little moisture once the soil is almost fully dry should be enough to keep it alive until Spring rolls back around.
Chain of hearts plant fertilizer
If your Ceropegia woodii is happily growing during Spring and Summer you can feed it once a month or so using a diluted regular houseplant fertilizer.
Propagating chain of hearts plant
A healthy Ceropegia woodii should regularly produce little white tubers on its stems. In the wild these allow the plant to spread by rooting on whatever surface they can find and forming new growth there. You can use the same method at home! Just remove a tuber and place it on top of a new pot with the same fast-draining soil mixture you used for the mother plant. Water sparingly and keep the tuber away from direct sun until you see new growth.
Although propagating Ceropegia woodii using stem tubers is easiest you can also use stem cuttings. Just cut good sized portions off the main plants stem and put these in a moist, well-draining soil mixture. You’ll know your propagation attempt has been successful when you start seeing new growth appear on the cuttings.
Is chain of hearts plant toxic to cats and dogs?
Although it was pretty difficult to find information about the toxicity of this plant, most sources seem to indicate it should be harmless. Do keep in mind that those long, stringy stems are probably irresistible to cats! Hang/place your Ceropegia woodii far out of its reach to prevent trouble.
If you have any more questions about Ceropegia woodii care or want to share your own experiences with this romantic plant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!