In my last article I reported on two succulents named String of Beads and String of Bananas. The names pretty much indicate the shape of the “leaves.” These two unique, ornamental plants may have captured your interest, but let me introduce String of Hearts, which may capture your heart.
String of Hearts plant has other common names: Chain of Hearts, Sweetheart Vine, or the Rosary Vine, not to be confused with the String of Beads, which is referred to as the Rosary plant. Hmmm. I like the Sweetheart Vine nickname, so String of Hearts, henceforth in this article, is Sweetheart Vine.
Since the previous article was on two Ceropegia woodii, “Beads and Bananas,” there are some duplicating characteristics with Ceropegia woodii, Sweetheart Vine: drought tolerant, indirect light and light watering requirements; no extreme cold or heat; produces tubular flowers; native of South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
A major difference is the Sweetheart Vine is a “semi-succulent,” genus Ceropegia of the family Apocynaceae. New one for me! This succulent-like plant stores water in its upper leaves closest to the soil, however, the leaves further down on the vine are without that fleshy, padded feel.
“String of Hearts” conjures an accurate image of a beaded curtain-like plant with heart-shaped leaves trailing on thin vines, spaced about two inches between leaves. This bigger gap is different than the tight-spaced leaves of succulents Bead or Banana plants.
The pattern on heart-shaped leaves remind me of a turtle’s back with its lighter ridges and green splotches. Some Sweetheart Vines are variegated with pink tinges. The vines can grow about two feet long indoors, and may grow even longer on an outdoor plant, up to 12 feet long in its natural environment. My indoor Sweetheart vines vary from six inches to two feet long, twisting and tangling as they grow.
The Sweetheart Vine have flowers that are white with deep purplish centers and may hide amongst the twisted vines. This succulent-like plant seems to grow fast as opposed to the slow growing Beads and Bananas.
Some caveats. Treat String of Hearts like a succulent. Overwatering will kill it, but cut back on water in the winter months because it goes dormant. Don’t expose your Sweetheart Vine to extreme cold nor extreme heat. Another caution, watch for mealybugs, aphids and scale.
So, your friends and family have seen your unique (and expensive) String of Hearts trailing plant, and they want a start. It is easy to propagate. Simply cut about three to four inches off the bottom vines and place in a new planter filled with fast draining soil. A second option is to place the cuttings or stems of the plants right on the soil. You will separate the stems later as they develop roots. Regarding the soil, succulent and cactus mix is good, or soil of half cymbidium orchid and half succulent works.
Success! Another String of Beauty.
Mark your calendars. Tuesday, Aug. 27 will be our first meeting for garden club season at Red Bluff Methodist Church in a fellowship room at 525 David Ave., Red Bluff. Refreshments and socializing begin at 12:30 p.m. with a presentation beginning at 1 p.m. Meeting to follow. All are welcome to attend.
The Red Bluff Garden Club is affiliated with the Cascade District Garden Club; California Garden Clubs, Inc; Pacific Region Garden Clubs and Natural Garden Clubs Inc.