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4 Ways To Propagate A String Of Hearts Plant (Rosary Vine)

My beautiful String Of Hearts vine had gotten way too long (6'!) & tangled. It was time to cut it all off & do some propagating. Here are 4 ways to propagate a String Of Hearts plant, aka Rosary Vine. Find out which worked the best.

close of of a string of hearts plant rosary vine the text reads 4 Ways To Propagate A String Of Hearts Plant

My String Of Hearts vine traveled with me, along with numerous other plants and 2 crazy kitties, in a very packed car when I moved from Santa Barbara to Tucson a couple of years ago. We all survived the 9+ hour trip (barely!) and boy oh boy has my String Of Hearts grown like a weed here in the toasty, sunny southern Arizona desert. It was time for a major haircut and I actually ended up cutting off all the trails. So this my friend, is a great time to show you 4 ways to propagate a String Of Hearts plant and reveal which was the most successful for me.

My String Of Hearts shared a hanging container with my String Of Pearls and String Of Bananas. It’s fancy botanical name is Ceropegia woodii and it also goes by Rosary Vine or Chain Of Hearts. I pruned it every month last summer but it grew back fast every time. It had gotten tangled in the wind, the top 12″ of the stems were bare and the plant was showing signs of mild sunburn. I wanted to rejuvenate the plant and give it a new lease on life.

Here I completely cut back my String Of Hearts & show those propagation methods:

a String of Hearts plant with 6' long trails hangs off the beams of a covered patio

This is how the plant looked 7 months ago – those tangled trails were at least 6′ long.

a tangle of String of Hearts cuttings sit on a sheet of brown paper

Here are the stems I cut off 1 1/2 months ago. This is the underside where the foliage was nice & green. The side facing out to the morning sun was a bronzy-red. Foliage color changes when plants are environmentally stressed.

The ways  I propagated my String Of Hearts or Rosary Vine:

Number One – by stem cuttings in water

I ended up composting all the stems that you see in the picture above. They were just too tangled to deal with. 4 months ago I had pruned this plant & put the cuttings both in water & mix.

For me, the cuttings in water rooted better. I had meant to do this post & video earlier but waited until late winter. I decided to completely cut back this String Of Hearts & take the root ball out of the hanging pot. These cutting stayed in the water for quite some time but 80% of them developed quite a nice root system. They are now in the same pot as the cuttings in the mix.

a jars with String of Hearts plant cuttings sit on a piece of brown paper

The cuttings in water. I changed the water every 2 weeks & made sure it covered the roots. Don’t have the water level too high up on the thin stems because they could rot out. By the way, little tubers had started to form at the base of the stems which had rooted.

Number Two – by stem cuttings in the mix

This method was the least successful for me. After taking the cuttings, I put them directly in succulent & cactus mix. You can root stem cuttings in a mix formulated for propagation. Whatever you use, make sure it’s light & aerated so those baby roots can easily emerge. Some people like to dip the ends of their cuttings in a rooting hormone before planting.  That’s your call.

I put the cuttings in my utility room where it’s nice & bright because of a skylight but there’s no direct sun. I watered them once a week, keeping the soil slightly moist. When the weather warmed at the end of February, I put them outside in the bright shade. As the temps have warmed above 90F, I now water these cuttings twice a week. About 40-50% of the stem cuttings in mix survived.

Number Three: by tubers

Number three is my winner. I pruned my String Of Hearts every month last summer and chopped off 3′ of it in October so I decided starting over was best. I filled a 4″ pot over 3/4 of the way full of succulent and cactus mix, laid the mass of tubers in & barely covered them with more mix. This was watered every week & kept in bright shade.

a mound of String of Hearts plant tubers on a piece of brown paper

Here’s what those String Of Hearts tubers looks like – they basically grow in a clump but can easily be separated.

Fast forward to a few weeks later. I was having my house painted and put the majority of my plants in the garage for a week. It was important to me to protect my precious babies! I noticed that after the pot with the tubers had been in the garage (which has a few windows but is high light by no means) for 5 days new growth was starting to appear. I’m not sure if they liked being in the garage better or if it was just coincidence.

Number four I’ve never this tried but know for certain that it works. You can put the tubers that develop at the on the stems at the base of the leaves and pin them down into a separate pot with the mix. The stem is still attached to the mother plant and you cut it off after the tuber has rooted. It’s the very same method I use when propagating hoyas – you can find more details in the highlighted post under method number four.

a finger points to a tuber on a String of Hearts stem the cuttings are in a glass jar

I’m pointing at a tiny tuber. This is what you pin down into the mix.

Summary of the methods:

In water good, in mix fair & by tubers best. The cutting back completely & letting fresh, new growth emerge from the tubers got my vote because the plant wasn’t looking its best & really needed it.

fresh growth on a String of Hearts plant in a 4" pot

Oh that fresh new growth appearing from the tubers is just what I want.

I’ll repot my rejuvenated String Of Hearts or Rosary Vine when it gets big enough. I’ve decided to keep the plant inside so that that the wind doesn’t hopelessly tangle the trails again. I have way too many houseplants but why not add 1 more. I’m sure it won’t be the last!

Happy gardening,

Nell

Nell-Foster-Joy-Us-Garden

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2 comments:

  1. Nell,
    Do you sell rosary plants? I am having a hard time finding them!
    Jen

  2. Hi Jennifer – No I don’t. There are sites which sell them online (amazon, etsy) but they’re often sold out. Nell

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