How to Grow String of Hearts: A Sweet Succulent-Like Trailing Houseplant

Oh sweet little String Of Hearts, many people think you’re a succulent but you aren’t. This trailing houseplant is durable, easy as can be and the care is similar to a fleshy succulent but it shares the same family with another plant I love, the Hoya. They are both considered to be a succulent vine.

The botanic moniker is Ceropegia woodii but it also goes by Rosary Vine or Chain Of Hearts.

a variegated hoya grows over 4' bamboo hoops

My Hoya, a cousin to the String Of Hearts,  has grown like crazy so it’s time to repot that soon.

This unusual beauty with heart-shaped foliage,  hence the name, came with me when I moved from Santa Barbara to Tucson. In the 4 months that I’ve lived here, this plant (which hangs in my pink grapefruit tree) has grown like the dickens. The trails were all about about 12″ long and now the longest are 43″. I’ve fast discovered that Rosary Vine loves the heat!

The Rosary Vine loves the heat but not direct sun.

Although a healthy String Of Hearts has a lot of foliage on many stems, it’s not a full and bushy vine. It stays on the wispy side but this, along with the flowers, are a big part of its appeal. Mine got hopelessly tangled on the 9 hour “car crammed full of plants drive” to my new home and that way it’ll stay.  Tangles and all, it’s doing just fine.

Here are some things to know about the Rosary Vine:


The trails of a Rosary Vine can reach up to 12′ long in its natural habit. Usually when grown as a houseplant it doesn’t get much past 2′ long. Mine grows outdoors & is well on the way to 4′ long.


Indoors you want to give it very bight light with no direct sun. A west window is fine but just make sure it isn’t up against the hot glass. Outdoors I keep mine in bright shade with no direct sunlight – it grows under my pink grapefruit tree.


When grown as a houseplant, you want your String Of Hearts to dry out in between waterings. As I said, this plant isn’t technically a succulent but you want to treat it like 1. I was watering mine every other day here in the desert in those hot summer months but now it’s October (the highs are right around 90) & I’ve backed off to every 3-5 days. Give it too much water & kiss it goodbye!

Important to know: water even less in the winter because the Rosary Vine goes dormant.

a string of hearts vine with 6' trails hangs in front of a white wall

My String Of Hearts is a trailing machine!


Mine lived outdoors in Santa Barbara where the winter temps could dip into the high 30’s F, low 40’s. I read somewhere that it’s hardy to 25F  so I plan on leaving outside here in Tucson & see what happens.


A succulent & cactus mix is just fine. If you have some coco coir, your String Of Heats would love it added to the mix. Or, a combo of half cymbidium orchid & half succulent mixes would work fine too. Just make sure the mix drains really well.


It’s best to transplant your Rosary Vine in spring or summer.


Like most of my plants, I top dress with worm castings in the spring. If you feel yours needs some feeding, then an application of balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer in spring would work too.


Yes it does!  Mine started flowering at the end of summer & the blooms just keep on coming.

close up of the unusual flowers of a String Of Hearts or Rosary Vine

Here are those sweet but funny little flowers.


Not much of any is needed.  I’ve only cut a few dead stems out. If  yours gets leggy or you want to propagate it by cuttings, then you’ll need to prune.


The easiest ways are by stems cuttings & by laying the tubers right on top of a mix. They root very quickly.


Mine has never had any but reportedly mealybugs can appear. Keep your eye out for aphids & scale also.

There are 2 reasons why people have trouble with the Rosary Vine: not enough light &/or too much water, especially in the winter months.

The String Of Hearts or Rosary Vine is a great trailing houseplant.

In warmer climates, you can grow it outdoors year round. There’s also a variegated form of it which has a touch of pink. I’m going to plant mine in a large hanging basket with String Of Pearls and String of Bananas. Stayed tuned for that post and video!

Happy gardening,

Nell's signature
close up of a butterfly on a red bird of paradise flower

Just because … A butterfly enjoying my Red Bird Of Paradise.

If you like trailing succulents then check out Fishhooks Senecio, it’s very easy to grow!


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  1. Hello! Like another person posted here, the new growth / individual hearts on my string of hearts are curling. The individual leaves are thick and healthy looking, but they are curling instead of flat. Any reason why that would be? Could it be too little light?

    Thanks so much!

  2. Hi Anne – The only variant I know of is the Variegated SOP. Pearls fall off dull to low light, overwatering or mechanical/environmental reasons like brushing against it or the wind. Nell

  3. Hi Lindsay – The most common reasons for curling leaves are too much water, too little water, too much heat or an insect infestation. It also depends on what color the leaves are & if they’re stunted. Nell

  4. Hi! I don’t even know if you’re still active, but it’s worth a try. 🙂
    I have a string of hearts plant that I bought in late winter after lusting over them for years. It has grown *a lot* since then and it’s around 5 feet long. It’s trailing on the plant table I have in front of the window. Is there a way you suggest to support it and keep it up? Thanks

  5. Hi – I am still active but not too speedy on the replies! When growing in their natural environment, String Of Pearls actually trail along the ground. I’ve never seen one supported up because the stems are so delicate & the pearls easily fall off. They are meant to trail. Congratulations on getting it yo grow so well – many people have problems with this plant! Nell

  6. Hi! Love your site and videos 🙂 any advice on string of hearts from seed?

  7. Hi Nell – Your website is my go to for plant advice! Thank you so much for providing such good knowledge and insight. I recently got a string of hearts about a month ago. I have noticed that when watering, the water goes straight through the grow pot. I know you say that cacti like to grow in smaller pots so I am wondering if I should re-pot up a size or just re-pot into the same grow pot with new soil?
    Thanks again!

  8. Hi Cassandra – Great to hear; & thank you! SOHs don’t mind being tight in their pots. The size of the pot is probably fine unless it looks stressed. I use 1/2 potting soil & 1/2 succulent & cactus mix when planting SOHs. Nell

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