The String of Hearts or Ceropegia woodii is one of the most popular houseplants around because of its unique look. It also easily blends well in homes because you can keep it in pots or hanging baskets.
Of course, whenever you get hold of a beautiful or unique plant, you always need to propagate it at some point. This way, in case something happens to one plant you still have one around.
In this article, I’ll show you the different ways how to propagate string of hearts plant at home, for free.
How do you propagate string of hearts? The plant is easy to propagate and there are many ways to do this. They include water propagation, soil propagation and sphagnum propagation.
But you can also layer the cuttings in sol, propagate it using its tubers or grow it from seed.
How to Propagate String of Hearts
One of the best things about the String of Hearts plant is that there are lots of ways to propagate it. And I urge you to try at least a few of them if not all.
This way you can better understand the plant and how it grows.
But also, by doing each of the different string of hearts propagation methods, you’ll know which one you like most.
You’ll learn which one is the easiest, roots the fastest and will produce a full new plant the soonest.
Here are the most common ways of propagating string of hearts:
- Propagating in water via stem cuttings
- Propagating in soil from stem cuttings
- Laying cuttings in soil
- Propagating in sphagnum moss
- Looping the vines back into the soil without detaching them from the mother plant
- Tuber propagation
- Propagating from seed
As you can see, there are many different propagation methods.
But some are simpler, require less effort and time. Also, others have better success rates.
Below I’ll go through the steps for each of the methods to help you understand how to propagate your string of hearts plant at home.
When is the Best Time to Propagate String of Hearts?
The best time to propagate the string of hearts is spring. This is when it is actively growing. Therefore, you should see the most growth from it through its growing season.
To explain, the string of hearts’ growing season is spring and summer. So, propagating it early spring will give you an entire growing season for the plant to grow before the cold weather arrives.
Will the Mother Plant Keep on Growing Where You Cut it?
Yes, the mother plant will keep growing after you cut one or a few of its vines.
In fact, cutting its vines will encourage growth as this will signal the plant’s hormones to produce more growth in the areas that were just cut.
So, don’t be afraid to take cuttings from your plant.
Is it Easy to Propagate String of Hearts?
Yes. In fact, the string of hearts is one of the easiest plants to propagate. Not only are there a lot of methods you can use to propagate it.
It roots quite well and offers high propagation success rates.
This is one reason that the string of hearts is perfect for beginners who are trying to learn how to propagate houseplants.
Propagating String of Hearts from Cuttings
Now that you know all the preliminary details, it is time to get into the details on how to propagate the string of hearts using the different methods.
Where Do You Cut String of Hearts for Propagation?
Since most of the propagation methods involving the string of hearts plant uses stem cuttings, it is important to know how and where to cut the stems to increase success.
First, before making any cut, make sure that your cutting tool is sterilized.
You can use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to sanitize the blades of your pruning shears or scissors.
As for cutting the stems, look for healthy stems.
You want stems with at least one node. The nodes are the small bumps there the leaves grow from. When planted in soil, moss or water, these nodes will develop roots instead of leaves.
As such, you need nodes to propagate the plant. Without them, propagation will never succeed.
If you can see the nodes, then it is easy to choose the stems. If not, just run your fingers through the stems. You’ll feel small bumps on an otherwise smooth stem.
These are the nodes.
Additionally, make sure that each stem cutting you take has a few leaves on it.
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String of Hearts Water Propagation
Propagating String of Hearts in Water from stem cuttings is the one of the easiest methods you can do. And it is the most commonly used propagation method for the string of hearts plants.
The biggest advantage here is that you get to see the roots grow and develop over time.
That’s because they grow in water.
Therefore, if you use a glass container, you can see its progress.
Here’s how to propagate string of hearts in water using stem cuttings.
Make sure your string of hearts if healthy. Never propagate an unhealthy, sick or stressed plant.
Choose healthy stems with at lest 2-3 nodes in each cutting and a few leaves on it. I prefer to take cuttings that are at least 3 inches or longer to make it easy to submerge in water.
Prune the bottom leaves to expose the nodes. Also, remove any leaves that end up underwater. Leave the top leaves as they’ll help the plant grow faster.
Take a glass container. It can be a glass bottle, test tubes, beakers, water glass or other types. Make sure that it is tall enough to get a good part of the stem in and staying in the water.
Submerge the nodes in the water along with a portion of the stem.
Finally, place the glass container with the stem cuttings in a warm spot with bright, indirect light and good humidity.
Ever 1-2 weeks or so, you’ll need to change the water. The goal is to change the water before it gets cloudy or murky. This will prevent mold or other pathogens from developing in the liquid.
Always check to make sure the nodes are submerged in water.
You don’t want the nodes to dry out in air as they will die. This is a bad thing since the nodes are where the new roots will develop from.
After you’ve done all this, it is time to wait.
It takes about a week or so to see some white roots develop. And will take a few more before they get long enough.
Once the roots are at least 2 inches long, you can transplant the cuttings into a pot with well-draining soil.
How to Propagate String of Hearts in Soil
Soil propagation is very similar to water propagation. In fact, you’re essentially doing when you propagate the string of hearts in water.
The only difference is that instead of allowing the roots to grow a little bit before you plant them in soil, you’ll skip rooting in water and directly plant the cuttings in soil.
Here, there are a few pros and cons.
An advantage is that it is less work. That’s because you don’t need to move the stem cuttings from water to soil.
However, propagating in soil takes a bit longer since there’s more resistance in soil compared to water when the roots are developing.
Additionally, new string of hearts roots have a harder time surviving because their roots are delicate and small. This is less of a problem with plant with larger, more complex root systems like philodendrons and monsteras.
In any case, here’s how to propagate string of hearts in soil using stem cuttings.
Again, start by taking healthy cuttings. You want to make sure to have at least 3 inches or so of the stem to bury in soil. Then leave the top leaves intact.
Once you have the cuttings, prepare a small pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
You can use equal parts of succulent & cactus mix with coco coir.
Alternatively, if you have potting soil at home, you can go with equal parts of potting mix and succulent & cactus mix.
I also like to add a few handfuls of orchid bark and perlite in there to increase drainage.
When you have this ready, plant the cuttings into the soil.
Planting the cuttings in soil is just the same with putting them in water. That is, you want to keep the nodes buried in soil along with a portion of the stem. Leave the rest of the stem and the leaves above the soil.
Finally, water the soil and keep it moist.
Don’t let the soil completely dry out. But avoid overwatering it at well.
In about 4 or so weeks, the roots will develop and establish themselves in the soil.
Propagating String of Hearts by Laying Cuttings on Soil
This is another method for propagating stem cuttings in soil. But it is less common.
And you need to make sure that you secure the cuttings so they stay in contact with the soil.
To do this,
Take a few healthy stem cuttings.
Again, prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining potting soil.
In the next step, instead of planting the cuttings into soil, you’ll lay them down on the soil. The goal is to make sure that the nodes and parts of the cuttings stay in contact with the soil.
You can use paper clips and bend them so you can pin down parts of the cuttings against the soil.
Mist the soil to keep it moist. I’ve found that if you have a problem with balancing too much or too little water when watering the soil, just mist it with a spray.
This makes it easier to control. And you can add a little bit of moisture at a time and feel the soil until you get the right consistency.
Keep the pot in a well-lit location with bright, indirect light and good humidity.
In a few weeks you should see new roots start developing from the nodes into the soil.
Propagating String of Hearts in Sphagnum Moss
Propagating string of hearts in sphagnum moss is very similar to soil propagation. But it kind of combines in the benefits of water propagation as well.
I love this method because it works really well, has high propagation success rates, is easy to do and allow the cuttings to root fairly quickly.
Additionally, you have access to the cuttings and the moss at any time.
This is something that both soil and water propagation don’t always give you.
To propagate string of hearts in sphagnum moss using stem cuttings follow the steps below.
Start by taking a glass or plastic container. The goal is to pick a container that will easily let you see the cuttings as they grow so you don’t have to keep opening the lid.
You can use a microwave glass pan, or a plastic take-out container with a lid.
Try to get something that is wider and either square, circular or rectangle in shape. It does not have to be too tall. Just a few inches high like a baking pan you use for lasagna or casserole.
Once you have the glass pan, look for an appropriate lid.
This should cover the pan but have enough space, so it does not squeeze the sphagnum moss or cuttings from above. Ideally, glass or plastic is great since it lets you see everything without opening the lid.
When you have all these things ready, soak the sphagnum moss. This will replace the potting mix.
Then, take the stem cuttings like you would in water or soil propagation.
Place the sphagnum moss in the container. It will look like bunched up hay or strands.
Then place the stem cuttings with their nodes and leave into the sphagnum moss.
Make sure the strands and nodes are in contact with the moss.
Finally, cover the container.
Leave the container in bright, indirect light in a warm spot.
Every so often, open the lid to let fresh air in. After a few minutes close the lid again. The lid keeps humidity in as it traps any water that evaporates from the moss.
In a few weeks, you should see the cuttings start to root.
Once the roots reach about 2 inches or longer, transfer them to potting soil in a container.
Propagating String of Hearts by Putting the Vines Back into Soil
This is another propagation that’s not as common as water or soil propagation. However, it is a good option if you want to make your mother plant fuller.
Of course, you can snip the cuttings after they root as well and plant them separately.
Here’s how to propagate string of hearts using this method.
Look for healthy stems and loop them back to the soil. Don’t cut the stems. You want to keep them intact and attached to the mother plant.
To do this, you’ll be looking for longer stems with a few nodes on them.
The goal is to loop the stem back and clip the sections with the nodes to the soil. You can use hair clips or bent paperclips. Whatever works to keep the nodes in contact with the soil.
Once this is done, take care of the mother plant like you normally do.
You can mist the soil instead of watering it to make sure it stays moist but not wet.
In a few weeks, new roots will start developing from the nodes of the stems that have been clipped to the soil.
How to Propagate String of Hearts via Tubers
This is another less common propagation method for string of hearts. But you can do it with older plants as they sometimes produce tubers.
Tubers are like small potato-like growths.
In the case the string of hearts, it develops aerial tubers, which pop out on the vines.
The most common way to propagate string of hearts from tubers is to keep the tuber intact. Although, you can separate it from the mother plant and grow it in another pot on its own.
But I’ve found that it is easier to just keep it attached to the mother plant.
To propagate string of hearts from tubers,
Begin by searching for tubers on the vines. Again, they may or may not grow on your plant. And they usually appear on older string of hearts.
Choose the largest tuber.
Next, you can decide whether to grow the tuber with the mother plant or in a another pot.
If you decide to keep it with the mother plant, place the tuber on the soil. Bury half of the tuber by pressing it into the potting mix.
Don’t bury the entire tuber. Instead, just half of it will do.
If you prefer to grow the tuber in another pot, place a pot filled with well-draining soil beside the mother plant.
Then, extend the vine with the tuber and partially bury the tuber into the soil on the second pot.
Keep the soil moist in either case.
And it a few weeks, roots will develop from the tuber. There will likely also be new vines coming out from above it.
Propagating from Seed
Seed propagation is something I don’t like doing simply because it takes a lot of work and time. Although, doing it once or twice is a good way to understand the process and the plant better.
So, I do urge you to go through the process.
But for regular propagation, you’re better off going with the other methods.
They are easier, will root and develop shoots and leaves sooner as well. And they have higher propagation success rates.