How to Care for Variegated String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii variegata)

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The Variegated String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii variegata) is a beautiful and popular plant known for its trailing vines and unique variegated leaves. Here is a description of the Variegated String of Hearts based on the search results:

It is a hanging plant with long stems and small heart-shaped leaves, similar to the regular String of Hearts plant. However, the Variegated String of Hearts has much more vibrant leaves that are green and silver on the front and green or pink on the back.

The variegation in the Variegated String of Hearts plant is caused by a genetic mutation, known as chimeral variegation, which results in the plant having two different chromosomal makeups within it. One set of chromosomes can produce chlorophyll, which gives the leaves their green color, while the other set cannot produce chlorophyll, resulting in white or yellow shapes and splotches on the leaves and stems

Another difference between the two varieties is the color of their stems. The regular String of Hearts has burgundy stems, which provide a stunning contrast to the green and silver leaves. In contrast, the Variegated String of Hearts has purple hues in its stems, adding another beautiful element to its overall appearance.

Variegated String of Hearts is a hanging plant that you can guide and let hang from a shelf, piece of furniture, step, etc. You can prune it if you feel that it has grown too much and that way you control its shape. It is said to be a slow-growing plant, but by providing the conditions explained in this SUPER description you will soon have a Ceropegia full of “hairs”.

It is also considered succulent-like plants, as they have leaves and roots that store water, making them more tolerant of dry conditions. This means that it is not strictly a succulent but it is cared for just like one.

Variegated String of Hearts flower

While this plant is primarily grown for its foliage, it does produce small flowers that add to its charm. Its flowers appear mainly in Summer and Autumn, although it should not surprise you to see them all year round, especially with good care. and are shaped like inverted vases in shades of pink and violet.

The flowers of the Variegated String of Hearts are tubular-shaped (like inverted vases) and grow to about an inch long. They have a bulbous base and are usually in shades of white to pale magenta or even violet. They usually have five petals that are fused at the tips, forming a cage-like canopy that resembles a small inverted pink vase.

The flowers are pollinated by small flies that are attracted to their scent. The flies enter the flowers and become trapped by small, downward-pointing hairs. Once the hairs wither, the flies are released with pollinia (a mass of pollen grains) attached, which can then be transferred to other flowers. If you cover its flowers with a plastic bag after pollination, it will produce seeds that we can plant.

Is the variegated String of Hearts rare?

Ceropegia woodii variegata is considered rare and is often more expensive than the standard green String of Hearts. Its unique and attractive variegation pattern, plus its popularity on social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, creates high demand, driving up its price.

Reproducing this plant on a large scale is exceptionally uncommon and difficult, resulting in the rarity of these plants. Not only does it require skill and experience to successfully propagate it, but the process also takes time until the new plant reaches maturity.

Variegated String of Hearts care

In terms of care, the variegated String of Hearts generally shares the same requirements with the non-variegated variety. Both are relatively easy to care for, thriving in well-draining soil, bright indirect light, and with moderate watering.

However, variegated plants may be slightly more sensitive to direct sunlight, so it’s essential to provide them with suitable conditions to maintain their vibrant coloration. Here are some care guidelines to follow:

Light

The variegated String of Hearts typically requires more sunlight compared to the standard green String of Hearts to sustain and enhance its variegation Avoid exposing the plant to intense midday sun, as it can scorch the leaves. Weak sunlight like in the early morning and late afternoon is okay.

It is important that it receives natural light both in the hanging part and on the surface of the pot from which it is planted since it is essential to prevent the strips from drying out and cutting. If the light shines directly on the top of the pot, you will see stems growing non-stop. This is a good way to encourage them to grow.

You will know that it has adequate light if the distance between leaves is short and, therefore, very dense stems.

Irrigation

Due to its ability to store a good amount of water in its leaves, Variegated String of Hearts should be watered sparingly. Let the substrate dry between waterings. In fact, excess water is the biggest problem with Ceropegia woodii variegata.

In winter reduce watering to avoid waterlogging and consequently rotten roots. Being a succulent plant, it has the ability to retain water in its stems, roots, and leaves.

When it needs watering it lets you know by wrinkling the leaves and thinning them. You will notice that they are not as smooth. If you see it like this, water it without fear, but without flooding it. Release the excess water. If you see that the leaves are yellow or discolored and soft, it means that it has been overwatered.

Temperature and Humidity

The Variegated String of Hearts plant prefers warm environments with temperatures between 80 to 85°F (27 to 29°C) during its active growing season. During the winter, it is recommended to keep the temperature around 60°F (15°C). While the plant can tolerate colder temperatures, it generally prefers warmer conditions, as it is native to Southern Africa.

The Variegated String of Hearts plant can thrive in normal household humidity levels. It is not necessary to provide high humidity levels for this plant, since it adapts without problems in any climate.

Since it is a species native to dry climates, avoid placing the plant too close to a humidifier, as excessive humidity can slow down the drying process of the potting mix, which is not ideal for the plant. In fact, too much can rot its leaves.

Substrate

Variegated String of Hearts plants thrive in well-drained and aerated potting mixes. These mixes are specifically formulated for cacti and succulents to provide excellent drainage, which is essential for preventing root rot.

If you are using an ordinary potting mix, you can add perlite or pumice, coco coir, worm casings, orchid bark, and charcoal to improve moisture retention while still maintaining good drainage.

Fertilizer

This plant does not require much fertilizer, but you can increase blooms by feeding it once or twice during the growing season. Use a well-balanced, all-purpose houseplant fertilizer that provides essential nutrients for the plant’s growth and development.

When choosing a fertilizer, look for one that has a balanced ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer. We recommend you use liquid fertilizers, dilute them with double the amount of water indicated on the container, and apply it to the plant with prior watering and moist soil. Spraying the leaves with the diluted fertilizer is also beneficial.

Variegated String of Hearts propagation

There are various methods for propagating Ceropegia woodii variegata, so feel free to try them all!

One effective way is to look for nodules between the stems. If you find a nodule, don’t hesitate to plant it along with its stem, as these nodules serve as water reserves and facilitate successful propagation.

Another method involves propagating by stem. Cut it above the node and place it in water. Once it develops roots, transfer it to soil and water it. Patience is key, so wait before watering it again, considering that it is a succulent plant.

Lastly, propagation by seed is an option. As the Ceropegia grows, it will produce elongated, dark-colored pods that contain seeds. Put a bag around it and wait for it to release the seeds. Once you have them, you can plant them in an aerated, well-draining substrate and wait for them to germinate.

Pests

It is highly resistant to pests; however, in some extreme situations, you may encounter cottony mealybugs. We recommend that you preventively spray the plant with potassium soap and neem oil every 20 days. You can also use diluted diatomaceous earth to prevent the proliferation of pests.

A more common issue is root rot caused by excessive watering. This condition is identifiable when the leaves turn yellow, and the stems become loose from the ground. In such cases, it is advisable to trim the plant, as recovery can be challenging.

Insufficient light is indicated by the presence of small leaves that are widely spaced from each other. You can prune your plant, and stick those strips into the substrate to obtain a plant with more foliage, in addition to encouraging the growth of new shoots.

Is the variegated String of Hearts toxic?

The variegated String of Hearts plant is considered non-toxic and is safe to have around both humans and animals, including cats. This makes it a great choice for households that have pets running around, as you don’t have to worry about any potential harm if they come into contact with the plant.

FAQs

What is the difference Between Variegated and Non-Variegated String of Hearts:

The main difference lies in the appearance of the leaves. Variegated String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii variegata) features leaves with a mix of colors, often showcasing shades of green, cream, and pink. On the other hand, non-variegated String of Hearts (Ceropegia woodii) has solid green leaves without the color variations.

How Rare is Variegated String of Hearts?

Variegated String of Hearts is considered somewhat rare compared to its non-variegated counterpart. The variegation is a result of genetic mutations, making it less common to find than the standard green variety. However, its popularity has grown, and it can be found through specialized nurseries or plant enthusiasts.

Are All Variegated String of Hearts Pink?

No, not all variegated String of Hearts display pink coloration. While some varieties may have pink hues, the variegation can include a range of colors, such as green, cream, and white. Pink tones are just one of the possible color variations.

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