Ceropegia Woodii Variegata (Variegated String of Hearts) How To Grow Them Lush

The variegated string of hearts has been very popular among houseplant lovers because of the unique pinkish shade of its leaves, its cascading form, and its overall beauty, and how easy it is to care for these plants.

The variegated string of hearts only needs well-draining soil, occasional watering, and lots of indirect bright light, and it will be all set to thrive.

There’s not much else you need to do except for the occasional repotting and keeping your eyes peeled for root rot, mealybugs, and aphids.

Just how do you take care of this plant? Why don’t you get yourself a cup of coffee and discover all the excellent tips on how to take care of this plant.

How to Identify Variegated String of Hearts

Ceropegia Woodii Variegata, more widely known as Variegated String of Hearts, is a vine with a pinkish shade at the edge of green and white leaves. The leaves mature, the pinkish edges slowly darken, giving the vine a great-looking mix of colors.

The variegated string of hearts is a succulent trailing vine and evergreen. It can get to heights of up to four inches (10 centimeters) in height, and then it starts to hang.

These plants can reach 6.6 to 13.2 feet (two to four meters). The leaves are heart-shaped and can span 0.4 to 0.8 inches (one to two centimeters).

In time, the plant will develop a woody caudex. Meanwhile, the stems and roots can produce tubers. The variegated string of hearts also produces flowers.

Where Does Variegated String of Hearts Grow

Ceropegia woodii variegata

The string of hearts and its variegated versions are native to South Africa . It can, however, grow in United States Department of Agriculture Hardiness Zones 9 through 12 .

These vines can grow both indoors and outdoors. Inside your home, it needs to be placed in an area that receives bright light. If you happen to reside in a tropical or subtropical location, you can plant it outdoors.

Uses of Variegated String of Hearts

A variegated string of hearts makes beautiful indoor houseplants that can give your living space a somewhat different ambiance. You can put it in hanging baskets and let the vine trail downwards. Some people use this plant to hide unsightly areas with its curtain of leaves.

Outdoors, a variegated string of hearts can make a lovely backdrop for your other plants. Perhaps giving your outdoor space a lusher look.

How to Grow Variegated String of Hearts From Seed

If you’ve grown the string of hearts before, then you shouldn’t have problems caring for the variegated version. There are very minimal differences between these two, except for the pinkish shade in the variegated version, replaced by white borders in the non-variegated string of hearts.

Variegated String of Hearts Growing Conditions

This trailing vine is relatively easy to care for as it doesn’t need too much water. You just need to make sure that it gets indirect but bright light, planted in a well-draining cactus mix, and keep it safe from mealybugs.

When to Plant Variegated String of Hearts

The best time to plant a variegated string of hearts’ seeds is in the spring or during summer. You may even get away with planting the seeds in early fall. However, you must avoid sowing the seeds during the winter months when it’s dormant.

According to Succulents Box, the best time to propagate variegated string of hearts, whether it’s from seeds, tubers, or leaves, is during the summer when the plant is in its active growth period.

How to Plant Variegated String of Hearts

Planting a variegated string of hearts is easy. You must choose extremely well-draining soil because this plant hates getting overwatered. You have three options:

You want to avoid using soil with a lot of clay in them, which can hold enough moisture to cause root rot in your plants.


Some people use hanging pots to plant a variegated string of hearts, which makes sense because of the trailing nature of this vine. You can hang it right above head, but you have to make sure your plant gets enough sunlight.

You can use the following pots to do this:

If you’re not fond of hanging plants, you can easily just place your variegated string of hearts and put it on a bookshelf, a tabletop, the floor, or some other surface. And these pots will make your string of hearts more beautiful:

Or you can have your own unique plant stand and additional storage space or display area with these products:

Variegated String of Hearts Water Requirements

Ceropegia woodii variegata

The variegated string of hearts are succulents, so they prefer less watering. It’s recommended to let the soil go dry two-thirds dry from the top before you give the plant a drink.

Because this plant cannot stand overwatering , you should water it in phases of drenching and waiting. First, drench the soil with water, then after a few minutes, water it again.

Repeat this drenching and waiting until the soil is moistened. Always make sure that the pot doesn’t stand in water for too long, or you risk killing the plant.

If you’re not sure whether to water your variegated string of heart, then you should let it go drier. Perhaps wait for another two or three days before watering it.

Another tip: check their leaves. These plants can easily store water in their leaves, and if they’re thirsty, they can look deflated or wilted.

The variegated string of hearts is prone to root rot, and overwatering it cannot be healthy. If you notice that some of the leaves have turned yellow, that’s an excellent cue to cut back on the watering.

If necessary, aerate the soil and stop watering the plant until the soil is completely dry, which might take up to at least a month.

Lastly, once the seasons change from summer to winter, you will need to water your variegated string of hearts lesser and lesser.

Variegated String of Hearts Sun Requirements

If you’re going to put your variegated string of hearts inside your home, you should ensure that it stays in a location where it receives much bright and indirect light. This plant simply won’t like a dark area or one with dim lights.

If you’re still looking for a place for your variegated string of hearts, you can put it a few feet away from a western- or southern-facing window. If that’s not possible, you can place it next to an eastern- or northern-facing window.

You can put your variegated string of hearts outside but make sure it’s in the shade. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves.

Best Variegated String of Hearts Fertilizer

The variegated string of hearts doesn’t need too much feeding, but if you’re going to fertilize it, it doesn’t go beyond once a month when it’s actively growing.

You can check out Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food for your feeding needs. Alternatively, you can opt for this UNCO INDUSTRIES Worm Castings Organic Fertilizer , which you only apply once a year.

You should skip feeding your plant if it looks healthy. And be sure you use fertilizers that are weaker than half-strength. The winter approaches, cut back on both watering and feeding.

Feeding your variegated string of hearts will encourage the plant to produce more flowers .

Best Variegated String of Hearts Companion Plantings

While your variegated string of hearts is eye-catching on its own, you can combine them with other plants to make them even more interesting.



Remember when we said you can use orchid potting mixes for your variegated string of hearts? Orchids need indirect bright light, just enough water, and hate being overwatered. That sounds like what a variegated string of hearts needs, right?

What’s more, because you often hang orchids from higher areas, they make excellent companion plants for hanging vines. You get bonus points for the stark contrast of the orchids’ flowers against the colors of your string of hearts.



Aglaonema is a good companion plant for a variegated string of hearts because they can live in the same pot and require the same care.

Like a variegated string of hearts, aglaonema thrives in places with bright indirect light and minimal watering. What’s more, the colors and patterns on these leaves can provide a stark contrast to the ones you see on the string of hearts.

Other Trailing Vines

Several succulents can “hang around” with your variegated string of hearts. These trailing vines will have the exact care requirements as your string of hearts, and the differences in shapes and color make for an exciting contrast.

  • string of bananas
  • string of pearls
  • string of tears
  • string of turtles
  • string of dolphins

Variegated String of Hearts Diseases and Common Problems

Your biggest concern when it comes to growing your variegated string of hearts is root rot. Overwatering your plant can quickly induce root rot in these plants. Ensure that you give your plants just enough water and that the soil you use is well-draining.

On the other hand, not giving your plant enough water will cause the leaves to wrinkle. To correct this, you should water your plants every time the soil dries out.

Pest and Insects

When growing a variegated string of hearts, you will need to watch out for mealybugs and aphids.

The aphids particularly like the juicy leaves of this succulent. If you notice aphids moving in your plant, then you should give it a spray of neem oil. Cover both the upper and bottom parts of the leaves. Insecticidal soap will help too.

Mealybugs and scale insects can also feast on the leaves, so you might want to give your plant some rubbing alcohol. Dip a cotton swab in alcohol and provide the leaves with a polish. You can also spray neem oil on the leaves.

Variegated String of Hearts Treatments and Maintenance

There are not many pests and diseases to worry about when you grow your variegated string of hearts. But to keep your variegated string of hearts insects free, you will need to have these products at home:


A variegated string of hearts needs a lot of space to grow. Over time, these plants can outgrow their pots, and you will need to repot them.

You will need to transplant your variegated string of hearts to a bigger pot. Experts recommend getting a container around one or two inches (5.1 centimeters) bigger than the original pot. Use cactus and succulent mix for the potting soil or something that has coco coir or perlite.

The best time to repot your variegated string of hearts is at the start of spring.

Other Tips

  • You don’t have to prune a variegated string of hearts, but you might want to do so if you want to keep the vines at a certain length. Using sterile pruning shears to do the job.
  • When you have a pot of variegated string of hearts indoors, be sure to rotate the pot regularly so that you get even growth on all sides . You will also need to dust the leaves so that they can make their food more efficiently.
  • During the colder months of winter, you should let the soil completely dry out before watering your variegated string of hearts.

Variegated String of Hearts Repotting Instructions

While a variegated string of hearts can do well in a crowd, you should really think about repotting it if it gets too crowded. The good news is that you can wait until the start of spring to do this.

Buy a well-draining potting mix like the ones we recommended above, and pre-moisten it well before you plan to repot. Simply take out your variegated string of hearts from its old container and remove the soil that’s sticking to the roots.

Transplant the plant into the new pot, making sure that you put in enough potting mix to match the level as its old pot. If you have more than one string of hearts to transplant, give ample space between two plants to give each room to grow.

Here’s a video that demonstrates just how to properly repot this plant:

Where to Buy Variegated String of Hearts Seeds and Plants Online

You can come across seeds for this plant on Etsy, but you may have to wait until spring to find sellers. Another way to start your variegated string of hearts is via the bulbs. Sunny Plants has some bulbs for you.

You can find some lovely live variegated string of hearts on Etsy . eBay has some live plants up for bids. Or you can get yourself on the waiting list when this plant is available from Mountain Crest Gardens .

Other places you can check out:

Frequently Asked Questions

We wanted to answer some of the questions that you have about the variegated string of hearts, so here they are.

Question: What Are the Different Ways to Propagate Variegated String of Hearts?

Question: What Is Variegation?

Answer: Variegation usually refers to a plant having leaves or flowers with two or more colors. It has several types, such as:
Chimeral variegation is brought about by genetic mutations. The plant will show two different characteristics, such as having leaves with green tissues and white or yellow areas where the tissues do not have chlorophyll.
Natural variegation happens when the plant has its own inherent pattern. The variegation you see in these plants is passed on to the next generation because they have the pigmentation written into their DNA.
On the other hand, reflective variegation happens when air pockets form between the pigmented layers of the leaves and the upper layers. What happens, the upper layer becomes silvery or white in appearance.

Question: How Are Plants Affected by Variegation?

Answer: Aside from lending a touch of color to an otherwise all-green affair, some people actually prefer the variegated version in their plants. This preference has made some variegated plants more expensive than their non-variegated ones.
However, depending on the species, variegated plants are usually more delicate than their non-mutated counterparts. So these might die quickly, or you will need to take better care of them.

Question: What Are the Different Ways to Propagate Variegated String of Hearts?

Answer: As you may have guessed, the seeds of a variegated string of hearts might not be readily available, and it might be a bit challenging to find them being sold.

If you’re not having luck and have a friend with a variegated string of hearts plant, you can quickly propagate it by cuttings or getting the tubers.

One good way to propagate your string of hearts is by nestling the bulbs in the soil. These bulbs are the plant’s aerial roots.
Without detaching the tubers and bulbs from the mother plant, place the aerial roots into the potting mix that you have and wait for them to grow some roots. Once it’s rooted and some leaves are visible, you can cut it and plant it on its own pot.

Here’s how you do it: Repotting String Of Hearts

Another way to propagate is to use cuttings. Get cuttings six to eight inches (15 to 20 centimeters) long and then press them into the potting mix.

This Erika Lodes video will show you: How to Propagate Your Variegated String of Hearts

Hanging Tough: Grow Your Variegated String of Hearts with Ease!

Lovely houseplants do not need to be demanding. The variegated string of hearts is proof of that. These plants only need well-draining soil to keep their feet dry, regular but infrequent watering, and some food if you want it to flower well. In return, the trailing vine will give your living space or outdoor garden an excellent curtain of pink and green leaves.

Research Citations

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