Ceropegia woodii is a gorgeous small-leaved vine, that is commonly called rosary vine, chain of hearts, hearts on a string and so on, due to the heart shape of its cute waxy purplish-silver leaves. I love how this plant looks. It’s a great addition to any house plant collection. The plant is drought tolerant and doesn’t require much attention, it’s relatively easy to propagate, and I’ve used it in different flower arrangements.
Like other ceropegias, the flowers have odd shape and are interesting looking. Once this plant becomes well established, it will flower throughout the year. The flowers are not that noticeable on the plant as they are not huge or contrasting to the foliage. However, they are still fascinating to look at. It’s the leaves that are what makes Ceropgia woodii such a pleasure to grow at home.
This plant is native to South Africa. It tolerates dryer air conditions and drought as well as the occasional lower temperatures. There are different cultivars available with different size and leave variegation.
Ceropegia woodii is a succulent plant that tolerates drought. Medium watering will be just fine for it, and if you forget to water it once in a while it will be no big deal. Do not overwater this plant, as it will rot away. Moist soil is ok, but soggy soil or leaving the pot soaking in water for a long time will kill your plant. I tend to let the plant dry out completely and then soak the pot in water until it gets moist, let it drain well and then repeat the cycle. I do water it more in the summer time.
The higher the better, though it will grow and flower in part shade just as well. South, west and east facing windows are ideal. I’ve grown Ceropegia woodii on a north facing window for a while to see how it does. It still grew well, but the leaves became lighter and spread farther apart on the stems, and the plant flowered less. North facing garden window is fine for this plant, where it gets very bright indirect light all day. If you take it outside in the warmer months make sure you slowly acclimated it to higher light levels to avoid leaf burn. It grows and flowers great at full sun exposure as well.
This plant can tolerate lower humidity. If grown around high humidity loving plants, it will be fine as well, and you will just have to water it even less, since the leaves will evaporate less moisture when the air is humid.
Soil Type and Fertilizer:
Cactus soil and cactus fertilizer work fine for this plant, though I’ve used generic potting mix with some sand, per-lite and peat moss as well. Ceropegia woodii likes well draining soil mix.
Ceropegia woodii is very easy to propagate. It forms nods on the stems that you can root in sandy soil. The plant forms tubers as well and you can simply dig one out with the roots and repot it. It is a bit harder to propagate the plant from cuttings that don’t have nodes on them, but one way to do it is to get a bigger cutting and leave it a few days to dry a bit before potting it in moist sand, that will stimulate the need to grow roots and nodes. Once, on accident, I tore a large piece off my ceropegia. I left it on my table for a few days, and then I tossed the long stem cutting into a random flower pot with a big dracaena in it (did not even pot it or anything) and couple of weeks later I saw the ceropgia growing vigorously under the dracaena.
Other Care Tips and Personal Observations:
It’s a lovely plant to have and very easy to propagate. Ceropegia woodii is great for hanging baskets and displays itself beautifully. It’s one of my favorite plants. I remember being so excited as a child when I saw one for sale, that my mom had to get it. I love the cute heart shape leaves and I love the color of this vine, it really stands out. If I didn’t have one already, I would prefer Ceropegia woodii for a Valentines day present, rather than cut flowers or chocolates. A great plant to have at home and since it’s not an overly aggressive grower you can easily pot it with other plants and do arrangements.