Written by Ivy
Jan 20 2023
Give the plants in the string of hearts a good soak, then wait until the soil is completely dry before watering them again. Typically, string of hearts plants need to be watered once every two weeks. This allows the soil to dry out after watering and meets the plants' water needs without leading to root rot.
It is important to know how often and how much to water string of hearts plants (Ceropegia woodii variegata), as they are drought-tolerant plants that are prone to root rot, which is brought on by overwatering and poorly draining soils.
Since they are dormant during the winter, string of hearts require less watering.
The optimal watering regime should be in conjunction with the well draining, succulent soil and the right pot to prevent water stress and keep your string of hearts plant healthy.
Keep reading for more on how to establish how often and how much to water your string of hearts plant in your climate and conditions and for the correct potting soil to ensure that your string of hearts plant.
String of hearts plants are succulents that are specially adapted to growing in hot and dry climates with infrequent rainfall.
Since string of hearts plants are drought-tolerant, they prefer dryer conditions than the majority of houseplants and are vulnerable to problems caused by excessive watering, such as yellowing of the leaves and stems and root rot.
It's crucial to mimic the typical watering and soil moisture conditions of their native environment if you want to grow string of hearts successfully in your house or garden.
Once the potting soil has fully dried out, give string of hearts plants a good soak. In order to meet the moisture needs and give the soil time to fully dry out before watering again, string of hearts are typically watered once every 14 days. This prevents root rot.
However the potting soil for string of hearts plants can dry out at different rate due to the climate and indoors conditions due to several factors:
Feel the soil at the bottom of the pot through the drainage hole to determine how frequently to water the string of hearts in accordance with your climate. Watering should wait if the soil feels wet; however, if the soil feels dry, now is the ideal time to water.
You can create a watering schedule that precisely replicates the drought, followed by rainfall, cycle of moisture in the string of hearts' native Southern African environment once you know how long it typically takes for the potting soil to dry out from your string of hearts.
It's likely that you're overwatering your string of hearts plant if you're giving it more than one watering per week.
The symptoms of an over watered string of hearts are leaves that turn brown yellow, translucent and eventually black which is an indication of rot. Additionally, the stems may feel mushy.
If your string of hearts is exhibiting signs of overwatering, reduce the watering immediately and allow the soil to completely dry out to give your plant a chance to recover.
The leaves of your string of hearts plant start to shrivel and eventually turn brown when are not watered often enough or watered too lightly.
The leaves can also appear to be thinner as the moisture they store becomes depleted due to drought stress.
Since giving the potting soil a good soak can save your string of hearts plant, this overwatering problem is much simpler to resolve. (Also Read: How to Repot a String Of Hearts)
Wait for the soil to dry out again over the next 2 or 3 weeks and then soak it again.
The string of hearts should begin to recover after two watering cycles, and the leaves should no longer feel shriveled but rather feel firm and appear plump.
It is also worth noting that string of hearts may require more or less watering at different times of the year…
As string of hearts is a dormant plant in the winter, it only needs to be watered once every three to four weeks. In comparison to spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing, this is not as often.
String of hearts goes into dormancy in response to shorter daylight hours, dimmer light, and colder weather.
The string of hearts plant grows very little, if at all, during the winter dormancy, which lowers the water requirement.
Reduce the watering because string of hearts are more susceptible to overwatering during dormancy and can be revived more easily if they are under-watered than if they are over-watered.
However, it's important to take into account whether the string of hearts plant is close to a heat source during the winter, as this can cause significant daily temperature fluctuations and hasten soil drying.
Give the string of hearts plant a good soak if the leaves begin to look shriveled (a sign of underwatering).
The string of hearts plant should remain healthy as long as the soil has a chance to dry out in between waterings.
Always water string of hearts generously so that any extra water drips out of the pot's bottom.
The frequency of watering string of hearts plants can vary depending on the climate, humidity, and temperature, but the amount of water should remain constant.
Giving string of hearts constant, generous watering ensures that the water has properly absorbed into the soil, allowing the plant's roots to absorb the necessary moisture.
A thorough soak helps the root develop properly and maintains the string of hearts' health.
Watering too lightly results in only the top inch or so of the soil being moist and the water does not reach the roots where it is required which causes the string of hearts plant leaves to shrivel and eventually turn brown as a sign of drought stress.
When the soil is watered thoroughly and then allowed to dry out, the watering conditions mimic those of the string of hearts plant's natural habitat in Southern Africa, which features torrential rain followed by a period of drought and high temperatures.
To prevent root rot, string of hearts plants should be planted in a well-draining soil mixture along with good watering practices.
For the string of hearts, which is adapted to tolerate drought rather than live in damp soil, typical potting soil retains too much moisture around the roots.
The leaves can turn yellow as a sign of stress in saturated soil.
Peat-based potting mixtures also have a propensity to repel water when they become dry. As a result, water will run off the soil's surface and won't get to your string of hearts plant's roots, which will cause the leaves to shrivel under the stress of a dry climate.
In Southern Africa, on the sides of hills, string of hearts plants naturally grow in sandy or rocky soil that drains well and does not retain much moisture.
To keep the string of hearts plant healthy and avoid root rot it is important to grow string of hearts plants in special succulent and cactus potting mix (available from garden centers and Amazon), as this replicates the unique well-draining soil characteristics and soil profile of a string of hearts plant's native environment.
For string of hearts plants, it is much simpler to maintain the ideal moisture balance with the right soil and avoid any effects of overwatering, such as the roots and tubers rotting, keeping your plant healthy.
String of hearts do not tolerate having their roots in saturated soil, so you must make sure your pot has a drainage hole in the bottom to let the extra water out.
The best way to make sure your plant has received enough water is to water until excess water trickles out of the bottom of the pot. This is also a good way to check whether the soil at the bottom of the pot is moist or dry so you can determine when to water your string of hearts plant.
In pots and containers without drainage holes, planting string of hearts results in water pooling around the roots, which leads to root rot and yellow leaves.
Water can still pool around the roots of your plant in its pot if:
Your string of heart plant's success in your home will depend in part on the soil you choose for it. Cactus mix makes the ideal soil for a string of hearts plant.
Heavy soils keep water close to the roots of the string of heart plants. This causes root rot as well as depriving the roots of essential oxygen. Read How to Fix Root Rot if you have a string of hearts that are rotting at the roots.
Hydrophobic soils are those that contract and harden into a crust on the top soil. When you pour water on top of hydrophobic soils, the water is actually REPELLED. Succulents frequently experience this.
Water does not hydrate the roots; instead, it wastefully drains out of the pot drain hole as it slides between the soil and the planter. (your pot should definitely have a drain hole).
You are actually underwatering your plant in hydrophobic conditions. Just because you apply water frequently, you won't be aware of it.
Compared to the length of vine they produce, the string plants have a TINY root footprint. They should be grown in tiny succulent pots that are sized for the roots rather than the vines. A pot of the proper size and one with a drainage hole will prevent the soil from becoming too wet around the roots.
While some small pots lack drainage, they are still very cute. The string of heart vine is in danger in this situation. You can provide this plant with the best watering care by using a pot and soil that drains well.
Make sure the soil is not sitting in a pot with no drainage for an extended period of time.
If you have a group planting of string of hearts, you should keep an eye on it to make sure it can withstand the watering that its companions need.