We independently select everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.


How To Propagate String of Hearts

Ceropegia woodii, or string of hearts, is easily propagated through stem cuttings in water or soil, by harvesting and planting aerial tubers, or through the butterfly method with leaf cuttings.

This fast-growing plant has beautiful, heart-shaped leaves that grow from long, trailing stems. String of hearts is a great indoor plant to grow in hanging baskets or being allowed to cascade from shelves or countertops.

It’s a particularly easy plant to grow, needing little attention to thrive as long as it’s in the right environment. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners, and string of heart plants are very easy to propagate.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Propagating String of Hearts

The vines of string of hearts plants can become long and too leggy as they grow. So, in addition to creating more plants for your home or as gifts, propagating string of hearts from stem cuttings taken during pruning will also give you fuller, more substantial parent plants.

String of hearts propagation can be done in several ways, all easy and quick compared to many other plants. The method of propagation you choose will depend on your circumstances and time frame.

Pruning and propagation are best done during the warmer months of the growing season. This allows the new plant to grow quickly and the mother plants to recover and remain healthy.

Propagation from tubers

This is perhaps the slowest propagation method, but it’s also the most interesting.

A healthy string of hearts plant will grow round balls at the base of the stems and along the stems. These balls are called aerial tubers. These tubers will produce new roots when planted.

To propagate your string of hearts plant, follow these instructions:

  1. Locate a tuber on your plant.

  2. Cut the tuber from the plant, keeping part of the vine it’s attached to intact.

  3. Lay the vine across the surface of a new pot of potting soil, and partially bury the tuber into the soil.

  4. Water the tuber and place the pot in a location with bright light but not direct sun.

  5. Roots will form around the tuber as it seeks nutrients from the soil.

  6. In 6-8 weeks, you will have new growth.

Aerial roots will grow into the surface of the soil and produce new growth within a few weeks.

Water propagation

Propagation in water is extremely easy. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Cut a 6-8 inch long stem cutting. You can root more than one cutting at a time in the same water, so if your pruning and have several cuttings, they can all be used.

  2. Snip off any leaves from the portion of the plant that will be in the water. The area where the leaf meets the stem is called a node, and it's from these nodes that new roots will emerge.

  3. Ensure that there are 1-2 nodes underwater. Also, be sure to leave a few leaves on the portion that will be out of the water for respiration.

  4. Put your cuttings in a clear container with fresh water.

  5. Place cuttings and containers in a location with bright but indirect light.

  6. Change water weekly.

  7. Roots should appear in a couple of weeks. Once the roots are approximately half an inch long, the cuttings can be planted.

  8. Plant cuttings in a container with standard potting soil. Keep soil moist but not soaked.

You have a new string of hearts plant!

Stem cuttings are easily rooted in water or soil.

Propagation in soil

Propagation in soil follows the same steps as above, but instead of placing your cuttings in the water, you put them directly into the soil.

Succulent soil or a potting mix that contains perlite are the best choices. These soil mixes help retain moisture and prevent your string of hearts from drying out.

Follow these additional steps when using this method:

  1. Use a rooting hormone when propagating in the soil if possible. This will increase your success rate. Rooting hormone can be purchased at local nurseries or ordered from online retailers like Amazon.

  2. Place in a well-lit area, but not in direct sunlight.

  3. Keep the soil damp but don’t overwater. Wet soil will cause your cuttings to rot.

  4. Root growth should occur in 2-3 weeks. Once you see new growth in your plant, you’ll know that the roots have also grown. Regular plant care is all that’s needed from that point onward.

Note: You can also propagate your cuttings by laying them across the soil. In this case, you must ensure your cuttings maintain contact with the soil. A bent paperclip can be used to gently pin your cuttings down.

This method also requires a higher humidity so the cuttings don’t dry out. You can create a more humid environment by placing the pot in a plastic bag and sealing it. The bag must be opened every 2-3 days for fresh air and to prevent mold.

Butterfly method of propagation

The leaves on a string of hearts vine grow in pairs, with matching leaves on each side. While you can’t propagate a string of hearts using a single leaf, you can propagate using these pairs.

The pair of leaves resemble a butterfly, hence the name ‘butterfly method’ of propagation.

This method can also produce several new plants from one vine. To successfully use the butterfly method, follow the steps below:

  1. Cut a section of the vine from your string of hearts plant that contains the number of leaf pairs you’d like to propagate.

  2. Cut the section into individual pairs leaving about a quarter inch of stem on each side of the leaf pair.

  3. Place the pairs with the heart-shaped leaves facing upward on the soil. Succulent soil is the best choice for this.

  4. Place the container in a plastic bag to create a humid environment. Open the bag every 2-3 days to allow new air in and to prevent mold growth.

  5. New vines should sprout from the cuttings in 2-3 weeks.

  6. Once new vines have emerged, you can resume regular string of hearts care.

Use a pair of leaves for the butterfly propagation method.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much water does string of hearts need?

String of hearts doesn’t like to have wet feet. Watering once a week is typical, but the soil should dry out between waterings. You can place sphagnum moss on top of the soil to help maintain moisture and extend time between waterings.

My string of hearts is stringy and thin. How can I make it fuller?

Regular pruning will help create a fuller plant. You can also loop the vines back around the top of the plant and lay them across the soil. New roots may grow from the areas of the plant in contact with the soil. When this occurs, repotting or dividing your plant may be needed to prevent the plant from becoming root bound.

What kind of environment allows string of hearts to thrive?

String of hearts is native to tropical or subtropical areas of South Africa, so your string of hearts will prefer indoor spaces reminiscent of its native habitat. The warmer temperatures of most homes are generally adequate, but additional humidity may be needed. They also like bright but indirect light.

Browse all guides