What Is String of Heart?
String of Heart, also known as Heart Vine or Red Spirit Vine, is an epiphytic flowering vine native to South Africa.
It has incredible red and white heart-shaped flowers that hang down from the plant. The flowers can grow up to 18 inches across and will emerge year-round if kept in warmer temperatures!
String of Heart is unique because it does not need soil to grow; instead, it uses tree branches/tree bark for support and water from its environment.
String of Heart Care & Maintenance:
Caring for String of Heart is quite easy because it does not need soil. It can be hung from large trees or even your ceiling!
Keep in a bright area with good sunlight, like near a window. Make sure that you keep the plant away from direct sunlight as it could potentially burn the leaves.
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Keep the plant away from direct sunlight. Instead, keep it in indirect light. If you live in a hot climate or near a heater/AC, many String of Heart will start to grow their leaves throughout the year and not just during spring!
String of Heart does not need to be watered very much. Just a light spray every week or so will work. If you live in a hot climate, try misting your plant with water once a day (or whenever the leaves start to look droopy).
If you see any dead or brown leaves on the plant, remove them to let the plant focus on growing healthy new leaves!
String of Heart does not need soil to grow. Instead, they root and attach themselves to a large surface (like a tree). It can be hung from there or just placed on top of bark/wood chips for support.
If you are placing it directly onto bark for support, try using string or plant tape to secure the vines into position! Also, make sure there are no sharp objects around that could hurt your String of Heart vine as it grows up through the cracks of the bark!
Natural Sun/Air Drying:
Since String of Heart is an epiphytic flowering vine, it means that it needs air circulation, so you may want to consider giving the leaves a few ‘spritzes’ with water every day and then allowing them to naturally dry out (just like how they would in nature).
If you are looking to produce more blooms, this is the best way to do so. String of Heart also loves a little bit of humidity, so be sure to provide that for your plant! Simply mist it with water now and then so that the leaves stay hydrated.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements:
String of Heart does best in a warm to hot climate. If you live in a colder environment, try placing your plant near a window or glass door that gets lots of light.
String of Heart is sensitive to cold temperatures, so do not place it near a drafty area like an air conditioner or heater! Also, make sure the pot and leaves don’t get frostbite!
You will want to mist your String of Heart with water every once in a while to keep its leaves hydrated and healthy.
You can also purchase humidity trays from many stores (I got mine at Petsmart for only a couple of dollars), which will help regulate the humidity around your plant! Keep that on hand just in case your String of Heart’s leaves starts drying out.
String of Heart likes a little bit of humidity (just like how it would live in the rainforests). If you have an air humidifier, place that near your plant to ensure that its leaves stay hydrated!
String of Heart do best in a warm to a hot environment. Warm temperatures are 95-115 degrees, and hot temperatures are 85-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do not expose the plant to cold temperatures, as this could kill your String of Heart! You can put your String of Heart behind/underneath a fan or space heater if you need to raise the heat around it.
Just be sure NOT to keep any drafts away from it as this will cause frostbite on the leaves.
String of Heart does NOT need soil to grow. Instead, they root and attach themselves to a large surface – usually to trees. It can be hung from there or just placed on bark/wood chips for support with twine or plant tape made for vines!
If you plan on hanging it up, remember to give your plant space between branches to grow 🙂 Also, make sure there are no sharp objects around that could hurt your String of Heart vine as it grows up through the cracks of a tree!
Once a week, you can give your String of Heart plant a fertilizer (with water) or mix it with at least 50% soil. This will ensure that your plant gets the nutrients it needs, healthy and strong!
Assuming you are not using soil, this method will work just fine. If you live in an area where the leaves start to look slightly droopy/dull, it is most likely due to a lack of nutrients, so be sure to fertilize once a week!
Potting and repotting Requirements:
String of Heart is an epiphytic flowering vine, so don’t put it in a pot unless you plan on eventually hanging it up!
Make sure to give your plant space between branches to grow, as the vines will need room.
Also, if you plan on repotting (if that’s something you like doing), please make sure there are no sharp objects around that could hurt your String of Heart vine as it grows through the cracks of bark/wood chips!
Always keep the soil damp but never soaking wet or dry – just moist enough for the leaves to last for about 3 days before needing another watering. Watering requirements vary depending on how much sunlight and warmth/coldness your plant receives.
If your String of Heart is receiving lots of sunlight, it will need more water. However, if the plant is deprived of sunlight and warmth/coldness, it will need less water to survive!
String of Heart Propagation:
You can propagate your String of Heart by either taking cuttings in the summer or being patient and waiting for a new vine to sprout from the base of the plant. It takes at least 2 years before a root will form, so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen in that short amount of time!
The cutting method is simple: Take off 2 leaves from about 6 inches down, dip end of leaf into rooting hormone (String of Heart rooting hormone is ideal), place in an air humidifier with water for about 10 days ( I am actually going to use a misting bottle as this seems more convenient), then you should have some roots starting to grow!
If you don’t want to do any difficult rooting, be patient and let your String of Heart seed itself if you have a lot of SOA (String of Aloe) around. It takes 2-4 years for this to happen, but you will get new vining plants eventually!
If you see a vine sprouting up from the base, remove it from its pot and give it some air root pruning to make room for where it is growing bigger/stronger! Just be sure NOT to keep any drafts away from it as this will cause frostbite on the leaves!
During the winter months, please remember that String of Heart does not like cold temperatures. Be sure to place your plant in a warm area or use an electric blanket or wrap around the branches so they can stay warm and alive during the colder seasons!
String of Heart Pest Problems & Solutions:
If you see any bugs/insects/spiders, etc., please use this spray regularly to keep them away from your plant!
As with all plants, some diseases can affect String of Heart as well. Please be sure to spray a fungicide every week or so for prevention. This will kill off any fungus spores around your plant!
If you have already noticed the disease present on your plant, make sure to remove the infected leaves and spray with something like neem oil (WARNING: This product is powerful and can burn sensitive skin) or clean up any yellowing areas for prevention.
Take special care when overwintering String of Heart – I would not suggest placing an electric blanket over it since it is small and could burn easily. If you can, place an electric blanket between the String of Heart vine and its pot so it doesn’t touch the leaves directly!
Keeping Your String of Heart Vine Happy:
Your String of Heart will need sunlight or artificial light. It will grow without soil as well; place on top bark or wood chips.
You will want to keep an eye out on any dead/brown leaves because those can fall off and affect photosynthesis which means fewer flowers!
String of Heart do best in a warm to hot climate. If you live in a colder environment, try placing your plant near a window or glass door that gets lots of light.