4 Easy Ways How to Propagate String of Hearts Plant

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore string of heart plants. The beautiful heart shaped leaves that adorn the hanging vines make for beautiful indoor plants. I wish I could own a million of them; and the good news is- I can!

With simple propagation techniques, you can make one string of hearts plants multiply until you have a whole nursery full of them. 

In this article, we’ll be going over four main propagation methods: water, soil, tuber, and butterfly.


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Background Information

The Ceropegia woodii, more commonly known as the string of hearts, rosary vine, or chain of hearts is a perennial variety of hanging succulents. Native to South Africa, this plant lends its name from the little heart-shaped leaves that grow on a thin, stringy vine.

During the summer and fall, you might also notice your string of hearts blooming flowers.These unique flowers are pink or purple and oddly resemble an upside-down mushroom.

In addition, the string of hearts is a safe plant to own if you have small children and pets, as it is nontoxic. 

string of hearts plant

Are String of Hearts Hard to Propagate?

Not at all! In fact, I find the string of hearts to be one of the easiest plants to propagate because there are so many different options you can take when propagating this plant!

Let’s go further into detail on four different methods of propagating string of heart plants.

With all of these methods, the best time to propagate your plant is during the growing season (spring to late summer). This will give you the right conditions for a successful propagation.

That doesn’t mean you can’t try during the winter season though! I’ve propagated many plants in the winter simply out of necessity and many of them have been successful.

string of hearts

1. Water Propagation

The easiest way (in my opinion) is water propagation. I like to see the new roots forming in the water so I know my new string of hearts plant is healthy and ready to plant into it’s new pot. Here’s how you do it.

1. Remove a pice of vine

Using a pair of sterile, sharp shears or scissors, cut off a piece of the vine from the mother plant. For best results, this vine should be at least 3 to 4 inches in length and contain at least two nodes (the stem of the vine that grows leaves).

propagating string of hearts plant

2. Put in water

Place your vine cutting in a glass or propagation station of clean water. Check to make sure no leaves are submerged under the water.

If there are, please trim them off. Wet leaves heighten the chance of bacterial infections. 

propagating string of hearts plant

3. Change water weekly

Every week, switch out the water in the jar for fresh water to avoid a build-up of bacteria. 

4. Watch for roots

It doesn’t take a long time to start seeing roots! It can take as little as two weeks to see roots growing out from the cut-end of the vine. 

5. Plant your cuttings

Transplant your string of hearts cuttings into a well draining soil when the roots have grown to 1 to 2 inches long. 

string of hearts

Pros of Water Propagation

With water propagation, you can conveniently watch the roots grow out from the vine cutting.

This way you know exactly how long the roots are when it’s time to transfer into the soil. 

Cons of Water Propagation

Placing the stem cuttings in water is an extra step and requires more effort than if you directly propagated your string of hearts into the soil. 

2. Soil Propagation

Soil propagation is another easy way to propagate your string of hearts! This requires less steps since you place it directly into the soil. Let’s learn how!

string of hearts

1. Remove a piece of vine

Again, like water propagation, use a pair of sterile, sharp shears or scissors to cut off a piece of the vine. This vine should be at least 3 to 4 inches in length and contain at least two nodes (the stem of the vine that grows leaves).

2. Dip in rooting hormone powder

Technically this is an option step but worth doing to increase the chances of your cutting to root! You’ll want to dip the cut-end of the vine into the rooting hormone powder

rooting hormone

3. Put in soil

Directly place the cut-end into a pot of soil and keep the soil consistently moist. 

4. Wait for roots

It can take between two weeks to two months for rooting to occur. You’ll know your plant is rooted when you try to tug on the vine and you feel resistance. 

string of hearts plant

Pros of Soil Propagation

Propagating via soil is a more direct version of water propagation; you skip out the part with the glass of water entirely and immediately transfer the cutting to soil. 

Cons of Soil Propagation

Since you can’t see through the soil, it’s impossible to tell if the propagation was successful. You might have to wait upwards of two months to check if the vine successfully rooted into the soil. 

3. Tuber Propagation

1. Start with a mature plant 

For this method, you’ll need an older string of hearts. These old plants will develop tubers (small, round growths growing on the vine). 

2. Remove a large tuber

Select the largest tuber on your string of hearts and cut it off. Leave a little bit of the original vine attached to it. 

3. Press tuber into soil

Gently press the tuber into the potting soil. Don’t completely bury the tuber; you should only bury it until it’s halfway into the soil. 

4. Keep soil moist and wait for roots

Keep the potting soil consistently moistened; the tuber should begin to root and grow new vines after a few weeks. 

*The tuber can also be propagated via water, similar to how we propagated vine cuttings in water the previous section, “Water Propagation.”

string of hearts

Pros of Tuber Propagation

Tuber propagation is a great way to repurpose older string of hearts plants in the late stages of their lives. 

Cons of Tuber Propagation

As stated before, tubers only grow on string of hearts plants when the plant is much older. This method isn’t viable for those with a younger string of hearts. 

4. Butterly Method

This one is a bit more advanced than the other two but is another great option!

string of hearts plant


1. Remove vine with 2 leaves

Locate a part of the vine where a pair of leaves meet the vine. Cut off this section on both sides, leaving about 1/4 of an inch of vine on each side. You should have a small segment of vine with the two leaves attached. 

2. Prep sphagnum peat moss

Soak a bowl of sphagnum peat moss in warm water and leave it for 5 minutes. Remove the soaked moss and squeeze the excess moisture out. Lay the moss evenly in a container. 

3. Put cuttings on top of sphagnum moss

Place the leaf cuttings on top of the sphagnum moss. The nodes should be touching the moss directly.

4. Cover and put in indirect bright light

Cover the container with a clear lid and place the cuttings in a location with indirect but bright light. 

5. Wait for growth

Check back within a couple of weeks and you should notice new growth forming. 

6. Pot your cuttings

Transfer the cuttings to a potting mix and care accordingly. 

Pros of the Butterfly Method

You’ll maximize the plant material, which in turn leads to a fuller plant. 

Cons of the Butterfly Method

This method requires more steps than the previous three methods and could be tedious for gardeners in a hurry. 

Care After Propagation

string of hearts

I have a full string of heart care guide here, but here’s the cliff notes version!

String of hearts are fairly easy to care for. First up, the need enough light to survive. Ideally they want bright, indirect light – about 4-6 hours a day.

They need to be watered when the soil has dried out completely. Thoroughly soak the plant when the soil is dry to the touch. It doesn’t like to sit in wet soil so use a succulent or cactus mix soil to ensure proper drainage.

string of hearts

For brief periods of time, the string of hearts can survive cold temperatures as low as 20° F, but that really is not ideal, as it causes severe stress on your plant. An optimal temperature range for the string of hearts is around 65° to 80° F. 

Finally, choose a plant pot with a drainage hole. The string of hearts is a succulent plant and therefore does not enjoy sitting in overly damp soil.


string of hearts plant
Where Do You Cut a String of Hearts for Propagation?

It depends what method of propagation you’re going for. With water and soil propagation, your should cut a piece of vine that is a few inches long. This cut should be made below a few leaf nodes. 
When using the butterfly propagation method, you should a small piece of vine that contains a pair of leaves. 
With tuber propagation, you need to cut the tuber off from the vine, but leave just a little piece of the vine attached to the tuber. 

How Long Does It Take to Propagate a String of Hearts?

Propagating a string of hearts plant does not take long at all. When you take all four methods (water, soil, tuber, and butterfly) into consideration, it takes somewhere between two weeks to two months for a propagation to be successfully completed. 

What are the White Balls on My String of Hearts?

If you have an older string of hearts plant, you might notice a white root ball beginning to form on the vines. Don’t worry, these are called aerial tubers- and they are a perfectly normal growth on your string of heart.
They are simply just a sign that your string of heart plant is at an advanced age. You can cut these tubers off and propagate them to create more string of heart plants!

string of hearts plant

Propagating a string of hearts plant has never been easier. I hope these steps will successfully guide you to multiplying your string of hearts. You can keep your new plant for yourself, or gift them to friends and family!

If you love this string style of plants, check out a few others! A String of Fishhooks plant is one of the easiest succulents I’ve ever grown and I also love the String of Dolphins!


  • Jen

    Jen got her first plant in college from her mom and the rest, as they say, is history! She's owned hundreds of plants over the years and loves learning how to grow each one. She believes everyone needs to own at least one plant in their home and loves sharing her knowledge with others.

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