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Orange River String of Hearts – 5 Common Issues Faced

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Orange river string of hearts has beautiful reddish or orange heart-shaped leaves with a silvery lining on them and trailing vines.

The scientific name of this plant is Ceropegia woodii and Ceropegia linearis woodii; the common ornamental houseplant usually grown in South-African countries belongs to a sub-family of milkweed Apocynaceae called Asclepiadoideae.

The common names of this plant are a string of hearts, rosary vine, chain of hearts and sweetheart vines, etc. This plant has many unique features. We will discuss its benefits, method of growing, and caring practices in the later discussion.

If you want to know about this plant, don’t forget to read till the end.

Ceropegia woodii Orange River String of Hearts
Orange River String of Hearts via Reddit

History of Origin

This plant was first discovered by John Medley Wood, a South African Botanist, in the late 1800s. The scientific name “Ceropegia woodii” given to this plant was introduced by Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy. The word Ceropegia is originated from the combination of two Greek words.

  • Ceri (Originated from Greek word Kere means waxy)
  • Pegia (Originated from Greek word pege means fountain shape flowers)

The woodii was attached to its name due to its discoverer John Medley Wood.

Methods to Grow

There are three methods to grow this plant at home.

1. Stem Cutting Placed in Soil

This method is fascinating; it involves cutting the stem of the already planted plant. I am going to discuss a step-by-step procedure that I used to grow this plant in my home.

  • I took a clean knife. Then, Cut the stem of this plant below the node about 4-6inches in length.
  • The cutting process is essential in order to grow effectively. One thing that should be kept in mind is that you should cut the stem from a point called tubers where there are no leaves so that leaves can grow again from this point.
  • After that, I removed the leaves from the lower part of the stem to clear the area of the stem to be put in the soil. Don’t remove any leaves from the top.
  • Then I took a pot. Put a mixture of soil and perlite in equal proportions and add some charcoal to it. This potting mixture is well-drained.
  • I dig a hole up to 1-2inches and, put the lower part of the stem in it, and close the hole using a finger. Don’t bury any leaves inside the soil.
  • In the end, I watered this plant and placed it at a location of indirect sunlight exposure.

Important Tip: If you want to make a lush pot full of these leaves, put multiple stems in a pot at a distance of 2-2.5 inches.

I used the above-discussed method to grow this plant in my home. Now, I will discuss two other ways you can use to grow this plant.

2. Stem Cutting Placed in Water

It is an extraordinary process of growing this plant. Some of the steps of this process are written below.

  • Cut the stem of this plant by using the knife to about 4-6 inches in length.
  • Take a used bottle of a soft drink which you purchased from the store. Please don’t throw it to create pollution. Use it to grow plants.
  • Fill three-fourth of this bottle with water and put a stem in it.
  • Hang it on the wall near the window that provides indirect sunlight to it for proper growth.
  • After a few days, the roots will start to grow from a point that is dipped inside water.
  • Now, you can decide whether to put this plant in soil or allow it to continue to grow in the same situation.

Important Tip: It can serve as a natural décor if you hang it from the wall. Its trailing vines look fantastic.

I recommend you to try this procedure at home.

Orange River String of Hearts grow in water
Can string of hearts be kept in water permanently? via Reddit

3. Grow by seed

It is a conventional method used for growing this plant in the home. The steps involved in this process are:

  • First of all, you should have seeds of this plant. If you don’t have it, go and purchase it from the nearby store.
  • Take a pot that can be well-drained because this plant requires little water to grow, and a well-drained potting mixture will not store excessive water.
  • Take a mixture of soil and perlite in equal proportions and add some charcoal. Please put it in the pot.
  • Dig a hole of about 1-1.5 inches in soil and add seed to it. After that, close the hole.
  • Add water in it and place it near the place having access to indirect sunlight exposure.

Important Tip: If you want to see your pot full of leaves in a lush condition, add seeds in as oil at a distance of 2-2.5 inches.

>> Related Post: How To Propagate String Of Turtles Using 3 Methods

Essential Tips to care for this plant

Orange river string of heartscan make your home beautiful due to its uniqueness, but its caring is essential. Now, I am going to discuss some tips related to its growth for better propagation of this plant.

1. Light and Temperature requirements

Indirect sunlight exposure is a vital option for this plant to grow at a natural pace. So, we cannot produce this plant on our lawn because the plant will destroy in direct sunlight.

For this reason, place the pot near the window that gives indirect sunlight exposure at morning and evening hours. This plant can bear a temperature of 120C to 300C.

2.  Fertilizer requirement

Fertilizer is another most important thing that contributes to the proper propagation of any plant. But this plant doesn’t want too much fertilizer. It has the ability to grow under harsh conditions.

But adding fertilizer is a good option, and for this purpose, purchase the fertilizer from the nearby plant shoplabeled as ” Houseplant Fertilizer” and utilize it for proper growth.

One thing that should be kept in mind is that fertilizer must be added in liquid form for better effectiveness. During summer and spring, add fertilizer after 6 weeks, and during winter and autumn, add after 4 months.

Important Tip: In order to any damage to roots, you must avoid using fertilizer in solid form.

3. Water requirement

Water addition to the plants is crucial for proper propagation. You should know the requirements like when to add water and in what quantity etc., because under-water or over-water conditions can have an adverse effect on growth. A string of hearts has the ability to resist dry conditions than soggy soil.

There are two methods to judge the water requirements. Some people judge by looking at the leaves. If the leaves seem to be succulent and plump, there is no need to add water but, if the leaves seem to be less succulent and soft, they need water.

Another method is to analyze the situation of the soil. For this purpose, examine the portion of the dry and wet areas. If one-third of soil is dry, add water to it; otherwise, not. It is a very technical process and requires strong imagination skills.

4. Location requirements

This plant acquires less space in your house. I am recommending placing it near the window for sunlight capturing. But you can place it anywhere in your home like in the TV lounge, dining area.

You can place this plant at any corner, on any table. Don’t forget to place this plant at a place of indirect sunlight exposure once a day for the proper growth and health of this plant.

Ceropegia woodii Tubers Orange River String of Hearts
Ceropegia woodii Tubers via Wikimedia

Characteristics of String of Hearts

1. Use as home décor

Orange River is a perfect natural home décor because of its heart-shaped leaves having silver lining on them. Don’t waste your money on artificial plants and flowers.

  • I planted and placed this plant in the dining area, near the outer door, and TV lounge in my home.
  • The attraction is due to its leaves having giant size.I usually use décor lights to be placed in a pot for a charming look whenever I plan a candlelight dinner.

2.  Use as Natural air purifier

Plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide when sunlight falls on the plants. This is a process of photosynthesis, important for the purification of the environment. These plants help in the cleansing of the neighboringenvironment.

  • These plants are very helpful for eliminating toxic gases from the surrounding environment, and for my family, they are a new source of oxygen. Because of its long-lasting benefits, I recommend installing this plant in the home.
  • The thing that is produced by items placed inside home-like paints, paper products, and bed foam, etc., is formaldehyde. These plants are beneficial for eliminating formaldehyde from the indoor. This fact is published in a report by NASA.

3. Requires little maintenance

These plants are elementary to handle and care for. You don’t need to add water every day, as I discussed earlier. If you go for a vacation with your family, these plants can sustain without water for several days.

Also, they don’t want to have fertilizer every week. They can survive without fertilizer for months.

Common Issues Faced by String of Hearts

1. Root Rot

Root rot is the leading cause of the decay of this plant, doesn’t require soggy soil or excessive water. Root rot is due to over-watering the plant. Over-watering creates fungus and bacteria in the soil that attack the roots of the plants.

2. Tangled mess

The vines of this plant can easily be tangled and create a mess that can not be easily separated. If you try to untangle this plant, it takes hours to do this. I personally don’t think that untangling is a good option because tangled veins have their own beauty.

Orange River String of Hearts Tangled
Orange River String of Hearts Tangled via Reddit

3. Stunted Growth

Delay in adding water to these plants when required results in the stunted growth of leaves and plants. Extended delay may result in the decay of the plant.

4. Silver lines becomes fade

If you are not providing enough sunlight to these plants, it results in the fading of color, especially the silver lines. To avoid this condition, place the pot having this plant near the area having sufficient indirect light exposure.

5. Plant Wilt

This is another condition faced by this plant; if kept in the dark for days, the leaves start to lose their strengths and become weak and start to wilt. This condition is often called “Plant Confusion.”

Another reason that contributes to plant wilt is an environmental shock. It is due to repotting of plants from one pot to another. Repotting can be due to many reasons. I will discuss now how we can avoid environmental shock.

How we can avoid Environmental shock

Environmental shock is also known as transplant shock. It is a situation developed when a plant is transferred to another pot.Before discussing the tips to avoid shocks, I want to discuss the types of transplant shock.

The transplant shock is of two types.

1. Mild Shock

The symptoms includefading of color of leaves, stunted growth, etc. This is a temporary shock. We can avoid this by adding the desired quantity of water to a pot.

2. Severe Shock

The symptoms include extremely stunted growth, changing the color of foliage, weakness of stem, and leaves wilt. The chances of recovery are very minimum in this case.

We can avoid the chances of shock by following two steps.

  • You must add water in a pot in which the plant is already installed before 24 hrs. The soil should be soft and soaked well. This remedy is to avoid damage to the roots while transferring.
  • You should avoid touching the roots of the plant.


I tried my best in order to give knowledge about the orange river plant. I hope you like it. I recommend you install this plant in your home because of its extraordinary features.

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