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Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii (String of Hearts)

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Scientific Name

Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii (Schltr.) H. Huber

Common Names

Chain of Hearts, Collar of Hearts, String of Hearts, Rosary Vine, Hearts-on-a-String, Sweetheart Vine, Heart Vine

Synonyms

Ceropegia woodii (basionym)

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Ceropegia

Description

Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is an evergreen, succulent, trailing vine that grows up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall. The stems can grow up to 13.1 feet (4 m) long. Its leaves are heart-shaped, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long and about the same in width. When exposed to sufficient light they have a deep green color. Under insufficient lighting the leaves are pale green. With age it develops a woody caudex at its base. The flowers are up to 0.8 inch (2 cm) long, usually appear in late summer to early fall and last up to 6 weeks.

Photo via sedumphotos.net

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

A gritty compost is suitable and clay pots help with drainage, especially for the species with white thickened roots which are the most susceptible to rotting and for species forming large tubers. Ceropegias appreciate water and a little fertilizer during warm weather, although some care with watering is required for the more difficult species. The vine-like species can suffer from prolonged drought.

Typically, many of these species grow and climb naturally among bushes which provide shade and humidity to the base, while the vegetative growth is in the light. Where tubers occur, they are best planted on the surface of the compost and the vegetative growth allowed to twine around supports or to trail down from a hanging pot. The latter mode of growth has the advantage of not using valuable bench space. Small tubers formed at joints in the thin stems of some species can be used for propagation. If the tuber rots or dries out, don't panic. As long as some of the top growth is still in reasonable condition, it may be possible to save the plant by re-rooting stems in damp gravel.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Ceropegia.

Origin

Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii is native to South AfricaSwaziland, and Zimbabwe.

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