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Ceropegia woodii or necklace of hearts plant: characteristics and care

Elegant, curious, and ornamental, this is Ceropegia woodii, a species that attracts attention due to the particular appearance of its leaves. It does not demand intense assistance and, although it is not, it is considered a succulent that highlights any space in the house.

Precisely because of its advantages to maintaining it, many people look for cytopenias to offer a touch of nature to internal rooms. These vines are of African origin and without any problem, they adapt to any environment.

Ceropegia woodii: characteristics of the heart-leaved plant

Although its scientific name is Ceropegia woodii, in everyday language it is known as the “heart necklace plant”. They are also often called “wax fountains” or “rosary vines”. In honor of the botanist John Medley Wood, they gave it the nomenclature.

The species can exceed 2 meters in length and shows fine stems. Its most outstanding characteristic is the heart shape of the leaves. They are fleshy and silver-green petals that grow in pairs and that when in contact with sunlight, change to a pink hue.

The “necklaces of hearts” bloom in summer, embellishing their messy and hanging demeanor. They store water in their protruding roots, so they don’t require constant hydration. This particularity is perfect for those who are new to caring for ornamental plants or those who do not have enough time for meticulous care.

In addition to spreading confidently by colonizing soil, cytopenias readily line shelves in frost-free areas. Not fussy with the habitat, they adapt to sunny areas and those covered by semi-shade.

Other highlights of the plant are as follows:

  • The scent and flowers attract hummingbirds.
  • The density of the foliage is determined by each specimen.
  • They use them to fill in botanical arrangements or for potscaping art.
  • Some sprout pods with seeds loaded with a white tuft.
  • They consist of 5 lobes at one end that form velvety hooks.

How to care for Ceropegia woodii?

For the cytopenias, it is not necessary to bathe them every day and the feeding is spaced. However, for this decorative plant to extend its life, the following considerations should be taken into account.

Illuminate properly

The “necklace of hearts plant” is at home in bright lights. Locate it where it receives the rays of the morning sun. They are species that, if they are in dark or opaque environments, tend to discolor and lose their charm.

Select the fertilizer well

The substrate used for cacti and succulents serves as a substrate. Likewise, it is valid to create a humiferous, drained, and phosphorus-rich mixture. Worm humus-based fertilizer is also ideal.

According to a publication from the University of Chile, these worms positively influence the availability of mineral nutrients in soils. In addition, the worms provide the necessary concentrations of calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and other favorable components to regulate the pH of the soil and of the plant.

control pruning

Trimming these species is both to control growth and to get rid of wilted stems. When you can, take some cuttings and plant them around the mother waxen. This trick is ideal for achieving a leafy look.

Don’t overwater

In spring and summer, the land of the cytopenias has to remain with light humidity, while in winter and autumn it is pertinent to lower the frequency of hydration. The key is not to exaggerate watering and to have pots with drainage holes so that the substrate releases excess liquid.

The way in which this plant asks for water is by showing the loss of volume of the leaves and stems. Once you bathe them, they shake off the dehydrated look.

Although they are not succulents, the care is similar to that applied to this group of plants. In any case, irrigation must be more intensive.

Inspect for pests

The University of Georgia Extension bulletin points out that there are a large number of diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and viruses that harm ornamental plants. Some cause slight damage and others destroy the specimens.

It’s not common for pests to invade this variation of succulent, but as with any other plant, check for the presence of infective insects. Mealybugs, slugs, and red spider mites may get close to the undersides of the leaves.

If it happens, the recommendation is to remove them with your hands and apply the appropriate remedies.

Reproduction and location of Ceropegia woodii

Closeup of a baby plant of the variety ceropegia woodii, with the background out of focus, on a wooden table. Gardening

The propagation of these plants is by cuttings. One method of cultivation is to select shoots from the stem and plant the ends in moist soil.

In addition to this, you can use hermetic plastic bags, introduce the sprayed cuttings and take the packaging to a shady place. Maximum, in 4 days they will have roots and you can transplant them.

Ceropegias stand out as decorative species, cascading down windows, showing off in hanging baskets or woven into wire structures. Do you already have an idea where you will hang your “rosary vine”?

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