Do you have a String of Hearts that you love? Well, why not propagate it?
Propagating plants is an easy way to make a sparse plant look fuller or to grow your plant collection without spending a cent! Luckily, this is super easy with the String of Hearts.
In this post, I will provide a step-by-step guide for four methods for propagating String of Hearts.
Why You Should Do It
I like to propagate my plants to extend my plant collection without spending extra money!
You can also use propagation to make your existing String of Hearts fuller. Each stem has its own set of roots, so you need to plant many in one pot for your plant to look gorgeous and thick.
Cuttings and more mature propagated plants also make incredible gifts for other plant lovers! I got my String of Hearts from a dear friend who took a cutting straight from her plant when I was visiting. Now I’m ready to propagate it to thicken it up and have a new plant to decorate my space.
In this guide, we will specifically look at vegetative propagation, which uses existing plant parts like stems and leaves to create a new plant.
Things You Will Need
- Pruning shears or scissors
- Small glass jar
- Potting soil
- Coconut coir
- Small plant pot
- Paperclips/ bobby pins
- Spray bottle
- Plastic bag or lid
As you can see, this String of Hearts is nice and long but not very full. It’s also summer, so it is the ideal time for propagation!
We can use the long stems to take multiple cuttings without compromising the plant. Then, once they’re rooted, some propagated plants can be relocated into the same pot to make the plant full and luscious.
Method 1: Plant Them Straight in the Soil
Soil propagation can be done using two different cutting methods.
The first method is to cut a piece from the bottom of a stem using scissors or pruning shears. The cutting should be a few inches long and include at least two pairs of leaves.
Don’t cut it too close to the bottom set of leaves, as you will need a clear piece of stem to plant in the soil.
The second method is called a butterfly cut. This involves cutting very close to a pair of leaves on either side so there is only a small piece of stem on each side. These cuttings have more chance to grow out thicker because more than one stem may grow from them.
At this stage, you may add rooting hormone to the cut ends to encourage rooting, but this step is optional.
Fill a small plant pot with drainage holes with a 50/50 mix of high-quality potting soil and coconut coir. This will aid your water retention and aerate your soil. As demonstrated, you can do this in a seedling tray or a regular pot.
For the first cutting, make a hole in the soil using your finger to the depth of your second knuckle, and place the cutting into it up to the first set of leaves. Fill the hole with soil and pat it down firmly to hold the cutting in place. Water it.
For the second cutting, place the pairs of leaves on the soil’s surface. Gently press them down until the two ends of the stem are under the soil and the leaves are wedged on the surface of the soil. This will ensure the node is buried so the roots can grow easily. Water it.
Humidity is key for propagation to be successful, so I recommend keeping the cuttings humid for the first stage of their growth.
You can do this by placing a plastic bag over the top of the pot or placing a plastic, loose-fitting lid on top, as demonstrated.
Water once a week.
After a few weeks, you can pull gently on the cuttings to feel if they have started to root. Leave them in the pot until they have developed a robust set of roots before planting them in their final pot or locating the pot to its intended spot.
Method 2: Let Them Root in Water
To start with, take a cutting from the end of one of the stems. Make sure to include three sets of leaves in the cutting.
Gently remove the leaves from the very bottom of the cutting, leaving the node exposed. This will aid in rooting and prevent the leaves from rotting as they sit in the water.
Place the cutting in a small jar or vase of water with the node beneath the water and the remaining leaves well above the waterline. Place the vase in a spot that gets bright, indirect sunlight.
Top up the water whenever it gets low and change it entirely every two weeks to prevent moss or algae growth in your water.
After a few weeks, you will notice little roots growing from the node. Leave the roots to grow thicker and stronger before transplanting them into the soil.
Method 3: Circle the Strands Back into the Pot
This is a convenient propagation method that doesn’t involve making any cuts! This is my favorite method to make a String of Hearts fuller because you can do it all in one pot.
Start by picking which stem you want to propagate. Gently untangle it from the rest of the stems before gently winding it into a neat spiral within the pot.
As with the soil propagation, you want to make sure that the nodes are making contact with the soil so they can form roots all the way around the spiral.
To do this, I used bobby pins to secure the stem to the soil close to the leaves. You can also use paper clips for this job.
Again, humidity is crucial for your propagation to succeed. Still, it can be more challenging to add a lid or plastic bag to an already-growing plant without damaging the stems.
If this is the case for you, get a spray bottle and keep things humid with a spray a few times a week, along with regular watering.
After a few weeks, you should notice small shoots growing from the nodes, indicating the propagation has successfully rooted.
Method 4: Tuber Propagation
This is an effortless way to propagate a String of Hearts, but not every String of Hearts has tubers available for propagation.
Aerial tubers are small bead-like growths that form on the plant’s stem. They may look like a disease if you’ve never seen one before, but I can assure you that they are a natural part of this string plant.
If you spot one of these in your String of Hearts, I don’t recommend cutting these from the plant.
Instead, wind the stem into the pot using the same method as above. Bury the tubers gently below the surface of the soil before securing them with bobby pins or paper clips. Water well.
After a few weeks, you should notice shoots growing from where you buried the tuber. Once you have confirmed that it has rooted, you can cut the new plant away from the original stem.
3 Tips for Propagating String of Hearts
Whichever propagating method you choose, you should be able to do it successfully because this plant is so easy to handle. Saying that, here are just a few tips and tricks to help you propagate successfully:
1. Find the right spot
When your little plants are in their propagation stage, they are very delicate, so they need good placement to give them the best chance of survival.
The String of Hearts enjoys bright, indirect sunlight, which is the best light quality for them to succeed. I have a sunny windowsill that gets good morning light that is perfect for propagation, and that’s where today’s propagations will go.
2. Keep up the humidity
Humidity is vital for your cuttings to root and become fully grown plants. Plastic lids, as I showed you, are handy, but a plastic bag is far simpler if you don’t have the ideal lid for your pot.
If you live in a climate with decent humidity or in a house with a humidifier, you may be able to get away without a humidity catcher. Just spritz the propagation in soil regularly, and they should grow happily.
3. Locate the node
Nodes are the pots where leaves grow from on the stem. For most methods, the nodes are essential for root growth, so it’s key that you take note of them when making your cuts or pinning a plant to the soil.
As you can see from this guide, String of Hearts is a super easy plant to propagate. Using these techniques, you can increase your plant collection and scatter String of Hearts all over your home!
If you are a big fan of string plants that are very easy to propagate, I wrote a whole article about them for you to peruse and get inspired.