String of a Million Hearts Care:
This gorgeous heart shaped trailing plant, is an epiphyte, a group of plants that is a close relative of Hoyas! So if you are familar with Hoya care, you should treat these very similarly.
An epiphyte means this plant grows on another plant, when it is in the wild. Similar to numerous ferns or bromeliads. (Staghorn ferns are this way. This is why you often see it in boards, hanging on walls, with some moss.) Although Epiphytes grow on other plants, they are not parasitic. It actually derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water or from debris accumulating around it.
This is why, instead of traditional potting soil, these plants are commonly grown in things like orchid bark, or coco husk. They need plenty of aeration and do not want to sit in compact soil, or be over watered. If you are going to use potting soil, it should have plenty of chunky additives that will make sure it gets the air it needs, and plenty of fast drainage.
I have cuttings in soil, and it is doing fine, but I actually use my aroid soil , that has orchid bark, a ton of perlite and other additives in it. The cuttings are doing great in this mix! Check out the complete mixture here: https://plantedinpots.com/aroid-soil-mix/ .
On the same token, you should make sure your million hearts plant is in a pot with plenty of drainage, (a terracotta pot would also be beneficial!)
As far as watering goes, you should wait to water until the soil is dry. Similar to any ‘string of ‘ plant, orchid or hoya! I just give mine a small amount of water on the top, while making sure to get the water over the entire surface, but I think this plant would be a great proponent of bottom watering!
This plant also thrives in humidity! So if you live in a humid and mild climate, you could grow this outdoors, or indoors, where you could use a humidifier or mister!
This plant does well in indirect light. While it thrives in bright indirect light, I have mine in medium light, and it is doing well! It just isn’t thriving as much as it does when it gets more light. You should avoid direct sun, as it will have discoloration of the leaves, and could cause more severe damage. It also seems to do well with some artificial lights. I use 100w led daylight bulbs, 5000k for a cheaper grow light alternative. (I will include links at the bottom of the post).
As far as fertilizer, I like to use worm castings or fish fertilizer, and use one or the other, about every other week. Just a small amount as these guys are sensitive, which is why i am a big proponent of worm castings. They wont burn the plant as easily as other plant fertilizers!
String of a Million Hearts Propagation:
String of a million hearts plants are extremely easy to propagate! The first step, is to decide where you want to cut your plant. Some things to take into consideration when determining where to make the cutting: 1. where ever you make your cutting, usually is going to end up splitting into 2 strands down the road, so it will become fuller. Because of this, I usually try to make the cutting closer to the rim of the pot, so that when it does split, it looks like separate full strands! and 2. the stands on your plant may already have roots growing out, if this is the case, you can use these for propagation, or you will need to pull some of the leaves off of your cutting, so roots can grow from there, this is why you need to make sure that the strand is long enough to pull some of the lower leaves off.
Once you have determined where to make the cutting from, you will want to take a clean, sharp pair of clippers, scissors or micro tip garden shears (like pictured above) , and simply cut the strands off. An important tip here, is to make sure that you know which end you made the cutting from, so you can put this part into the soil or sphagnum moss when propagating.
Once you have your cutting or cuttings, you are going to want to remove the pretty heart shaped leaves from the part that was closest to the soil and roots in the original pot, where you made your cutting from. You can see the before and after in the photos below, the first 2 photos show the cuttings with all the leaves still on the stem, and the second 2 are after I removed the bottom leaves from a cutting.
Now that your cutting is prepped, there is an optional use of rooting hormone. While it is not necessary, it is very easy to use and will speed up the rooting process! To apply the rooting hormone, dump a small amount out onto another surface (I use saucers usually to do this!), never dip the cutting directly into the bottle, and wet the cuttings (only the part that you removed the leaves from). Then take the wet cuttings and dip them into the rooting hormone! Wah lah!
The last step is to simply insert the part of the cutting into the soil mixture of sphagnum moss you are going to use to propagate in. I personally use my aroid soil mixture, but if you are going to use sphagnum moss, you are going to want to soak the moss first, to make it expand, and then place it into the pot with the cutting. The propagations should be kept in bright indirect light (I keep mine on a window sill) and I water these much more frequently than I do the mom plant. I only water them a small amount, and I use filtered water, but I do keep the soil more on the moist side than I do the mom plant!
The best part about propagating your mom plant & a HUGE benefit in my opinion, is what happens after you trim the cuttings from the plant!
The plant will essentially split into 2 where it is cut, and one branch will, in most cases, turn into 2, making for a fuller looking plant. Check it out in the photos below! This is why you shouldn’t be afraid of cutting your plants, in most cases! It can seem scary but the outcome is usually fantastic, a new plant on the way, and a healthier fuller mom plant , planted in pots! Happy propagating planty fronds!!
MATERIALS USED & LINKS
Here are the links from products I really use! Some are amazon affiliate links. If you buy anything using these links, I may make a small commission, so thanks! However, you don’t need to use these exact brands, or could purchase them from a local garden center near you!
Potting Soil Mixture:
For instructions & more information on this aroid soil mixture, that I used for propagating, check out my post on DIY aroid soil: https://plantedinpots.com/aroid-soil-mix/
- Black Gold 8-Quart All Purpose Potting Soil: https://amzn.to/2M0DyFo
- Black Gold 16-Quart Organic Potting Soil (I have used this as an alternative to the All Purpose Potting Mix): https://amzn.to/30PkHnE
- Black Gold Moisture hold Supreme Potting Soil: https://amzn.to/2ZPTsKr
- Burpee Garden Coir: https://amzn.to/32TYAz1
- 8 qt. Perlite: https://amzn.to/2URyrgb
- Orchid Bark (I sometimes use Leca as an alternative): https://amzn.to/2D6D92S
- Horticultural Charcoal (No particular brand, the last one I purchased was Hoffman’s): https://amzn.to/30KAwMn
- Vermiculite (Black Gold) – Particularly added for outdoor potted plants: https://amzn.to/2D0YvPk
- Worm Castings(Black Gold Earth Worm Castings Blend or Soil Power): https://amzn.to/2EiLeCp or https://amzn.to/2BtTA9f the shaker bottle version, I picked up from Home Depot
- Worm Castings (Black Gold Earth Worm Castings Blend or Soil Power): https://amzn.to/2EiLeCp or https://amzn.to/2BtTA9f the shaker bottle version, I picked up from Home Depot
- Neptune’s Harvest Fish Fertilizer: https://amzn.to/32QSZd7
- Fiskars Micro Tip Pruning Shears:https://amzn.to/2XhSp53
- Light Bulbs in lieu of grow lights: https://amzn.to/2CDV9BR
- Work light for light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2TMqlnV
- Fiskars Soft Tip Garden Shear: https://amzn.to/2JOHTuk
- Fiskars Pruning Shears: https://amzn.to/2VdkGqL
- Mini Terracotta Pots: https://amzn.to/2XEPoKZ
- Terracotta Pots: https://amzn.to/2VbIYBK
- Humidifier (2.5 L): https://amzn.to/3f5LVf4
- Gold Mister: https://amzn.to/2wI9x9z
- Glass Antique Mister: https://amzn.to/2P0HmYJ
Camera Equipment used:
For a complete list of our most used plant products, check out our Products I Dig page: https://plantedinpots.com/products-i-dig/