String of hearts Yellow Leaves can be a nuisance – and usually due to overwatering. The Ceropegia Woodii of the Apocynaceae family, often known as the rosary vine or the string of hearts, is a trailing plant with lovely heart-shaped leaves – the majority of people are unaware that this Ceropegia genus plant is a succulent vine.
The string of hearts requires little care in watering, but even seemingly minor mistakes can lead your plant to yellow or, in the worst-case scenario, wither and die. This post discusses the potential causes of your string of heart plant’s yellowing and how to treat it and restore it to health.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Are Common Issues That Cause Yellow Leaves in String of Hearts?
- How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves on String of Hearts?
- – Soil Requirements
- – Light Requirements
- – Temperature Requirements
- – Humidity Requirements
- – Fertilizer Requirements
- – String of Hearts Propagation for Strong Roots
- – Potting a String of Hearts Correctly
- – Pruning
- – pH Can Cause Yellowing
- – Watering Requirements
- – Save a Dying Heart String From Overwatering
What Are Common Issues That Cause Yellow Leaves in String of Hearts?
Common issues that cause yellow leaves in a string of hearts are the following: overwatering, leaves that are aging, temperatures being incorrect for the variety, the plant going into dormancy, over- and under-fertilization, mutation, aging leaves, mold infestation, and root decay.
The main cause of String of Hearts becoming discolored or, in the worst cases, withering and dying if left untreated is overwatering. Additionally, it is mostly to blame for the beginning of the leaf fall. The leaves initially turn yellow before beginning to fall off. If you do not stop watering, the plant will eventually decay from the inside out. Let us examine the solution.
Reduce watering right away because it has been overdone. Being a succulent vine, Ceropegia Woodii requires less watering and prefers to wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. The greatest advice is to water less while leaves are falling than more.
– Over- and Under-fertilization
As with other plants, the over- or under-fertilization of the string of hearts can cause the leaves to turn yellow. A good way to know it is over-fertilization is if you have been fertilizing and about two weeks later the lower plant leaves turn yellow.
Other symptoms of over-fertilization include:
- Browning of leaf margins and tips
- Black brown or rotting roots
- Slow to no growth
- Leaf drop
- Crust of fertilizer on soil surface
On the other hand, light green foliage and yellowing mature foliage may be due to under-fertilization.
Other symptoms include:
- Stunted growth
- Dying plant tissue (necrosis)
- Plant stops flowering
If all else fails, a simple soil test can answer this question. Ask your local garden center for guidance on this and on purchasing a kit. You can also purchase online, of course. Once you have ascertained whether it’s over- or under-fertilized you can take appropriate action.
– pH Can Cause Yellowing
Container plants generally don’t have this problem, it’s more the landscape, or grounded, plants that may be more prone to this issue. The string of hearts likes a neutral to acidic soil – that is a pH of 7 and below.
The leaves of a string of hearts plants are generally variegated and the edges and the undersides of leaves are a light pink. You may simply have a plant that has mutated to have more yellow in its leaves, which is no cause for alarm, albeit possibly a bit disappointing if you prefer the more “traditional” colors.
– Ageing Leaves
Older and deteriorating leaves on a string of hearts vine eventually turn yellow and fall off, so the plant may focus on new growth. A few yellow leaves around the base of the plant are common and usually nothing to worry about.
When individuals are joyful, a string of hearts is said to enlarge quickly. Some owners claim that their heart- or rosary-shaped vines have expanded by 5 inches in just a few short months! The plant might quickly reach lengths of several feet. However, as a result, the vines will keep adding leaves. To save energy, the mature foliage at the vine’s head will likely turn yellow and die. There could be another reason why more than two leaves are yellow simultaneously. The rest of the time, this is normal and usually nothing to worry about.
– Temperature Range is Incorrect
There are two main reasons why leaves could be yellow. Either your plant is too chilly, among the prevalent causes of yellow leaves on any plant, or you are overwatering it. Yellow leaves on the string of hearts can immediately appear due to low temperatures. When it is cold outside, your room could drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit if it is not heated. This happens a lot in the winter.
In the fall and winter, this houseplant hibernates. It will either begin to slow down or stop altogether. It would help if you weren’t concerned because that is your plant’s typical cycle. However, you should adjust your watering schedule and begin watering your plant less frequently because a plant that isn’t growing as much needs less water. Since this is the typical cycle it goes through, no cure is necessary.
Too much moisture in the soil encourages the growth of fungus that breaks down organic substances. It appears as if a white, fuzzy substance is growing on the soil’s surface. Your plant should be moved to a warmer, brighter spot so water will be used more quickly. Additionally, check to see that the employed potting soil has good drainage.
– Root Decay
Due to its similar watering requirements to succulents, the string of hearts is susceptible to root rot and overwatering. This bundle of hearts can be overwatered with little effort. The greatest thing you can do to avoid root rot is to follow your watering schedule and keep track of when you last watered your plant. The next-best action is to evaluate the soil’s humidity level by inserting your index finger—or any other finger—into the ground.
The more often you do that, the better you’ll be able to distinguish between dry dirt and moist soil. As a general rule, avoid watering when the soil feels moist. When there is a dry spell between waterings, these plants prefer it.
– Common Pests on the Hearts’ String
Mealybugs, aphids, and Scale are pests that adore attacking your string of hearts. At least once a week, inspect your plant and the underside of the leaves. Be cautious of webs and tiny creatures. At the soil level, several pests are also present.
Mealybugs frequently leave plants with a sticky residue and resemble cotton. The worst part is how quickly Mealybugs move from plant to plant. So it is best to keep affected plants separately. When the population is small, they are a soft-bodied, plant-sucking scourge that only causes minor harm. As the population increases, their attacks will cause the leaves to turn yellow and curl, weakening the plant.
Use diluted soap, one part water, and one part soap to clean your String of Heart. Please make sure you use diluted alcohol on the vines and leaves after washing them with soap. Repeat this method multiple times every two weeks until no sign of sticky residue or bugs are left.
Another bug feeds on the plant tissue by sucking sap. Aphids are small and elusive. They have long antennae, are pear-shaped, and only grow to a size of around 1/4 inch. They can come in various hues, grow quickly, and reproduce wildly. As a result, you must quickly bring them under control. Fortunately, they move slowly and are simple to regulate if you catch them early.
Shower the leaves with cold water. Aphids will undoubtedly not enjoy a splash of cold water. You can also walk into the kitchen and get some flour if you are dealing with a significant infestation. With such, dust your plant and the bugs will become constipated.
Scale is immobile and has covers that resemble shells. They enjoy sucking the sap from defenseless houseplants. On plants, they secrete a gooey material called honeydew, which causes black mold to grow on the foliage. On the string of hearts, Scale infests the leaves and stems, and the presence of mold is another sign that Scale may be present. Plants that have scale infestations appear withered and unhealthy. Let’s look at the solution to remove Scale fast.
To get rid of Scale, mix neem oil with soap water. Stems and leaves can both be cleaned with dishwashing liquid. Apply a solution of baking soda and water to your string of hearts if there is also fungus. Always wash everything off after using it, and avoid using it on a hot, sunny day since you risk burning your plant.
How Do You Fix Yellow Leaves on String of Hearts?
You can fix yellow leaves on string of hearts by first checking your watering schedule. Then, after that has been taken care of, you can look at the soil, the light, the temperature, humidity requirements, and fertilizing needs of the plant, among others.
– Soil Requirements
The ideal plants for the Sting of Hearts are succulent cactus mixtures. If this plant remained in moist, muddy soil, you would have to say goodbye to your houseplant shortly. Succulent or cactus soil is typically a mix of coir, pumice, and some potting soil.
Your potting mix needs to be well-draining, like practically all indoor plants, so that water may pass through the substrate without creating soggy soil. Small pebbles or pieces of an orchid mix can be put in to improve drainage.
– Light Requirements
The optimal lighting for your string of hearts is bright. A little direct light is acceptable as long as it only lasts for part of the day. Using direct light sparingly can enhance the best hues and healthiest foliage. Keep a string of hearts in the bright shade while growing them outdoors.
The distance between the string of hearts leaves shows how much light your plant receives. The more space between the leaves, the more light your houseplant needs. Place your plant closer to a window or light source if you see wide spacings.
If your home or apartment has windows, the best option is one that faces south or west and has enough light.
– Temperature Requirements
The string of hearts, a South African native, can survive in temperatures between 64 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which correspond to the norm in most homes. However, it flourishes in temps in the lower 80s and performs better overall in warmer climates. However, ensure the temperature does not fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Humidity Requirements
Maintain a humidity level of 40–50 percent. Most homes will have humidity levels in this region. As a result, you won’t need a humidifier or vivarium of any type to maintain the happiness and health of your string of hearts.
– Fertilizer Requirements
In the spring and summer, liquid fertilizer at half-strength can be applied once per month. Worm castings are an alternative approach and an excellent technique to fertilize your string of hearts. Because your chain of hearts will go dormant in the winter, avoid fertilizing during this time.
– String of Hearts Propagation for Strong Roots
It’s fun to grow this plant from seed. It produces tiny beads on its vines that can be used for reproduction. The beads will begin to develop roots as soon as they come into contact with the soil. You can clip off sections of this succulent vine and reproduce those sections.
Make sure the vine has numerous leaves, as these will aid in photosynthesis, then cut just directly above the little beads that feel like little knobs.
For additional information on propagating your Sting of Hearts, see the detailed instructions below. The spring and summer are the ideal times to cultivate Sting of Hearts.
As was already mentioned, if the root damage is significant enough, the plant could need to be propagated. That implies that a new plant can be grown from the old tubers and vines. How to do it is as follows:
The first method is soil propagation. To begin, assemble an airy soil mixture in a container. After that, cut healthy nodes from the vines of the damaged plant and plant them, ensuring the foliage is raised above the soil. Put the pot out of the sun’s direct rays and dampen the mixture. When the vine reaches maturity, which should take around four weeks, you can move it to another pot.
You can now take care of the plant as necessary. You can utilize tubers resembling beads if you can’t find healthy vines. These tubers develop like white beads on the vines. Trim these tubers and place them on the ground as you did with the vines. After four weeks of soaking the soil in moisture, the tubers should begin forming roots. Now that the vines are chopped off, they can be sown as previously suggested. You can also propagate a string of hearts by water if soil propagation doesn’t appeal to you for whatever reason.
The string of hearts is succulent, but you can make more of it by watering it. Take the plant’s leaves and strong vines off of it. Locate a glass container, put water in it, and then cover it with clear plastic. Rip a few holes in the plastic to allow the vines to be inserted.
Give the vines four weeks in the container with indirect sunshine to establish roots. The roots can be moved to another container and cared for as needed.
– Potting a String of Hearts Correctly
Choosing the correct kind of pot for your plant is essential. Remember that overwatering or hanging on to too much water is one of the main causes of this plant’s discolored leaves and root rot. Make sure you use a pot with draining holes that enable water to exit from the base of the container into the saucer or the tray underneath to prevent the latter from happening.
Terracotta pots are best since they absorb extra water. When the string of hearts appears to be root-bound, repot it. The optimal time to repot is in the spring.
Removing the yellowed leaves will give the plant a chance to focus on producing new ones. Just be sure not to remove all the leaves, as the plant needs them to produce food to thrive. If the plant is turning yellow due to age, then it might be too long and that is overwhelming the plant. Prune off the long lengths.
– pH Can Cause Yellowing
You can make sure what the pH of your plant’s soil is with a simple test. After that, you can take steps to either acidify or alkalinize the soil. You can take simple steps to do either.
- Ways to make soil more acidic:
- Add Sulfur
- Add Iron Sulfate
- Add Sphagnum Peat Moss
- Use Acidic Fertilizer
- Add Aluminum Sulfate
- Add Ammonium Sulfate
- Ways to make soil neutral:
- Add organic material – Mulch, pine needles, sphagnum peat moss, compost, and coffee grounds are all good options.
– Watering Requirements
A succulent vine plant known as string of hearts prefers to be kept dry. Before watering, allow the soil to dry out. When watering, water deeply. Watering frequency should be roughly once every two to three weeks, depending on your circumstances.
If in doubt, use water less frequently. Like a ZZ plant, a string of hearts has underground rhizomes that may retain water for a long time. Therefore, reduce watering when the string of hearts turns dormant in the winter.
– Save a Dying Heart String From Overwatering
Overwatering is among the most common causes of a fading string of hearts. The roots of the string of hearts do not like to be in damp potting soil, but they can endure drought. To simulate their natural watering conditions, give your string of hearts a good wash once per week in the summer and spring and then every two to three weeks in the fall and winter when development slows down. Additionally, humidity can influence how often plants need to be watered; in humid areas, plants require less regular watering.
The plant’s soil mixture has to be changed. The string of hearts requires particularly good-draining potting soil. The leaves turn yellow when using conventional potting combinations because they retain too much moisture – use a succulent and cactus potting mix with the correct drainage qualities for a drought-tolerant plant, such as a string of hearts. The soil and roots can dry out between watering sessions thanks to improved drainage.
The string of hearts plant requires a planter with drainage holes at the base. Without drainage pores, water accumulates all around roots, causing root rot. Check to check if the draining hole has been blocked in any manner, such as by compacted dirt or roots tethered to pots.
In that case, plant the heart-shaped thread again in a little bigger pot. The string of hearts tolerates being pot-confined well and doesn’t require much fertilizer, so it may stay in the same pot as long as it is properly drained.
A tray, saucer, or decorative pot should always be kept underneath your planter. The saucers on a potted plant prevent excess water from seeping out of the pot and into your home, which keeps the soil moist.
You may ensure that the plant is not resting in a water pool by routinely emptying your saucers after using the water. Because decorative exterior containers can also gather moisture, it is important to watch out for any signs of excess moisture to prevent the string of hearts from becoming yellow and wilting.
Generally speaking, the yellowing of a string of hearts leaves is caused by overwatering, poor lighting, cold weather, and underwatering. The discoloration is a common result of these factors and indicates that the vine is unhealthy. Remember these pointers:
- Giving damaged and fading string of hearts water only when their soil is entirely dry would help them survive.
- Giving them adequate illumination, protecting them from temps below 50 degrees fahrenheit.
- Clipping any yellow leaves that need to be trimmed.
- However, string of hearts leaves can regularly turn yellow due to aging or genetic mutation.
The best course of action is to correctly identify the root cause of your string of hearts yellowing and then take action— or not take any action – accordingly.