The string of hearts is a fascinating plant to grow indoors, with its gorgeous heart-shaped leaves trailing from any pot you put it in.
It’s useful to know how to propagate it, not just to have more plants for free, or to take ‘insurance cuttings’ (in case the mother plant dies), but also to make your string of hearts, well, less stringy, and more like a green waterfall tumbling from the container.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can propagate a string of hearts.
How To Propagate A String Of Hearts Plant
Soil propagation is not difficult, and you can even pop the cuttings straight back into the original pot, or plant them up as one or several new plants.
Cut a few strands off your string of hearts, making sure that there are at least one or two nodes on each cutting.
Remove any leaves that will sit below the soil line, as you don’t need these. If you have some rooting hormone (although some people swear by cinnamon powder as an alternative), dip the cut end into the powder before you put them into the soil.
Water the soil (avoiding completely saturating it), keeping it lightly moist while you wait for the cuttings to root. Too much water will mean that the cuttings can rot, so try to avoid this.
Once you see new growth on your cuttings, they have taken root, and you have new plants!
Arguably the simplest way to propagate a string of hearts is to place the cuttings in water, preferably in a spare glass jar so that you can see when the roots are big enough to transplant into soil.
Take a few cuttings from your string of hearts, making sure that they are at least a couple of inches long, and have about two nodes per cutting. Aim to have a few sets of leaves above the water line, and none below.
Remove the leaves that would otherwise be submerged in water (you don’t want them to rot in the water), and place the jar somewhere warm and bright, with no direct sunlight.
Change the water once per week (or whenever the water gets cloudy, whichever comes first). You want cuttings to be as healthy as possible so that they make good plants.
You should see new roots within a few weeks, by which time these plants will be ready for soil.
Lay Cuttings On Top Of The Soil
Another method of propagating a string of hearts plant is to take cuttings and lay them directly on top of the soil rather than burying the ends into the compost.
If your cuttings don’t lie flat on the soil, you can even use a few spare paperclips, bending them into small pins, to encourage the cuttings to make contact with the soil. They are unlikely to root without it.
It’s worth knowing that higher humidity will really help make this method successful, so use a propagation lid, or a clear plastic bag with a few holes cut in, and make sure the soil is damp.
Don’t Cut The Strands: Just Lay Them Into The Same Pot
For a string of hearts that’s looking pretty bare and a little sad, this is a great method to experiment with, especially if you’ve got a few very long vines and nothing else.
Don’t take any cuttings. Simply take some dangling vines, and wind them onto the top of the soil, pinning them very gingerly with paperclips so that the strands have enough contact with the soil, or press them to the soil’s surface.
Make sure that the soil stays a little damp in order to encourage the strands to grow roots, and if you can increase the humidity by putting the pot in an enclosed environment, or putting a clear plastic bag over the top, so much the better.
Ensure that the plant can’t get any direct sunlight at this stage, but plenty of indirect light, and this will stop the strands from literally baking, and drying out too much to root.
Make sure the bag has some ventilation holes, or shake the condensation back onto the soil, taking the bag off for a little while to help improve the airflow.
When the strands produce new growth, you’ll know that they have rooted, so you can place it back into its usual position, and watch your plant get fuller.
Propagate Through The Tubers
If you have a mature string of hearts plant, you’ll notice strange tubers dangling from the sides of the pot, along with the vines themselves.
Don’t be tempted to cut these from the plant, as you can use them to make new plants!
Trace the tubers back to the vine they sit on, and put these strands in a new pot of soil next to the original plant, half-burying the tuber.
It’s worth knowing that the new roots will grow from the tuber, and you should be able to see these form fairly easily.
When the tubers have rooted, you can separate them from the main plant, and treat it as a new one.
How To Rejuvenate A String Of Hearts That Is Dying At The Base
If you have healthy vines spilling out from your string of hearts, but the top growth is looking sad, or it’s dying off, time to cut all the vines off.
Don’t panic. Yes, that’s the healthy part of the plant, but you need healthy cuttings in order for them to root. Chop off the dead and dying parts before you do anything else, and discard them.
Propagate them how you like, in soil, water, or laying them on top of the soil, but it is best to use fresh soil and a container where possible if the top growth is dying out.
Then dig around in the soil of the original pot, unearthing the tubers. Grab another container and some fresh soil, and pot them up.
You can divide them into several plants if you like, or keep them all in one pot if you prefer.
It’s worth noting that a string of hearts plant may start to die off at the base if there isn’t enough light at the top of the plant, especially if it sits on a dark shelf, and only the vines at the end of the pot are getting the light.
If this sounds like your string of hearts, once you have propagated the plant, make sure to put it in a brighter position, and this will stop the growth from dying off at the base.
It’s a good idea to propagate a string of hearts plant regularly, as this will refresh the growth and keep the plant healthy.
One thing to remember, however: don’t take cuttings during fall or winter, as the plant won’t be putting out active growth, and it can be more difficult to encourage cuttings to root at this point.
Instead, wait until spring or summer to take cuttings, where the growth is likely to be as healthy as possible, and the plant will have more energy.