Ceropegia (Lantern flower) - Care tips
Ceropegia is a genus with a lot of common names including latern flower, parasol flower and string of hearts. In addition to the many names, this plant family also contains many beautiful plants. We would like to tell you more about this genus, so keep reading.
Information about the Ceropegia
This genus of plant is part of the family Apocynaceae. The Ceropegia is native to Africa, southern Asia and Australia. At least 420 species are known and more are regularly discovered and described. In most species, the stems are climbing or hanging. In some species, such as the Ceropegia woodii, the nodes swell and the roots grow into tubers below the soil surface. Especially in certain succulent species, the leaves can also be thick and fleshy. Some Ceropegia plants can even produce flowers. These flowers have a tubular corolla with five petals, which are usually fused at the ends and form an umbrella-like canopy. Really cool!
As mentioned above, there are at least 420 known species of Ceropegia plants. Of course, there are a few that we know to us and that we also like to have in our house as houseplants. The most famous is certainly the Ceropegia Woodii or also known as the ‘String of Hearts’. This Ceropegia is a hanging succulent with a slender stem and super cute heart shaped leaves. She has a delicate silver grey-green foliage with a gorgeous pattern and green to purple undersides. It gets even better, this Ceropegia Woodii also has a variegated version. Yes, this one is perhaps even cuter because of its heart shaped leaves with white and light pink variegation.
Finally, the Ceropegia Linearis (String of Needles) is also popular with people. This is a semi-succulent climbing plant that produces a cluster of slender stems from a tuberous rhizome. The leaves are long and thin. This makes them look a bit like rosemary leaves. Because of the thin shape of its leaves, the Ceropegia Linearis has also been nicknamed the String of needles.
Ceropegia care tips
Remember that every plant is unique and may have different needs. Pay attention to the condition of your Ceropegia and its water needs and you will have a long and happy relationship.
Light and placement for the Ceropegia
Place your Ceropegia in a warm environment with plenty of light. A south-facing window is a good choice, as long as you protect the plant from too much direct sunlight. Permanent direct sunlight can lead to leaf damage. A few hours of sun in the morning or evening are ideal. With too much shade, leaves may fade and shoots may become long and fragile.
The String of Hearts plant has a succulent-like nature, so they prefer periods of drought between waterings. When the soil is dry 2/3 of the way down the pot, then the plant is ready for a drink. In the winter months it’s best to allow the soil to dry completely. These plants go into a dormancy, even indoors. They are sensitive to root rot and overwatering, so when in doubt it’s better to skip the watering once.
In general, Ceropegias do well if fertilised from spring to autumn. Fertilise once a month with an organic fertiliser like PLNTS nutrition and follow the instructions on the packaging for application.
By far the most reliable method of propagating Ceropegia is by stem cuttings. As mentioned above, Ceropegia does not grow much in winter and is therefore best to propagate in the warmer months. Always choose a mature piece of the stem, not one that is thin, has small leaves or has just sprouted, as these usually do not root well and have a bigger chance to die.
With a clean pair of scissors, cut 1 cm above a leaf or at an obvious node. Remove the last set of leaves and let the wound dry for a day. To get a nice, full new plant, cut off as many stems as possible from the existing plant. Then, you can let the stem cutting root in water or soil. Any way you prefer.
Most common pest on Ceropegia
The Ceropegia is usually free of pests. The usual suspects (aphids, thrips and mealybugs) do not often attack. Of course, you should also check this plant carefully if other plants in your house turn out to have annoying bugs. Do you think that your plants are suffering from bugs or pests? Check our PLNTS doctor page to identify!
Are Ceropegia toxic for pets or children?
The plant itself is not poisonous, so from that point of view it is safe around cats, dogs and people. But anyone who has ever seen a Ceropegia Woodii knows that the leaves and stems easily hook and grab onto things. You don't want a pet or child to play with this plant, as it can be pulled out and destroyed in seconds. Of course, you don't want that!
Buy your new Ceropegia at PLNTS.com
At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Ceropegia online, for example the Ceropegia Woodii.
Whether you like your PLNTS big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!