Ceropegia (Lantern flower) - Expert tips
In this article
- How to Care for Ceropegia: Expert Tips for Thriving Plants
- Ceropegia Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully
- Ceropegia Care Tips
- Light & Placement
- Temperature & humidity
- Soil & repotting
- Ceropegia propagation
- Most common pests & diseases on Ceropegia
- Are Ceropegia poisonous for your pets or children?
- Buy your new Ceropegia online at PLNTS.com
How to Care for Ceropegia: Expert Tips for Thriving Plants
Ceropegia, belonging to the Ceropegia genus, encompasses a diverse group of trailing or vining plants known for their distinctive foliage and often unusual flowers. 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.
Ceropegia Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully
- Place your Ceropegia in a warm environment with plenty of light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. A north or east-facing window is usually ideal.
- Maintain a consistent temperature between 15-27°C. These plants can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but are sensitive to frost.
- Water sparingly but thoroughly. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it's better to err on the side of underwatering.
- Use well-draining, lightweight soil mix. A cactus or succulent mix is suitable. Ensure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom.
- Repot your Ceropegia every 2-3 years, or when it becomes root-bound. Choose a slightly larger pot and refresh the soil during repotting.
- Feed your Ceropegia with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing during the dormant winter months.
- Ceropegias are not particularly humidity-sensitive, but they appreciate a bit of extra moisture. You can mist the plant occasionally or place a tray of water with pebbles near the plant to increase local humidity.
- Prune your Ceropegia as needed to maintain its shape and encourage bushier growth. Trim leggy or damaged stems to promote healthy growth.
- Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. If you notice any infestations, treat them promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Ceropegia plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Take a cutting with at least one node and allow it to callus for a day or two before planting it in a well-draining soil mix. Keep the cutting lightly moist until it establishes roots.
Ceropegia Care Tips
Light & Placement
Ceropegias thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. Place them near a north or east-facing window where they can receive plenty of indirect sunlight throughout the day. Direct sunlight, especially in the hot afternoon sun, can scorch the leaves, so be cautious with south or west-facing windows.
Expert tip! Ceropegia's trailing vines make them excellent candidates for hanging baskets. Hanging the plant allows the vines to cascade gracefully and receive even light exposure.
The String of Hearts plant has a succulent-like nature, so it prefers 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.
Expert tip! Avoid using very cold or hot water directly from the tap. Instead, allow the water to come to room temperature before watering to avoid shocking the plant's roots.
Ceropegias typically have a period of active growth during the spring and summer. It’s best to fertilise your plants at this time with an organic plant fertiliser like our PLNTS nutrition. Fertilise your Ceropegia every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
Remember that Ceropegia plants are not heavy feeders, and it's essential not to overdo fertilisation.
Temperature & humidity
Maintaining the right temperature and humidity levels is essential for the health and well-being of your Ceropegia. They thrive in a consistent temperature range of 15-27°C. They can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures but are sensitive to frost. Also, watch out for drafts, air conditioning vents, radiators and heaters as temperature fluctuations can stress the plant.
Ceropegia plants are relatively adaptable to indoor humidity levels and don't require high humidity. However, they appreciate a bit of extra moisture. In most homes, the natural humidity levels should suffice.
Soil & repotting
Ceropegia plants are not technically succulents, but you should think of them as one. Especially when it comes to the type of soil. Soil drainage is critical for this plant. Make sure you use a succulent or cactus mix or a houseplant mix combined with perlite and coco coir inside a pot with draining holes. The goal is to prevent water from pooling around the roots, which can lead to root rot.
As for repotting, repot your Ceropega when it becomes root-bound or when you notice the plant outgrowing its current pot. The best time for repotting is usually in the spring when the plant is actively growing.
The most common and successful method is through stem cuttings, where healthy stems with nodes are carefully planted in well-draining soil and provided with a humid environment. With a bit of care and patience, these cuttings will develop roots and eventually grow into mature houseplants. Just follow these easy steps to take stem cuttings:
- Use a clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears, take one or a few stem cuttings that are around 3-6 centimetres long. Each cutting should have at least one node, which is a small bump on the stem where leaves and roots grow.
- Insert the cut end of each stem cutting into a pot filled with a well-draining potting mix. Bury the cutting about 1-2 centimetres deep, ensuring the node is covered. If propagating multiple cuttings, space them apart.
- Cover the pot(s) with transparent plastic bags or plastic wrap to create a humid environment. Secure the bags or wrap around the pot(s) using rubber bands or twist ties, leaving some space around the cuttings for air circulation. Place the pots in bright, indirect light.
Expert tip! Ceropegia houseplants can also be grown (semi)hydroponically, providing an alternative method for cultivating these unique plants.
Most common pests & diseases on Ceropegia
Ceropegia houseplants are generally resilient, but they can encounter a few common pests and diseases. Mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are among the most common pests that may affect Ceropegia plants. These pests can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil, and maintaining good plant hygiene can help prevent infestations.
For more detailed information on identifying, treating, and preventing pests and diseases in Ceropegia houseplants, you can visit the PLNTSdoctor page.
Are Ceropegia poisonous for your pets or children?
The toxicity of Ceropegia plants is generally considered low, and they are not typically known to be highly poisonous to pets or children. You can absolutely place these plants in a room where children and/or pets play, however, we always advise you to keep an eye on them!
Buy your new Ceropegia online at PLNTS.com
Looking to add a charming Ceropegia houseplant to your collection? Choose the adorable Ceropegia Woodii, better known as String of Hearts. This hanging plant is the perfect addition to your indoor jungle! Shop Ceropegia online at PLNTS.com