Caring for a Rosary Plant
Caring for a Rosary Plant
Designed by Brenda Hyde
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Ceropegia woodii, or as it is also known; rosary plant, hearts
entangled or string of hearts, is an interesting vining plant with
thin, wirelike stems that is perfect as a hanging plant. We can
add it to our list of easy to grow houseplants that can withstand
neglect, dry air, or even lack of watering! It has small heart
shaped leaves and tiny pea-like bulbs that form along the stem.
These can be placed back in the soil around the plant or put into
small pots to grow new plants, similar to the spider plant.
C. woodii needs to be watered sparingly, especially in the winter Water and allow it to almost dry out before watering again. The soil should be regular potting soil that has been mixed with sand, similar to a cactus. As mentioned, this plant can take dry air, so you won't need to worry about humidity. It's light needs are flexible too. You can place it in filtered sunlight, in a fairly bright room or it can handle a shady spot with almost dim light as well. However, the leaves, which are marbled with a purplish color to the back, will be more colorful and contrasting in brighter light.
From spring until midsummer feed the vine with standard houseplant fertilizer. That is the only time it needs to be fed. The winter is it's dormant time, so you want to leave it alone, watering only a small amount. During this dormant period you may notice it looking slightly droopy, but don't be tempted to water more! Leave it alone, and it should be fine once it starts it's growing period again, at which time you can water normally.
C. woodii is an African plant and can be grown outside in zones 11 or 12. In other zones, it can take the heat of the summer so you can place it outside on the porch if you have room. Just remember to gradually take it out, and gradually bring it back in during late summer.
The plants grow up to three feet long, but are small plants otherwise, so for a fuller look you may want to group 2 or 3 together. They can be repotted when the roots start getting crowded, and you can take the tuberous "beads" and plant them at any time. Also, on a toxic plant note-the rosary vine is non-toxic. There is a plant called the "rosary pea", which is poisonous, but it is unrelated to C. woodii.
The rosary vine is a wonderful plant to hand down to family and friends. Just like other keepsakes, plants can also be a living remembrance of people in our lives. Plants such as rosary vine are perfect for this because they root so easily and can be shared with others.