String of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is a popular succulent house plant known for its long, stringy branches sporting cute “heart-shaped” leaves.
With unique, pink flowers that bloom all the way down the trailing stems of the plant, this species makes a great hanging plant or addition to the top of a bookcase, showing off the length of the whole plant.
There are about 7 commonly found varieties of String of Hearts available, as well as 5 additional “Ceropegia” species that are similar in form and look to this common house plant.
Although similar in name, String of hearts is not in the same group as “String of Pearls”(Curio rowleyanus) or “String of Turtles” (Peperomia prostrata).
Also check: How to Propagate String of Hearts
With so many varieties of this species available, it can be difficult to tell them apart, and know which one is right for you! Read on to learn more about these varieties and the unique features each of them has.
1. Ceropegia woodii (String of Hearts)
This is the “original” string of hearts, the species from that all varieties are derived. This species has the classic “heart” shaped, dark green leaves with some light green patterning.
The undersides of these leaves are usually green, although they sometimes have a slight pinkish tint.
2. Ceropegia woodii ‘Silver Glory’ (String of Hearts Silver Glory)
Silver Glory string of hearts may be the species’ most common variety. It is very similar to the original string of hearts, except the light green/grey pattern is solid across the top of the leaf, giving it a “silvery” appearance.
3. Ceropegia woodii ‘Heartless’ (String of Spades)
This is a variety of string of hearts that has a different leaf shape than the classic “heart”. The leaves of String of Spades are more pointed, making them appear sharp like spades or daggers.
4. Ceropegia woodii variegata (Variegated String of Hearts)
Varigated string of hearts is perhaps one of the rare varieties of this species available. This variety greatly resembles the original “String of Hearts” but has pinkish edges and often pink or purple undersides to the leaves.
Because of this variegation, this variety requires more light than the non-variegated species, as leaves with colouring other than typical green pigments often have a harder time photosynthesizing light.
5. Ceropegia woodii ‘Orange River’ (Orange River String of Hearts)
Orange River is a newer, less commonly found variation of String of Hearts. This variety sports longer, narrow leaves, although are less-pointed than String of Spades.
In addition, the stems are orangish-red (instead of pink), hence the name. Orange River is also a river in South Africa, where Ceropegia woodii is native.
6. Ceropegia woodii ‘String of Arrows’ (String of Arrows)
String of arrows is very similar to String of spades, in that the elongated and pointed leaf tips distinguish these varieties from the original species, which has rounded leaves.
These two varieties are likely to be easily confused, but String of arrows often has more rounded, heart-shaped tops to the leaves, while String of daggers are more flattened or spade shaped.
7. Ceropegia woodii ‘Pink edge’ (Pink Edge String of Hearts)
Pink edge string of hearts is very similar to the variegated variety. The key difference is the amount of pink present on the plant.
Pink Edge plants have much more pink edging around the leaves, with some leaves being almost completely pink.
Because of this, these plants need even more sunlight than usual, since some leaves may have trouble photosynthesizing.
8. Ceropegia linearis (String of Needles)
String of Needles is a very similar, but different, species from the original Ceropegia woodii. This species sports long, slender leaves like thin needles, but otherwise is very similar in growth form to String of Hearts.
This makes it a good substitute for the species while being very unique in appearance compared to String of Hearts varieties.
9. Ceropegia ampliata (Bushmans Vine)
Bushman’s Vine is a closely related species to String of hearts, and the flowers are very similar in shape. Unlike String of hearts, this species has greenish-white flowers and the leaves are less prominent, sometimes almost absent along the vine.
With the same trailing, hanging growth form, this species is a good alternative for String of hearts if you are looking for something a little different.
10. Ceropegia haygarthii (Lantern Flower)
Lantern flower is another good choice if you are looking for an original alternative to the traditional String of hearts.
This species has thicker, fuller branches than the thin vines of Ceropegia woodii, and the flowers are quite different. Their unique appearance is sure to be a conversation starter!
11. Ceropegia stapeliiformis (Serpent Ceropegia)
If you like strange and odd-looking plants, this one is for you! The ends of the flowers of this variety, Serpent Ceropegia, sport long spikes.
With the green and purple colour combination, this species is quite eye-catching when in bloom. Note that this species is not a trailing vine like the others on this list, and is more of a woody, branched plant.
12. Ceropegia sandersonii (Parachute Plant)
Finally, Parachute Plant is another variety of Ceropegia that is similar to String of hearts. This species is often grown twisting up a post or support, rather than hanging down from a pot.
Its leaves are often small and tucked against the stem, making the large, showy flowers the star of the show!
How many kinds of string of hearts are there?
String of hearts is a relatively trendy house plant, making it a popular choice for plant parents. Like many other house plant species, it has been heavily selected and cross-bred in order to produce plants that produce leaves and other qualities that are desirable for collectors.
When a rare or strange trait appears in a plant that is desirable, it can be propagated and produced in a way to make this trait occur in other plants of the same species.
Because of this, it is hard to say for sure how many varieties exist in the world. It is possible there is a string of hearts collector out there who grows hundreds of specialized varieties that we will never know about!
It is also possible that the same varieties are called different names by different people, making the issue even more confusing.
However, the 7 varieties of Ceropegia woodii mentioned above, plus the additional 5 Ceropegia species listed, are the most common varieties found for purchase online or in stores.
Why is my string of hearts not purple?
Many varieties of string of hearts are available for purchase, with some being more purple (like Varietgated string of hearts) or pink (like Pink Edge string of hearts) than others.
All varieties of String of hearts can have purple undertones though, and the amount of colouring your plant shows often comes down to the amount of sunlight it receives.
As was mentioned before, leaves with colours other than green on them have a hard time photosynthesizing, as those areas lack chlorophyll (the green pigment in leaves that converts sunlight to energy).
Your plant is more likely to prioritize green pigments if it is in an area receiving less sunlight, so it can ensure it produces enough energy to keep it alive.
Alternatively, if your plant is in an area with bright, indirect light, it may produce more pink-ish or purple coloured leaves, since it doesn’t need to worry so much about photosynthesizing.
Is Silver Glory string of hearts rare?
When you walk into a plant shop and see “string of hearts” for sale, you are most likely looking at the most common, original String of Hearts (Ceopegia woodii).
With the original plant being the most common, each of its many varieties may be difficult to track down, depending on where you are located.
One of these varieties, Silver Glory, is touted as being quite rare and difficult to find. However, a search of the internet shows many results for Silver Glory string of hearts for sale, so that may be less of the case these days.
Thanks to the growing popularity of String of Heart varieties, as well as how easy they are to propagate and share, more rare varieties will likely be easier to find over time.
If you are willing to pay the price and take the risk of your plant getting shipped, you should be able to order one online fairly easily.
If you do find one for sale, be sure to inspect it closely for not only good health and lack of pests, but also characteristics that can tell if you are just over-paying for a regular string of hearts!
Do all string of hearts turn pink?
As mentioned before, many string of hearts varieties may turn purplish if given ample sunlight, but not all will turn pink. The two varieties most likely to show pink colouring are variegated string of hearts and Pink Edge string of hearts.
Like with other varieties, these plants will show off their coloured leaves the most when they are in bright, sunny locations, turning more green when not given enough sunlight.