Is String of Hearts a Peperomia? Unraveling the Mystery

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Houseplants come in many shapes and sizes, offering unique additions to any home decor. One such interesting plant family is Peperomia, which boasts over a thousand different species. Among these, the popular Peperomia prostrata, or string of turtles, stands out with its beautiful trailing vines adorned with patterned, turtle shell-like leaves. But for those who love the quirky style of this fascinating plant, a question arises: Is string of hearts a Peperomia as well?

In the world of trailing plants, string of hearts (Ceropegia woodii) is another favorite among enthusiasts. This captivating plant has a similar growth habit, with delicate vines and heart-shaped leaves that often come in variegated varieties. However, string of hearts belongs to a different botanical family, Apocynaceae, rather than the Piperaceae family that Peperomia falls under. Though they share some similarities in appearance and growth patterns, the string of hearts plant is not a member of the Peperomia genus.

Understanding the distinctions between these two plants can help gardeners make informed choices when selecting and caring for their houseplants. While both string of turtles and string of hearts make fantastic additions to any home or office space, it’s essential to know that they are distinct species that require specific care to thrive. Keep this in mind as you continue to explore the fascinating world of these charming, trailing plants.

Is String of Hearts a Peperomia?

String of Hearts, scientifically known as Ceropegia woodii, is a popular trailing plant with heart-shaped leaves. Contrary to what some may believe, it is not a member of the Peperomia genus. Instead, it belongs to the Ceropegia genus, which is part of the larger Apocynaceae family. Though not a Peperomia, it does share some similarities with plants in that genus, such as being a low-maintenance houseplant with attractive trailing foliage.

On the other hand, Peperomia is a genus of over 1,000 species within the Piperaceae family, and most of these plants have semi-succulent leaves that make them quite easy to care for as well. One particular species, Peperomia prostrata, commonly known as String of Turtles, bears a close resemblance to String of Hearts due to its adorable turtle-shell patterned leaves. This has led to some confusion regarding the classification of these two plants.

Despite their similarities in appearance and ease of care, String of Hearts and Peperomia plants belong to different botanical families. The main distinction between them lies in their respective genera – Ceropegia and Peperomia.

In summary, while String of Hearts and some Peperomia species may look similar and have comparable growth habits, they are not the same type of plant. The String of Hearts plant belongs to the Ceropegia genus, and Peperomia prostrata (String of Turtles) is a member of the Peperomia genus. Both can add charm and beauty to your indoor plant collection, but it’s essential to understand their unique characteristics to provide them with the proper care and conditions.

Characteristics of String of Hearts

Growth Habit

The String of Hearts plant, also known as Ceropegia woodii, is a trailing and cascading plant that can grow long vines with heart-shaped leaves. This plant is known for its beautiful and unique appearance, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets or as a decorative element on a shelf. Due to its succulent nature, it is relatively easy to care for and can tolerate periods of drought.


The leaves of the String of Hearts plant are typically small and heart-shaped, with a lovely mix of green and silver shades. Some varieties, such as the Ceropegia woodii variegata, have cream, pink, and silver markings on their leaves. Another variety, Ceropegia woodii ‘Silver Glory,’ is characterized by its apple-shaped leaves with even more pronounced silver patterns. However, it is essential to note that the String of Hearts plant does not belong to the Peperomia family.


When it comes to blooming, the String of Hearts plant produces tubular, funnel-shaped flowers that generally resemble small lanterns or parachutes. The flowers are usually pink or purple on the outside and white or pale yellow inside. Blooms usually occur during the late summer or early fall months. The plant also produces aerial tubers, also known as nodules, which can be propagated by placing them in contact with soil.

Similarities and Differences with Peperomia

Genus Characteristics

Both String of Hearts and Peperomia plants belong to different plant genera. String of Hearts is scientifically known as Ceropegia woodii, while Peperomia plants are part of the Peperomia genus, with over 1,000 species. However, you can find some similarities between these two plant groups.

For instance, many Peperomias have trailing growth habits, with leaves growing on long vines, similar to the String of Hearts. One such species is the String of Turtles or Peperomia prostrata, which has small, patterned leaves resembling a turtle’s shell.

Common Misconceptions

Some people might mistakenly assume that String of Hearts belongs to the Peperomia genus due to their similar appearance and growth habits. However, it’s important to remember that they are separate genera.

Below is a brief comparison of String of Hearts and Peperomia:

  • Origin: String of Hearts comes from South Africa, while Peperomia plants mainly originate from tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America.
  • Genera: String of Hearts is in the Ceropegia genus, part of the Apocynaceae family, while Peperomias belong to the Peperomia genus in the Piperaceae family.
  • Water Requirement: Both plants can tolerate drought and have similar low water requirements, but Peperomias are considered more sensitive to overwatering than String of Hearts.
  • Leaf Shape: String of Hearts has thin, heart-shaped leaves, whereas Peperomia plants usually have round, oval, or fleshy succulent-type leaves. For example, Watermelon Peperomia has rounded, slightly pointed leaves with dark-green and silvery light-green stripes.

In conclusion, while String of Hearts and Peperomia plants have some similarities, they belong to different plant genera and have distinct characteristics.

Proper Care for String of Hearts


String of Hearts plants require a good soak of water once a week or whenever the top 2 to 3 inches of soil are completely dry during the growing season. To ensure that your plant receives the proper amount of water, try watering it from the bottom. Overwatering may lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to allow the soil to dry between waterings.


These plants thrive in bright, indirect light, seeing rapid growth under the right conditions. Make sure to provide some direct sunlight when growing indoors. Insufficient light may cause more space between the leaves, resulting in a spindly appearance.


When it comes to soil, String of Hearts plants prefer a well-draining mix to prevent any excess water from accumulating. You may use a mix specifically designed for succulents and cacti or create your custom blend using ingredients such as:

  • Coarse sand
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss


Fertilizing your String of Hearts plant is essential for healthy growth, and the best practice is to use a balanced, liquid houseplant fertilizer. During the growing season, you can fertilize once a month, but it’s not necessary during the dormant winter months. Remember to follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer label to avoid over-fertilization.

Common Issues and Solutions

Pest Problems

One of the most common issues with the String of Hearts plant is pests, especially mealybugs and spider mites. These pests can be identified by their cottony or web-like coatings on the leaves or stems. To combat these pests, try the following:

  • Rinse the affected area with lukewarm water to remove the pests
  • Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to kill bugs on contact
  • Apply a neem oil or insecticidal soap solution to the plant, following package instructions
  • Keep humidity levels around 50% to discourage spider mite infestations


String of Hearts plants are also susceptible to diseases such as root rot and powdery mildew. To prevent and treat these diseases:

  • Ensure proper drainage in your plant’s container by using a well-draining soil mix and having drainage holes at the bottom
  • Water the plant only when the top 2-3 inches of soil are dry, avoiding overwatering
  • Keep the plant in an area with good air circulation to prevent powdery mildew

Cultural Issues

Caring for the String of Hearts plant may present some cultural issues as well. To address these concerns, consider the following tips:

  • Provide bright, indirect sunlight for the plant, as direct sunlight can cause leaf scorching
  • Maintain a temperature range between 64°F to 75°F (18°C – 24°C) for optimal growth
  • Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can lead to leaf burn or leggy growth. Stick to using a balanced liquid fertilizer once every month during the growing season

Implementing these solutions should help you maintain a healthy and thriving String of Hearts plant. Remember to keep an eye on your plant’s environment and adjust your care routine as necessary to provide the best possible conditions.

Propagation Techniques

Water Propagation

Water propagation is a simple and effective way to multiply your string of hearts plant. To do this, take several cuttings that are a few inches long and place them in water after removing the leaves on the submerged part of each cutting to prevent rotting and keep the water fresher ^[4^]. Ensure there are healthy aerial tubers on your cuttings, as these will help root development. This method of propagating peperomia is similar to water propagation.

  • Cut several 2 to 4-inch stems with healthy leaves
  • Remove leaves that will be submerged in water
  • Place the cuttings in a container with water
  • Change the water every few days to keep it fresh

Soil Propagation

Another effective method to propagate your string of hearts is by planting it directly in soil. You can drape the stems of the plant containing aerial tubers over the soil of a new pot, burying them slightly to hold them in place ^[1^]. Coil the rest of the stem around the inside of the pot and use a bent paperclip or similar tool to hold the stems down if needed.

  • Take stems with healthy leaves and aerial tubers
  • Drape the stems over the soil in a new pot
  • Bury the aerial tubers slightly to secure the stems
  • Coil the remaining stem around the pot’s inside
  • Optionally, use a bent paperclip to anchor the stems

Both water and soil propagation methods work effectively for propagating both string of hearts and peperomia plants. Ensure the potting mix is well-draining and high quality for your plants to flourish. The key to successful propagation is providing the right amount of water, light, and warmth during the rooting process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is String of Hearts a Peperomia?

No, the String of Hearts is not a Peperomia. It belongs to the genus Ceropegia and is often confused with Peperomias due to its trailing vines and succulent-like qualities. The scientific name for String of Hearts is Ceropegia woodii, while Peperomias belong to the Piperaceae family.

What is the difference between String of Hearts and String of Turtles?

The String of Hearts and String of Turtles are different plants with unique characteristics, although they may look similar at first glance. The String of Hearts has heart-shaped leaves with variegated, pink-red borders and purple undersides. It originates from the Ceropegia genus, as mentioned earlier. On the other hand, the String of Turtles is a Peperomia prostrata plant with small, round, turtle shell-like leaves. This tropical plant is native to Brazil.

Is String of Hearts an easy plant to care for?

Yes, the String of Hearts is generally considered an easy plant to care for. This trailing vine can be grown in a hanging pot and does well in indirect light. It prefers a well-drained soil mix, so it’s crucial to offer adequate drainage when planting. The plant’s unique and charming appearance, combined with its low-maintenance nature, makes it an excellent choice for indoor gardeners.

How do I care for my String of Turtles?

To care for a String of Turtles, you should provide well-draining soil, indirect light, and moderate humidity. When watering, allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering thoroughly. Proper drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Additionally, this plant thrives in average household temperatures, ideally between 65-75°F (18-24°C).


In closing, the String of Hearts is a low-maintenance, attractive houseplant that many people enjoy. Interestingly, it’s not a Peperomia, but rather is known scientifically as Ceropegia. This plant is known to thrive in harsh environments and requires minimal care, making it a popular choice for those who may be new to keeping houseplants or have a busy lifestyle.

One of the key aspects of caring for a String of Hearts is providing ideal light conditions. The plant should be kept in a brightly lit area, with filtered sunlight to avoid direct sun exposure that could damage it. This characteristic makes it distinct from the Peperomia Prostrata or String of Turtles, which is a semi-succulent tropical plant that also needs bright indirect light.

When considering these two plants, it’s essential to recognize their different care requirements. While both plants have a vining growth pattern, the Peperomia Prostrata (String of Turtles) is known for its small, round, patterned leaves resembling turtle shells. On the other hand, the String of Hearts presents slender, heart-shaped leaves that add a whimsical touch to its cascading vines.

In conclusion, the String of Hearts is not a Peperomia, although it may share some similarities with certain Peperomia species like the vining Peperomia Serpens. By understanding the unique care needs and characteristics of these plants, homeowners can choose the best plant to fit their lifestyle and home aesthetic.

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