String of Hearts Dying? Revive String of Hearts Plant

Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by admin

The reason why plants die in the string of hearts plants is typically due to excessive watering and moist soil around the roots that results in the leaves turning yellow and roots to begin to rot. String of hearts is tolerant to cold and may be killed if temperatures are that are consistently lower than 59 degrees (15degC).

String of hearts may also change color because of sunburn and lower leaves fall off due to the low levels of light.

Read on to find out why the String of Hearts plant ( Ceropegia woodii) is dying, and the best ways to stop it from dying and to revive this plant…

A String Of Hearts Dying with yellow leaves (Over the watering)

  • Symptoms. The leaves of the string of hearts changing to yellow, with soft stems.
  • Causes. Too often watering The soil drains too slowly, or pots with no drainage.

String of Hearts originate from Africa and are now growing free throughout Zimbabwe as well as South Africa.

In their natural habitat, they thrive in sandy or rocky soils, and are found in areas that have low rain and low humidity. consequently they are drought-tolerant and are specially adapted for growing with a low amount of water around their roots.

When the string of heart plant is constantly moist soil, this can cause stress that results in the leaves turning yellow. The plant may also be affected by root rot, which can turn the stems and leaves to black.

The excessive moisture around the roots usually happens because youre watering often, and the soil in the pot holds on to moisture and remains wet for too long, with no drainage, or the container its placed in doesnt have drainage holes in its base, or the drainage hole gets blocked by roots.

String of Hearts thrives when the soil is moist and allowed to dry out between watering sessions instead of a constant flow of water.

Another mistake that is common is to use an oversized tray or saucer under the pot to prevent the water from spilling into the indoors.

The tray is then used to collect water, which stops the excess water from draining properly and letting the potting soil remains damp, causing the string of heart to experience water stress.

To bring back your dying hearts, it is essential to recreate those conditions that are dry in the plants native habitat by avoiding frequent irrigation, a special drainage soil that is quick and easy to plant the pot in a container with drainage holes that allow water to drain away.

It is essential not to apply fertilizer in this moment, as feeding plants that are dying can be harmful to the health of the plant.

It is important to note that string of hearts are vulnerable to dying in winter due to excessive the watering since in winter it is in a state dormancy and is not actively growing, which means it requires less water.

How to Revive Dying String of Hearts due to Over Watering

  • Reduce the amount of watering. Over-watering is the main reason for dying strings of hearts plant. The string of hearts is drought-resistant and will not tolerate their roots being placed in the potting soil which is damp. Recreate their natural watering habits with a string of heart an adequate soak every week during summer and spring, and give it a good soak every two or three weeks during the fall and Winter, as the growth slows. The frequency of watering can also be based on the humidity, with plants in humid climates needing less frequent irrigation.
  • Replace your soil. String of hearts need their pots to be well-draining. The potting mix used in most potting mixes holds too much moisture , which causes the leaves to turn yellow. Make use of a specific succulents and cacti potting mixture for string of hearts that is specifically designed that are suitable for a drought-tolerant plant (available at garden centers and on Amazon). This improves drainage and lets the soil and roots to dry between sessions of watering.
  • String of Hearts plant requires the use of a pot with drainage holes at the base. If there arent drainage holes in the base, it means that water accumulates around the roots and can cause root decay. Examine if the drainage hole is blocked in any way, like with roots that are bound to the pot or soil that has become compacted. If it is, re-pot strings of heart in a slightly larger pot. String of hearts can be tightly bound in the pot and doesnt require a lot of fertilizer, so it is able to stay within the pot a lengthy period of time, as its properly draining.
  • Trays and saucers under the pot as well as decorative pots. The saucers under your plant will stop water from spilling into your home , but it also stops excess water from escaping the pot, ensuring that the soil remains muddy. Clean your saucers frequently after watering to ensure that the pot isnt sitting in a watery pool. The decorative outer pots also hold moisture, so make sure you regularly check for excessive moisture to avoid the strings of hearts from becoming yellow and dying.

If youve followed these steps, your string of heart will be able to recover from stress caused by water.

If however, the leaves are becoming dark brown or black, despite efforts for a revival,, the best solution is to create a strings of hearts using cuttings.

The String of Hearts plant are very easy to propagate. You can harvest cuttings of healthy tissue of a sick plant and then grow them to the size of more plants for no additional cost.

To learn more about how to reproduce string of hearts plants, check out this YouTube video:

String of Hearts with Brown Leaves

  • Symptoms. Certain leaves could be scorched and brown, while others seem healthy, and appear green.
  • Causes. Sun burn. The plant moves from a shaded region to an area with direct sunlight.

Whist String of Hearts is a native of dry and hot climates, its not suitable for full sun because of their delicate leaves.

The String of Hearts plants thrive best in direct light that is bright or in morning sunlight and afternoon shade.

The majority of problems occur in the event that the chain of heart is moved from a shady area to another one in direct sunlight.

String of hearts need longer time to adjust to the sun and is not able to cope with drastic changes in the suns intensity and an increase in hours of direct sunlight.

It is simple to differentiate the sun-burnt brown string of heart plants from other stress-related causes because the leaves located in the suns most direct light are those that suffer the most, whereas those that are shaded and located on the opposite part of the plant could remain healthy and green.

The leaves that have been burned by sun turn brown and appear scorched. When a leaf gets scorched, the individual leaves will not get back to their original brown appearance, but the remainder of the plant may remain healthy and continue to grow when it is fairly specific rather than the entire plant.

How to Revive Brown String of Hearts Plants

The only method to revive sun-burnt heart-shaped plant life is by moving them to an area with indirect light to avoid further sunburn and cut away any damaged or thin leaves since they are not able to recover.

If you trim the stems that have damaged leaves, this will encourage an increase in growth. The plant will re-grow in the coming weeks.

If youre moving the string of heart to a more sunny area, then do it slowly at first.

The pot should be moved towards the sunnier part of the garden gradually over the course of three weeks, for half hour more every three days, to allow the leaves time to adjust to the more direct sunlight without having to contend with an extreme contrast or burning the leaves.

Take into consideration that if youve relocated your string of hearts plant to a spot that is more sun-drenched the suns extra rays could increase temperatures, which could raise the need for water.

Make sure to water regularly every week (assuming you have well-drained dirt) in order to make sure that the heartstring remains healthy and also to reduce any shock from transplants.

Dry string heart plant may have curled or shriveled leaves that may appear a bit brown. In this case, you need to raise the amount of time you water until the plant adjusts.

(Read the article I wrote about strings of hearts curled leaves?)

For damaged by sun, string of heart plants that have a lot of burned leaves, I suggest trying to reproduce any of the more healthy stems to help revive it.

String of Hearts Leaves Brown and Shriveled

  • Symptoms. Leaves that are brown, curled or shrunk.
  • Causes. Watering too light, excessive heat and a poor soil mix.

String of Hearts is known for its ability to withstand drought, but that doesnt mean that it doesnt suffer from dryness issue in certain conditions.

A string of hearts that is dehydrated plant is distinguished from a sun-burnt plant due to the absence of water, the leaves will appear shriveled and curled up and also change color. Sun burnt plants are more likely to brown but they dont curl or shrink in the same way.

The string of hearts that suffers from drought stress affects all the leaves, whereas sunburn only affects the leaves who have been exposed to sun.

String of Hearts requires an adequate soak, typically every week, to ensure that water is released from the bottom of the pot.

If you water less often or are watering too lightly, then stress from drought can develop.

If you water too lightly, it will only dampen the top inch or two of soil, but it will not penetrate to the root zone where it is needed.

Another crucial aspect is the pot soil.

When the string of heart is planted in normal pots (as as opposed to succulent or Cacti soil) the soil could dry out and become hard as it bakes out completely.

Dry soil may be hydrophobic, which causes the water to flow across the surface of the soil and down the sides of the pot, rather than get to the root.

So, you can provide your plants with a nice soak, and the water will drip out of the base, but the water hasnt penetrated the soil to reach the roots, causing drought stress.

The excess heat generated by radiators or the dry air flow from forced air conditioning or air conditioning could cause an increase in the transpiration (water loss) of the leaves. This can increase the speed that the plant dry out and is afflicted by drought.

How to Revivify String of Hearts Leaves that are brown and shriveled

  • Increase the frequency of watering to approximately once a week during the Summer and Spring, and every 3 or 4 weeks during the winter. String of hearts generally thrive with this type of watering because it gives sufficient moisture to the plant, but also allows for the soil to remain somewhat dry, avoiding any negative effects caused by over-watering. This mimics the conditions of moisture in the native habitat, which has a lot of rain and adequate drainage..
  • Alter the pots potting mix. The potting mix you are used to will become water-resistant if they completely dry out, and water runs across the surface and then out of the base of the pot, but not reach the roots. Re-pot your string of heart in a succulent or Cacti potting mix since this mimics the characteristics of soil in the native environment and is porous , allowing water to effectively penetrate the soil to reach the roots, even if the soil is completely dried out.
  • When you water your string of hearts , give the plant a thorough soak instead of an occasional watering. Dont interpret the watering instructions to mean it needs just a tiny amount of water. String of Hearts requires an adequate soak to ensure that the water flows out of the bottom in the container. The watering is light and does not reach the roots , result is that it suffers from stress caused by drought. String of hearts needs less frequent watering than most plants, so it is recommended to water every week, so long as your soil is draining well.
  • The excessive heat may increase the loss of water from the leaves, and also dry out the string of hearts in your pot faster, which can result in drought stress during the summertime. If this happens, relocate it to a shaded area and then water it every week with a nice soak.

Cold Temperatures Can Causes a Dying String of Hearts Plant

String of Hearts originate from dry and hot climates in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

They are able to live well in indoor temperatures, but theyre not frost-hardy and are a very cold and chilly sesnitive.

If the growth is soft, discolored or blackened it could be due to an injury caused by the frost.

String of Hearts thrives in rooms with temperatures of 59 degrees (15degC) or warmer and may suffer due to colder temperatures.

Always look for your heart string in bright, warm rooms. the plant will re-grow.

Too Much Shade Causes Leaves to Turn Light Green, Fall off and Slow Growth

The plant known as String of Hearts is native to Africa that thrives under direct light, bright sun , followed with afternoon sun.

In those conditions, that the plant thrives most efficiently and has dark green leaves. Usually with variations in the form of a variety of whites and a few subtle reds based on the type.

If your leaves are changing to light green and your plant is growing slowly, this means that its in shade.

String of hearts that are not surrounded by light tends to get leggy and have little leaf growth on lower stems, and the leaves may fall off.

Insufficient light can be detrimental to the general well-being of the plant, and could lead to its death if it is kept in a shade for too long.

To rejuvenate it To revive it, move the pot into an area with direct light that is bright. Dont move it towards direct sunlight because the stark contrast between shade to sun could cause it to get burned.

The String of Hearts are sensitive to light changes and are prone to flare up in the sun.

If you have the right amount of light, your string of hearts will be revived.

Cut back any excess growth If the plant appears sparse and the plant will recover.

Key Takeaways:

  • The dying of a string heart plant usually results from excessive watering or slow draining soils that create excessive moisture around the roots, which causes the leaves turning yellow and root rot.
  • The leaves of the String of Hearts plant get brown because of sunburn. The leaves may be slough off due to excessive shade.
  • The leaves of String of Hearts turn brown and shrink due to the lack of water and high temperatures. String of hearts can die back in cold temperatures.
  • To revive the string of hearts keep them watered every week and place them in a well-draining succulent and Cacti potting mix. If you notice significant sunburn or yellowing of leaves, then propagate the healthy growth to rejuvenate the plant.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)