Does String Of Hearts Require Direct Sunlight?

String Of Hearts does not require sunlight to grow. In fact, the plants thrive better in shaded locations during the summer months of the year especially when temperatures are high.
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The String of Hearts, scientifically known as (Ceropegia woodii) is a creeping succulent-like plant native to Southern Africa. Boasting delicate heart-shaped foliage and slender vines which can reach up to 12′ long in its natural environment, this plant has earned many nicknames, such as Rosary Vine and Sweetheart Vine.

The String of Hearts plants thrive well in heat and bright light, but do not prefer direct sunlight to scorch the leaves. The String of hearts will not survive in low light, and bright indirect light can lead to more variegation on the leaves. Enough light helps the String of hearts plant maintain its deep green color.

They might be challenging to care for; however, once you get the hang of it, String of Hearts Succulent is one of the most tolerant houseplants. Though the String of Hearts plant prefers to have some bright sun throughout the day, it will do fine in bright, indirect light, as well.

When grown in direct sunlight, the plant’s leaves will be dark green with variegated silver markings. Your String of Hearts should do fine in indirect light though the leaves will be a lighter green with no variegation. The loss of variegation is permanent, and the variegation will not return even if the plant is moved to better light.

How To Estimate The Amount of Light In Your Space

Light is one of the most determinant factors for your String of Hearts growth and is most commonly the cause for dying plants when misused. Assessing the proper lighting for your String of hearts is not easy. 

String of heart outside.
Light is most commonly the cause for dying plants when misused.

Our ability to judge light levels can be deceiving because the human eye automatically compensates for brightness. Indoor lights complicate the issue further because what appears bright” might not be.

You can use three methods to assess light in your home or office—an eye test, using an app, or a Light Meter. 

Estimating Light Using Your Eyes

A shadow test is a simple method to check what light level your Rosary Vine is getting. Here’s how you can do it: Pick a spot in your house where you’re considering placing your plant.

  1. Go to the place where you put your String of Hearts
  2. Hold up a piece of paper to the light source. Please do this at the brightest time of the day (we recommend midday).
  3. Place your free hand above your piece of paper.

If you see crisp, well-defined, and stark contrast shadows, your String of hearts is getting bright light. A soft shadow shows medium light. A faint or unclear outline of the shadow means your plant is getting a low light level.

Estimating Light Using Apps

If you’re debating on the best place to put your new String of Hearts, you can use the Light Meter on your iPhone, which has a function for measuring foot candles. Many light meter apps measure in LUX, quickly translated to foot candles using conversion rates.

Estimation Using the Light Meter

A light meter is an excellent and reliable way to measure light. Light meter apps offer much-needed help to utilize plant grow lights at their best efficiency. As our eyes cannot gauge lighting conditions correctly, a light meter is used to measure the amount of light your String of Hearts plants receives.

A light meter.
Light meter offer much-needed help to utilize plant grow lights at their best efficiency.

Best Location For String of Hearts

The String of Hearts is an adaptable houseplant for lighting conditions. It will tolerate some low light conditions as well as pretty bright spots. However, avoid gloomy, low light conditions and intense sun-drenched south-facing windows. You’ll get the best-looking leaves and reasonable amounts of growth from having it in a bright location with just some ray of sunlight hitting the developing stems.

String of heart leaf.
The best place to position your String of Hearts is where it can receive plenty of bright indirect light.

The best place to position your String of Hearts is where it can receive plenty of bright indirect light. Small doses of direct sun are good, however too much direct sun can scorch the leaves. This plant isn’t recommended for lower-light environments. A few feet removed from a southern or western-facing window is ideal, or directly in a northern or eastern-facing window will also suffice.

Types of Indoor Plant Lighting

Let us look at the primary types of indoor plant light.

  1. Bright Light: Bright light refers to sunny south or west-facing window that gets direct light all day. Be careful when moving such plants too close to a window because they can not handle the cold drafts.
  2. Indirect Light: Indirect light is found in east-facing windows or interiors of rooms that receive full light from southern or western windows. 
  3. Low Light: Rooms with north-facing or partially shaded windows are regarded as low-light situations.

Indoor Location

Too much sun will burn the foliage of String of Hearts and is characterized by: brown leaves, dry leaf edges, and stunted growth. Lack of exposure, on the other hand, causes issues like discoloration.

Place your String of Hearts near the brightest window possible (South or West-facing windows are highly recommended). Maintain a temperature range of between 80 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter, we recommend 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

String of hearts in a pot
Place your String of Hearts near the brightest window possible.

Please give it a very bright light with no direct sun. Make sure you don’t let the foliage rest directly on windowpanes if you’ve got this plant in a windowsill. Too much heat in the summer and cold during winter can hurt the leaves.

The Rosary Vines need to be placed in the brightest area of your home or office. North-facing windows (in the northern hemisphere)are not ideal since they will not get any direct sun. The best spots for your succulents to flourish the most indoors are explained below. 

Southern Window

A Southern facing window receives bright sun all day and is excellent for succulents that love full sun. We do not recommend scorching light for your String of Hearts. If you suspect that the light your plants are getting is too much, move it to the side or a few inches away from the window to get medium light level.

East Facing Window

In this spot, your Rosary Vine will benefit from the morning sun, where the rays are not quite as strong, which is often suitable for plants that need moderate or morning sunlight only. A west window is also acceptable, but make sure it isn’t up against the hot glass.

Outdoor Location

Since there are no barriers present outdoors, lighting outside has a brighter condition, even in the darkest shade than the brightest space inside your home. If you want to grow yours outdoors, make sure to put it in a spot where this plant can get at least 3 to 4 hours of bright, indirect sunlight and some shade in the afternoon.

The String of Hearts can grow outdoors as a sprawling ground cover, in rock gardens, or cascading down walls. This sprawling succulent can do well during the summer months or even all year round in USDA zones ten and above or where the temperature is consistently maintained at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. 

String of hearts outdoor.
They can grow outdoors as a sprawling ground cover, in rock gardens, or cascading down walls.

Remember to gradually acclimate your String of Hearts first to stronger light when moving this plant from indoors to outdoors during the summer to prevent sun damage. Alternatively, you can grow this succulent in a pot or container where you can easily carry it indoors when the temperature starts dropping for protection. The best place to put the plant is in a bright, shaded area.

Signs that Your String of Hearts is not Getting Enough Light

You can tell that your Rosary Vine is not getting enough light by observing its leaves. If you see that the leaves are starting to become pale in color and, at the same time, wider apart than they typically should, then transfer the plant to a brighter spot to supplement its lighting needs. 

If you don’t give it enough light, what happens is that there will be more space between the leaves, and this will make your plant look more spindly. When “String of Hearts” receives adequate sunlight, the leaves will be darker. The lesser the light it receives, the lighter the leaves appear.

Rotate the plant occasionally for a balanced amount of sunlight and even color.

When To Use Grow Lights

Although String of Hearts can tolerate low light levels, providing lighter and brighter conditions will make them flourish more and look attractive in the long run. If you live where light is not enough and consistent, usage of grow lights are highly recommended, especially if;

  • Your house is dim.  
  • You want to grow in the winter months.
  • Your Rosary Vine appears stretchy.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for, unique, and attractive houseplant, then you can’t go wrong with the String of heart plants. Sunlight is excellent for String of Hearts plants, but direct sunlight is something that they can not tolerate.

Please place them in a suitable environment to happily grow all year round. Positioning your String of hearts plant somewhere that it will receive bright but dappled, filtered sunlight will see the best growth and flower production results.

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