Months ago, I was shocked to see the condition of my String of hearts. It was suffering from excessive water. Then I started searching for the solution and finally got some best solutions. Overwatered String of hearts is easy to save. All you need to do is follow the steps that I followed and now my string of heart is healthy.
Today I will tell you how to identify the cause, correct it and how you can water your string of hearts the right way?
Stop watering it immediately and repot it in new soil. Make sure the pot you use must have a draining hole. Use vines and tubers to propagate it in case your plant does not show healthy signs.
Your plant looks weak, it loses its natural color and develops yellow leaves. The pot of the plant feels heavy and the root zone releases an unpleasant smell.
Before jumping to the solutions, you need to learn about the signs of the Overwatered String of Hearts.
1. Yellow Leaves
Yellow leaves in strings of hearts are triggered by the loss of IRON. When you give extra water to your plant. The water comes out of the draining hole along with some important nutrients. IRON is the main element that drains quickly with water.
Due to insufficient iron, the plant becomes unable to produce enough amount of Chlorophyll. It is the substance that gives green color to plant leaves.
Hence the plant leaves turn yellow due to the excess water.
2. Damages Roots
Extra water in the plant pot makes the potting soil soggy. It also closes the small air pockets. This results in a lack of fresh air in the root zones. And the plant roots get infected by root fungus.
This root fungus starts eating the roots. Once the roots get choked and also get infected. They become unable to transport the water and nutrients to different parts of the plant.
This put a negative effect on every part of the plant from the base stem to top leaves. Later I will explain how to fix damaged roots.
3. Wilting and Dropping leaves
Once the roots become choked and the plant does not get proper nutrients from the soil. This results in a lack of essential nutrients.
To save the current amount of nutrients the string of hearts starts dropping its leaves. This way it saves some amount of energy to keep it alive.
Because the leaves are the plant parts that consume most of the plant energy.
4. Red/Black/Brown Spots of leaves
In botanical terms, this condition is called Edema. It is the condition in which the plant cells absorb excess water and burst. This results in a red, black, or brown blister on all leaves.
Edema is only possible if the room humidity is on the higher side and you overwatered your plant. Both the conditions need to be true for this physical disorder.
Note: Overwatering and High Humidity speed up the water uptake. This makes the plant sick way faster than just overwatering.
B. How do you save an Overwatered String of Hearts?
1. Stop Watering Immediately
A string of Hearts is from the succulent family and it needs less water. The first step in saving your plant is to stop watering it.
The season of the year doesn’t matter here. Even in summers cut the water if your plant shows above mentioned overwatering signs.
It is easy to save it in the summer season as compared to the winters.
Remember that in a high humid room above 60% your Ceropegia woodii needs less water. Before watering it, you need to check the soil condition.
2. Place the plant in Low Humidity
Keep the room humidity on the lower side to avoid overwatering. This also prevents the chances of Edema. In low humidity, the plant absorbs the water at a faster rate also uses it properly. This cycle goes for its entire life.
Keep the humidity level between 40% to 50 %.
Install a dehumidifier in the plant room to adjust the humid levels. But buying a dehumidifier just for one plant is not a wise decision.
So just change the place of your plant and you are all good.
3. Protect it from Direct Sunlight
When we see an overwatered plant the first thing that comes to our mind is to put it in the direct sunlight. This way the soil gets dry quickly and I will solve the problem in just one day.
But don’t do it because this is the worst thing that you can do to your overwatered string of hearts.
Because the direct sun rays will only further increase the problem by quickly drying the soil. Also, burn the plant leaves and put excessive stress on them.
4. Repot your plant
This is the most effective way to save your overwatered plant. Repotting put new life and I recommend it for every overwatered plant.
a. Remove the plant from its pot
The first step is to take out the plant for its pot. You need to take out the soil from the sides before pulling the plant. Then toggle it and gently remove it without damaging the roots. You can use a sharp knife to lose the soil.
b. Air dry
Now remove the soil from the roots and to do so use a cotton cloth or your fingers. Then inspect the roots for the damages.
Take sharp shears to cut the infected part of the roots.
Then place it over the newspaper and allow it to dry in the air. Do not use hot air or a hairdryer. This will shrink the roots and your will lose your plant.
c. Wash your old pot or buy new
Now wash your old pot with warm water. Then use soap or dishwashing soap to wash it a second time. It must have a draining hole at the bottom. Use a drill to make a new hole if it does not have one.
I suggest you use terra cotta pots for plants like String of Hearts. The material of these pots helps to prevent overwatering.
The porous nature of the material allows fresh air to circulate in the root zone. This saves plants from accidental overwatering.
d. Use Right Potting Mix
The next step is to fill the pot with the right potting mix. Do not use the old soil in the new pot. Use freshly prepared soil. It is best to use succulent potting mix for repotting.
Garden soil is not recommended in plant pots.
After then place the plant in the pot and tap the soil around the base of the plant. Then place the plant pot in the low humidity (40% to 50%).
Use a spray water bottle to give some water to the base of the plant. Just keep the soil a little bit moist. After some days you can water it like before but not overwatered.
C. String of hearts Overwatered Vs Underwatered
Overwatered String of Hearts
Underwatered String of Hearts
Leaves do not shrink but develop red, black, or brown spots known as blisters
Leaves shrink in size and look smaller
Moist soil with an unpleasant smell
Dry potting soil
Water-soaked leaves with a fluffy appearance
Brown and dry leaves
D. How to water String of Hearts the right way?
Now you are going to learn the complete procedure of watering strings of hearts.
1. Watering Applications
It is a succulent plant this means it needs less water than other types of plants. It also has the ability to store water in its leaves and roots for a long time. This way it can go well without water for a long time.
Let the soil dry between watering sessions. In the summer season, water it once in 14 days and in winters once in 30 days.
The room temperature also affects the watering frequency. In hot rooms, you need to water your plant more frequently.
Always check the soil condition before watering it. If you are new to gardening you can use the soil moisture meter to test the soil condition.
2. Watering technique
Many people water their string of hearts from the top but I do not recommend it. Water your plant from the bottom.
Pick the pot of your plant and place it in the water. Let the soil soak water from the bottom hole. Once the water reaches the capacity of the pot. Take it out of the water and place it in a dry place.
Give it 15 minutes to drain extra water then place it back in its place. After 8 to 10 hours just empty the saucer if it has some more drained water.
3. Quality of Water
The quality of water directly impacts the health of your plant. Avoid heavy water that contains heavy minerals that are not soluble in water.
Regular tap water contains chloride and fluoride. The water authorities add this mixture to water to kill the bacteria. But this mixture is not required by the plants.
Once you water your plants the mixture gets deposited at the base of the pot and clogs the roots. It also impacts the pH level of the soil and nutrients mixture.
Therefore, use filtered water for watering strings of hearts. The water that you use for drinking is best for your plants.
You can easily save your string of hearts suffering from extra water. To prevent this condition, use terra cotta pots with draining holes.
Repotting in new soil is the fast way of saving its life. limit the watering applications and you will never face such problems.