An aptly-named plant, the string of hearts is a trailing vine with variegated and distinctly heart-shaped leaves that are at the crossroads of simplicity and elegance. However, certain factors at play could result in the yellowing of this plant’s beautiful foliage.
This Southern African native is succulent and shares in the common issues that plague others of its kind. The unwanted coloration is often seen in succulents that are overwatered, underwatered, overexposed to sunlight, or not in agreement with the ambient temperature.
The string of hearts requires well-draining, fertile soil to flourish. Enthusiastic succulent growers can, at times, be guilty of overzealous watering and, while this is done with the best intentions, much harm can come of it.
Ideally, these plants should receive a good amount of water which should drain well from the soil and out through the drainage holes at the base of the pot. An accumulation of water inside the pot will lead to root rot.
Root rot is a common outcome of overwatering. Soil that is too moist interferes with aeration and the roots are unable to take in oxygen and thus begin to rot. In addition, the excess moisture in the soil encourages the growth of fungi and bacteria that contribute to root rot.
As the roots can no longer absorb enough oxygen and nutrients, the plant begins to deteriorate and a clear indication of this is the foliage turning yellow. More than just aesthetically unpleasant, this symptom should compel you to take action and save your plant.
If you catch the problem before the root rot has set in, it is fairly simple. You will just have to hold back on watering your string of hearts and give the roots time to dry and recover from the excessive drink they had.
However, if there is already root rot, you have your work cut out for you. You will have to remove the plant from the pot and gently clean the roots. You can do this by washing them under running water.
The next step will be to prune away the affected roots. Additionally, you can treat the roots with a fungicide solution to eliminate any possible rot-causing pathogens. Repot the plant in fresh potting soil and, moving forward, only water it when the soil is dry.
One of the most common reasons for the yellowing of leaves is underwatering. When the string of hearts’ water requirements are not met, it leads to dehydration which in turn manifests as the yellowing and wilting of the plant’s foliage.
The “soak and dry” method is recommended as the best way to rehydrate your plant. This entails a generous watering of the plant, then refraining from watering again until the soil is dry. This would mitigate any watering-related harm to the plant as its requirements are met only when needed.
Overexposure to sunlight
The string of hearts requires bright, indirect sunlight to survive, and it cannot tolerate more than this. Direct sunlight can and will scorch its leaves. As the foliage is dried out by the sun, it will begin to turn yellow. Relocating the plant to a shadier area will save it from further sun damage.
The string of hearts is native to Southern Africa, where temperatures are on the warmer end of the scale. When temperatures drop below 59 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves will begin to turn yellow. Moving your plant indoors or into a greenhouse towards winter can prevent this.
The string of hearts is a beauty that requires a measure of care. If certain needs are not being met, its leaves will begin to turn yellow. Providing it with, by and large, the same conditions as in its natural environment will help it to flourish.
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