Underwatered String of Hearts – 6 Signs, How to Save Dying Plant

If you didn’t care for your plant which resulted in an underwatered string of hearts and now it’s looking like all dried up and leaves are getting brown, shriveled, dying off and dropping itself or becoming fainted or low and brittle.

Underwatered String of hearts can be a problem if not taken good care, they are succulent and if not given water they become wrinkled. To solve this you need to put some water and make sure you have provided proper air circulation to the plant, if it’s inside the glass container eg: Terrariums.

Signs of a Underwatered String of Hearts How to Save It
Leaves turning yellow or brown Adjust your watering habits to prevent overwatering or underwatering. Check the soil moisture before watering and ensure proper drainage.
Leaves shriveling or wilting Increase the frequency of watering or adjust the watering schedule to provide adequate moisture. Consider placing the plant in a more humid environment.
Leggy or elongated stems Provide more light by relocating the plant to a brighter spot or supplementing with artificial grow lights. Prune leggy stems to encourage bushier growth.
Root rot or foul smell in the soil Repot the plant using fresh, well-draining soil. Trim any affected roots and ensure the new pot has proper drainage. Allow the plant to recover in its new pot.
Pests (e.g., mealybugs, spider mites) Regularly inspect the plant for pests and take appropriate measures to control them, such as using insecticidal soap or natural remedies. Isolate the plant if necessary.
General lack of growth or vigor Ensure the plant receives adequate light, water, and nutrients. Review your care routine and make adjustments as needed. Consider fertilizing with a balanced houseplant fertilizer following the instructions.

Also if your area’s climate is kind of hot in summer then put them in a more cold or shade place for some hours. They don’t like heavy heat. By the way you just need a partial light requirement and no hot temperature.

Giving it some water spray can also help in warm seasons. Also Adding perlite can have a better drainage to the soil it will help the root to be healthy.

Solution for underwatering is to water every 5 days or in a week to make it moist, they like moist soil and indirect light. They will survive in normal room temperature and if you want to know a full care guide on string of hearts check. 

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Propagation in string of heart is also an easy thing to do and I have also done it and multiplied my chain of hearts many times using tuber and stem cutting.

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Underwatered String of Hearts
Underwatered String of Hearts

Signs of Underwatered String of Hearts

No leafy Growth

Signs of Underwatered String of Hearts

Unlike healthy String of Hearts plants that exhibit vigorous growth, underwatered ones may show minimal or no growth at all. The vine’s ends may become dry and discolored, signaling insufficient water supply. If your String of Hearts is not growing as expected, it is important to check if underwatering is the cause.

Leaves Shrink and Turn Brown

Leaves Shrink and Turn Brown

When a String of Hearts is not getting enough water, its leaves will start to shrivel and turn brown. Inadequate water supply causes the plant’s reserves to deplete, leading to visible damage on the leaves. If you notice both shrinkage and browning, it is a clear indication that your plant is severely underwatered.

Dried Soil

string of hearts

Assessing the moisture level of the soil is a reliable way to determine if your String of Hearts is underwatered. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it indicates that the plant is not receiving enough water. Over time, the soil may become hydrophobic, making it difficult for water to penetrate and reach the roots effectively.

Uneven Leaf size

Uneven Leaf size

Underwatered String of Hearts plants may display smaller leaves as a natural defense mechanism. The plant reduces the surface area of its leaves to minimize water loss through evaporation. In contrast, overwatered plants typically maintain their leaf size while showing signs of discoloration. If you observe small, shrinking leaves on your String of Hearts, it is a clear sign of underwatering.

Wilting & Drooping

A dehydrated String of Hearts will begin to sag or droop. The plant’s vascular system, responsible for transporting water, helps maintain its upright position. However, prolonged lack of water causes the plant to lose its turgidity, resulting in droopiness. If your String of Hearts appears wilted or sagging, it is a clear indication that it requires immediate watering.

Underwatered Vs Overwatered String of Hearts

Distinguishing between underwatering and overwatering can be a challenging task as both conditions can exhibit similar symptoms. However, accurately identifying the cause is crucial to provide appropriate care for your string of hearts plant. Here are some signs that indicate overwatering:

  1. Yellow Leaves: Overwatering can cause the leaves to turn yellow. This happens because excessive watering leads to an iron deficiency, resulting in nutrient deficiencies in the plant’s root system. If you notice yellow leaves, it’s likely that overwatering is the issue.
  2. Root Rot: Ceropegia woodii, like many succulents, is prone to root rot when exposed to excessive moisture. When the soil is too wet, it disrupts the root system’s aeration, making the plant more susceptible to fungal diseases. If you observe yellow leaves and a foul odor in the soil, it’s a clear indication of root rot.

Reviving an Underwatered String of Hearts Plant

If you discover that your String of Hearts is underwatered, there is no need to panic. You can revive your plant by following these steps:

Safely Remove Damaged Leaves

Carefully remove any yellow or brown leaves using clean, sanitized shears. Removing damaged leaves not only enhances the plant’s appearance but also creates space for new growth and potential propagation.

Relocate the Plant

If your String of Hearts has been exposed to excessive sunlight, it may have suffered from sunburn. To prevent further damage, relocate the plant to an area with indirect light. Trim back any stems with damaged leaves to stimulate new growth and aid in the plant’s recovery.

Change Potting Soil

The type of soil used plays a crucial role in the overall health of your String of Hearts. If you have been using regular potting soil instead of succulent and cactus soil, it may become compacted and hydrophobic when completely dry. Switching to a heavier soil mix that retains moisture will ensure better water penetration and root hydration.

String of hearts plant Care

Now, let’s move on to some essential care tips for properly caring for an underwatered string of hearts plant:

  1. Adjust Your Watering Habits: It’s important to understand the watering needs of your string of hearts plant. Although it is drought-tolerant, it still requires more frequent watering compared to other succulent plants. Develop a watering schedule that takes into account factors such as lighting, humidity, and potting mix to provide optimal moisture for your plant.
  2. Provide Adequate Lighting: Direct sunlight can cause rapid evaporation of water from the soil. Find a suitable location for your string of hearts where it can receive dappled, filtered, or bright indirect light. Placing it near a south-facing window with sheer curtains can provide the right amount of light.
  3. Increase Humidity: Moderate humidity levels are preferred by Ceropegia woodii. Low humidity can lead to faster water evaporation from the soil, resulting in underwatering. Increase humidity by placing your plant near other indoor plants, using a pebble tray, or utilizing a humidifier.
  4. Choose the Right Pot: Ensure that your pot has proper drainage to prevent water from pooling around the roots. Terracotta or plastic pots are recommended over ceramic ones for better drainage. Avoid using pots that are too large, as excessive soil can retain moisture and lead to root rot.
  5. Use a Well-Draining Potting Mix: String of hearts plants thrive in well-draining and porous soil. Consider using a ready-made succulent or cactus soil mix, or create your own by combining potting soil with organic material, perlite, coarse sand, and pine bark. This will improve drainage and promote airflow around the roots.
  6. Repotting: If your string of hearts plant is severely underwatered, repotting can help rejuvenate it. Carefully remove the plant from its pot, inspect the roots for any damage, and trim them if necessary. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil, ensuring that all roots are covered.
  7. Propagation: In some cases, propagating your string of hearts plant can be an effective way to revive it. Stem cuttings, individual leaves, or tubers can be used for propagation. Root the cuttings in water or soil, ensuring proper care and attention until new growth emerges.


How do you know when string of hearts need water?

My string of hearts needs water when it starts shivering, becoming dry or feeling sorry by looking at its leaves. Even the shrinking of leaves or getting brown is a sign that they need water. Also if the soil it is fully dried out then immediately give water to this plant.

How often should I water my string of hearts?

Actually what I do in my string of hearts is I give them water every 5-7 days depending on the weather or season, if there is hot summer then it probably needs water in 4-5 days if winter then 18-20. 

The basic idea of how often you need to give water is to check the soil if it’s dry quickly then you need to water many times in a week and if it’s not drying then it needs to be in water in 10 days.

Can String of Hearts survive in water?

yes String of hearts can survive in water as you don’t know the propagation of chain of hearts can be done in water and it’s a very easy process that even beginners can try out. Only water can be used to propagate it after that you have to put them in soil to further growth. 

Their is different intervals on how often you need to give them water to Ceropegia woodii plant. 

generally this plant is semi succulent so it needs water, other succulent don’t generally need much water they survive very well without water for many days.

How do you save an overwatered string of hearts?

If your string of hearts is overwatering & leaves falling off then simply stop watering for 2-4 days and check the soil. Also Overwatered hearts plant occurs due to drainage problem which not properly draining water. If roots don’t have air circulation which is needed for plants to get air then it will face brown and dropping leaves problems.

Drainage problems can result in rotting issues also. Water in 7 to 10 days according to me if you live in more colder climate area. If still their is water not drying proper then your plant needs more days to dry the soil, best if you change the location to warmer area it helps the soil to get dry. These plants if grown properly can reach to larger length and when it happens it creates a eye-catching look.

Why is my string of hearts dying?

There are many reasons why your string of heart is dying and the major reason is overwatering or underwatering. These 2 issues can create problems and I suggest if it happens with your Ceropegia woodii then try to avoid giving them water in case of overwatering and vice versa for underwatering. 

Leaves give sign to these problem so notice that when it happens. If it’s dying then cut 2-3 healthy stems and propagate it as soon as possible which will basically save you from losing a plant.

I have written a full article on 6 different ways on string of hearts propagation checks & if you want to know string of hearts seed pods then check.

Wrap Up

I hope you get the answer on “Underwatered String of Hearts“ and if you want to read other such articles check below.







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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark , a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences. Check our Social media Profiles: Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Instagram Tumblr

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