String of arrows is one of the unique succulent-like vining plants having light green to grey-green arrow-shaped pointed leaves along the long reddish-brown vines. They are the trailing vines that look beautiful with their fleshy, round, brown stems cascading down from a certain height like a hanging basket, window sill or some high shelf.
It is botanically called Ceropegia woodii ‘Arrow’ and commonly String of Arrows due to their arrow-like pointed, triangle-shaped leaves. This wonderful member of the ‘String of Things’ from the Ceropegia family is native to South Africa. It has a shallow root system with tiny white fibrous tender roots. The thin, fleshy young stems look iron painted. The silver veining follows the slightly swollen, small leaves throughout giving it a wonderful appearance.
It produces pink or purplish trumpet-shaped beautiful flowers, swollen at the base during summer and springtime. The exemplary feature of this plant is its flowering capacity along with its attractive leaves. So, it is preferred both for the foliage and flowers. This species of Ceropegia is rarer among the other members of the same genus. It can be found growing outdoors in tropical and subtropical climates in their native places.
It is grown as both indoor and outdoor plant. During the flowering time, it is kept outdoors to promote flushing and during winter or frost, it is kept indoors to prevent leaf damage. Due to its cascading nature, it is mostly kept in hanging baskets and high shelves in the house. It does well on the window sill and other areas with ample indirect light.
It is a fast-growing houseplant that can reach a height of about 10 cm up and the trailing stems can reach a length of 2 to 4 meters. It doesn’t require much space to be kept at a place where it can cascade down, but it requires quite a place for the trailing vines when kept at the ground or lower surface. It is a low-maintenance, easy-to-care houseplant with lower risk and thus good to go for first-time plant owners.
The quick over-view of this plant is tabulated below:-
|Plant Name||Ceropegia woodii ‘Arrow’|
|Other Name||String of Arrows|
|Grown for||Foliage, Flower|
|Plant type||Cascading perennial Succulent|
|Origin||South Africa, Eswatini and Zimbabwe|
|Nature of plant||Evergreen|
|Life span||2 to 3 years|
|USDA growing zone||USDA 9b to 11b|
|Flower colour||Pink and Purplish Trumpet-shaped flowers|
|Blooming time||Spring and summer|
|Exposure||Bright indirect light or partial shade(Eastern and southern exposure is preferred), Grow under a tree or bush when growing outdoors, leaves turn almost pink on enough exposure|
|Cold tolerance||Susceptible to frost.|
|Irrigation||When soil gets dry, once in 9-12 days|
|Scientific name||Ceropegia woodii|
USDA Growing Zone
Like String of tears, String of arrows can be grown in the USDA hardiness Zone 9 -11. These areas include the most tropical climate in the US like Florida, Southern Louisiana, Texas, and California. These are from the regions of the US where it’s warm in summer and mild in the winter.
Is It Safe For Pets?
Like String of Tears, the String of Arrows itself is non-toxic being on a standpoint far from the reach of pets and children. It is completely pet friendly. But, the sap inside the leaves is toxic to both humans and pets. So, common poisoning symptoms may appear in case of ingestion of the leaves by pets and childrens. The symptoms includes:
- Nausea and vomiting
So, make sure to protect your pets and childrens from its consumption. Also, seek immediate doctor medication in the appearance of the poisoning symptoms.
Is String of Arrows Rare?
With increased trend in online shopping, no plant remains rare and limited to their native habitat. Ceropegia species are highly preferred common houseplant. However, String of Arrows is rarer in comparision to other members of the Ceropegia family.
- Unique silver veined arrow-shaped leaves.
- Leaves can almost turn pink in presence of ample sunlight.
- Beautiful trumpet-shaped pink and purple flowers during summer and spring.
- Can be grown in pots, hanging baskets, window sill and as ground cover.
- Low maintenance and easy to care.
- Easy propagation.
- Low risk and loss.
String of Arrows vs String of Spades
|String of Arrows||String of Spades|
|Leaves are longer and more fleshy||Leaves are smaller and skinnier|
|Leaves are light green or gray green in color.||Leaves are dark green in color.|
|Triangle shaped leaves||Dagger shaped leaves|
String of Arrows vs String of Hearts
|String of Arrows||String of Hearts|
|More pointed, longer, triangular leaf||Typical heart-shaped leaf|
|Almost the whole pat of a leaf can turn pink on ample sunlight.||Leaves grow some pink tints on exposure to sunlight.|
|The foliage colour is emerald green with silver veining.||The foliage colour is dark green with silver veining.|
String of Arrows Care
The quick care fir guide is tabulated below:-
|Light||3 to 6 hours of indirect bright sunlight or partial shade per day|
|Soil||Well draining Sandy or loamy soil rich in organic matter.-pH 5.6 to 7.5( moderately acidic to slightly alkaline)|
|Humidity||Average humidity i.e 40 to 50 percent|
|Water||Once every two weeks or when soil is dry|
|Temperature||65 degrees F to 80 degrees F|
|Fertiliser||Diluted houseplant fertilizer once every growing season|
|Repotting||Every two or three years|
|Pruning||Requires every now and then for proper air circulation.|
The detailed explanation of caring this amazing plant is presented below:-
Well-drained, porous, moderately acidic to slightly alkaline soil is ideal for this plant growth. You should make sure the soil is well aerated and proper air circulation is maintained in order to avoid rotting and fungal infections. In order to increase the draining capacity of the soil, you can use perlite, pumice, coco peat, sand or something that can retain the moisture.or simply cacti and succulent mix and adding the organic matter to the soil mix not only increases the nutrient content but also makes the soil more porous and draining.
You should provide this houseplant ample of bright indirect sunlight from the top for at least 3 to 6 hours per day at minimum. If the top part i.e. the leaf surface is not exposed properly, then you’re not giving it the ideal conditions. The more light it receives, the more its leaves will flourish. Almost the whole leaf may turn pink if you can maintain proper light requirements. You can keep this plant for a few hours in direct sunlight during the flowering period to start flushing earlier. Remember not to keep it for too long. The excess light can cause leaf scorching and mottling while the low light may lead to stretching of the leaves outwards.
Being a succulent-like plant, this houseplant doesn’t call for frequent watering. You can water the plant once in two weeks or when the soil becomes dry. You should let the soil dry out in between the waterings. During summer, the soil dries quickly so you need to keep a check on the soil and water it once in 10 days when the soil dries out completely. In contrast, you don’t need to worry much about watering during the winter. You can water it once or twice a month. Keep in mind not to water the leaves from the top but from the side, directly into the soil.
Since this houseplant is a flowering plant, this calls for a diluted houseplant fertilizer at least once during the major growth period i.e in summer and spring seasons. The water soluble fertilizer diluted to half its strength is sprayed uniformly especially in flowering area. But avoid over fertilising.
You can calculate the repotting period when you see the roots of the plant emerging out from the drainage holes in the pot. It is done once in 2 to 3 years in this plant. While repotting, choose a new pot larger in diameter to the existing one. The favourable time can be during winter period when the plant is dormant.
This fast-growing houseplant needs to be trimmed frequently. You should try to maintain the air circulation in the leaves and avoid overcrowding. You’ll lose the foliage beauty if the leaves grew denser and their stems get tangled upon themselves, creating a warm humid environment inside the crowd.
Trim out the overgrown stems, scorched, mottled, damaged leaves, diseased stems and tangled lines as soon as you see it. Limiting the vegetative growth of the plant calls out for the excitation of the reproductive growth. So, the best time for pruning will be in early spring, after the dormancy when the plant starts new growth.
How to Propagate String of Arrows?
A string of Arrows comes from native sub-tropical regions and thus thrives in warm climates. It grows at a quicker rate during the spring and summer seasons. So, propagation of this plant is mostly carried out during their rapid vegetative growing seasons. However, any season other than the winter and chilling period is favourable for its propagation.
The propagation of a string of Arrows can be carried out by stem cuttings in water, simple rooting in vines or by the butterfly method.
1. Stem cuttings in water
It’s a simple method of propagation, you can just chop off some nodes and put their end inside the water, take it out and stick it into the soil.
- Chop the vine below a set of leaves with nodes.
- Pluck the bottom leaves off.
- You can still put some leaves to keep a place for more growth to come from.
- Take a beaker with distilled water. Mineralised water should be avoided.
- Just simply insert the cuttings into the water. Keep the beaker in partial shade.
- Observe the nodes for the new roots.
- Transplant the rooted cuttings into the well-drained soil mix.
2. Butterfly Method
It is also a rooting method through the nodes but through the single vines. Take a trailing vine, cut into single vines and just gently lay it on top of the potting mix. Continue with it and once the pot is filled, keep the pot in a partial shade. When the root is formed, bath it with very bright indirect light and proper watering.
3. Rooting from the vines
This method doesn’t require much effort and is mostly applied to fill up the pot. This is just wrapping the leaves around and then sticking the node in the soil. You can strike down the nodes using the clippers as well to promote efficient rootings.
Pests are not likely to invade your home very often. The string of arrows, however, can be attacked by pests like white flies, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects if they are not controlled.
The string of arrows is not susceptible to any major diseases but it can develop some physiological disorders due to overwatering. Overwatering may cause yellow mushy leaves, leaf drop, root rot and edema. In order to avoid these effects, you should protect the plant from direct sunlight, water it only when the soil is dried avoid high humidity.
Pros and Cons
|Easy and many alternative ways for propagation||Regular pruning are required|
|Benefit of both beautiful foliage and attractive flowers.||Prone to root rot, yellow leaves, leaf drop, and edema if overwatered|
|Evergreen perennial succulent plant||Sap is toxic to pets and children.|
|Low maintenance and Easy-to-care plant||The cascading stems may be easy for the pets and children to reach if not pruned.|
String of Arrows is a gorgeous flowering succulent houseplant that is very easy to take care of and doesn’t damage much even if you make any mistakes. Its beautiful bulbous flowers will amaze everyone and of course, you won’t be able to resist adding this houseplant to your collection. Provide it with sufficient indirect light, well-draining soil, proper watering, prune timely and boom! You’re good to go. Just enjoy its foliar and flower beauty in peace.
1. How to Care for String of Arrows?
Make sure to provide ample indirect sunlight to the top of the pot. Let the soil dry up in between the waterings. Provide well-draining potting mix and make some drainage holes if not any. Prune it timely, repot it once in 2 to 3 years and avoid high humidity. Maintain a warm temperature and prevent the plant from freezing injuries.
2. What Is the Difference Between String of Arrows and String of Heart?
The difference lies in the shape of their leaves. The string of arrows has emerald green, a bit pointed, more like triangular-shaped leaves and the String of hearts has dark green, typical heart-shaped leaves.