this genus includes about one hundred plants, most of which are succulent, originating in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Canary Islands; the species originating in the Canary Islands are small, very branched shrubs, all others are climber or walker. They are made up of thin stems, green, brown or blue-grey in colour, which bear leaves of various sizes, sometimes evergreen, sometimes deciduous, rounded or heart-shaped.
In spring-summer, they produce bizarre flowers, single or united in umbrella-shaped inflorescences, of white, pink, red or violet colour, often variegated; they have a very elongated shape and five lobed petals; in some species, the petals are united at the apexes, forming a sort of cage. Some species develop large fleshy tubers, which produce numerous basal shoots, from which new plants develop.
These succulents are generally cultivated more for their particular flowering than for the plants themselves.
place the ceropegia in a very bright place, in the full sun or in half shade; they fear the cold, therefore in winter they are to be kept in the house or in a temperate greenhouse, taking care that the temperature never goes below 10-15°C.
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From March to October, water regularly, allowing the soil to dry slightly between one watering and the other; in the cold months, water rarely, vaporizing the plant from time to time. During the vegetative period, it is best to vaporize the leaves with demineralized water, during the coolest hours of the day; we suggest to supply some fertilizer for succulent plants every 15-20 days.
These plants love loose, well-drained soils, rich in organic matter: use a mixture of sand, peat and equally balanced soil, to which pieces of bark or perlite should be added to lighten it. The ceropegias develop quite vigorously, it is therefore necessary to repot them every 2-3 years; the tuberous species are to be buried leaving the upper part of the tubers exposed to the air.
usually occurs by cutting, small portions of the youngest stems are rooted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts; the species with tuberous root can also be propagated by dividing the heads of roots; both the above operations are to be done at the beginning of spring.
Necklace of hearts – Ceropegia woodii: Pests and diseases
ceropegia are often subject to root rot; sometimes they can be attacked by mites or aphids.