String of Turtles vs String of Hearts: 5 Main Differences

Are you looking for a new splash of greenery in your home? Then you should consider growing either a string of turtles or a string of hearts. Both plants offer a lucrative package regarding beauty and ease of care.

But giving each of them the right care requires proper knowledge. These two beautiful plants are getting increasingly confused.

Choosing a string of turtles or a string of hearts will add value to your indoor garden. But telling them apart can be a bit challenging.

They share the same first name, like Philodendron Cordatum and Philodendron Hederaceum. However, they reflect numerous differences. These differences give each one of them an individual character and strong presence.

So, if you are interested in one or both of them, this article will help you tell the differences. We will also teach you how to tell them apart.

String of Turtles vs String of Hearts
The main differences between a string of turtles and a string of hearts are their origins, plant family, natural habitat, leaf shape, flower colors, and temperatures. Both plants have small, cute leaves that create beautiful trailing, but the leaves of the String of hearts are darker in color and more prominent in size.

What is “String of Turtles”?

The complex (scientific) name of this plant is Peperomia prostrata. But it is also known as the turtle vine plant. It is an interesting vine and a low-maintenance plant. A string of turtles falls into the category of succulent plants.

The plant has tiny leaves with a remarkable round shape. The plant fits perfectly in any limited space you may have. The String of Turtles plant looks best when left in a hanging basket. It shows its trailing growth pattern.

Also, you can grow it in a longer pot if the hanging option is unavailable. The String of Turtles is one member of an extensive “String of” plant collection. The collection includes “String of Bananas,” “String of Hearts,” and so on.

But this particular ornamental houseplant originally comes from Ecuador. But you can also find it in other countries in South America.

The name of this plant describes it accurately. Its leaves and trailing cascades look like a chain of tiny turtles. The String of Turtles is a member of the Piperaceae family of plants.

What is “String of Hearts”?

This plant is another member of the “String of” plant clan. Its scientific name is Ceropegia woodii. This beautiful plant looks its best when left to grow as a trailing plant. Just like the String of turtles, this plant is also a succulent.

However, they don’t come from the same plant family. The String of hearts is from the Apocynaceae family, also known as the dogbane family.

In addition to its scientific name, this plant is commonly known as the sweetheart plant. You can identify this plant easily through its small leaves, which have the shape of tiny hearts. As a member of the dogbane family, this plant will have flowers on its surface during the growing season.

So, expect to see some small reddish flowers in summer and fall. The plant’s origins are in South Africa.

What are the Differences between String of Turtles and String of Hearts?

Despite sharing some common apparent features, both plants reflect wider differences. If you are looking at both plants at the same time, you might feel a bit confused. However, knowing the basic characteristics of each plant is truly helpful in proper recognition.

1. Origin and family

This is one of the most basic differences between both plants. They originate from different families. The String of turtles’ plant comes from the Piperaceae family, which contains various flowering members.

This family is sometimes called the pepper family. On the other hand, a string of hearts is a member of another flowering family known as the Apocynaceae.

2. Natural habitat

This is another point where a string of turtles and a string of hearts differs. Both plants are native to different parts of the world. The plant’s native habitat is in various parts of South Africa.

So, it naturally grows in South Africa. It is also found in neighboring countries such as Zimbabwe and Swaziland. A string of turtles on the side grows naturally in South American tropical rainforests. It mainly grows in the rainforests of Brazil and Ecuador.

3. Shape of leaves

This is another distinctive feature that sets both plants apart. The leaves of the String of Hearts plant look like small hearts. However, the String of turtles is rounded leaves that look precisely like turtles.

Also, the variegation on the leaves surfaces looks like turtles’ shells. In terms of size, the leaves of String of hearts are a bit larger than a string of turtles.

On the flip side, the String of hearts features tiny heart-shaped leaves. The leaves have silvery veins that create contrast with the variegated green leaves. Another important aspect of comparing a string of turtles and a string of hearts is the color of the leaves.

The leaves of a string of turtles are typically light to medium green in color. The String of hearts has a deeper green color.

4. Color of flowers

The flowers on the String of turtles and the String of hearts are red. But the shade of red is different from one plant to another. The flowers of a string of turtles reflect a reddish brown shade, known as auburn color.

In contrast, flowers on a string of hearts are more magenta. It has a kind of purplish-red shade.

5. Temperature needs

Their growing needs can vary as they are native to different parts of the world. A string of hearts needs a warmer atmosphere than a string of turtles.

A string of turtles needs an average temperature of 66 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.8 and 23.8 degrees Celsius). As for a string of hearts, it does well in an atmosphere of 80 to 85 (26.6 to 29.4 degrees Celsius).

String of Turtles vs String of Hearts: are they the same?

A string of turtles and a string of hearts are not the same plant. They are both cascading trailing plants that look perfect in a hanging basket.

Both have small leaves featuring beautiful flowers and variegations. However, both plants appear entirely different with a closer look.

The leaves of a string of turtles look like small, round, light green buttons. Their variegation surface makes them look like turtle shells. The leaves of a string of hearts look like tiny hearts but with a dark green shade.

Also, both plants flower during the summer and spring. However, the color of each flower is different.

The String of turtles is native to South America, while the String of hearts is native to South Africa. But they do a great job as indoor houseplants.

A string of turtles and a string of hearts thrive with indirect bright light, but a string of hearts needs higher temperatures.

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