The Sweetheart Plant (Hoya kerrii) is a small, easy-care plant that is easily recognized by its cute heart-shaped leaves. This also gives it the alternative common name 'Valentine Hoya'. They're often given as a gift on Valentine's Day, as they're believed to symbolize love and devotion.
They're native to Southeast Asia. In 1911, they were first brought to the UK where they were added to the impressive collection of plants growing at Kew Gardens.
Over time, Sweetheart Plants can slowly grow to form a bushy cluster of small green hearts, which makes them suitable for a hanging basket once they're more mature. However, they're typically sold as a single leaf planted in a small pot.
Sweetheart Plants have thick, succulent leaves, which makes them fairly drought-resistant. As such, they only need infrequent watering. Don't allow the soil to dry out completely - you should water again when it feels slightly dry - but it's also very important that you don't let it get too wet. Overly wet, soggy soil can cause harm to your plant. It's therefore important to ensure that you plant your Sweetheart Plant in a pot with drainage holes so that there is an outlet for excess water to drain out from.
Don't water directly onto the leaves, and try not to splash them with water if possible. You can additionally keep an eye on the leaves to see if more water is needed. When its surface starts to look wrinkly, this is a sign that it could do with watering.
They're surprisingly tolerant of lower light conditions but will do best in bright light or indirect light. Therefore, it's quite versatile in terms of where in your home you can place this plant.
Known as slow-growers, Sweetheart Plants may actually never grow more depending on the form in which you buy them. Sometimes when you buy a single leaf Sweetheart Plant, it doesn't have a stem attached to it. This makes it very unlikely that any new shoots will be produced, meaning it won't grow any bigger or produce new leaves. Therefore, if you want your plant to continue to grow, you'll need to make sure that you purchase a Sweetheart Plant which is already more mature / has multiple leaves, or that has a stem attached to the leaf.
They can produce flowers if they get enough light (although they may not always bloom when kept indoors as a houseplant). These are small and star-shaped, occurring in clusters that stand out against the green leaves. If you want to encourage your Sweetheart Plant to flower, you may need to move it to a sunnier spot in your home.