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How to Grow Cissus — Grape Ivy

Grape ivy Cissus

Cissus–commonly called Grape ivy–is an evergreen tropical vine with dark green foliage. Leaves are divided into diamond-shaped leaflets. Grape ivy is a favorite houseplant. In semi-tropical regions is can be trained on a trellis or pergola.

Cissus are tendril-climbing shrubs from tropical regions. They are mostly grown indoors in temperate regions but can be grown outdoors in tropical and subtropical regions.

Cissus is a genus of about 350 species of evergreen perennials, shrubs, and climbers. Cissus is native to forest margins and thickets in tropical regions worldwide.

Get to Know Cissus

  • Plant type: Evergreen perennial tropical vine
  • Growing Zones and range: 10-11
  • Hardiness: Houseplant in most regions; used as a vine or groundcover in warm regions
  • Optimal growint temperature: day 68° to 75°F (20°-24°C), night 60° to 65°F (16°-18°C)
  • Height and width: Grape ivy grows to 10 feet (3m) long
  • Foliage: Tendril-climbing vines to 10 feet long, sometimes leaves are fuzzy underneath.
  • Flowers: Insignificant 4-petlaed flowers
  • Uses: Houseplant, hanging baskets; in tropical regions grow on a trellis or pergola
  • Common name: Grape Ivy
  • Botanical name: Cissus spp.
  • Family: Vitaceae
  • Origin: Tropicla and subtropical regions around the world

Where to Plant Cissus

  • Grow Cissus in medium to high light; keep grape ivy out of the direct sun.
  • Pot Cissus in an all-purpose mix that is well-drained.
  • Outdoors grow Cissus humus-rich, well-drained soil.
Grape ivy, Cissus rhombifolia
Grape ivy, Cissus rhombifolia

When to Plant Cissus

  • Set Cissus outdoors any time of the year in tropical regions.

How to Water and Feed Cissus

  • Soak plants just as the soil dries. Allow soil to dry out between soaking. Cissus needs medium humidity.
  • Fertilize Cissus twice a month in spring and summer, use 10-10-10 fertilizer.
  • Pinch off side shoots frequently to encourage dense growth.

Cissus Care

  • Repot Cissus as needed.

Growing Cissus as a Houseplant

  • Most Cissus grow best in bright light, but they can adapt to limited light.
  • Average room temperature and humidity are best.
  • Cissus should be fertilized once in spring and once in summer.

Cissus Pests and Diseases

  • Cissus is vulnerable to attack by mealybugs and spider mites.
  • Cissus is susceptible to salt buildup.

Cissus Propagation

  • Take stem cuttings at any time or grow new plants from seed.

Cissus Varieties to Grow

  • Cissus antarctica, kangaroo vine has shiny, leathery leaves.
  • C. discolor, begonia treebine. Velvety leaves similar to Rex begonia.
  • C. incisa, marine ivy. Heavily toothed, fleshy leaves.
  • C. quadrangula. Climbing succulent with shiny green leaves.
  • C. rhombifolia, grape ivy. Oval, leathery, bright green leaveshas large.
  • C. striata, dwarf grape ivy. Compact grower with small five-lobed leaves.

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