Photo Credit: Calyx Flowers
Botanical name: Cissus rhombifolia
synonym: Cissus alata
Common names: Grape Ivy, Oakleaf Ivy, Venezuela Treebine
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) also called Oakleaf Ivy or Venezuela Treebine is one of the most tolerant of plants which will tolerate sun or shade, hot or cold air, dry or moist conditions.
Each leaf is made up of 3 leaflets, silvery at first and dark green and glossy when mature. Oakleaf Ivy bears tendrils by which it clings to supports.
Cissus rhombifolia also called Cissus alata is native to the New World Tropics, from Mexico to Bolivia, and Venezuela, Trinidad and Guyana.
Several varieties of Grape Ivy are available. Ellen Danica (Mermaid Vine) has lobed leaflets.
Jubilee has large dark green leaflets and Cape Grape (Evergreen Grape Vine) bears leaves which are undivided whose surface is glossy and brown-edged, the underside is brown and flurry.
Photo Credit: FlorAccess
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) thrives in bright light away from direct sunlight, warm and humid conditions and moderately moist, well drained soil coupled with regular feeding. Keep reading for more on these growing conditions and how to achieve them.
Grape Ivy grows best in bright light though it can tolerate some shade. It can also grow under a grow light where natural lighting is not adequate.
However, keep Oakleaf Ivy away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may cause scorching. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Grape Ivy thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Cissus rhombifolia grows best in average warmth with a minimum of 150C. Though it can adapt a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.
Grape Ivy has no need for high humidity. However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation especially where the temperatures are high, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a cool mist humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Regularly clean the leaves under a stream of running water to get rid of dust and to discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.
Feed Grape Ivy every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced, liquid fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Grape Ivy every two years during the growing period. Use a pot which is 1 size larger and loose free-draining soil. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting and eventual death of the plant.
The best soil for Grape Ivy should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.
Most multi-purpose potting mixes are ideal for this plant. Buy quality Potting Mix for Venezuela Treebine from Etsy.
Pruning Cissus rhombifolia involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
To encourage a bushy and compact growth of the Oakleaf Ivy, pinch off the growing tips. The tips can be used to propagate new plants.
Cut back the leggy stems to rejuvenate growth. Read more on how to prune houseplants.
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) is propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. The Oakleaf Ivy cuttings root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone.
Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Grape Ivy plant and allow the sap from the cut end to dry out for 1-2 days.
Insert the cuttings in moist rooting soil and place the set up in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight.
Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges from the cuttings and substantial growth has been observed.
Transfer the rooted cuttings into individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller Venezuela Treebine, transfer several cuttings into one pot.
Spread the Grape Ivy stems on the soil surface while still attached to the mother plant.
The stems will root at every point that they come into contact with the soil.
Once rooted, sever the stems from the mother plant, dig them up and pot them in moist soil in individual pots.
Place the pots in a warm, well-lit place away from direct sunlight and maintain the soil moist until the new Oakleaf Ivy are well established after which you can begin routine care.
Photo Credit: FlorAccess
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) problems indoors are caused by cultural faults. They include wilting, leaf spots, curled leaves, brown leaf tips, leaf drop, leggy growth, yellow leaves, pests and diseases among others. Continue reading for more on these problems and how to fix them.
Too cold temperature for Grape Ivy will cause the leaves to wilt. Move the plant to a warmer place and protect it from cold draughts.
If wilting of leaves is accompanied by leaf fall, there are two possible causes of this.
One possible cause of wilting leaves in Venezuela Treebine accompanied by leaf fall is underwatering. Never allow the soil to dry out completely and maintain it slightly moist.
The second cause of wilting leaves in Oakleaf Ivy accompanied by leaf fall is too much sunlight. Move the plant to a shadier place or protect it from hot direct sunlight.
Underwatering Grape Ivy is the cause of spotted and curled leaves which drop later.
Water the Oakleaf Ivy thoroughly and maintain the soil moderately moist and never allow the soil to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Too little light for Grape Ivy will result in small new leaves and leggy growth as the plant tries to reach the light source.
Move the Oakleaf Ivy to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light away from direct sunshine or instal a grow light if the natural light is not adequate. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
If the air is too dry, Grape Ivy will respond with brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaves.
If other symptoms like wilting, rotting and leaf drop are present, the cause is Root-rot disease which is promoted by soggy soil.
In future, ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy and leading to root-rot disease.
Mildew on the leaves of Grape Ivy is an indication of Powdery Mildew which is promoted by soggy soil.
Remove the diseased leaves and avoid wetting the remaining leaves. Repot the plant in fresh soil and a new pot which has adequate drainage and improve air circulation.
Direct sunlight on Grape Ivy will cause glassy blotches on the leaves which drop later. Move it away from direct sunlight or protect it from direct sunlight.
Grape Ivy pests; Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) is non-toxic to both humans and pets according to ASPCA.