How to grow and care for Grape Ivy Indoors

Houseplant, Grape Ivy

Botanical name: Cissus rhombifolia
Family: Vitaceae

Grape Ivy also called Oakleaf Ivy is one of the most tolerant of houseplants which will tolerate sun or shade, hot or cold air, dry or moist conditions. Each leaf of the Grape Ivy is made up of 3 leaflets, silvery at first and dark green and glossy when mature. It bears tendrils by which it clings to supports. As with all vines, it can be used for cothing bare surfaces, for a hanging basket, as a climber on a pole or trellis or as a ground cover. Several varieties of Grape Ivy are available. Ellen Danica (Mermaid Vine) has lobed leaflets. Jubilee has large dark green leaflets. Cape Grape (Evergreen Grape Vine) bears leaves which are undivided whose surface is glossy and brown-edged, the underside is brown and flurry.

How to Grow Grape Ivy

Light

Grape Ivy prefers bright light conditions though it can tolerate some shade. However, keep it away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may cause scorching. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Water

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 period. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to rotting. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Grape Ivy prefers average warmth with a minimum of 150C. Though it can adapt a wide range of temperatures, constantly high temperatures can damage the plant. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Grape Ivy has no need for high humidity. However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation, mist the leaves frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity especially where the temperatures are high. Occasionally clean the leaves under a stream of running water to get rid of dust and to discourage pest infestation.

Feeding

Feed Grape Ivy every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

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 waterlogging.

Pruning

Pruning Grape Ivy involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To encourage a bushy and compact growth, pinch off the growing tips. The tips can be used to propagate new plants. Cut back leggy stems to rejuvenate growth. Find out more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Grape Ivy

Grape Ivy is propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. They root easily so there is no need for rooting hormone.

Propagating Grape Ivy from stem cuttings
Take stem cuttings of about 4-5 in. length and allow the sap from the cut end to dry out for 1-2 days. Insert them in moist rooting soil. Place in warm shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed. Transfer to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant plant several cuttings in one pot.

Propagating Grape Ivy by spreading the stems on the soil
Spread the stems on the soil surface while still attached to the mother plant. They will root at every point they come into contact with the soil. Once rooted, sever the stems, dig them up and pot in moist soil in individual pots. Place in a shaded cool place and maintain the soil moist until well established.

Common Problems in Growing Grape Ivy

  • Wilting leaves
  • Too cold temperature for Grape Ivy will cause the leaves to wilt; move the plant to a warmer place. If wilting is accompanied by leaf fall, there are two causes. One cause is underwatering; never allow the soil to dry out completely, maintain it slightly moist. The second cause is too much sunlight; move the plant to a shadier place or protect it from direct sunlight.

  • Spotted and curled leaves which drop later
  • Underwatering Grape Ivy is the cause of spotted leaves which drop later; never allow the soil to dry out completely. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

  • Slow growth and yellowish leaves
  • Underfeeding is the cause of slow growth in Grape Ivy. Feed Grape Ivy every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Learn more on how to feed houseplants.

  • Small new leaves and spindly growth
  • Too little light for Grape Ivy will result in small new leaves and spindly growth as the plant tries to reach the light source. Move the plant to a brighter spot. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

  • Glassy blotches on leaves which drop later
  • Direct sunlight on Grape Ivy will cause glassy blotches on the leaves which drop later; move the plant away from direct sunlight or protect it from direct sunlight.

  • Leaves tips brown and shrivelled
  • If the air is too dry, Grape Ivy will respond with brown and shrivelled leaves. Mist the leaves ocassionally or set pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. If other symptoms like wilting, rotting and leaf drop are present, the cause is Root-rot which is promoted by waterlogging.

  • Mildew on leaves
  • This is an indication of Powdery Mildew in Grape Ivy which is promoted by waterlogging. Remove the diseased leaves and avoid wetting the remaining leaves. Repot the plant into a new pot with adequate drainage and improve air circulation.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Grape Ivy are Mealy Bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants.

Toxicity

Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) is non-toxic to both humans and pets.

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