Photo Credit: Calyx Flowers
Botanical name: Cissus rhombifolia
synonym: Cissus alata
Common names: Grape Ivy, Oakleaf, Venezuela treebine
Grape Ivy also called Oakleaf Ivy or Venezuela treebine 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, Grape Ivy can be used for clothing bare surfaces, for a hanging basket, as a climber on a pole or trellis or as a ground cover.
Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) is native to the New World Tropics, from Mexico to Bolivia, and Venezuela, Trinidad and Guyana.
Several varieties of Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) 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) grows best in bright light though it can tolerate some shade. However, keep your Grape Ivy away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may cause scorching. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Water Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings.
Reduce watering for your Grape Ivy during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.
Ensure the pot for your Grape Ivy has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to rotting. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Grape Ivy (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 (Cissus rhombifolia) has no need for high humidity. However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity especially where the temperatures are high. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
Regularly clean the leaves of your Grape Ivy 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 (Cissus rhombifolia) every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
Repot Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) 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 your Grape Ivy.
Pruning Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia) involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy.
To encourage a bushy and compact growth of your GRape Ivy, pinch off the growing tips. The tips can be used to propagate new Grape Ivy plants.
Cut back leggy stems of your Grape Ivy 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 Grape 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 Grape Ivy cuttings in moist rooting soil and place the set up in a warm shaded place.
Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges from your Grape Ivy cuttings and substantial growth has been observed.
Transfer the rooted Grape Ivy cuttings into individual pots and begin routine care.
For a fuller Grape Ivy, plant several cuttings in one pot.
Spread the Grape Ivy stems on the soil surface while still attached to the mother plant.
The Grape Ivy stems will root at every point that they come into contact with the soil.
Once rooted, sever the Grape Ivy stems from the mother plant, dig them up and pot them in moist soil in individual pots.
Place the pots in a shaded cool place and maintain the soil moist until the new Grape Ivy plants are well established.
Photo Credit: FlorAccess
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 in your Grape Ivy is accompanied by leaf fall, there are two possible causes of this.
One possible cause of wilting leaves in your Grape Ivy 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 your Grape Ivy accompanied by leaf fall is too much sunlight. Move the plant to a shadier place or protect it from hot direct sunlight.
Underwatering your Grape Ivy is the cause of spotted and curled leaves which drop later. Never allow the soil to dry out completely but maintain it moist. Read more on how to water houseplants.
Underfeeding is the cause of slow growth and yellowish leaves in your Grape Ivy. Feed your Grape Ivy every 3-4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer. Read more on how to feed houseplants.
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 your Grape Ivy to a brighter spot and ensure it receives bright light but away from direct sunshine. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.
Direct sunlight on your Grape Ivy will cause glassy blotches on the leaves which drop later. Move your Grape Ivy away from direct sunlight or protect it from direct sunlight.
If the air is too dry, Grape Ivy will respond with brown leaf tips and shrivelled leaves. Set pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Grape Ivy. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.
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 for your Grape Ivy has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy and leading to root-rot disease.
Mildew on the leaves of your 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 your Grape in fresh soil and a new pot which has adequate drainage and improve air circulation.
The common pests in Grape Ivy are Mealy Bugs.
Isolate the affected Grape Ivy 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.