How to grow and care for Polynesian Ivy Vine Indoors

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Houseplant, Polynesian Ivy Vine

Botanical name: Pellionia repens
Family: Urticaceae

Polynesian Ivy Vine also called Watermelon Pellionia is a low growing houseplant that is suitable for the terrarium, bottle garden or a hanging basket plant. It bears a pale central band on each leaf where the outer margin may be olive or bronzy green. It is native to South East Asia in Burma, Malaysia and Vietnam. Another variety of Pellionia that is grown indoors is Pellionia pulchra commonly called Satin Pellionia. It has very dark veins on the upper surface and is purple on the undersides.

How to Grow Polynesian Ivy Vine


Polynesian Ivy Vine prefers bright light or semi-shade away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.


Water Polynesian Ivy Vine liberally during the growing season and keep soil moist at all times. Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.


Average warmth with a minimum of 150C is ideal for Polynesian Ivy Vine. Protect the plant from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Learn more on temperature for houseplants.


Polynesian Ivy Vine prefers a humid environment. Mist the leaves frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity or grow Polynesian Ivy Vine in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained.


Feed Polynesian Ivy Vine with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn. Learn more on feeding houseplants.


Repot Polynesian Ivy Vine during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound. Use a rich, free-draining soil and a pot one size larger. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole(s) to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.


Pruning Polynesian Ivy Vine involves; pinching any flower buds as they appear as the flowers require a lot of nourishment from the plant which may affect the proper growth of the plant. Remove any dead foliage frequently. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushyness and prevent the plant from becoming leggy. Learn more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Polynesian Ivy Vine

Polynesian Ivy Vine can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings or by division. Stem cuttings root easily and there is no need of a rooting hormone.

Propagating Polynesian Ivy Vine from stem-tip cuttings
Take stem-tip cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Polynesian Ivy Vine. Ensure each cutting has at least one set of leaves. Insert the cuttings 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 Polynesian Ivy Vine by division
Take out the Polynesian Ivy Vine from its pot and divide it into several sections. Pot up these sections in individual pots. Place in a cool shaded place. Maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges. Allow the new plants to be well established before transplanting.

Common Problems in Growing Polynesian Ivy Vine

  • Brown leaf tips and edges
  • Brown leaf tips and edges in Polynesian Ivy Vine are due to dry air. To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or grow Polynesian Ivy Vine in a terrarium as a high humidity can be maintained.

  • Brown, wilting leaves
  • Underwatering Polynesian Ivy Vine is the cause of brown, wilting leaves. Maintain the soil moist at all times and never allow the soil to dry out completely. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

  • Sudden loss of leaves
  • Loss of leaves in Polynesian Ivy is due to sudden drop in temperature due to cold draughts. Protect the plant from cold draughts.

  • Brown-grey dust on leaves
  • Brown-grey dust on leaves in Polynesian Ivy is an indication of Powdery Mildew Disease which is prevalent in a warm humid environment.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Polynesian Ivy Vine are Aphids, Scale Insects, Whiteflies and Mealy Bugs.


Polynesian Ivy Vine (Pellionia repens) is non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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