Common Name: Grape Ivy, Oak Leaf Ivy, Venezuela Treebine
Botanical name: Cissus rhombifolia
Cissus is a vining stunner that is known for long, cascading tendrils dotted with glossy leaves. Whether placed up high, so the vines can hang or given a trellis, so the vines can hold on and expand their reach, this houseplant will add a lush, tropical vibe to any space.
This easy-care houseplant is more commonly referred to as Grape Ivy, because the leaves bear a resemblance to grape plants. Cissus can handle a range of conditions and is one of the best indoor plants for beginners, but with the right care the plant will thrive and can grow to become very full and very long.
Medium to bright indirect light is ideal for the Grape Ivy. If kept in conditions without enough light, new leaves may grow further apart on the vine, this is often referred to as the plant becoming leggy. Increasing the amount of indirect light the Cissus receives can help promote more dense leaf growth along the vine.
If you bring the plant outdoors during the summer, make sure to place the Cissus in a shady spot as direct light can be damaging to the leaves.
Cissus houseplants prefer consistently damp soil, but let the top half of the soil dry out before watering. You can cut back on watering during the winter when the plant is not actively growing.
In keeping with the laid-back reputation of the Grape Ivy, this houseplant does well in normal room temperature. However, temperatures between 68-82 degrees are best. Warmer temperatures above 82 degrees may slow growth even more for this naturally slow grower.
Cold temperatures can be damaging, so if you bring the Cissus plant outside for the summer, make sure the overnight temperatures are above 50 degrees.
Cissus is not picky about the moisture in the air and fairs well in average household humidity. The leaves may dry out and turn brown along the edges if the plant is kept in very dry conditions. If that happens, consider moving the plant to an area with more dampness in the air or use a humidifier or a pebble tray with water to increase the moisture.
Grape Ivy does not need to be fertilized, but routinely feeding the plant will help it push out new growth more quickly. Feed the plant during the spring and summer no more than once a month using fish or seaweed emulsion or a ¼-strength diluted complete liquid fertilizer. Do not fertilize Cissus during the colder months.
- Cut back or prune Grape Ivy to encourage the plant to push out new growth towards the top and create a more full and bushy plant.
- The Cissus may drop leaves if the plant experiences water stress, either if the soil is kept too damp or allowed to dry out too much. Routinely checking the soil and watering only when the soil is dry can prevent water stress.
- Grape Ivy is susceptible to powdery mildew. To reduce the chances of this developing, water the soil and keep the leaves dry as much as possible.