Common Name: Ant Plant, Million Hearts
Botanical Name: Dischidia vidalii, Dischidia pectinoides, Dischidia ruscifolia
Dischidias will quickly become the center of attention wherever you place them. First, their jumble of narrow paddle-like foliage has a delicate beauty, unlike any other houseplants. And if and when this houseplant blooms, it displays individual flowers blooming from the base of the leaf stems. These indoor plants like bright indirect light, high levels of humidity, and very little else. Learn how to care for these elegant indoor plants!
Ant Plants like heaps of bright, indirect sunlight and will be right at home if they can make contact for at least 6 hours each day (indirect contact, that is!). Dischidias can tolerate medium light, but they'll become weak and leggy and produce fewer leaves in lower light. To avoid being sad and somewhat guilty, ensure these wax vines are close to an east, or north-facing window or set back from a south or west-facing window. Learn where to put your plants for the best light!
Soak the soil thoroughly until the water drains out of the drainage holes, let your dischidia partially dry out between watering. You'll need to water more when they're receiving more light, so adjust accordingly. Avoid over-watering. When the colder months arrive, cut back on watering; in wintertime. If the soil becomes compacted, place the entire root ball into a bowl of room temperature water for 5-10 minutes, or until the water has been completely absorbed! This will soften up the soil and allow for better drainage!
Potting soil that is rich in nutrients and organic matter, but still has the ability to drain well is the perfect growing medium for all dischidia. Most coco coir or peat-based potting soil mixes will be adequate but make sure that they do not contain water-retentive crystals as they can cause the soil to continually stay moist causing root rot. Loose soil with ample drainage is what you should be using to re-pot your dischidia, but only re-pot when the roots are bound. Dischidias take a long time to develop mature roots so it is very unlikely you will need to transplant it any time soon! If you are feeling adventurous and think it’s time to re-pot then try creating your own potting soil!
Dischidias loves warm environments - 65-85℉ - and should be kept away from drafty windows and doorways during the colder months. When the temperatures are hot and stagnant, we recommend using a fan to provide good air circulation! Moving air helps keep pests and diseases, and fungus away! Temperatures that are too hot cause restricted development. For the best results, keep your dischidias away from air conditioners, heaters, and other cold or hot air sources.
Although dischidias can handle most household humidity levels, they will grow more rapidly when the humidity is higher than 60%. Do what you can to increase the humidity for these tropical, hanging, indoor plants. Try adding pebble trays filled with water under your indoor plants, group plants together, or use a cool-mist humidifier. Learn how to increase the humidity in the air around your indoor plants!
Fertilize with a complete liquid fertilizer (diluted to 1/4 the recommended strength) or fish emulsion twice a month during the summer. You can also apply a top dressing of worm castings or compost in the spring, as this acts as a slow-release fertilizer. Only fertilize during the growing season (spring through summer).
The Dischidia Plant is a slow to moderate growing plant and can reach a height of 4'+ indoors when grown in optimal conditions!
Pet Friend or Foe
Dischidias are toxic to pets. Foe!
- Dischidias take a long time to fully develop their roots so don't be so quick to re-pot!
- These indoor plants are called "Ant Plants" because of its symbiotic relationship with ants - they feed on the nectar, live within the foliage and help ward of destructive pests that may harm the plant!
- You can train your dischidia to grow up a pole or some other support - if you like that look, but they will need to be tied to the stake in the early staged of staking!
- When you find the right spot for your dischidia, and it is living its best life, try not to relocate it.
- Dischidias enjoy being placed outside during the summer to enjoy increased humidity and temperatures!