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Cissus Amazonica Care — Nifty Tips You Should Know

Cissus Amazonica Care — Nifty Tips You Should Know

Vining houseplants like the Cissus Amazonica or Amazon Jungle Vine are a great addition to any setting. This plant is closely related to the Begonia Rex and Grape Ivy or Cissus Rhombifolia. 

The Cissus has approximately 350 species that come from the grape family. Amazonica was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. This plant was named after its natural habitat. 

This plant comes all the way from Amazon, Brazil. This jungle vine is tiny, but the trailing leaves can still create an indoor jungle for you. 

Cissus Amazonica’s an eye-catching plant because of the dual-colored foliage. The top leaf surface of the leaves is green, but the lower surface is burgundy. 

If this has intrigued you, continue reading to learn about the plant care for Cissus Amazonica. 

 

Cissus Amazonica Care

This plant should be watered after a 7-9 days break. If you want luscious, green foliage, keep the indoor humidity around 70 or 80%. It also needs high temperatures, preferably 53.6 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 25 degrees Celsius). 

 

Soil

Drainage and water retention are two important properties of soil for houseplants. You cannot ignore these when planting the Cissus Amazonica. 

Any soil that retains and drains water creates a perfect environment for moisture-loving plants without overwatering. 

Whether you grow the Cissus Amazonica in a pot or garden soil, it needs a free-draining, rich mixture in both cases. Add perlite to the potting mixture to help the roots breathe with plenty of airflow. 

You can grow this plant in the outdoor garden in USDA hardiness zones 10a or higher. 

 

Water

Always use room temperature and keep the soil consistently moist in the growing season of spring and summer. 

You can follow the same watering schedule in autumn as well. However, reduce the frequency in winter to avoid root rot

In cold months water this plant only to keep the potting mix’s slightly moist.

If your plant was kept dry for too long, do not flood it with water to compensate for the missing watering sessions. 

An under-watered Cissus Amazonica has crispy leaf edges, yellow and shriveled foliage. You need to remember that temperature and light levels have a direct impact on water. 

So you can easily end up with an under-watered plant in high temperature and light. 

If the stems are rotting and your plant is not showing any signs of new growth, you have probably overwatered it. 

You should water this plant every time the soil’s first 1-2 inches have fully dried out. In my case, it’s usually after 7-9 days. 

 

Light

After soil and water, light is the next most critical requirement of indoor houseplants. In the natural habitat, Cissus Amazonica grows under bright filtered sunlight through the tree canopies. 

Direct sunlight should be avoided as it results in washed-out foliage. I would recommend placing it about 3 ft (0.9 m) away from a south-facing window in your house. 

 

Temperature

Household temperatures of 53.6 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (12 to 25 degrees Celsius) are suitable for growing this vining plant. 

It can easily handle a daytime temperature of up to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius). 

This plant will not react well to sudden temperature drops, so keep it away from cold draughts or air conditioners. 

 

Humidity

The indoor air humidity level for this plant should be around 70 to 80% which means it’s on the high side of humidity. 

If the overall atmosphere of your house is dry, keep a plant humidifier near the Cissus Amazonica because this plant will not comprise humidity.

Leaf curling or browning is a major sign that your Cissus Amazonica is not happy with the humidity. 

 

Fertilizer

During the spring and summer seasons, fertilize your Cissus Amazonica twice a month. I would recommend using a balanced fertilizer for this Amazonian beauty. 

Never add fertilizer to dry soil. You can water the plant lightly before feeding to avoid any fertilizer burns. 

 

Repotting

This houseplant performs best when kept slightly root-bound. Hence, you’ll not have to worry about repotting it every other month. 

In case your plant needs repotting, do it in early spring. You can repot in the same pot or upgrade the pot size and choose a 2 inch bigger pot. 

But how will you know if your plant needs repotting? It’s when you see roots circling or poking out from the drainage hole. 

Top dress the potting soil with a fresh mixture regularly, even if you do not repot every year. 

 

Pruning

This plant can either trail or climb depending on how you want to grow it. 

Once you keep this plant happy, it will start shooting growth in all directions, so pruning will help you in keeping this vining plant manageable. 

Prune your Cissus Amazonica in the month of March. You should start pruning by removing the yellow or dying leaves. 

 

Propagation

This plant can start growing in a liquid or soil medium. 

So I’m sharing two propagation methods below. 

  • Propagation starts by cleaning your tools. Disinfect them using rubbing alcohol. 
  • For both methods, you need a healthy stem cutting from Cissus Amazonica. You can take multiple cuttings in one go. But only choose the healthiest cutting. Unhealthy or damaged cuttings have low rates of success in propagation. 
  • Each cutting should be few inches long with 1-2 leaves on it. 
  • For the first method, plant each cutting in a tiny pot filled with a regular well-draining soil mixture. You can cover these pots with a plastic sheet to provide high humidity. 
  • The plastic sheet should be removed after 2-3 days to let the plant breathe in some fresh air. 
  • For the second method, you will use water as the initial growing medium. Remove any foliage in the lower region and soak the lower end in a jar filled with water. Protect the water -propagated cuttings from direct sunlight. 
  • After few weeks, the cuttings will have a tiny root system. They can now be transferred to a soil-based medium. 
  • Take care of the cuttings during the rooting process; otherwise, your cutting might die, and the propagation will fail. 
  • This includes maintaining the right level of temperature, light, and moisture. You can also use a commercially bought or homemade rooting powder to help the plant in rooting. 

 

Blooms

This plant can produce tiny blooms that vary in colors ranging from red, yellow and green. 

 

Growth

The foliage is a beautiful shade of burgundy and green with pointy leaf tips. The leaves also have a silvery touch. 

This plant can grow 2.6 ft (0.8m) high and 1.6 ft (0.5m) wide. But outdoors it can reach a bigger size. 

The leaves are lanced shaped, and the grey-colored main veins are visible on the surface. 

Cissus Amazonica has a moderate growth rate and takes 2-5 years to reach the maximum size. Maintaining high humidity can accelerate plant growth. 

If you allow this plant to climb in an outdoor location, it will climb a height of 10 to 15 ft. But you might need to install some supports to help the tendrils climb. 

If you notice that your Amazon Jungle Vine is producing small foliage, you should try to increase the humidity and light levels. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Common Problems for Cissus Amazonica

 

Brown Spots or Edges

This vining beauty demands regular watering if you want to enjoy lush green foliage. But this doesn’t mean you should make it sit in water for prolonged periods. 

This should be avoided at any cost because it can result in brown spots on the leaves or leaf edges. 

Browning can also occur if the soil or the air is too dry. It’s best to follow a consistent watering schedule and keep the humidity level mentioned in this article. 

 

Sudden Leaf Loss

After spending several hours taking care of your houseplants, leaf shedding is the last thing you want to experience. 

Following are the common reasons for leaf shedding on Cissus Amazonica. 

  • Environmental or transplant shock – if you recently bought or relocated
  • Lack of sunlight – if your Cissus Amazonica plant is growing in a dark, dull corner of the house
  • Watering issues – if you over- or underwater  

If you correct the above issues, your plant will stop shedding leaves within few weeks. 

 

Pests

Lack of plant hygiene and inadequate humidity can usually lead to a pest infestation for this plant. 

You might notice the green flies or the red spider mites roaming around this plant if you keep it in a dry and warm atmosphere. 

You can deter pest growth by regularly inspecting the plant for signs of pest feeding. But you should also maintain high humidity to create unfavorable growing conditions for pests. 

If you suspect that your Cissus Amazonica is infected, you can give it a neem oil treatment. Pay extra attention to leaf undersides where most pests hide and feed. 

Continue treatment for several weeks depending on the population. 

 

Tips for Growing Cissus Amazonica

  • Do not place this plant near air conditioners or heaters as it dislikes dry air. 
  • This plant will start shedding leaves if placed under low temperatures or in winter if the temperature remains consistently low. 
  • If your Cissus Amazonica is showing any symptoms of disease, fungal infections, or pests, keep it isolated from other healthy houseplants. 
  • Newly propagated Cissus Amazonica needs lots of humidity, so cover the cutting with a humidity dome or propagator. 
  • Poke the soil surface with a wooden stick every month to create holes for air circulation. This will help the water in traveling throughout the soil and protects the roots from root rot. 
  • If you have installed climbing support such as a moss pole for this plant, make sure you keep it moist. 
  • To avoid root damage, repot the Cissus Amazonica every two years. 
  • If grown outside, this plant can tolerate one hour of direct sunlight. Longer than this can result in scorched leaves. 
  • Overwatering should be avoided as it deprives the plant roots of oxygen.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Cissus Amazonica Care

 

What causes scorched yellow leaves on Cissus Amazonica?

The top reason is excessive direct sunlight. If your plant is has scorched leaves, I would recommend moving it to a shady location with filtered sunlight. 

 

My Cissus Amazonica has long, stretchy vines, why is that?

Stretchy growth is usually a sign of low or incorrect light levels. Immediately move your plant to a bright location and trim the stretchy vines. It will soon start producing regular foliage under adequate sunlight. 

 

Why my Cissus Amazonica has suddenly collapsed during the resting period of the winter months?

The culprit is root rot. It can take over the root system in cold weather when the plant is left undisturbed with little or no sunlight. 

 

What’s the best method of growing Cissus Amazonica?

This plant is more on the high humidity side, so growing it as a terrarium plant would be best. However, it will also thrive as a trailing plant in a hanging basket or as a climbing plant in a pot. 

 

What happens if I keep this plant under low sunlight?

This plant needs indirect but bright light for optimum growth. So growing it in extremely low light levels will not only result in poor growth but also cause mold growth on the soil surface and increases the risk of overwatering. 

 

What happens if my pet eats the leaves of Cissus Amazonica?

Eating a large number of leaves will cause your pet to lose appetite and vomit. The leaves are not safe for human or pet consumption, so keep your pets away from your plant. 

 

What are the tiny dots on the leaf and stems of Cissus Amazonica?

These tiny dots are cystoliths. Some gardeners mistake them for pests, but these are produced by the plant to protect against leafy eating bugs. 

 

Conclusion

The olive green and burgundy are a striking color combination for a houseplant. If you want to bring a piece of Amazon to your house, try growing the Cissus Amazonica. 

Cissus Amazonica’s only high on maintenance in terms of humidity; everything else about this plant is easy. 

This slow-growing houseplant requires no special pruning or trimming.