The exotic vine, Cissus Discolor, is botanically known as Cissus javana.
It is a native of Cambodia and, as its botanical name suggests, the Java Islands.
It is a popular plant grown for its ornamental features, specifically, its foliage. Other than Cissus Discolor, this plant is also known as the Tapestry Vine and the Rex Begonia Vine.
The Cissus Discolor is an evergreen, perennial plant. Despite its common name, this plant is not a Begonia. It has simply been nicknamed this due to the resemblance of its foliage to that of a Begonia.
It has shiny, dark green leaves with silvery pearlescent features. The undersides of the leaves are also unique in that they flaunt a reddish, maroon color.
Cissus Discolor Care
Cissus Discolor needs nutrient-rich, well-draining soil. Water it regularly to keep it moist. Bright, indirect light is preferred. 60% humidity and above is recommended and temperatures should remain above 50℉ (10℃). The optimal temperature lies between 75℉ and 85℉ (24℃ and 30℃). Feed your plant monthly with a liquid fertilizer, except in winter.
Cissus Discolor prefers moist, well-draining soil. A nutrient-rich potting soil will suit these plants just fine. A homemade soil mix will also suffice. The mix should consist of 10% peat moss, 40% pumice or perlite, and 50% potting soil. Adequate drainage is important as they do not like to be wet.
The Cissus Discolor likes their soil to be kept evenly moist. They need a soil type that is rich in nutrients. It is most important for the soil to be well-draining. Even though they enjoy some moisture in their soil, Cissus Discolor does not like to be drenched in water.
Despite these few preferences, the Cissus discolor is not overly demanding. A regular, general-purpose potting soil will suffice. It is also possible to create your own soil mix for this plant. The recommended combination includes 50% regular potting soil, 40% pumice or perlite, and 10% peat moss.
The addition of peat moss in the homemade potting mix is to increase the nutrient levels in the soil. Adding perlite or pumice into the mix increases the overall drainage properties of the soil.
These plants need lots of sun to keep their colors vibrant. Bright, indirect light is recommended. Although, the plant can adapt to dappled sun or partial shade. Direct sun exposure should, however, be avoided.
Native to tropical regions, the Cissus Discolor enjoys a fair amount of sun. As far as light levels go, bright, indirect sunlight is preferential. However, this plant will adapt to dappled sunlight or even partial shade.
That said, the more indirect sun this plant gets, the better its colors will show. Direct sun exposure should be avoided.
Check your plant’s soil regularly for moisture. If the top layer feels dry, it is time to water your plant. Always check for moisture before watering. Water your plant frequently in spring and summer. Reduce frequency in autumn and winter. Do not allow your plant’s soil to dry out completely.
Cissus Discolors should be watered often. They do not tolerate being left to dry out in between watering sessions.
But Cissus Discolor should also not be overwatered. Because of these preferences, it is advisable to create a watering schedule for this plant.
In the warmer months of spring and summer, your plant will need to be watered more regularly. When temperatures begin to drop in autumn and winter, so should your frequency of watering.
It is best to check your plant’s soil moisture regularly and before watering. This reduces the risk of overwatering your Cissus Discolor.
To check the moisture level of your plant’s soil, simply feel the top layer of soil with your finger. If the soil still feels slightly moist, you do not need to water your plant. If the soil is dry to the touch, it is time to give your plant a drink.
Being tropical plants, Cissus Discolor do not enjoy cold temperatures. Ideally, these plants should be kept in temperatures between 75℉ and 85℉ (24℃ and 30℃). They have a minimum tolerance to frost and should therefore not be exposed to temperatures below 50℉ (10℃).
Cissus Discolor need warm temperatures to thrive.
Ideally, daytime temperatures should range between 75℉ and 85℉ (24℃ and 30℃). Minimum temperatures these plants will grow comfortably in are between 65℉ and 70℉ (18℃ and 21℃).
They are not frost-hardy plants and exposure to temperatures below 50℉ (10℃) is not advisable.
A minimum humidity level of 60% is required for this plant. Although higher levels of humidity are more likely to result in your plant thriving. Humidity levels are easily increased by misting your plant regularly or placing it on a pebble tray.
A humid environment is ideal for your Cissus Discolor. These plants thrive in areas where the humidity level is 70% or above. At the very least, these plants should be kept with a humidity level of 60%.
If these conditions are not naturally available, they are easily simulated.
There are two easy ways to increase the humidity level around your plant.
Firstly, would be to mist your plant regularly. The second, less time-consuming way, would be to place your plant’s pot on a pebble tray.
Both methods involve making use of evaporation. When the water, in the pebble tray or from misting, evaporates the humidity level around your plant increases.
Fertilize your Cissus Discolor plant monthly in spring, summer, and autumn. Use a balanced, general-purpose, houseplant fertilizer. For best results, make use of a liquid fertilizer. Do not feed this plant in the months of winter.
During its growing period, the Cissus discolor appreciates some extra nutrition. Specifically, it is acceptable to fertilize this plant in the months of spring, summer, and autumn.
Avoid fertilizing your plant in winter. A monthly application of a general-purpose, houseplant fertilizer will do this plant well. For best results, use a balanced, liquid fertilizer to feed your Cissus Discolor.
Cissus Discolor can grow up to 10 feet (3m) tall with a spread of up to 20 inches (51cm) wide. They are popular for their shiny, heart-shaped foliage. Their leaves are dark green with silvery markings and reddish undersides. They grow and hang from burgundy vines.
The Cissus Discolor is known for its flashy foliage. This plant features shiny, dark green leaves with pearly-sliver markings. The back of the leaves is just as eye-catching with its reddish-maroon coloring.
These leaves are somewhat heart-shaped and hang delicately from purplish burgundy vines.
This striking tropical plant can reach heights of up to 10 feet (3m). Though, typically they are seen at heights of around 3 feet to 6 feet (0.9m to 1.8m). With that, they can reach a spread of between 6 inches and 20 inches (15cm and 51cm).
For best results, it is recommended that you grow this plant in a hanging basket. Repot young plants yearly and mature plants once every two years. Only report your Cissus Discolor whilst it is actively growing.
As it is a climbing plant by nature, Cissus Discolor grow well with the company of a pole or trellis. They also make for exceptional hanging basket plants.
In fact, it is recommended to grow your Cissus Discolor in a hanging basket due to the ease of maintenance.
It is good practice to repot your Cissus Discolor annually whilst it is still developing. Once matured, it is recommended that you repot this plant once every two years. Only repot your Cissus Discolor during its growing season.
These plants are low maintenance. Trim your plant every two months to maintain a desirable shape and size. Doing so will result in your plant growing to look bushier and fuller. Check your plant regularly and remove damaged or dead leaves when needed. Prune your plant with clean gardening shears.
Typical grooming practices are not necessary in the case of Cissus Discolor plants. These plants are fairly low maintenance. Generally, trimming is only required to shape the plant or keep it at a desirable size.
It is recommended that you trim your plant lightly every two months. Trimming your Cissus Discolor once every two months will not only keep your plant in shape. It will also encourage growth to look bushier and fuller.
Check your plant regularly for any dead, discolored, or damaged leaves or vines. These should be removed as and when necessary. When trimming or pruning your plant, using a clean pair of gardening shears is advisable.
Cissus Discolor Propagation
This plant is best propagated with cuttings. A cutting should be up to 8in (20cm) long and have a node for new growth to emerge. Take cuttings from a healthy plant in spring or autumn. Cuttings can be rooted in water or soil but rooting in soil is recommended. Roots will form after 30 to 40 days.
Propagating your Cissus Discolor plant is best done through the use of cuttings. The best time to take cuttings from your plant is during a session of pruning. This should be done either early in the spring or late in the autumn.
Before taking a cutting, it is important that you ensure your plant is healthy. Taking a cutting from a healthy plant will increase the chances of successful propagation. The vine to be used for the cutting should also be undamaged.
When taking a cutting from your Cissus Discolor, check the vine for nodes. Nodes are crucial as they are the points on your plant from which new growth will form. Each cutting should have at least one node and be about 6 inches to 8 inches (15cm to 20cm) long.
The cuttings can then be placed in water or potting medium to root. In the case of rooting in water, simply place your cuttings in a small glass of fresh water.
Check the water often and replace it with fresh water roughly once a week. However, this method is not recommended as more success has been seen from rooting cuttings in soil.
For rooting in a potting medium, plant your cuttings in a small pot with a good quality soil mix. Water your newly planted cuttings and place them in a warm, brightly lit spot. Avoid direct sun exposure.
To keep the humidity levels around the cutting high, cover the plant with a plastic bag. Be sure to make a few holes in the bag though to allow good ventilation.
Your cutting should form roots after 30 to 40 days, after which the bag can be removed.
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Common problems with Cissus Discolor
Cissus Discolor are most commonly affected by root rot. Although easily avoided, it is oftentimes fatal for these plants. The best way to keep your plant from succumbing to root rot is to keep a watering schedule.
Do not water your plant unless its top layer of soil has dried.
Common pests to look out for include whiteflies, along with other mite galls. Pests can be a nuisance to not only your plant but to you too. However, with one or two applications of an insecticide, you and your plant will be pest-free!
Frequently asked questions about Cissus Discolor
Are Cissus Discolor plants toxic?
Cissus discolor plants are not considered toxic plants. However, it is not recommended that this plant be exposed to curious pets or children. Ingestion of any part of this plant is not advisable and is thought to be unhealthy.
Why does my Cissus Discolor have brown patches on its leaves?
Brown patches or scorch marks are a tell-tale sign that your Cissus Discolor has been harmed. These signs are most likely a result of the air around your plant being too dry. It is also possible for these marks to be sunburn, resulting from too much or direct sun.
The Cissus Discolor is a magnificent plant. It is slightly pedantic where certain aspects of its care are concerned. However, the sheer beauty and elegance this plant brings to a space are all worth the while.
The time and effort you put into this plant will show through its vibrant colors tenfold. Cissus Discolor is not necessarily a beginner gardener’s plant, but it is worthwhile working up to it!