The Cissus Discolor is a tropical plant that is native to Southeast Asia where it’s popularly cultivated for ornamental, medicinal, and food purposes. The tendrils of this Cissus plant grows to between 8 – 10 inches (20 – 25.4 centimeters) long.
The leaves are elongated and heart-shaped, displaying a rich dark-green color with a silvery white that is in between the veins. Read this article to learn the cultivation habits of this tropical vine plant.
- What Is Cissus Discolor?
- Cissus Discolor Care
What Is Cissus Discolor?
The Cissus Discolor is an herbaceous vine with unique leaves that feature a deep green color on the upper side with deep reddish purple undersides. The Cissus is a perennial plant that thrives in humid and tropical weather and you could enjoy its colorful foliage for many years.
Cissus Discolor Care
This tropical plant is not demanding. Instead, it’s easy to grow and care for as a house plant or outdoors as it prefers warm temperatures.
Learn more about the necessary growth habits and requirements of this plant in this section.
– Water Requirements
The tropical Rex begonia – as it is also known – requires regular watering. You should consider watering the plant daily during the summer and spring seasons when the plant is in an active state of growth.
You could also water the Cissus plant whenever the soil is dry and you can use the finger test method to assess the soil’s available moisture. Upon each watering, allow the water to drain through to avoid overwatering, which can cause root rot and drooping leaves.
After overwatering your Cissus plant, leave the plant alone and let the top soil dry out before giving it another drink. Underwatering is also dangerous to the Cissus plant as it quickly withers. Signs that show the plant is receiving less water include stunted growth, wilting, as well as droopy and Discolored leaves.
During the winter and fall season, the plant will go into semi-dormancy so water your Cissus plant sparingly as it requires less water. During this season, you could notice the leaves turning brown and dry but don’t worry because the plant is in the resting stage. Consider watering once every four weeks.
– Light Requirements
Please note, that your Cissus requires bright and indirect light to fully flourish just like any other tropical houseplant. You could grow your Cissus plant in a corner or any place where it is exposed to bright light. You should let the plant enjoy the morning sun however, avoid the blasting afternoon sun as it can burn its leaves.
Growing the Rex begonia outdoors requires partial shade so you could use a shade cloth to create such conditions because the leaves are sensitive. Apart from causing leaf burns, excess direct sunlight also leads to foliage Discoloration. When your Cissus plant is grown in low-light areas, the beautiful colorations could be lost and the plant’s growth rate is negatively affected.
– Soil Requirements
The Rex begonia plant requires soil that is rich, well-drained, and full of nutrients. You could create the ideal soil on your own by mixing 50 percent regular potting soil with 40 percent perlite and 10 percent peat moss. The peat moss is vital for adding nutrients while the perlite increases the soil drainage. This soil mix is most suitable for your vine as it will not dry too quickly.
The Cissus Discolor thrives in slightly acidic soils or alkaline soils with a pH balance between six and seven. You should avoid potting mixes that contain either bark or compost as they increase chances of gnat infestations.
– Temperature Requirements
The Cissus plant should be grown in warmer environments. Growing Cissus Discolor plants indoors is easy without having to manage temperatures as inside your home, temperatures do not shift greatly.
During the summer season, your begonia vine thrives in temperatures within the range of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit (21-27 degrees Celsius).
In the winter season, you should keep the plant in temperatures that are between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius). The Cissus plant does not tolerate sudden temperature changes as such fluctuations could damage the plant’s foliage.
Please, remember to protect the plant against extreme heat and cold conditions if you are growing it outdoors. When the Cissus plant is grown indoors, you should avoid areas that are near heaters or air conditioners.
The Discolor plant prefers warm temperatures and frost intolerance. You should move your Cissus plant indoors during the cold weather. Please note, that the plant grows in 11 USDA hardiness zones.
– Humidity Requirements
The Rex begonia vine is a tropical plant that thrives in high humidity for growth. The plant’s large and stunning leaves require humidity to stay fresh and maintain its deep green color. You should maintain constant humidity levels of 60 percent. Growing Cissus in humid areas is ideal as the Cissus roots would be able to root well in moist soil.
When the leaves start to lose their color or freshness by being flimsy and dry, especially at the leaf tips or edges, it’s an indication of low humidity levels. The same applies to situations where the plant starts to wilt. Therefore, you should implement strategies to increase the humidity levels.
You could do so using a humidifier. This method is a bit costly but is the most effective. Placing the plant pot over a pebble-water tray or misting the plant are other viable options.
Please note that moist leaves attract various insects and pests so be cautious and ensure that the foliage of your plant dries completely. You can do this by placing your beauty in well-aerated spots or by wiping the leaves with a cloth after a misting procedure.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The Cissus plant requires fertilizers to enable healthy growth and facilitate more flowers. Fertilize your begonia vine every three to four weeks during the summer when it is in active growth.
However, during the winter season, you should not fertilize as the plant is in dormancy so no growth is taking place. When you don’t fertilize your Cissus even at least once it might have stunted growth, Discoloration of leaves, and no new leaves will develop.
You should avoid applying excess fertilizer to your plant. Signs that you are excessively feeding your plant include stunted growth, wilting, as well as drooping and yellowing leaves.
You should consider applying fertilizer that has high potassium as it encourages more growth and increases its drought tolerance levels. Before you add fertilizer, you should remember to constantly water the Cissus plant.
The Cissus plant doesn’t require regular trimming or pruning to grow. However, you should consider pruning the begonia anytime the vines are out of bonds to shape the plant and create a much fuller look.
You could encourage leaf formation or more branching when you cut off the old foliage. Trimming the Cissus plant should be done yearly during the beginning of the growing season.
You should cut off the plant’s foliage when it’s affected by infectious diseases to prevent the healthy parts from getting infected. Remember to always clean your handling tools such as scissors or pruning shears with alcohol to avoid spreading diseases.
Cissus Discolor propagation plant is quite easy. When propagating your Cissus Discolor, the best option and easiest way are using leaf cuttings that you could obtain when pruning the plant in early spring or late summer.
You should avoid using stems that are still deep red and young vines as they are more likely to die. Remember to cut above or below the nodes to ensure success.
– Using Cuttings Propagated in Soil
One method of propagation is using cuttings in soil. Here are the steps you must follow:
- The cuttings that you select should be partially woody. You should first take away the foliage
- Then dip the cuttings in root hormone powder.
- Then plant in soil that’s porous and rich with nutrients.
- Water the cuttings very well and cover them with a plastic sheet to maintain the required moisture conditions.
- You should make holes in the plastic sheet to allow air circulation.
- Place your pot in a place where it could get bright but not direct sunlight.
- Remember to check the soil daily to avoid drying up.
- Expect your plant to start rooting in about 30-40 days.
- When you notice new growth appearing, remove the plastic bag first and move the plant into a growing pot. This method works faster and better.
– Using Cuttings Propagated in Water
For water propagation follow the steps below:
- Cut the vines from a healthy mother plant and make sure it has at least two leaves.
- Then, you should remove the first leaf to create a node and remember to do that carefully so that the second leaf stays intact.
- Put the cutting in fresh water and keep it submerged.
- Place your plant in a spot that is warm, where the cutting could receive bright indirect sunlight.
- Once you notice that the roots are about two inches long, plant them in a soil mixture.
Using this method enables roots to quickly form/grow. Please take note that the cutting should not be too long as it could struggle to transfer water and necessary nutrients throughout the stem. Therefore, your cuttings will end up dying. Furthermore, be sure to replace the water with new, fresh water once a week to do away with possible infection.
You can opt for this method:
- Pin a leafless stem in the potting mix while it’s still attached to the parent plant.
- You use a bent wire to pin the stem.
- After some time, the roots will start to form, and only then will you cut the rooted stem away from the parent plant.
This method is very successful as the rooting happens while the stem is still attached to the parent plant where it gets all the required water and nutrients.
The Cissus plant beauty brightens rooms, gardens, or patios. However, the Cissus plant is affected by pests and diseases that could harm its beautiful foliage. This is why we recommend that you should check your plant regularly.
Whiteflies, red spider mites, mealybugs, and mite galls are among the common Cissus Discoloration problems. When you notice your plant has sticky honeydew on the surface of the leaves, it is because of the whitefly infestation.
The Cissus plant will wilt, leaves turn yellow, and in some cases, death occurs if the situation is severe. You should consider using soapy water or rubbing alcohol to remove the eggs manually.
Mealybug infestation symptoms include stunted growth, yellowing foliage, and leaves that fall prematurely. When you notice a deposit that looks like cotton wax or tiny white eggs, your plant is definitely under attack from mealybugs.
You should apply alcohol or spray the plant with natural pyrethrum. Dusty webbing in the Cissus cubbyholes is an indication that your plant is infected with red spider mites so you should use insecticidal soaps that contain pyrethroids on the plant.
Mite galls also attack the plant and you should notice the presence of small bumps on your plant. These small bumps are formed when the mite galls are laying their eggs.
You should get rid of the mite galls by washing the affected leaves with insecticidal soaps, removing the affected leaves, or rubbing alcohol. Remember to use sterilized tools to prevent the spread of the infection.
– Discolored Leaves
The Cissus plant has evergreen foliage, therefore when it turns yellow it’s more likely that you are overwatering your plant. However, in some cases, it could be due to wrong lighting and humidity, or even underwatering.
Additionally, it could be because of nutrient deficiency, pests, diseases, or that you might have applied too much fertilizer. The best remedy is to look for other symptoms on your plant so that you know the exact cause and work from that.
– Curled Leaves
It is not typical for the Cissus plant leaves to curl. Curled leaves could be a result of various causes such as too much sun exposure and too little water. Cissus plants thrive well in bright indirect light.
Do the best that you can to provide the plant with the right conditions. Furthermore, you should look for other symptoms on your Cissus plant to determine the exact cause and tackle that immediately and more appropriately.
– Root Rot
One of the common problems associated with the Cissus plant is root rot. When you either use pots or soil mix that has poor drainage properties, root rot may result. This disease may also be due to overwatering your Cissus plant. Common symptoms of root rot include wilting, stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and mold on the surface of the soil/ potting mix.
If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms of your plant, uproot it and assess the roots. If only a few roots are affected, you can cut them off using sterilized shears. You can then repot the plant in a new pot with fresh potting soil.
If the majority of the roots are infected, your plant is unlikely to recover so you should consider discarding it. This explains why you should regularly check your plant for diseases. Early detection may save the plant.
– Fungal Infections
Fungal infections are common in most plants as they are easily spread from seeds, the soil, or tools that have been in contact with an infected plant. As soon as you notice the fungal infection, it’s ideal to treat it so that you prevent further damage to the plant.
You could try either using Neem oil solution. If you have pure Neem oil, always dilute it with water. You can also consider using chemical fungicides.
– Is Cissus Discolor Rare?
It is not a rare plant. You could easily get the plant in places such as Walmart or on Etsy because it is rarely sold in garden centers. However, the Cissus is not as commonly available compared to other tropical houseplants.
– Is Cissus Discolor Toxic?
This beautiful tropical plant is not known to be toxic to either humans or pets. Please note ingesting the leaves is discouraged as it leads to vomiting, loss of appetite, and nausea.
– When Should I Repot Cissus Discolor?
You should repot the Cissus plant during the spring season or when you do feel that it’s necessary. Repotting should be done after every two or three years. When repotting the Cissus plant, be gentle and handle the roots carefully. The new pot should be bigger than the previous one.
You have acquired the important care tips for growing the exotic tropical vine.
Let’s quickly go through some of the care tips for the Cissus Discolor so that you keep them at your fingertips.
- The Cissus Discolor is a non-toxic plant for both humans and pets.
- The Cissus vine thrives in soil that is rich, well-drained, and moist.
- The begonia vine should be watered frequently to keep the soil moist.
- You should always use sterilized tools to prevent the spread of diseases.
- The common pests that affect the Cissus plant are whiteflies and mite galls.
The Rex begonia vine is a stunning plant that’s green throughout the year. This tropical plant is also a natural purifier as its leaves remove toxins and pollutants from the air making the air fresh and clean for you to breathe in. As a bonus, it has colorful foliage and will be an excellent addition to any house or garden!
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