Cissus rhombifolia, also known as the grape ivy plant, is a flowering plant that many people adore for its lovely shape and vibrant green color. The reason behind its name is that it features grapevine-like leaves and dark berries that resemble grapes.
Despite its cool name, grape ivy isn’t a type of ivy. Instead, it belongs to the Vitis (Vitaceae) family. In other words, this plant does produce grapes after all!
The cissus rhombifolia is an evergreen, and it’s native to the New World Tropics. Its origins range from Mexico to Bolivia. Plus, it also grows in Venezuela and Guyana. Yet, one of the best things about grape ivy is that it doesn’t need strict conditions to keep as a houseplant.
The cissus rhombifolia is pronounced [KISS-us] or [SISS-us] [rom-bif-OH-lee-uh]. Common names for the cissus rhombifolia include:
- Grape ivy
- Venezuela Treebine
- Oak Leaf Ivy
- Cissus alata
Now, why don’t we find out how to take proper care of this beautiful plant?
Growing Tips and Cissus Rhombifolia Care
Size and Growth
If you intend to keep your grape ivy as an indoor plant, it’ll grow up to a maximum height of five feet. Yet, an outdoor climbing variety may extend for as long as ten feet. Place it on a trellis or a fence and watch it grow out to a spectacular length!
Even though you could plant your grape ivy indoors or outdoors, it may be a bit challenging to grow outside if you live somewhere hot. At high temperatures, the shiny leaves of this plant may soon turn into powdery mildew.
Flowering and Fragrance
Grape ivy produces the cutest green flower clusters in spring. Those tiny blooms have a fuzzy texture, and they’re not larger than two inches.
Soon enough, these clusters are followed by the emergence of berries in the summertime. Usually, the berries lean toward the shade of blue-black.
Light and Temperature
The cissus rhombifolia can handle temperatures ranging from 35° to 90° degrees Fahrenheit. However, the ideal temperature for this plant is from 60° to 80° degrees. As you can see, this guy isn’t exactly a fan of hot weather.
As for the light considerations, your best bet is to keep your indoor ivy in a room with bright indirect light. Just ensure that the plant isn’t exposed to direct sunlight. After all, grape ivy doesn’t appreciate too much sunlight.
If outdoors, make sure that your grape ivy gets plenty of shade so that it doesn’t wither away. You want the lush, green foliage to be vibrant and inviting, right?
Watering and Feeding
Grape ivy doesn’t like too much of anything. When watering this plant, provide it with enough water not to leave it standing in a puddle. The best way to go about your watering routine is to let the soil get almost dry between watering sessions. Almost is the key word here!
Make sure that the water drains well to prevent root rot.
Outdoors plants will require you to mist them repeatedly to fend off dehydration.
When it comes to your fertilizer choice, the perfect thing to use would be an African violet fertilizer. Feed the ivy at half strength once each season and watch the leaves for signs.
If they remain green, you’d be doing a great job at feeding. If the leaves become pale or turn to shades of yellow, you’ll have to provide the plant with an extra feeding.
Soil and Transplanting
For best results, use rich, well-draining potting mix for your cissus rhombifolia. Ultimately, if the soil is filled with natural organic matter, you may not need to fertilize your ivy at all.
When considering repotting, remember to do it on a semi-annual basis, preferably in spring. Try not to repot your grape ivy more often as its roots grow slowly.
Grooming and Maintenance
Grape ivy requires constant pruning, but again, that depends on the look you’re aiming for. For example, a bushy appearance will need you to prune any tendrils that stretch toward the light source.
If you want dense foliage, you’ll have to pinch back the growing limbs in the springtime.
The Best Way to Propagate Cissus Rhombifolia
Much like everything grape ivy, propagation is a piece of cake. Just follow these steps:
- Clip off a 6″-inch long vine tip
- Make sure that the section has 3-6 leaves and a set of leaf nodes on the stem
- Place the cutting in water until the roots grow (takes about 4-6 weeks)
- Don’t forget to change the water often during this period
- When done, put the section into well-drained soil
- Ensure that the pot has suitable drainage and aeration
Cissus Rhombifolia Insect Pests and Diseases
One of the coolest things about the cissus rhombifolia houseplant is it’s resistence it’s resistant to the majority of pests. The only instance where these parasites are a risk is when the ivy is watered excessively.
A few common grape ivy pests are:
- Plant scale bugs
- Spider mites
To keep those nagging creatures off your plant, you must maintain a balanced watering schedule. Plus, provide a source of air circulation to ward them off.
If these pests become a recurring issue, prune off the affected areas and repot to fresh soil.
Suggested Cissus Rhombifolia Uses
Grape ivy is a great candidate for decorative use. Indoors, you can keep a pot of grape ivy on a window that doesn’t let in direct sunlight. Or, you could put this plant in your living room for a cozy feeling.
Even better, grape ivy can be a wonderful addition to your bathroom decor.
As for outdoor use, grape ivy is best positioned on trellises, high fences, walls, and rooftops. Soon enough, as it grows into thick foliage, this plant will make your house look like it’s just emerged from a fairytale!