Growing Teddy Bear Vine: How To Care For Cyanotis Kewensis

Cyanotis kewensis [Sy-an-NOH-tiss][Kew-EN-sis] is a trailing plant most often referred to as Teddy Bear Vine.

It is known for its chocolate brown fuzzy leaves (hence its common name, Teddy Bear Vine).

Growing Cyanotis KewensisPin

The plant is in the Commelinaceae family and is synonymous with the following:

  • Cyanotis beddomei
  • Belosynapsis kewensis
  • Cyanotis kewoides
  • Erythrotis beddome
  • Tonningia kewensis

Cyanotis kewensis is a creeping plant with soft brownish hairs on the stems and fleshy, olive-green leaves.

While green on the top, the smooth-edged leaves are red on the bottom. They can be as long as 2″ inches and as wide as 1″ inch.

Native to southern India, Cyanotis kewensis prefers zones 10a to 11b (warmer climates).

The plant is happiest outside with the proper temperatures and lighting, but it can also be an indoor plant.

Since it is a creeping plant, it thrives in a hanging planter or as a groundcover.

In addition, it received the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Some of the common names of Cyanotis are:

  • Teddy Bear Vine
  • Teddchysar Plant

Quick Facts On Cyanotis Kewensis

  • Family: Commelinaceae
  • Light: Bright direct sun, Dappled sun, Part-sun
  • Temperature: 60° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit; Cold hardy in zones 10a-11b
  • Water: Moderate; allow to dry in between waterings
  • Fertilizer: Use a fertilizer twice a month during the growing season
  • Propagation: Stems, offsets, leaf cuttings
  • Common Problems: Spider mites, aphids

Cyanotis Kewensis Care

What Does the Teddy Bear Vine Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

The Teddy Bear Vine is a creeping succulent with brown furry stems, giving it its teddy bear name.

While the stems are brown, the leaves are thick and green on the top and red on the undersides.

It’s a modestly sized creeping plant with a maximum height of roughly 8″ inches and a width of 2′ feet.

The plant looks best in a hanging basket or flat surface where its long stems can lie.

When Does Teddy Bear Vine Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

Depending on the variety, the plant blooms in the summer or winter/spring with tiny blue-purple flowers.

While the plant does produce flowers, it’s not the most defining feature as the flowers are almost insignificant.

If planted indoors, there’s a possibility that your plant may not bloom at all. But that doesn’t take away from the striking brown stems and dual-colored leaves.

The flowers are not fragrant.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

The Teddy Bear Vine loves the full sun, dappled sun, or partial sun.

However, if your average summer temperature is above 70° degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will be happier indoors near a window.

The plant is cold and hardy to roughly 45° degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you live in a cooler climate, you can either bring the plant indoors when the season changes or keep it as a full-time houseplant.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Teddy Bear Vine?

The Teddy Bear Vine enjoys water but does not like soggy soil. To ensure you’re not overwatering, let the soil dry between waterings.

Water more in the spring and summer, but slow down during the winter.

To increase humidity for the plant, you can either spray its leaves with a fine mist of water or put the container on a tray of pebbles with water.

If you use the pebble-water method, ensure you don’t let the water in the tray touch the bottom of the pot.

For this purpose, the water is only meant to provide humidity, not to water the roots.

The plant thrives best with bi-monthly feedings with liquid fertilizer. However, it’s unnecessary to keep feeding the plant when fall ends.

What Is The Best Soil For Cyanotis Plant, And When Should You Transplant?

The Teddy Bear Vine is happiest with potting soil meant for succulents. Although the plant is not required to thrive, succulent potting soil helps the soil drain properly.

If you plan to plant multiple Teddy Bear Vines, you can make your succulent potting soil by adding perlite, vermiculite, or pumice to regular potting soil.

The plant fares best if you repot it once a year.

It’s not because the plant will have outgrown its current container (since it stays relatively compact), but because the Teddy Bear Vine loves fresh soil.

Therefore, you can reuse the same pot with new soil. When repotting, be gentle with the roots as they can be fragile.

Does Cyanotis Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

The plant isn’t very high maintenance at all, but there are a couple of things you can do to keep it healthy.

It’s best to remove old stems with no leaves growing on them. Then, you can use these stems for propagation.

The Teddy Bear Vine doesn’t need much other than getting enough sunlight and water.

However, if you want the plant to have shorter stems, you can trim them at any time.

How To Propagate Cyanotis Plant?

Besides its unique leaves and low maintenance, one of the best things about the Teddchysar Plant is its ease of propagation.

If you prune the plant in the spring, you can use the pruned shoots to propagate.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Use a knife or scissors to cut a few healthy 3″ shoots from the plant.
  • Prepare a small pot with amended potting soil.
  • Place the small shoots in tiny pots.
  • Ensure that the soil is moist.
  • Place the pot in a shady area of your home to encourage rooting.
  • Once it’s rooted, you’ve got a baby plant! Congrats!

Another propagation method, although not as easy, is water. You can place the shoots in water mixed with a couple of charcoal pieces.

Keep these in mind:

  • Before placing foil on the top of the pot, you’ll need to make small holes for the shoots to come through.
  • Then, place a piece of foil over the small pot.
  • Keep the pot in a warm area until roots form.
  • Then you can transfer the plant into a new pot with soil.

Cyanotis Beddomei Pests And Diseases

The fantastic thing about Cyanotis Beddomei is that it’s generally pest and disease-free. 

And the pests that do occasionally make your Cyanotis plant home are easily treatable.

Aphids and spider mites are your biggest concerns with this plant. 

Thankfully, a trip to your local nursery or hardware store for neem oil can quickly solve the problem.

Suggested Use For Cyanotis Kewensis

The Cyanotis Kewensis plant is mainly used as an indoor hanging plant so that you can control light and temperature.

However, it can also be a centerpiece at a large dining table or entry table with cascading stems.

The Tonningia Kewensis is popular in rock or container gardens if kept outdoors.

In addition, the plant is more likely to bloom if kept outside rather than indoors.

However you choose to use the Tonningia Kewensis, you’re sure to enjoy it.