Amazon Jungle Vine
Scientific name: Cissus amazonica
Synonyms: Amazon Jungle Vine, Grape Ivy Plant
If you are a fan of vining plants such as Ivy or Hoyas, this would be a great new and unusual addition to your houseplant collection. Provided the Cissus gets adequate humidity (70-80%), this plant will reward you with lots of lovely growth that can either trail or climb. If you have a number of hanging plants a good tip is to huddle them together in a display to increase the humidity.
Note: Please be aware that whilst the plant is non-toxic and pet friendly, it’s best to keep out of reach of children and pets (hanging it would be a great way of doing this!)
- Scorched yellowing foliage: Your plant is getting too much direct light, move to a more shady spot with indirect light.
- Brown edges or spots on foliage and dropping leaves: This can occur when the compost has been allowed to dry out. Cissus amazonica doesn’t like inconsistent watering, so increase watering frequency but don’t allow the plant to sit in water or become saturated. As a humidity lover, dry air can also be a culprit; so make sure your plant isn’t near a heat source, air conditioner or draught.
- New growth is small: If the leaves are continuously small, your houseplant might not be getting enough light/humidity. Move to a brighter spot.
- Very long ‘stretched’ stems/internodes: This is called etiolation and means that your Amazon jungle vine isn’t getting the correct amount of light; stems will be especially ‘stretched’; move to a brighter location.
- Leaf drop: The Amazon jungle vine might drop its leaves if it experiences a sudden drop in temperature, particularly during the period of active growth, or over winter if temperatures are consistently low.
- Pests: Incorrect care and lack of humidity are the main reasons pests may appear, red spider mite, and greenfly are ones to be particularly aware of in warm, dry conditions. Pay particular attention to the undersides of the leaves where spider mites might attack. Keeping the humidity up is the main deterrent, but if pests are present, this houseplant can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Repeat weekly and keep plant in isolation until completely pest-free and then move to a more humid position.
- Plant collapse: This is often caused by root rot as a result of prolonged overwatering, especially in winter during the rest period.
- Origin: Native to Brazil, the Cissus amazonica can be found as a vining plant in warm and humid jungle conditions.
- Height: up to 0.8 metre height / 0.5 metre spread indoors. Outdoors in its natural habitat it grows as a vining plant, attaching itself to surfaces with its fine tendrils.
- Light: Your plant will thrive in bright filtered light, but protect from harsh direct sun which can give the foliage a washed-out appearance.
- Water: From Spring to Autumn keep soil moist using water at room temperature, but do not allow the plant to sit in water. Wait until the top centimetre has dried out before watering again. Over the cooler months during their potential rest period, water just enough to prevent the potting mix from drying out.
- Humidity: The Amazon Jungle Vine loves high humidity which will create luscious growth and healthy foliage.
- Temperature: This houseplant will grow happily in temperatures of 12-25°C, try to avoid sudden drops in temperature and be wary of draughts and open windows.
- Soil: A free-draining organic potting mix with added perlite will be ideal for this plant, allowing breathability for the roots.
- Fertilizer: Cissus amazonica enjoy regular fertilising; twice a month during the growing season (Spring and Summer). Use a balanced fertiliser at half the recommended dilution level for this plant. If the potting medium is particularly dry, water lightly before feeding to avoid fertiliser burning the roots.
- Repotting: This houseplant grows best when slightly root-bound, so doesn’t need to be repotted regularly. Repot in early Spring when the plant had a period of active growth ahead if desired. Roots ‘circling’ around the bottom of the nursery pot is an indication that repotting is needed. Increase pot size by just a few centimetres at this stage, no drastic jumps. When the plant has reached the desired size, you can top dress the plants with fresh potting mix instead of giving it a bigger pot.
- Pruning: If required, you can prune your houseplant when the stems get particularly long using a sterile blade… then propagate your cuttings!
- Propagation: There are two options here - root your stems in water before potting on, or place stems straight into a sandy compost and wait for them to root. At this point, it is beneficial to keep the humidity high so cover your cuttings in a propagator / humidity dome…or plastic bag and place in a well-lit spot. To create a bushier plant, you can pop these cuttings back into the main pot when rooted!