Scientific Name: Muehlenbeckia complexa
Synonyms: Maidenhair vine, pohuehue, Angel vine, Creeping Wire Vine.
Maidenhair Vines are fabulously unusual houseplants with delicately twining reddy brown stem, dotted with deeply green round leaflets, hence the name, since it looks like pretty curly locks. These adorable plants are often presented in hanging baskets and are prized for their versatility, whereby they can be trained up a trellis or turned into a shapely topiary.
Native to New Zealand, they are often found sprawling along the coast or the temperate forest floor. They love the dappled shade but can handle bouts of sun to keep them thriving. These are fabulously easy house plants and will add a delicate charm to any brightly lit interior space.
Toxicity: These plants are non-toxic but should be kept out of reach from pets or children, as if consumed may irritate.
- Dry Crisping leaf edges and Shriveled Stems: This may be due to underwatering or lack of humidity. If you notice that your plant's stems are shriveled and the leaves are crisping up, check the soil. If it is dry to the touch then you may not be watering your Maidenhair Vine enough. These houseplants often grow in damp conditions with very little drought. If you find the leaf edges are crisp with a yellow halo, and the potting mix is moist, then you may need to raise the humidity in the room. Sprits your plant regularly if hanging, but if it is on a shelf or tabletop, provide your plant with a pebble tray.
- Yellowing leaves: Especially on the lower stem, is a clear sign of overwatering. As much as Muelenbeckia like their soil moist, avoid allowing the soil to become waterlogged, and be sure there is efficient drainage. Yellowing foliage can also likely be from under watering, the best approach is to check the potting mix and if it is dry, to adjust your watering habits or the lighting. If you give your plant a lot of direct sunlight, it may need to be watered more often.
- Fluffy Grey mould on leaves: Due to their love of damp environments, Maidenhair vines are susceptible to fungal infections such as powdery mildew. If you find this occurs, check the density of your plant and consider trimming back some of the stems at their densest spot to, create more airflow between the stems. Remove any diseased or dead foliage and stems, and spray your plant with a good quality fungicide such as copper soap. Make sure to provide your plant with good air circulation to avoid future infections.
- Mushy stems and stunted growth: This is a sign that root rot has set in from overwatering. Re-pot your houseplant into a fresh potting mix and make sure to remove any dead or mushy stems and roots, to aid with recovery. Avoid allowing your plant to sit in a waterlogged potting mix.
- Pale foliage or elongated stems with sparse foliage: Pale foliage can be a sign of too much direct sunlight, especially if you find you need to water often, if this is the case relocate your plant to a filtered lighting position. However, if your plant looks sparse and leggy, it may not be receiving enough light and should be relocated to a brighter filtered light position, as the direct sun at this stage could lead to leaf scorch.
- Pests: Maidenhair vines can be susceptible to many of the common household pests, such as mealybug, Spider mite and Fungus Gnats. If an infestation has taken place, check any environmental stressors and adjust. Spray your plant down with a good quality pesticide once a week or until the infestation has ceased.
- Origin: New Zealand
- Height: Averaging 20cm in height, and 60 - 90cm in length if not pruned back.
- Light: Prefers bright filtered light best, avoid direct sunlight that will scorch the foliage.
- Water: Keep the potting medium evenly moist to the touch, avoid allowing it to dry out completely. A rule of thumb is to allow the top 2cm of potting mix to dry before watering again.
- Humidity: Prefers medium to high humidity.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures range from 18°C - 26°C.
- Soil: A well-draining moisture-retentive potting medium.
- Fertilizer: Use a well balanced organic fertilizer once a month during Spring through Summer.
- Pruning: Prune in Spring if stems become unwieldy or too long, to maintain a neat shape.
- Repotting: Muelenbeckia prefer being repotted every 2 years n Spring, and have a fine root structure, so do not mind a tight fit. When repotting choose a planter that is no more than 5cm larger than the previous in diameter and the planter does not need to be too deep. Be sure your planter has appropriate drainage to avoid waterlogged soil.
- Propagation: Take 6 - 8cm leaf tip cuttings in Spring and dip into rooting hormone. Press into a fresh potting mix and keep in a bright position. Keep soil evenly moist and once new growth forms your plant is established.
If in stock, shop for a Maidenhair Vine here