What you need to know about Grape Ivy: a versatile and low-maintenance houseplant


Grape Ivy, also known as Cissus rhombifolia, is a popular houseplant that is often seen near windows in homes. According to experts, Grape Ivy is a member of the grape family and is native to tropical regions. Its decorative leaves and ivy-like appearance make it a favorite among plant enthusiasts.

One of the reasons Grape Ivy is so popular is because it is a low-maintenance plant. It doesn’t require much care and can still thrive in less than ideal conditions. However, if you notice any signs of damage, such as yellowing leaves or wilting vines, it may be a sign of a bigger problem.

One common issue that Grape Ivy owners often encounter is a sooty appearance on the undersides of the leaves. This is typically caused by a type of arthropod called scales, which are small insects that feed on the plant’s sap. If left untreated, scales can cause significant damage to the plant’s overall health and growth.

To combat scale infestations, it’s important to regularly check your Grape Ivy for any signs of these pests. If you notice any, you can try wiping the affected areas with a damp cloth or using a gentle insecticidal soap spray. It’s also a good idea to regularly prune your Grape Ivy to remove any damaged or infested leaves and stems.

Grape Ivy thrives in bright, indirect light, so be sure to place it near a window where it can receive plenty of sunlight. However, be cautious of direct sunlight, as it can cause the leaves to burn. Additionally, Grape Ivy prefers to be kept in a temperature range between 60-75°F (15-24°C), so be mindful of extreme temperatures.

When it comes to caring for your Grape Ivy, it’s important to provide it with well-draining soil that is kept evenly moist. It’s best to water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Fertilize your Grape Ivy with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Most importantly, always repot your Grape Ivy in a larger planter if it outgrows its current one.

Grape Ivy is a non-toxic plant, making it a pet-friendly choice for households with animals. With the right care and attention, your Grape Ivy can thrive and beautify your home for years to come.

Cissus Care

Cissus, commonly known as Grape Ivy, is a member of the grape family and is a popular houseplant. It is a vine with attractive green leaves that have three to five leaflets. Cissus plants can grow in a bushy manner if given proper care and support.

To care for your Cissus plant, there are a few important things to consider. Firstly, the plant needs bright, indirect light to thrive. Placing it near a window where it receives a good amount of filtered sunlight is ideal. Additionally, Cissus plants prefer a temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering is an essential part of Cissus care. You should thoroughly water the plant and allow the soil to dry between waterings. It is important to avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot and other diseases. Foliar drenches can be a valid method of watering, especially during the warmer months.

Cissus plants benefit from regular pruning. Pinch back the tips of the vines to encourage bushier growth. You can also prune any damaged or diseased leaves and vines. Propagation of Cissus can be done using stem cuttings and rooting them in water or moist soil.

In terms of pests, Cissus plants are relatively pest-resistant. However, they may occasionally be affected by common houseplant pests such as aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of pests, such as lesions or yellowing leaves, and take appropriate measures to control them.

Proper humidity levels are essential for Cissus plants. They thrive in environments with higher humidity levels, which can be achieved by using a humidifier, placing the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles, or misting the leaves regularly.

When repotting your Cissus plant, choose a planter that is slightly larger than the previous one. Use a well-draining potting mix and ensure that the plant is placed at the same depth as it was in its previous pot. Repotting is usually done in the spring, but if your plant shows signs of being root-bound, you can repot it at any time of the year.

In colder winter months, Cissus plants may go into a dormant state. During this time, reduce watering and place the plant in an area with cooler temperatures, ideally around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Resume regular watering and move the plant back to its usual spot once new growth starts.

Cissus plants are non-toxic to cats and dogs, making them pet-friendly houseplants. However, it is still advisable to keep them out of reach of pets to prevent any accidents or damage to the plant.

In conclusion, Cissus plants require proper light, temperature, water, and humidity levels for optimal growth. Regular pruning and pest control are also important. With the right care, you can enjoy the beauty of this vine plant in your home or garden.


Grape Ivy plants require bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. They should be placed in a location that receives morning or evening sun, but avoid direct sunlight.

If they are placed in too much shade, their growth may slow down and the leaves may become larger and less vibrant in color. On the other hand, if they are exposed to too much light, the leaves can become damaged and show signs of sunburn, such as brown spots or lesions.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your Grape Ivy in a spot where it receives bright, filtered light for most of the day. Placing it near a north-facing window or a few feet away from a south-facing window is typically ideal. If you notice that the leaves begin to turn a darker shade of green or if they become yellow or brown, it may be an indication that the plant is receiving too much or too little light.


Proper watering is essential for the Spider Grape Ivy plant to thrive. This bushy plant has a moderate level of hardiness, making it relatively easy to care for. The Cissus grape ivy is a friendly plant that can adapt well in various areas. However, it prefers well-draining soils with holes in the bottom of the pot. In order to prevent overwatering, it is recommended to use a planter with drainage holes.

The watering schedule for the Spider Grape Ivy depends on several factors such as the size of the plant, the temperature, and the humidity levels. In general, it is best to water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot and other problems.

Indoors, the Spider Grape Ivy prefers bright but indirect sunlight. Placing it near a window where it can receive ample natural light is ideal. However, make sure to protect it from direct sunlight, especially during the summer months when the temperatures are higher.

When watering the Spider Grape Ivy, it is recommended to use room temperature water. Avoid using cold or hot water, as extreme temperatures can shock the plant and hinder its growth. If your tap water contains high levels of chlorine or other chemicals, it is advisable to let the water sit out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate before watering the plant.

The Spider Grape Ivy can be sensitive to overwatering, so it is important to find the right balance. Water the plant thoroughly, allowing the excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot. One effective watering technique is to thoroughly soak the plant and then allow the top inch of soil to dry out before the next watering.

Another important factor to consider is the humidity levels. Spider Grape Ivy plants prefer moderate to high humidity. If the air in your home is dry, you can increase the humidity levels around the plant by using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant. Misting the foliage with water regularly can also help to increase the humidity.

It is important to check the moisture levels of the soil regularly, especially during the initial stages of growth. Spider Grape Ivy plants are prone to pests such as spider mites and aphids. These pests are more likely to infest plants that are stressed due to overwatering or underwatering. Regularly inspect the leaves for any signs of pests and take appropriate measures to control them if necessary.

Fertilizing the Spider Grape Ivy can help to promote growth and ensure that it receives the necessary nutrients. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer, diluted to half strength, and apply it monthly during the growing season. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excess foliage growth and less flowering.

In conclusion, watering the Spider Grape Ivy is crucial for its overall health and well-being. Pay attention to the moisture levels of the soil, provide adequate drainage, and ensure the plant receives the right amount of light and humidity. With proper care, the Spider Grape Ivy can thrive both indoors and outdoors, bringing beauty and greenery to any space.


Grape Ivy prefers a well-draining soil mixture that is modified with compost or organic matter. A combination of regular potting soil, peat moss, and perlite can create an optimal soil mix that provides good drainage while retaining moisture for the roots to absorb.

Cissus rhombifolia, also known as Grape Ivy, thrives in a variety of soil types, including loam, sandy, or clay soil. However, it is important to ensure that the soil is not waterlogged as this can lead to root rot.

When planting or repotting Grape Ivy, it is recommended to use a planter with drainage holes at the base to prevent water from pooling and causing damage to the roots.

Grape Ivy does well in a wide range of temperatures, from 60°F (15°C) to 80°F (27°C). Keep in mind that temperatures below 50°F (10°C) may cause the plant to go dormant or suffer damage.

When introducing Grape Ivy to lower temperatures, such as when bringing it indoors from outdoors, it is important to acclimate the plant gradually to prevent shock. Place the plant in a location with moderate light and gradually decrease the light intensity over a period of a few days. This will help the plant adjust to the lower light levels indoors.

Grape Ivy is susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids, so it is important to regularly inspect the undersides of the leaves and near the stems for any signs of infestation. Using organic pest control solutions or insecticidal sprays can help control and prevent these pests from damaging the plant.

When it comes to fertilization, Grape Ivy generally benefits from regular feeding with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging for the recommended dosage and frequency. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to salt build-up in the soil and potential damage to the plant.

Grape Ivy can be propagated through stem cuttings or by dividing the plant at the base. To propagate through stem cuttings, choose a healthy stem and prune it just below a node. Place the cutting in a glass of water or in a rooting medium, such as a mixture of vermiculite and perlite, and keep it in a warm, humid environment. Roots should begin to develop within a few weeks.

It is important to keep Grape Ivy away from cold drafts and temperatures below 50°F (10°C), as this can cause damage to the foliage. Avoid placing the plant near heating vents or air conditioning units that may create fluctuating temperatures.

Grape Ivy is generally a non-toxic plant, making it safe to keep around pets. However, it is always advisable to keep an eye on pets and discourage them from chewing on the leaves or other plant tissue.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.