Cissus Discolor (Rex Begonia) is a perennial plant native to Southeast Asia and often grown both indoors and outdoors in a container. The Rex Begonia comes in numerous varieties, featuring a mix of silver and reddish patterns on leaves as large as lily pads. The Cissus Discolor variety of Rex Begonia is a vine plant with narrower, more heart-shaped leaves than other Begonias. You can grow Cissus Discolor all year long inside your home, providing a beautiful accent to any space. Here are some tips on how to care for your Cissus Discolor indoors!
10 Tips on How to Care for Your Cissus Discolor
1. Your Cissus Discolor Requires Bright Indirect Light
The Cissus Discolor grown indoors requires an indirect or filtered light source. Try placing the plant in an area near an east-facing window covered with sheer curtains. Cissus Discolor should receive between 4 to 6 hours of indirect light per day.
2. Water Your Cissus Discolor When Dry to the Touch
When growing Cissus Discolor indoors, you should insert a finger at least 1 inch deep into the growing medium to check for dryness. Soak the soil until the water drains from the bottom of the container. Underwatering Cissus Discolor may lead to withering leaves while overwatering may cause root rot. Pay close attention to your watering habits to avoid these issues.
3. Choose the Correct Growing Medium
Indoor Cissus Discolor requires a lighter growing medium to thrive in a container. Using heavy garden soil may strangle the plant’s roots. Your Cissus Discolor will grow best in soil with good drainage. Aim for even parts potting mix, peat moss, and perlite to promote healthy root growth and drainage.
4. Fertilize Your Cissus Discolor
Fertilize your Cissus Discolor once a month (or every 3 to 4 weeks) using an all-purpose, houseplant fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer will wash out faster with each watering after fertilizing. Granule, slow-release fertilizers will release smaller amounts of fertilizer over a longer period of time. Cissus Discolor does not require much fertilizer in autumn and winter because the plant is dormant.
5. Choose the Correct Container for Your Cissus Discolor
Cissus Discolor grows well in small to medium-sized containers and hanging baskets. As the plant grows larger, you may repot it into a larger container than the previous one. In addition, you may train the vines of your Cissus Discolor to grow up a trellis. Repot your Cissus Discolor once a year.
6. Cissus Discolor Enjoys High Humidity
Cissus Discolor is a semi-tropical plant which means it likes to grow in high humidity. You may use a humidifier to keep the area around the plant at 60 percent humidity. Low humidity levels may cause the leaves of Cissus Discolor to dry out and change color.
7. Grow Cissus Discolor in Warm Temperatures
Try to maintain a warm temperature around the growing area of Cissus Discolor (anywhere between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit). Make sure to prevent sudden or drastic changes in temperature because it may harm the plant.
8. Prune Cissus Discolor Vines to Promote Healthy Growth
Prune any unruly vines off your Cissus Discolor, and remove any rotten leaves to prevent diseases from spreading throughout the plant.
9. Use Stem Cuttings to Propagate Your Cissus Discolor
It’s easy to propagate your Cissus Discolor with stem cuttings. You can propagate your Cissus Discolor in water or soil. First, cut a stem cutting, make sure to cut below a node and include a few leaves in your stem cutting. For soil propagation, dip stem cuttings in hormone powder and plant in an airy, nutrient-dense growing medium. To propagate using water, submerge a freshly cut vine in water and transplant it to a growing medium once roots appear.
10. Protect Against Pests and Diseases
Cissus Discolor is a low-maintenance houseplant. But the plant is susceptible to several pests and diseases that may lead to damage and death. You may use dish soap, rubbing alcohol, or neem oil to prevent and treat issues with bugs, such as whiteflies. If your Cissus Discolor appears to have leaf damage from powdery mildew, carefully treat them with fungicide.
Identify Common Issues with Cissus Discolor
Your Cissus Discolor is susceptible to a variety of pests including Whiteflies, Mealybugs, and Spider Mites.
Problem: When you disturb your Cissus Discolor, you see small, white insects flying away from your plant.
Cause: Whiteflies are white, mothlike bugs that attach to the underside of leaves to feed and lay eggs. In large numbers, whiteflies cause yellow, droopy leaves which fall off the plant early.
Treatment: Cover your Cissus Discolor in organic neem oil, paying special attention to the underside of leaves where whiteflies feed and lay their eggs.
Problem: There are white fluffy cottony lumps on the underside of the leaves of your Cissus Discolor.
Cause: Mealybugs are small, pink bugs that cover themselves in a cotton-like wax substance. Mealybugs suck sap from the Cissus Discolor, causing leaf wilt and discoloring. After feeding on the plant, mealybugs often leave behind a substance on leaves that can turn into black mold.
Treatment: You may use 70% isopropyl alcohol to combat mealybugs on your Cissus Discolor. Use cotton balls or a spray bottle to spread the alcohol evenly on the plant or in places you see mealybugs gathering. When using isopropyl alcohol on your Cissus. Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 8 parts clean water and apply to the leaves. Make sure to dilute the alcohol to avoid damaging any part of the plant.
Red Spider Mites
Problem: There are many tiny red dots under the leaves of your Cissus Discolor. You might see fine webbing covering the leaves of your Cissus Discolor.
Cause: Red Spider mites are tiny four-legged bugs that turn from yellow to red throughout the year. If the leaves of your Cissus Discolor turn gray with a silky film covering, check under the leaves. You will see small dots under the leaves of your Cissus Discolor. Spider mites are so small you can’t see them with the naked eye, you will need a magnifying glass to actually see one. In the late stages of spider mite infestation, the spider mites rapidly reproduce and feed on leaves, the leaves will start dropping off! Sadly, your Cissus Discolor may not survive.
Treatment: Spray your Cissus Discolor down with water to wash away any red spider mites on the plant. Then wipe down the leaves to remove any remaining bugs.
Your Cissus discolor is susceptible to issues such as root rot and fungal infection.
Problem: The leaves of your Cissus Discolor are turning yellow and drooping (looks wilted) even if you have been watering it frequently and the soil is moist.
Cause: Root rot occurs when water surrounds and suffocates the roots of a plant. Lack of proper drainage and overwatering are two main causes of root rot. Feel the soil, if it feels wet and moist and the leaves look wilted then your Cissus Discolor might be suffering from root rot. You can also check the roots, if it’s foul-smelling then your Cissus Discolor is suffering from root rot.
Treatment: Root rot is difficult to treat. If you do decide to try to save your Cissus Discolor, remove dying parts of the roots and re-pot. It’s hard to save a plant from root rot. I suggest just starting over again with a new Cissus Discolor. This time, don’t overwater your Cissus Discolor.
Problem: There are white patches on the leaves of your Cissus Discolor (it looks like it’s been dusted with flour).
Cause: Your Cissus Discolor is suffering from powdery mildew which is a fungal infection.
Treatment: Neem oil or baking soda is an effective treatment for plant fungi such as powdery mildew. Apply the treatment on leaves at the first sign of infection.
Those with sensitive skin should avoid direct contact with neem oil as it might cause a flare-up.
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- 9 Tips on How to Care for your Spider Plant
About John Curiel
John holds a BS in technical communication from Arizona State University. He is a freelance writer with SEO and social media management experience. Based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois; John has written content for businesses across the United States. In his free time, he writes fiction and enjoys gardening.