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Native to Southeast Asia and Australia, Cissus discolor is a medium grower with a vining growth habit popularly known as Rex Begonia Vine, but don’t be misled into thinking that it is a begonia – it is not. However, it is true that its striking leaves resemble begonia leaves. They are large, heart-shaped leaves in dark green adorned with splashes of purple, green, and silver, often with very showy patterns. The plant can reach more than 9 feet in height and makes an ideal hanging basket candidate.
Cissus discolor requires bright indirect light, well-draining soil, high humidity, and normal room temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F to develop into a healthy plant. Water the plant daily and ensure extra drainage. Bring it to overwinter indoors and water sparingly. It is prone to whitefly infestation.
About Rex Begonia (Cissus Discolor) Vine
Scientific name: Cissus discolor
Common names: Tapestry Vine, Rex Begonia Vine
Family: Vitaceae, the family of woody vines
Origin: Southeast Asia, Australia, Java
Type: Climbing plant
Blooming period: Early spring to late autumn
Display idea: Hanging baskets, trellis
Toxicity: Non-toxic plant
Cissus discolor is a climbing vine that has dark green leaves with silvery-white veins. It is ideal for bright rooms and it is not a demanding plant if you know how to take proper care of it. Let’s see how to do that.
Related: 45 Amazing Begonia Types
Rex Begonia Vine Care
Position Cissus discolor next to an east-facing window where it will bathe in indirect bright sun. Partial shade is also a good choice.
However, if you expose the plant to direct, fierce afternoon sun, it is likely to develop scorch marks. If you notice that your plant is losing the vivid coloration, it needs more sunlight.
If your source of light is inadequate, consider using a grow light. You will have to position it at a reasonable distance from the plant.
Rex begonia vine requires normal room temperature between 20 and 26 degrees C. Always make sure to keep the plant away from heat sources such as air conditioners and central heating.
Bear in mind that temperature also affects the frequency of watering. When the temperatures are higher, you need to water more frequently.
In case you are cultivating Cissus discolor in a greenhouse, make sure to lower the temperature by using fans and proper ventilation. Always ensure good air circulation.
No plant likes dry air and that’s especially true of Cissus discolor which appreciates slightly higher humidity than most plants. Ideally, you need humidity levels between above 40%.
You can increase humidity by using a tray of pebbles or grouping watered plants together. If you have just repotted new growth, enclose the potted cuttings in a plastic bag to increase humidity.
Like most plants, Rex begonia vine Cissus prefers fertile, nutrient-rich, and well-draining nutrient soil. You will ensure fast drainage by selecting quality ingredients such as perlite, peat moss, and coarse sand.
Always make sure your pot has enough drainage holes. Sterilize the pot and new soil before using it to minimize the risk of undesirable pests.
Cissus discolor should be watered on a daily basis during spring and summer and the soil should never be completely dry. However, don’t overwater, either, as the plant can develop brown patches.
The only way to avoid overwatering is to test the soil prior to watering. If the pot feels light and the soil is dry when you run the finger test or take the plant out of the pot, it is time to water it.
If you are unsure whether to water or not, skip watering. It is better to lean on the drier side.
This hanging basket plant should be fertilized every month during the active growing period – spring and summer. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
You can also use half-strength if it is your first time fertilizing.
Skip fertilizing in autumn and winter.
To keep the plant healthy, it is advisable to prune Rex begonia once every two months, but this is not optional.
However, removing old leaf stalks and dying long leaves will give the plant lots of new growth and make it altogether a fuller plant.
Propagate Cissus discolor vine is easily propagated by taking cuttings. Select a healthy plant and take cuttings in spring or late fall for best results.
Select healthy, large leaves from the bottom of the plant. Cut them into tinier pieces and dip them into rooting hormones. Then, plant in a good quality potting mix and water thoroughly.
Enclose in a plastic bag and position it in a warm, shady spot. Increase the amount of sun gradually as the plant is growing. It will take around a month for the plant to root.
Related: 35+ Indoor Gardening Propagation Hacks
Begonia vine Cissus discolor is often visited by whitefly and a clear indicator that your plant fell victim to it are tiny white eggs on the leaves. What you can do is use a cotton pad dabbed in alcohol and wipe the leaves.
Brown markings are another frequent and undesirable occurrence. The reason for it is exposure to direct sunlight. Instead, position the plant in diffused light.
Finally, overwatering is the most common cause of the plant’s death. You can try multiple treatments, but there is no guarantee that they will work.
Transplant the plant in the fresh soil as soon as possible.
Cissus discolor is a very alluring plant with climbing growth that makes an ideal hanging basket plant or a plant to be trained on a trellis. What it has in common with begonia plants are interestingly patterned and pointed leaves that can sometimes be completely red.
It is a very friendly, non-toxic plant very well adapted to household conditions. You won’t have to make too much effort to keep it happy.