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Epipremnum Pinnatum Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Tibatib”

Our guide to Epipremnum Pinnatum for all you will ever need to know! Tips for planting, growing, and caring for “Tibatib”
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Need one more cool plant to enrich your spectacular collection this year? Look no further! Epipremnum pinnatum a.k.a Tibatib might be exactly what you are looking for, but first, let’s get more familiar with this fascinating plant!

Epipremnum pinnatum is a trailing or climbing species of flowering vines in the Araceae family. This alluring plant goes by many common names including Tibatib, Dragon Tail plant, Centipede tongavine, Silver Vine, and Taro Vine.

Tibatib plants remind us of our old Monstera deliciosa buddies, but they have different needs and particularities! Besides their foliage that looks absolutely stunning, these plants can also surprise us with lovely, long-lasting flowers. And once you have one of these great vines around, you will certainly be amazed by how easy to grow and care for they can be.

About Epipremnum Pinnatum

  • Epipremnum pinnatum plants are native to many regions worldwide, such as China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Malaysia, Northern Australia, or the Pacific Islands.
  • They are versatile plants that can make for wonderful additions to both indoor and outdoor landscape decorations. The most popular companion plants for them are Orchid, Fern, and Aglaonema.
  • These vines grow mostly in tropical, subtropical, and temperate areas. They appear at low and medium elevations in thickets, disturbed forests, rainforests, urban areas, or along roadsides.
  • In traditional medicine, people have been using the leaves and stems of Tibatib plants as a treatment for fractures, rheumatism, joint pains, skin diseases, chest pains, diabetes, malaria, or toothaches. Their bark is considered by some a great remedy for wounds, headaches, muscular spasms, and back pain.
  • Studies have shown that Epipremnum pinnatum plants have numerous important health properties including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and inhibition of pancreatic lipase activity.
  • In Mindanao, Bali, Taiwan, or Java tribes, some folks used these vines for teeth blackening. The inner parts of their roots were also excellent materials to produce lampshades or basketry with.
  • Dragon Tail plants are good air purifiers, absorbing toxins from their ambient air. For example, they can absorb so much nicotine from their indoor surroundings that the concentration in their leaves is about three times higher than a true tobacco plant.
  • All parts of Tabib plants can be pretty toxic if ingested in large quantities. For safety purposes, grow them in a spot where your kids or pets cannot reach them.
Epipremnum Pinnatum
Epipremnum Pinnatum

Epipremnum Pinnatum Features: An Overview

  • These plants belong to the Epipremnum genus that contains exactly 15 species of evergreen and perennial flowering vines. They are large epiphytes that grow and climb on tall host trees or rock surfaces.
  • Epipremnum pinnatum species are sturdy vines that can reach between  19.7 to 65.6 feet (6-20 m) in height. They have a big network of aerial clasping roots.
  • The foliage of Tibatib plants usually varies depending on their age. Young specimens are terrestrial creepers and will produce mature leaves only when there is enough height for climbing.
  • Their first, juvenile leaves are elliptical to arrow-shaped and come with entire edges. At maturity, the leaves become thick, smooth, glossy, ovate with deeply incised margins, and can measure about 11.8 to 19.7 inches (30-50 cm) in length.
  • Very often, the leaves of Tibatib plants present white dots and pin-holes along the middle rib. They also have many windows in their leaf blades, making them look very much alike to some Monstera cultivars.
  • Epipremnum pinnatum plants do not have a specific flowering period. These vines bloom occasionally, exhibiting tiny, male and female flowers on a canoe-shaped spadix (modified leaf) of up to 3.9 inches (10 cm) long.
  • Their spadix is creamy-white on the inside and greenish on the outside. These plants produce blossoms that come in a pure white tint when fresh, turning a creamy greyish-green at maturity.
  • Tibatib plants bear clusters of fruits on the spadix. They are red when ripe, containing a sticky orange-reddish pulp and numerous small, brown seeds.

Growing Epipremnum Pinnatum

In general, Epipremnum pinnatum plants thrive in well-lit locations with good indirect sunlight. Indoors, place these vines near a window where they can receive at least six hours of bright, indirect light. In outdoor settings, make sure you provide some partial shade during harsh afternoon sunlight.

If you are growing your Epipremnum plants in improper lighting conditions, they will not hesitate to show their dissatisfaction. For example, when these buddies do not have access to enough sunlight, they will grow somewhat stretched with longer stem sections in-between their leaves. Variegated varieties will also start to lose their markings in areas with too little light.

Tibatib plants grow at their best in warm temperatures and moderate humidity levels. The ideal temperatures for your vines usually range from 64 to 71 °F (18-22 °C) both indoors and outdoors. They are not frost-hardy at all, so you should avoid exposing them to temperatures under 59 °F (15 °C), strong winds, or cold air.

Due to their long stems and trailing habit, Epipremnum pinnatum species require some extra support to grow healthy and happy. The best support options for these plants are wooden stakes, bamboo stakes, or eco-friendly totem poles wrapped in coconut coir. You can also grow them in hanging baskets to obtain a cascade overall growth, but they will not show up mature or much larger leaves with time.

Although Dragon Tail plants are typically trouble-free when it comes to pest and fungal diseases, some issues may occur in inadequate environmental conditions. For fungal diseases, you must remove the unhealthy parts to prevent any future spread. In case of pest infestation, we recommend you wash the whole plants in the shower and apply a suitable insecticide/pesticide.

Epipremnum pinnatum Live Plant, From Amazon

Planting Epipremnum Pinnatum

Epipremnum pinnatum plants will have a great time growing in substrates that mimic those from their natural habitat. Because of this, you should plant them in moist, well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and nutrients. Keep in mind that these vines do not like wet, mucky or dry, sandy growing mediums at all. Moreover, they prefer growing in containers that have drainage holes at the bottom to avoid soggy conditions.

Tibatib plants do not need frequent fertilizing to show the best results. However, they will benefit from regular applications of fertilizers during their active growing period. Feed your plants with a liquid fertilizer once every two weeks only from March to August.

These plants grow at a pretty fast pace, so they will demand repotting from time to time. When your plants start to outgrow their containers, typically once every two years, you should transplant them in others that are slightly larger. Before replanting, try to remove as much old soil as you can from their roots and also prune the root tips back a little.

Pruning the foliage of your Epipremnum plants is a great method to maintain them at a certain size or shape. If your plants are too leggy, you can cut off as much as you want from their stems to give them a fresh look. Make sure you also remove unhealthy or dead leaves to make room for new ones to appear.

Watering Epipremnum Pinnatum

No worries, watering Epipremnum pinnatum plants is not as hard as you would imagine! Although these companions may seem picky at first, you will see that you do not need too much experience in the gardening world to master their watering routine. Especially when they are so talkative and share their inner feelings with you right away.

If you provide your Tibatib plants with too much moisture for a long period, their leaves will begin to fall off and will eventually result in root rot. On the other hand, spotted and wilted leaves may be a sign of under-watering or growing in a location that is too dry.

To prevent any of these extreme situations from happening, make sure you check the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil in-between waterings. When you notice that the substrate has dried out completely, provide your Tibatib plants with just enough water until you notice it draining from the bottom of the container. In winter, you must reduce the frequency of watering because your plants do not grow actively during that season.

Propagating Epipremnum Pinnatum

Did you fall in love with Epipremnum pinnatum plants and want to share them with your family members and friends? We can help you with that! You can propagate these beauties through stem (shoot) cuttings without too much effort or time spent. Tibatib plants are so undemanding that you can propagate them almost anytime you want during the year.

First things first, you must cut off individual stems and place their bottom half in a glass filled with fresh water. Make sure each cutting has at least one knot in the water because this is where most of their tiny roots develop.

The cuttings will root better if you change the water once every few days to provide them with a clean propagation medium. They will also require a warm environment and lots of indirect light to form roots faster. When the baby roots have about one inch (2.5 cm) in length, you can plant your Tibatib cuttings directly in the garden (only in spring) or a container filled with suitable potting soil.

In Conclusion

What more could you dream of? They are very attractive, low-maintenance, and loyal companions. Having one Epipremnum pinnatum a.k.a. Tibatib plant in your collection can be a rewarding and everlasting experience. Once you decide to give them a chance, make sure you share your journey with us in the comments!

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Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

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