Grape Ivy Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Cissus Rhombifolia”

Read our guide to Grape Ivy plants for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Cissus Rhombifolia”

Raising plants is a great way to reduce stress and brighten your surroundings at the same time. Some houseplants are easier to raise than others, but all of them offer a certain value when added to your home. The grape ivy plant is one such addition that will bring beauty and serenity to your surroundings without adding too much to your overall workload.

The Cissus Rhombifolia plant will allow you to bring the look of a vineyard inside of your home, without all the work that comes with it. When you think of ivy, you probably imagine poison ivy, or perhaps the lovely vines that climb on walls you see all over town. While it may share the name ivy, it is not actually from the ivy family at all, it is from the grape family.

Overall this lovely plant is rather easy to grow and can thrive as a hanging plant on your porch or a potted plant inside of your home. The dark berries are not edible, but they do make for an attractive plant all year long.

Like most houseplants, it is generally resistant to pests, but should be checked on occasion for regular house bugs and aphids. If you are interested in learning more about the Grape Ivy plant, keep on reading.

About Grape Ivy

  • The grape ivy is actually not an ivy plant.
  • Cissus rhombifolia has been a favorite houseplant since the mid-’40s.
  • In some places the grape ivy plant is called the Venezuela Treebine.
  • The grape ivy plant needs to be planted in partial shade in order to survive.
  • This plant can climb, hang, or remain pot-bound.
  • The grape ivy will grow as tall or long as five feet when cultivated indoors.
  • The Cissus rhombifolia produces small fuzzy flowers that are green during the spring.

Grape Ivy Features: An Overview

  • The Cissus grape Ivy plant is from the Vitaceae family.
  • The grape ivy thrive in low light and in filtered light.
  • The Cissus plant is also known as grape ivy and Oak Leaf Ivy.
  • The grape ivy plant originally was found in Columbia, Mexico.
  • The grape ivy will grow as tall or long as ten feet when cultivated outdoors.
  • It thrives best in tropical climates such as in zones 10 and 11 in the United States.
  • The Cissus rhombifolia produces berries that are bluish-black in color during the summer months.
  • The leaves of the grape ivy look similar to oak leaves.
Grape Ivy
Grape Ivy

Growing Grape Ivy

Growing the grape ivy indoors or outside is not complicated at all. They should be placed in indirect sunlight and can also thrive indoors with very low amounts of light. As a climbing plant, it does have the habit of growing in the direction of the nearest source of light. To keep the plant contained, simply prune the leaves of vines as needed when it grows outside of your desired range.

It should be planted in rich soil that is well-draining. The potting mix that is used for African Violets is the best but the plant will thrive in any quality organic potting soil. The grape ivy should be fertilized only once each season.

Any houseplant fertilizer will work well, just make sure that it is diluted to half its strength. The leaves are naturally a rich green, so long as the leaves maintain their deep color, you know that your plant is being well fed.

If you notice that the leaves on your Cissus plant are turning a bit yellow, you can give it an extra dose of fertilizer to revive the plant. The best temperature for the grape ivy plant is between 60 and 80 degrees, but it can survive in temperatures as low as 35 degrees. It is one of the most loved plants used by gardeners who prefer a challenge or for environments that do not fit typical norms.

Cissus Rhombifolia
Cissus Rhombifolia

Watering Grape Ivy

Watering the grape ivy plant requires a bit of diligence but is not overly difficult. It is a tropical plant so it needs plenty of moisture, but too much will cause it to wither. The soil of the grape ivy plant should be allowed to dry slightly between each watering session.

When you do water the plant, it should be done liberally and the water needs to be allowed to completely drain through the pot.

The Cissus Rhombifolia should be housed in a hanging or floor pot that has several drainage holes in the bottom. This will prevent water from accumulating around the roots which can lead to root rot. To properly maintain the right amount of humidity around the grape ivy plant, sit the pot on a bed of pebbles that is placed over a drainage plate.

This will ensure that the plant doesn’t get dehydrated nor will it have to suffer from soggy roots. For hanging plants, it is important to mist the leaves and the whole plant often to help regulate humidity levels.

Grape Ivy, From Amazon

Propagating Grape Ivy

Propagating your grape ivy plant is best achieved during the spring growing season. It is also a good idea to put your mature plants in new pots once a year to give them fresh soil. The roots do grow slowly, so you can propagate during your repotting, or you can take a cutting from a mature plant instead.

Plants that are grown in high light areas are the best for propagation. They tend to grow much faster and will offer healthy cuttings that root well in fresh soil. Just like a grapevine, you can propagate the grape ivy plant by placing cuttings in water until they start to root, or by planting them in rich, fresh organic soil. The clippings should be about six inches in length with a few leaves on the top and along the stem.

Roots take about six weeks to grow in water and soil alike. When growing a cutting in water, make sure to change the water at least once weekly. A potting mix that contains peat moss or coco coir, Styrofoam bits, and bark will ensure proper drainage while supporting a healthy root system.

It is also important to keep in mind the acidity of peat moss. Make sure that you add dolomite as a buffer. House your grape ivy cuttings in a steady temperature of 65 to 80 degrees to promote healthy growth. You can use a rooting hormone, but the plant thrives even without it.

Grape Ivy Plant
Grape Ivy Plant

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a plant that is attractive and easy to care for, grape ivy is an excellent choice. It thrives in low light which makes it a common choice for offices and other indoor spaces. It can be nurtured as a potted houseplant, or allowed to grow in hanging pots for an eye-catching effect.

If you are considering a plant to add to your walls or one that will grow like a vine, the grape ivy is an easy choice. You can grow both indoors and outdoors on trellises or pergolas, or keep them confined to a pot. Keep in mind that this is a climbing plant so it will grow towards the nearest light source.

Grape Ivy become a common houseplant in the US in the mid-’40s, but most people have since moved on to other types making the grape ivy harder to find. In general, the grape ivy is not considered toxic for animals or humans, but like with all house plants, it should not be ingested. If you have a sensitivity to ivy, the Cissus plant may trigger a mild rash on the skin.

The leaves of a mature grape ivy plant are dark green in color with a slight amount of red fuzz along the bottom. This gives the plant a hint of bronze color that will add an attractive touch to any indoor or outdoor garden.

The leaves have a serrated edge which usually ranges between four and six inched in length on healthy plants. When grown indoors, your plant will not produce flowers, however, when planted outside, it will generate tiny flowers and bright berries.

Cissus are great plants to grow if you live in an area with low light, but they still need at least some light. Watering once a week is usually enough to ensure proper growth and moisture. Overwatering or underwatering will cause the plant to wilt, so make sure to use well-draining potting soil and pots with drainage holes for your plant. Monthly fertilizing will allow for moderate growth will more frequent feeding will trigger faster growth, so keep that in mind when planting and caring for your grape ivy.

Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at or follow on twitter

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