Grape ivy, also known as oak leaf ivy, is an attractive plant that is often mistaken for poison ivy. Its luxurious glossy green leaves resemble wax and the plant is so-named because its leaves also look like grapes. This ivy is usually grown on tendrils so it is able to climb. Although grape ivies can be grown outdoors, they're mostly considered houseplants.
The grape ivy plant (Cissus incisa) belongs to the grape family, according to the University of Florida. Its leaves range from 2 to 9 inches and are divided into three leaflets that have toothed margins. Leaves that have a darker green color are those that have been given proper nutrition and heavy shade. The plant grows slowly and lacks flowers.
Size, Time Frame and Benefits
According to About Ivy.com, grape ivy grows as tall as 18 inches with vines up to 10 feet long. If properly cared for, these plants live for several years.
Grape ivy adds year-round greenery to a room or garden. They can grow in hanging basket plants and are low maintenance.
Grape ivy plants need proper ventilation and bright filtered light when grown indoors. They should be pinched back to increase fullness. The Plant Care website cautions not to use misting water that contains lime as this can cause leaf staining. Provide these plants filtered shade when grown outdoors.
Pests and Diseases
Grape ivy plants tend to attract mealy bugs; scale pests can be a problem. Other pests include moths, gnats, aphids and thrips.
Gray mold and fungal diseases such as powdery mildew are among the most common diseases attacking grape ivy. The main symptom of powdery mildew is a powdery white coating that covers the top and occasionally bottoms of leaves on infected plants. Sometimes this covering appears in circular lesions seen on an entire leaf's surface. Gray mold (Botrytis), is a disease with symptoms of gray areas on leaf margins and generally occurs during cool, dark winter months.
Although grape ivy plants need only a small amount of water, they need to be watered regularly. Allowing soil to dry out can result in an excessive leaf dropping. Cuttings are the most widely used method of propagation for grape ivy. .