Vines and Other Climbing Plants

Cissus Rhombifolia + Rhoicissus

Cissus and Rhoicissus are closely related plant families with very similar growing requirements and habits. They are all members of the greater Vitaceae classification of plants along with the familiar Vitis, or edible grape vines. Most of the family members are quick growing with tendrils and are natural climbers reaching 10-15 feet or more, although like grape vines, they will need to be tied in occasionally. Cissus are grown for their leaves that can provide a green covering for an old, or dull wall inside a conservatory as they all need the frost protection in Winter that a conservatory will provide. On the other hand, in the Summer they may need a little shade from the strong sun and will need regular watering when it is hot.

Rhombifolia, or the Grape Ivy has glossy, evergreen leaves that could easily be mistaken as belonging to a grape vine and it is one of the more common family members offered for sale in garden centres as an indoor pot plant, usually to be found in the foliage section. The Kangaroo Vine, or Cissus Antartica is another popular plant, but has leaves that are more oval and serrated. Other species will sometimes be seen and although, like all plants they do flower, the flowers are nondescript and they do often result in small, inedible grape like berries as many of their common names suggest.

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