Cissus amazonica (siss-us am-uh-zoh-nik-uh), also known as the Amazon jungle vine, is a beautiful plant with attractive variegated leaves.
It is an easy-care ornamental plant that can gracefully cascade or climb upwards on a stick.
In general, Cissus amazonica thrives in bright, filtered light, temperatures ranging from 54 to 77°F, regular watering, 70 to 80% humidity, biweekly fertilization, repotting once every 2 to 3 years, and occasional pruning.
You can grow healthy Cissus amazonica indoors and outdoors with proper and minimal care as it is not too demanding.
Continue reading to learn where to buy, how to care, common problems, and how to propagate Cissus amazonica.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Cissus Amazonica
- Where to Buy Cissus Amazonica?
- Cissus Amazonica (Amazon Jungle Vine)- Complete Grow & Care Guide
- Growth Rate of Cissus Amazonica
- Toxicity of Cissus Amazonica
- Propagating Cissus Amazonica Via Stem Cutting
- Common Problems in Cissus Amazonica
- Cissus Amazonica vs. Cissus Javana
Overview of Cissus Amazonica
Cissus amazonica is native to the Amazon rainforest and thrives in warm conditions.
This plant has a moderate growth rate among vines that can overtake space and invade. But you might be fascinated if you see its growth in its natural habitat.
Did you know, Carl Linnaeus was the first to introduce amazonica, which was named after its natural habitat, in 1753.
Furthermore, this lovely plant can be grown outside in USDA zones 10b and higher, where the weather is consistently warm and humid.
Here is a quick overview of Cissus amazonica.
|Scientific Name||Cissus amazonica|
|Common Name||The Amazon Jungle Vine|
|Native Area||Brazilian rain forest|
|Growth Zone||Zones 10b and higher|
|Plant Type||Evergreen perennial|
|Growth Size||10 to 15 inches tall and half foot wide|
|Grown For||Stunning heart shaped Foliage|
|Container Requirement||Plastic or hanging baskets|
|Foliage||Heart shaped, olive green with silvery greyish coloration|
|Flowering||Small, red or green flowers|
|Toxicity||Non-toxic to pets and humans|
Additionally, Cissus amazonica is closely related to Begonia Rex and Grape Ivy, also known as Cissus Rhombifolia.
Where to Buy Cissus Amazonica?
Cissus amazonica is a rare plant that would make an excellent gift. You can also incorporate this lovely plant into your home.
You can get this plant from the following online retailers, which are listed below;
|Amazon||Three to seven days|
|Logees||Eight to Ten days|
|Etsy||Three to five business days|
|Steve's Leaves||Upto seven days|
Cissus Amazonica (Amazon Jungle Vine)- Complete Grow & Care Guide
Cissus amazonica, also known as Amazon Jungle Vine, is a beautiful and easy-to-care-for indoor plant.
I’ve been caring for my adorable little plant and have fallen in love with its dual-colored foliage.
Continue reading if you want to know how to care for your plant like a pro.
Here I will share the care instructions I used to grow the Cissus amazonica plant. Let us look at the quick care instruction first;
|Lighting||5 to 6 hours of bright filtered sunlight
Can withstand one hour of direct sunlight
|Watering||Once every four days or when top soil is dry.|
|Temperature||Warm temperature ranging from 54 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Humidity||High humidity 70 to 80%|
|Soil||Well draining slightly acidic soil (6 to 7.3)|
|Fertilizer||Biweekly fertilization with liquid fertilizer during summer and spring|
|Pruning||Occasionally prune dead and damaged foliage|
|Repotting||Once in a two to three years during spring and summer|
|Common Pests||Mealy Bug, Spider Mites, Aphids, Scale insects and Whiteflies|
|Common Diseases||Southern Blight, Heart Rot, Botrytis Blight|
1. Bright Indirect Sunlight and Proper Location
Cissus amazonica, as the name suggests, comes from the lush jungles of the Amazon. In its natural habitat, it gets bright filtered light through tall tree canopies.
If you want to mimic its natural sunlight condition, it is better to put them in the location that best mimics its natural habitat.
As a general rule, provide Cissus amazonica 5 to 6 hours of bright, filtered sunlight per day and place them in east-facing windows or 3 feet away from south-facing windows.
Moreover, it can grow outside under the shade and tolerate up to one hour of direct sunlight.
However, prolonged exposure to sunlight can give the foliage a washed-out appearance.
But, it does not mean that you can place them in a poorly lit area, as your plant’s growth will be stunted, eventually leading to death.
Here are some signs your Cissus amazonica shows if they are getting too much or too little light.
|Less Light||Extreme Light|
|Minimal growth||Scorched yellow foliage|
|Leaves start dropping||Brown edges or spots on leaves|
|Stretched stems/internodes||Dropping leaves|
|Wet soil||Dry soil|
Tips to Provide Adequate Light for Cissus Amazonica
Follow these tips to make sure your Cissus amazonica is getting optimum light.
- Please place them in a room where it gets plenty of bright filtered light.
- If you are placing them in south-facing windows, keep them 3 feet away.
- Use a sheer curtain to filter the bright light.
- You can put them in east-facing windows to get soft morning sunlight.
- Rotate your plant occasionally, so every part of the plant receives enough light needed for its growth.
- Keep them under a larger tree to recreate the canopy it faces in its natural habitat.
- You can use LED grow lights if your plant is in a dark place that does not get enough light for growth.
2. Optimum Watering
Cissus amazonica needs frequent watering as it likes moist soil but does not like being overwatered.
As a general rule, water your Cissus amazonica once every 7 to 9 days in their growing season and cut back on watering during the winter season to avoid root rot. Additionally, ensure you are using room temperature water.
You should water the plant in colder months only to keep the potting mix moist insignificantly as it is in the potential rest period.
Check the soil condition regularly to see if the plant is getting enough water. You can poke chopsticks in the soil to know its moisture level.
If your plant does not get enough or excess water, it will show different signs as a cry for help.
|Under Watering||Over Watering|
|Shrivelled stems||Root rot|
|Brown edges and spot on leaves||Plant collapse|
|Yellowing leaves||No new growth|
|Stunted Inflorescences and little to no growth||Yellowing lower leaves|
Tips to Water Cissus Amazonica Properly
- Let the topsoil dry before watering them again. Keep the soil moist, not soggy.
- Ensure proper drainage and empty the saucer at the bottom, as the plant does not like to sit in a pool of water.
- Use a moisture meter to determine the soil moisture.
- Water the plant with distilled, room temperature water. Rainwater is also good for the plant.
- Water less frequently during the colder months, but keep the moisture by lightly watering.
- You can choose either top-watering or bottom-watering the plant.
- Water your plant directly on the soil in the morning to allow the water to reach the roots.
Pro Tip: If you are prone to overwatering your plant, use a water scheduling app or a soil moisture meter to avoid the risk.
3. Warm Temperature
Cissus amazonica is native to the Brazilian rainforest and prefers warm temperatures ranging from 55 to 75°F, but can withstand temperatures as high as 95°F.
It favors a high-temperature climate and seems fragile in too cold temperatures.
Cissus amazonica can easily withstand a daytime temperature of 95°F, but if the temperature falls below 54°F, the plant will struggle to maintain growth for an extended period.
Moreover, frost and sudden temperature drops will cause severe growth retardation in Cissus amazonica. So, you should be more conscious about keeping them near air conditioners or heaters.
Furthermore, it grows well in the hardiness zone 10b and higher. During winter, you should consider moving them inside to protect them from frost if it is outdoors.
Signs of Temperature Issues in Cissus Amazonica
- Leaf starts dropping when there is a sudden drop in temperature.
- You will see brown edges or spots in leaves with colder temperatures.
- Higher temperatures above 85°F can cause yellow leaves and curl up.
Tips to Maintain Ideal Temperature for Cissus Amazonica
- Bring your plant indoors if the temperature falls below 50°F to protect against cold.
- Do not place it near air conditioning and heating vents as it will wreck the plant.
- Close the window during nighttime as the cold drafts can affect the plant’s growth.
- You can use a heating pad or frost blankets if the temperature is too low.
- To increase the temperature, you can use grow light as well.
- Mulching the top of the soil is also a good option to prevent the heat from escaping.
4. High Humidity
Being native to tropical rainforests, Cissus amazonica prefers higher humidity because it is surrounded by plants and trees, creating higher humidity.
Cissus amazonica prefers humidity levels between 60 and 80% and dislikes low humidity because it curls its leaves if not given enough moisture.
However, obtaining high humidity levels at home may seem challenging. As a result, you can use a room humidifier and other dependable methods to increase humidity.
But, be careful about increasing humidity levels exponentially as it can wet the plant significantly and promote bacterial and fungal growth.
On the other hand, low humidity causes transpiration and chlorosis. Below are some tell-tale signs of low and too high humidity in Cissus amazonica.
|Too Low Humidity||Too High Humidity|
|Wilting and shriveled Leaf||Stems and leaves rot|
|Yellowing of leaves edges (chlorosis)||Patches of grey mould on the leaves|
|Brown leaf tips||Fungal growth|
|Leaves may fall in severe conditions||Mold presence in the soil and flower as well.|
Tips for Maintain Optimum Humidity
- Place the potted plant on top of the pebble tray filled with water to increase the humidity.
- Mist the plant in the morning so the water will evaporate till night.
- One of the natural options can be grouping your indoor plants to share the humidity environment.
It will be wise to inspect the plant properly before grouping them together so that infected plants cannot transfer their pests and diseases to other plant.
- You can place this plant in the kitchen or bathroom, which has higher humidity.
- Another great option is to invest in a hygrometer to monitor the humidity around the plant and a humidifier to increase it.
5. Well-Draining Organic Soil
Cissus amazonica is not too fussy about the soil and will thrive in a well-drained, nutrient-rich potting mix.
It prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil from pH 6 to 7.3.
It is a moisture-loving plant, so any soil that retains and drains water creates a perfect habitat for them.
If you have a notion of planting them in a pot or garden, ensure the soil is rich in nutrients to accelerate the plant’s growth.
Likewise, you may add different elements to the soil like peat or sphagnum and perlite to the potting mixture to allow the roots to breathe freely.
Peat and sphagnum will retain the moisture, and perlite will promote aeration, water retention, and drainage in the soil.
Another great way to retain the moisture in the soil is to use mulch to retain moisture without waterlogging. Moreover, pine bark, grass clipping, and newspapers are some effective mulching materials.
DIY Potting Mix: Combine peat moss, perlite, pine bark, and compost in 1:1:1:1 ratio to make ideal potting mix for your Cissus amazonica.
In addition, you can also use a commercial potting mix for Cissus amazonica. Some of them are listed below.
- Espoma Organic Mix – Purely Organic
- Rio Hamza Grower Mix – Helps in preventing root rot
- Miracle-Gro Potting Mix – Healthy water retaining capacity
- rePotme Soil Mix – Provides better drainage
6. Biweekly Fertilization in Growing Season
Cissus amazonica does not throw tantrums about the fertilizer and can perform well with moderate fertilizers.
As a general rule, feed your Cissus amazonica biweekly with balanced liquid fertilizer biweekly during its growing season to maintain its Amazonian beauty.
In addition, you can also incorporate spike fertilizer which releases nutrients into the soil over time. However, they do not need fertilizer during winter as they go into dormancy.
Similarly, you can also use an organic fertilizer such as compost, ground coffee, and blood meals. Organic by-product fertilizers are cheap, retain water, and ensure healthy root development.
However, ensure you are not over-fertilizing your plant as it can cause yellowing leaves and root burn.
Some of the symptoms of overfertilizing and under-fertilizing are listed below.
|Slow or stunted growth||Yellowing and wilting of lower leaves|
|Yellowing and pale foliage||Defoliation and leaves start turning brown|
|Weak stems and leaves dropping||Root rot and salt buildup on soil|
Here is a list of commercial fertilizers you can use for Cissus amazonica.
- Miracle-Gro Spikes (6-12-6)
- Southern Ag Granular Fertilizer (10-10-10)
- Jacks Classic Fertilizer (20-20-20 )
- Premium Concentrated Fertilizer (8-1-5)
7. Repotting Every 2-3 Years
Cissus amazonica has very thin roots, almost like a thread, so it will take a lot of time to outgrow the current pot.
It also means it will not be root bound faster. But eventually, if the roots start poking out of the container, you should repot the plant immediately.
Generally, repotting Cissus amazonica every two to three years during summer or spring is ideal for its growth.
For repotting, use a hanging pot to gracefully cascade or a pot with a vertical stick to showcasing the vines beautifully.
Furthermore, ensure the pot is 2 to 3 inches larger than the previous container and has enough drainage holes.
Repotting them once every 2 to 3 years is helpful. Because a severely root-bound Cissus amazonica plant shows symptoms like yellowing and drooping foliage, poor water drainage, and slowed growth.
Steps to Repot Cissus Amazonica
- Choose a hanging basket or pot at least 2-3 inches bigger than the current pot with proper drainage.
- Water the plant for 24 hours before repotting to avoid transplant shock.
- Fill the pot with soil mixed with perlite, fertilizer, and peat moss.
- Ensure the plant is not too dry as it will damage the roots when detaching.
- Detach the plant carefully without damaging the roots.
Before repotting, check the plant thoroughly for any diseases and pests to avoid infection.
- Place the plant in the center of the new pot and fill it with fresh potting soil up to the top, leaving an inch.
- Put a layer of pine bark pieces on the top to retain the moisture.
- Water them generously for roots to form quickly in the soil.
- Place the plant in a location where it gets bright but filtered light.
Pro Tip: If you plan to locate the plant in a darker location, you can use more perlite and grit in the lower part of the pot to prevent overwatering risks.
For more tips, you can watch the video,
9. Pruning Occasionally
Cissus amazonica does not require frequent pruning. However, pruning old, damaged, or dead leaves will ensure their healthy growth.
They can grow outrageously if you take good care of them, so pruning will help keep them manageable.
You can prune Cissus amazonica once a year during spring and summer to keep the vines at a reasonable length.
You can also consider pruning if you see stunted or dull growth as it encourages new growth.
Remove all the dead vines at the end of winter or the beginning of the spring.
Tip: Prune Cissus amazonica by pinching off the foliage that is growing past the desired length using a pair of clippers.
Also, do not forget to sterilize the tools before the pruning session to avoid infections.
Growth Rate of Cissus Amazonica
Cissus amazonica is a lovely plant with burgundy and green foliage with pointy tips and a silvery touch.
Generally, Cissus amazonica can grow up to 2.6 ft high and 1.6 ft wide in a pot. However, it can grow in bigger sizes outdoors.
In an outdoor location, if you allow them to climb up, they can reach a height of 10 to 15 feet.
Likewise, you can place them near a big tree for them to climb, or you can install a tall stick to support the vines to climb up. Similarly, you can also place them in a hanging pot to see their full growth.
Cissus amazonica grows slowly and typically takes 2 to 5 years to reach maturity.
Furthermore, if properly cared for, your Cissus amazonica may produce small red or yellow flowers in the spring and summer in their natural habitat. However, it is difficult for them to flower indoors.
The most beautiful thing about the Cissus amazonica is its variegated leaves which have a silver lining with burgundy underneath.
With enough care, the long, heart-shaped leaves can grow about 2 to 4 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide.
Toxicity of Cissus Amazonica
Cissus amazonica is non-toxic or poisonous to dogs, cats, horses, or other pets. It is also safe for humans, making it ideal for pet owners with children.
However, it would be best if you were careful nonetheless. Here are some things you should be conscious of if you own Cissus amazonica.
- If you hang this plant, ensure it is correctly placed on a hook, or it might fall on someone’s head.
- When fertilizing the plant, make sure to put them away from the pets as they might consume them, leading to more significant problems.
- Your pets might consume this plant and choke on them.
- Large quantities of consumption may lead to vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite.
This plant does not possess any benefits from consumption, so it is better not to consume them.
You can call any emergency hotlines if your pet shows symptoms after consumption.
Propagating Cissus Amazonica Via Stem Cutting
The lovely leaves of Cissus amazonica will make you want to have more of them in your garden. Furthermore, propagating them is an excellent way to obtain multiple plants without spending additional money.
You can propagate Cissus amazonica via stem cutting in a soil or water medium during the summer or spring season.
To ensure better growth after transplanting, use the proper tools and a potting mix that allows good drainage.
Materials Required for Propagation
Here are some materials you would require while propagating the plant.
|Gardening Knife||For stem cutting|
|Gardening Gloves||For safety|
|Potting Mix||Potting Medium|
|Perlite||For extra drainage|
|Rooting Hormone||For best growth|
|Terracotta Pot with a Drainage Hole||Well draining organic pottig mix|
|Humidifier||To maintain the humidity|
Tip: Disinfect the gardening tools with rubbing alcohol to prevent disease infection.
Steps to Propagate Cissus Amazonica via Stem Cutting
Here is the step-by-step guide to propagating Cissus amazonica via stem cutting.
Step 1: Prepare the Cuttings
- Choose the healthiest stems to increase your chances of successful propagation.
- Avoid taking the vine tip or young stem as they tend to die during the propagation method.
- The cutting should be three to four inches with four to five leaf nodes. Each cutting should have at least 2 to 3 leaves.
- Remove the bottom half leaves and leave the top half as it is.
- Allow the cutting to dry thoroughly for a few days and form calluses on both ends.
- Apply the rooting hormones at the lower end to speed up the rooting process and prevent root rot.
Step 2: Rooting in Water
- Choose a transparent glass jar so light can easily access your cutting, and you can monitor the progress.
- Fill the jar halfway with distilled water at room temperature.
- Place the stem cutting in water and immerse the nodes. Make sure the top leaves are not submerged in water.
- Place the jar in a window sill where it gets bright filtered light.
- Change the water every 4 to 5 days with fresh water when it gets dirty.
- After a few weeks, you should be able to see tiny roots emerging from the nodes.
- When the plant’s roots have grown about an inch or two, take them out and transplant them into a nutrient-rich potting mix.
Step 3: Transfer to Potting Medium
- The last step is transplanting them into a pot filled with the appropriate potting mix.
- Make a small hole in the center of the pot with your finger and gently place the cutting in it.
- The top leaves should not be covered with soil and should be above the surface; however, the empty node should be buried.
- Water the plant generously to increase the moisture; however, do not let the soil get soggy.
- Place a plastic wrap over the sapling for a few days to increase the humidity.
- Finally, place it in a warm location (around 70-75°F) with plenty of indirect sunlight.
Within a few weeks, the stem cutting should produce feeder roots.
Watch the video for more tips,
Common Problems in Cissus Amazonica
Cissus amazonica is a beautiful plant but can face various problems if you do not take care of it properly.
You might see problems like leaf dropping, yellow leaves, and root rot on your Cissus amazonica plant. Some pests and diseases may be the main cause.
Without further ado, let us quickly look at some common problems that may hamper the integrity of your beautiful Cissus amazonica.
1. Common Pests
Cissus amazonica is the most beautiful plant with its lovely foliage but is not free from pests.
Pests are unlikely to attack this plant when grown indoors. However, these tiny pests may annoy your plant if grown in unsuitable conditions.
Different pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, and white flies might attack your plant and hamper its growth.
These pests usually attack due to poor hygiene, excessive humidity, and too much water.
You may confuse cystoliths for pests and try to get rid of them. But they are produced by the plant to protect themselves against leaf-eating bugs.
The table below shows different pests and their effect on the plant.
|Mealy Bugs||White cotton-like substance appears on leaves.
Traps fungal molds
Contribute to the development of fungal infections.
|Spider Mites||White or yellow spots appears in leaves that feels like sand particle while touching
Discoloration and yellowing of leaves.
|White Flies||Suck up plant's juice and produce sticky substance called honeydew
Causes leaves wilting, stunted growth yellowing foliage
|Aphids||Honey dew secretion on plant
Soft-bodies pear shaped insects found densely on leaves
|Scale Insects||Small brown rounded lumps on your plant leaves|
Treatment for Pests
- Spray them with neem oil to kill the pests by suffocating them.
- Make a DIY insecticidal spray by mixing vinegar with water and applying them regularly.
- To get rid of mealy bugs and whiteflies, wash the plant with soap and water regularly.
- Remove the spider mites physically, either by washing them or using a soft brush to scrub them off.
- You can use a mixture of diluted alcohol and spray them on both sides of the leaves to kill spider mites.
- For Mildew treatment, mix one part of the milk or soda with four parts of water and wipe them with damp clothes.
- Apply chemical pesticides, like Pyrethrin spray, in cases of severe infestation.
You may be interested in reading about; Identifying insect eggs on leaves and treating pest infestation.
- Always use sterilized pruning scissors while grooming.
- Check the underside of leaves regularly, where most pests feed and hide.
- Avoid overwatering and overhead watering. Pest infestation mostly occurs when the soil is soggy.
- Maintain hygiene by regularly removing fallen or dead leaves and wiping the plant’s leaves.
- Maintain optimum lighting, temperature, and humidity levels to avoid pest infestation.
- Lay out a yellow sticky trap around the plant to catch the bug.
Read our article on How to Use Neem Oil on Indoor Plants?
2. Common Diseases
Most of the diseases in the plants result from watering and humidity anomalies.
Cissus amazonica is no different in that aspect. If you mess up the watering, you might invite various diseases to your beautiful plant.
Different horticultural diseases like Southern Blight, Heart Rot, and Botrytis Blight can affect your beautiful Cissus amazonica.
In detail, let us look at the diseases, their symptoms, and their causative agent.
|Diseases (Causative Agent)||Symptoms|
|Southern Blight (Sclerotium rolfsii)||Lower leaves will discolor, foliage will lose color|
|Heart Rot (Fistulina hepatica)||Center of branches and the stem will decay|
|Botrytis Blight (Botrytis cinerea)||New buds and flowers will lose color and eventually fall off|
Treatment for Diseases
- Cut the affected parts off the plant and dispose of them carefully in a safe place.
- Solarization, Cultural manipulation, and different biological treatments are effective against southern blight.
- As the heart rot starts at the heart of the branches and trees, it is better to snip them off.
- Examine the roots thoroughly, and if the plant has root rot, it is best to trim the infected parts and repot the plant in a new pot with a fresh potting mix.
- Fungicides like ‘Syngenta Headway,’ ‘Daconil® Fungicide,’ and ‘Garden Safe‘ can tackle most fungal diseases.
- Maintain optimum watering, humidity, temperature, and lighting requirement for the plant.
- Be careful to sterilize the tools and not to hurt the plant while pruning it, as it may lead to heart rot.
- Watering the plant at night can also invite diseases as the water cannot evaporate properly.
- Spray the plants with fungicides once or twice a year.
- To avoid disease infection, avoid misting the leaves in the evening and during the winter.
Cissus Amazonica vs. Cissus Javana
My mother gifted her sister a Cissus javana, thinking it was Cissus amazonica, at her birthday party.
Half of the people on the party agreed it was Cissus amazonica and the other half opposed it.
Like my mom, many people have difficulty differentiating between Cissus amazonica and Cissus javana. Both plants have similar features; they have the same shapes and long vines that climb or hang.
However, once you know the difference, you can not unsee it. Here are some distinguishing features of Cissus amazonica and Cissus javana.
- The leaves of javana are darker green, while amazonica is lighter.
- There are silver and purple blotches on the leaves of javana.
- Cissus amazonica has more slender leaves, whereas javana has slightly wider leaves.
- The stem of javana is red, but amazonica has a green stem.
Cissus amazonica can create a beautiful interior if placed on a pedestal or a hanging pot with the proper care mentioned above.
Likewise, an added advantage is its non-toxicity to your furry friends.
Try growing Cissus amazonica if you want to bring the vibe of the Amazon rainforest into your home.
Read our article on “Cissus Discolor: Where to Buy, Guide, and care tips”