Also called Australian vines, in fact the cissus belong to the same family as the vine; the most cultivated in apartment, Antarctic cissus, comes precisely from Australia, the other species are also widespread in Asia and Africa. These are climbing plants, of tropical and subtropical origin, long used as houseplants. They have large shiny and healthy leaves, carried by fickle and thin stems, generally dark in color; at the leaf axil long tendrils develop, which allow the plant to attach itself to racks and guardians, to make it climb. In fact in the apartment though these plants are more often used in hanging baskets, leaving them to fall back, more rarely in the vase is placed a brace covered with moss, like the one used for the pothos. These plants in nature reach many meters in length of branches; in pots they remain more compact. Rarely in the home produce small little decorative flowers, followed by dark berries.
How they are cultivated
Like most houseplants also i cissus they are easy to cultivate; they live very well in containers that are not too large, with a universal bon mold mixed with a small amount of coarse-grained pumice stone, to increase drainage. Every year, in autumn, we will change all the soil contained in the pot with fresh substrate, so as to allow the plant to always find the mineral salts it needs. During the spring and summer period they are watered regularly, keeping the soil mainly humid; during the cold months instead the waterings will be only sporadic, avoiding to leave the substratum dry for excessively prolonged period of time. Also the fertilizer will be administered only from March to September, avoiding winter fertilizations; we use a fertilizer to be mixed every 10-12 days with the water used for watering, specific for green plants.
Let's position our Australian vine in a luminous place, but not directly exposed to solar rays; these plants love a mildly humid climate and well-ventilated places. They do not fear the cold too much, they can withstand minimums of up to 7-8 ° C, so they can find a place in a stairwell, or in a poorly heated area of the house.
In order to always have a lush and compact plant it is convenient, in autumn, to significantly prune all the branches, shortening them by about a third; in this way the plant will be stimulated to produce new branches and foliage in the lower part, assuming a roundish bearing.
Australian vine - Cissus: The "secrets" of the Australian vine
The Australian vine has always belonged to the traditional pharmacopoeia of the Australian aborigines; only recently Western medicine has also rediscovered the properties of this plant, which is used for balms and tablets, useful in cases of bone arthritis, ligament problems and fractures. It is used in particular by those who practice sport assiduously, in various cases of bruises, sprains, tendinitis. In addition to cissus similar to small vines, there are species of succulent and caudiciform cissus, originating in Africa and South America; only in recent years have these plants been "discovered" by succulent enthusiasts.