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not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
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site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.
Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
A. R. Chase, L. S. Osborne and R. W. Henley1
University of Florida, IFAS
Agricultural Research and Education Center Apopka
AREC-A Foliage Plant Research Note RH-1984-K
Grape Ivy, Cissus rhombifolia ih asjan appao common name because
it is a member of the grape fami 1, i-4'Aea ,, a so resembles some of the
other ornamental vines which be r the name ivy. The gerus Cissus consists
of approximately 350 species of tropil~(an4 sdU1i'opical vines and shrubs.
Cissus antartica, Kangaroo Vine and C. discolor, Trailirg Begonia, are other
representatives of the genus whiq egfa c ,I&qwc mjbl y for interior use,
but are less durable indoors tha n l IQ l
Grape Ivy has evergreen leaves which are divided into three leaflets
trifoliatee) with coarsely-toothed margins (serrate). The leaves range in
length from 2 to 9 inches, depending upon cultivar and plant vigor. The
leaf color is a medium to dark green; darker color is achieved with heavy
shade and adequate nutrition.
Grape Ivy is grown commercially in 3 to 10 inch pots and 6 to 22 inch
hanging baskets. The plant is used very effectively where a trailing vine
is required. It will tolerate light levels as low as 75 foot candles
indoors which makes it a good choice for many interiors.
Grape Ivy is best grown in greenhouses where light intensity,
temperature, and soil moisture can be properly regulated. Stock can be
grown in either benches or hanging pots. Some producers cut back their
hanging plants one or more times to obtain cuttings before selling them.
Grape Ivy stock and finishing plants should be grown at light
intensities of 1200-2000 foot candles and fertilized at the rate of 2.8
pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per month using a complete
fertilizer with a 3-1-2, or similar N-P205-K20 ratio.
Propagation and potting medium selection is important because the roots
of Grape Ivy need good aeration. A mixture of fibrous peat and other
particles (bark, perlite, styrofoam and/or calcined clay) are frequently
used by commercial growers. The medium should be water retentive but well
drained. When acidic peats are used, about 6 to 8 pounds of dolomitic
limestone (dolomite) should be added per cubic yard to adjust the pH of the
Associate Professor, Plant Pathology; Assistant Professor, Entomology and
Professor and Foliage Extension Specialist, respectively. Agricultural
Research and Education Center, 2807 Binion Road, Apopka, FL 32703.
blended medium to 5.5 to 6.2. If microelements are desired in the initial
medium, one pound of a granular micronutrient blend such as Micromax can be
used per cubic yard. Microelements can also be added later in a liquid
Good growth of Grape Ivy is observed between temperatures of 680 and
820F. As temperatures rise into the upper 800's and the 90's, growth is
suppressed and propagation is difficult.
Grape Ivy is propagated primarily by single node cuttings. Cuttings
are generally trimmed 1/4 inch above the node (point of leaf attachment),
and 3/4 to 1 1/4 inch below. Most growers feel there is benefit from use of
a rooting hormone. A noticeable callus layer forms at the base of most
cuttings and roots develop in the callused area.
Cissus rhombifolia leaf size moderate, 3 to 6 Inches long; with coarsely
toothed leaflets. The leaf shape is somewhat like that of poison ivy.
Cissus rhombifolia 'Ellen Danica' large leaves with leaflets lobed deeply,
in some cases forming secondary leaflets. The loosely arranged
leaflets and leaflet lobing give this cultivar a finer texture than the
Cissus rhombifolia 'Fionia' large, broad leaflets, some with deep cut
Tobes. The lateral leaflets have noticeably shorter stalks than other
cultivars, giving the leaf a full compact appearance.
Cissus rhombifolia 'Mandiana' leaves coarser and stems thicker and
more upright than the other cultivars.
Cissus rhombifolia 'Mandiana Compacta' a very compact form of 'Mandiana'
with very short internodes, and tightly organized, broad,
DISEASES OF GRAPE IVY
Both Grape Ivy and Kangaroo Vine are subject to several important
diseases which occur both during the production of the crop and during its
utilization in the interiorscape. Fungi are responsible for all of the
reported diseases of Cissus.
1). Anthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.)
Symptoms Anthracnose of both Grape Ivy and Kangaroo Vine often
occurs during the rooting process. Many leaves can be affected and
often cuttings are lost due to leaf abscission. Single lesions can
appear anywhere on the leaf and are water-soaked, roughly round, and
sometimes contain the fruiting bodies (acervuli) of the pathogen in
concentric rings. The acervuli are usually black and appear to be
the size of pepper grains. If the lesions dry out they often turn
tan to gray and can be papery. Many lesions coalesce on plants
under high moisture conditions. Large, well established plants are
also susceptible to Colletotrichum sp. Under conditions of high
moisture and high disease pressure many lesions may form. These
lesions are frequently small (1/8") and are angular (bordered by
leaf veins). In these cases the youngest leaves are most severely
Control Use only disease-free stock plants for cuttings since
infected plants rarely give rise to healthy new plants. Minimizing
the amount of water applied to leaves can reduce disease as can wide
spacing of plants which enhances rapid drying of the foliage.
Fungicide applications of benomyl can reduce disease severity.
Unregistered fungicides such as mancozeb are effective in
controlling anthracnose on other foliage plants.
2). Botrytis blight (Botrytis cinerea)
Symptoms Botrytis infections are typified by large grayish areas on
leaf margins and sometimes in leaf centers. Tissue in the center of
the plant is commonly infected since moisture levels in these areas
are highest. The dusty-gray to tan spores of the pathogen form all
over the tissue and can easily be seen with a 10 x hand lens.
Affected leaves collapse and turn mushy or dry. This disease is
primarily a problem during the relatively cool and darker winter
months in Florida.
Control Many plants other than Cissus spp. can be infected with
Botrytis blight and control measures should be extended to all
susceptible crops. Examples of these crops include Lipstick Vine,
Hoya, African Violet, and English Ivy. Benomyl (Benlate@ 50WP) is
registered for control of Botrytis on ornamentals. Another fungi-
cide which is not registered but will control Botrytis blight is
iprodione (Chipco 26019). Reducing moisture levels around foliage
by limiting water applications and increasing air movement are
recommended cultural controls for this and many other foliar
diseases of foliage plants.
3). Pestalotiopsis dieback (Pestalotiopsis menezesiana)
Symptoms Wilting of cuttings in propagation beds is the first symptom
of this dieback disease. Leaflets and roots dieback with infected
stem tissue discolored.
Control This disease has been reported to cause severe losses in
rooting of cuttings in Canada, but has not been reported in Florida
to date. Control of this dieback disease should be possible with
use of pathogen-free plants, rooting medium and minimizing water
applications. Fungicide drenches with Benlate may also provide some
4). Powdery mildew (Oidium sp.)
Symptoms A white powdery coating covers the top and sometimes the
bottom leaves of the affected plants. The covering sometimes forms
in circular lesions and sometimes covers the entire surface of the
Control This disease is rarely a problem in Florida but occurs
regularly in the interiorscape where the low humidity conditions
favor development. There are not currently any fungicides
labeled for use in the interiorscape, but benomyl can be used in the
greenhouse. A more recently developed compound, dodemorph acephate
(MilbanO) is also registered for powdery mildew control on Cissus
and provides excellent control, but is a restricted use pesticide
and requires a special applicator license to apply.
5). Rhizoctonia aerial blight (Rhizoctonia solani)
Symptoms Rhizoctonia aerial blight occurs primarily during the summer
months. Disease development can occur in less than 1 week, so
plants should be monitored carefully and frequently for initial
symptoms. Brown, irregularly-shaped spots form anywhere on the
foliage, but are most commonly in plant centers or near the soil
where the inoculum originates. Sometimes the first lesions appear
near the top of the plant confusing the source of the disease.
Lesions spread rapidly over the plants and cover them with the
reddish-brown, weblike mycelium of the pathogen.
Control Cultural control of this disease-is the same as that
discussed for the other diseases. In addition, since the source of
the pathogen can be the potting medium, the plants should be grown
in new or clean pots and potting medium and on raised benches in an
enclosed structure. Temperatures above 90 F promote disease
development, so cooling the greenhouse during certain times of year
can aid disease control. Benomyl (Benlate 50WP is registered)
provides good disease control. Chlorothalonil (Daconil 4.17F) also
is effective in disease control but is not registered for this crop.
PHYTOTOXICITY OF FUNGICIDES ON CISSUS SPP.
Benlate 50WP Ornaline 50WP
Pesticides were tested at recommended rates
MAJOR INSECT AND MITE PESTS OF GRAPE IVY
The major arthropod pests of grape ivy include aphids, fungus gnats,
mealybugs, mites, scales, caterpillars, and thrips. Mealybug, mite, and
scale infestations are typically the result of bringing infested plant
material into the greenhouse. Aphids, moths (adult stage of caterpillars),
and thrips have the ability to fly and thus invade the greenhouse from weeds
and other infested plants outside. In the control section for each pest a
few of the many registered and effective pesticides will be listed. For a
complete listing, please consult the references at the end of this report.
Because of the numerous varieties grown in the greenhouse a small group of
plants should be tested for phytotoxicity prior to treating the entire crop.
The list given in this section should be used only as a guide to the
sensitivity of this plant to pesticides.
Symptoms Aphids are pear shaped, soft-bodied insects which vary in
color from yellowish-green to dark brown. Infestations frequently go
undetected until honeydew or sooty mold is observed. Aphids can
cause distortion of new growth or, in extreme cases, infested plants
will be stunted.
Control There are a number of materials that will control aphids; for
example, Orthene 75S, Vydate 2L, and Mavrik AquaFlow.
2). Caterpillars (worms)
Symptoms Infestations are easy to detect because worms, the excrement
and the damage they cause, are generally visible to the unaided eye.
Damage appears as holes in the center or along the edges of foliage.
One species of moth has larvae that tie pieces of the leaf or leaves
together with silk forming a shelter within which it lives. This
pest is called a leaf roller and is becoming a serious pest of ivy.
Old damage can be distinguished from new by the callused appearance
of the damaged areas (worms are usually gone by this time).
Control Lannate L, Orthene* 75S, Dursban 2E, and Bacillus
thuringiensis effectively control various worm species.
Symptoms Mealybugs appear as white cottony masses in leaf axils, on
the lower surfaces of leaves and on the roots. Honeydew and sooty
mold are often present, and infested plants become stunted and, with
severe infestations, the plant will die.
Control Systemic materials are preferred. Examples of chemicals which
have systemic activity are: Cygon 2E, Disyston*, Metasystox, and
Orthene 75S. Ficam*,appears to be as effective as some of the
systemic materials. Control of root mealybugs is accomplished with
soil drenches with an insecticide. Diazinons AG500 and Vydate 2L
are the only insecticides registered for this purpose but both can
cause some phytotoxicity. When pesticides are applied to the soil,
care must be taken to assure that the pots have good drainage and
that no saucers are attached or phytotoxicity may result.
Symptoms Two-spotted spider mites are the major mite pest of ivy but
this plant is often also attacked by broad mites. Mites are very
small and go unnoticed until plants become severely damaged. Foliage
damaged by spider mites turns yellow or becomes speckled due to their
feeding. Often the presence of mites is overlooked because the cast
skins and webbing produced are confused for dust or hairs present on
many varieties of ivy. Broad mite feeding causes the inhibition of
new growth, necrosis of the vegetative shoot apex which is followed
by abscission of affected plant parts.
Control Spider mites can be controlled with MavrikOAquaFlow, Pentac
or Vendex formulations. Kelthane and Pentac formulations are
effective controls for broad mites. The critical point in any
spray program is thorough coverage with the pesticide. The best
control program is to minimize the possibility of introducing mites
into the growing area on infested plant material.
Symptoms Infested plants become weakened or stunted and die. Scales
can be found feeding on leaves, petioles, or stems. Their shape,
size, and color are variable and many are hard to distinguish from
the plant material on which they are feeding.
Control See Mealybugs
Symptoms Infested leaves become curled or distorted, with silver-gray
scars or calloused areas where feeding has occurred.
Control Many materials are registered and effective at controlling
PHYTOTOXICITY OF INSECTICIDES AND MITICIDES ON GRAPE IVY
Bacillus thuringiensis Diazinon EC
Dycarb Dimethoate EC
Pentac WP Plictran WP
Pesticides were tested at recommended rates and intervals.
1. Chase, A. R. 1983. Phytotoxicity of some fungicides used on tropical
foliage plants. ARC-Apopka Research Report, RH-83-2.
2. Short, D. E. 1978. Phytotoxicity of insecticides and miticides to
foliage and woody ornamental plants. Extension Entomology Report #57.
3. Short, D. E., L. S. Osborne, and R. W. Henley. 1982. 1982-1983 Insect
and related arthropod management guide for commercial foliage and woody
plants in Florida. Extension Entomology Report #52.
4. Simone, G. W. and A. R. Chase. 1984. Disease control pesticides for
foliage production. Extension Plant Pathology Report No. 30 (Revision
2). Florida Foliage 10(4):28-37.
Mention of a commercial or proprietary product or pesticide in this paper
does not constitute a recommendation by the authors nor does it imply
registration under FIFRA amended. Pesticides should be applied according to
the label instructions and safety equipment required on the label or by
federal law should be employed. Pesticides listed in the control sections
but not listed in the phytotoxicity charts HAVE NOT been tested for plant
safety by the University of Florida.