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Grape Ivy 101: How to Care for this Charming Houseplant

Grape Ivy

Common Name: Grape Ivy, Venezuela treebine, Oak leaf Ivy, Kangaroo Vine

Latin Name: Cissus alata

Family: Vitaceae

Plant Time: In the Spring

Mature Size: 6–10 ft. tall, 3–6 ft. wide

Sun Preference: Partial shade

Soil Preference: Well-drained soil with Neutral to Acidic pH levels

Bloom Time: All year

Flower Color: Green

Native Area: South America, Central America

Toxicity: Non-toxic to humans and pets

Growth Rate: -

Wildlife Value: -

Table of Contents

Looking to bring a touch of lush greenery into your home without the hassle of high-maintenance plants? Look no further than the Grape Ivy (Cissus alata), a delightful houseplant that effortlessly combines beauty and simplicity. Also known as Oakleaf Ivy or Kangaroo Vine, this botanical gem originates from tropical regions of Central and South America. With its elegant, trailing vines and vibrant, glossy leaves reminiscent of grapevine foliage, the Grape Ivy is sure to captivate any indoor space.

One of the most appealing aspects of Grape Ivy is its forgiving nature. Caring for this plant is a breeze even if you’re a beginner with a less-than-green thumb. Its low maintenance requirements make it an ideal choice for plant enthusiasts of all levels.


Caring for this plant is a breeze, making it a popular choice for indoor gardening enthusiasts. Unlike other climbers, Grape Ivy readily embraces any support you provide, so make sure to position it near a structure or offer suitable support in your home, like a bookcase. The plant’s adaptability to low-light conditions makes it ideal for indoor settings. Surprisingly, despite its advantages, Grape Ivy remains somewhat elusive in many areas.

  • Soil: To ensure optimal growth, use a well-draining and aerated soil mix for your Grape Ivy. A combination of peat moss, bark, and perlite works well, or you can opt for a store-bought soil mix designed for African violets.
  • Water: Maintaining steady moisture in the soil – especially during the growing season – of your Grape Ivy is key. But also, you need to be on that sweet spot, because overwatering can quickly lead to root rot. If you notice leaf drop, you’ve probably overdone the watering part.
  • Light: Grape Ivy thrives in low-light environments, such as an east-facing window. While it can also grow well under artificial lights, it often doesn’t require them due to its preference for partial shade. If you have to place your plant in a brighter or consistently well-lit spot, remember to dial up the watering.
  • Temperature: Grape Ivy thrives in consistent temperatures ranging from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Extremes outside this range can hinder its growth.


When it comes to expanding your collection of Grape Ivy (Cissus alata), there are a few common methods of propagation to consider. One popular approach is through node cuttings. Simply snip a healthy vine section, remove the lower leaves, and place it in water or moist soil until roots develop.

Another method is layering, where you gently wound a section of a vine, secure it to the soil, and wait for roots to form. Whichever method you choose, with a little patience and care, you can easily propagate and share the beauty of Grape Ivy with others.

Common Pests

The Grape Ivy is generally a resilient plant, but it can occasionally face challenges from common pests. Here are a few pesky intruders to watch out for:

  • Mealybugs: These tiny, white insects often gather in clusters and feed on the plant’s sap, causing leaf yellowing and distortion. Regularly inspect your Grape Ivy for fuzzy white masses, particularly along leaf nodes and stems.
  • Scale Insects: Scale insects are notorious for their hard, protective shells. They attach themselves to the plant’s foliage and extract sap, leading to weak growth. Keep an eye out for small, round bumps or shell-like coverings on the leaves and stems.
  • Spider Mites: These minuscule pests thrive in dry conditions and often spin fine webs on the undersides of leaves. Spider mite infestations can cause leaf stippling, discoloration, and a generally unhealthy appearance.


Pruning grape ivy is an absolute delight for passionate gardeners like us! With its lush foliage and graceful vines, this plant thrives on our tender care. Maintaining a lush and full grape ivy is easily achieved by frequently pinching off the emerging tips. Furthermore, to control the length of the vines, one can selectively pinch them off at the desired measurement, preventing excessive growth.

  1. To start, equip yourself with a trusty pair of sharp pruning shears—your secret weapon for shaping this beauty. (find the most essential gardening tools here)
  2. Begin by removing any dead or damaged leaves, opening up the plant to a world of new growth. As you trim, envision the perfect balance of fullness and structure.
  3. Prune long, leggy stems to encourage branching, creating a more robust and bushy appearance. Remember, grape ivy is forgiving, so don’t hesitate to experiment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I water my Grape Ivy?

Water your Grape Ivy regularly during the growing season, keeping the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. In winter, reduce watering and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings.

Can I grow Grape Ivy in low-light conditions?

Yes, Grape Ivy is well-adapted to low-light environments and can thrive in an east-facing window or under artificial lights. It’s an ideal choice for indoor spaces with limited natural light.

How do I propagate Grape Ivy?

Grape Ivy can be propagated through node cuttings by snipping a healthy vine section, removing lower leaves, and placing it in water or moist soil until roots develop. Layering is another method where you wound a vine section, secure it to the soil, and wait for roots to form.

What is the ideal temperature range for Grape Ivy?

Grape Ivy prefers moderate and consistent temperatures ranging from 68 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid extreme temperature fluctuations like the plague!

How do I prevent pests on my Grape Ivy?

Regularly inspect your Grape Ivy for common pests such as mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites. Use natural or chemical methods to control and eliminate infestations, and maintain a clean and healthy environment for the plant to discourage pests.

What is grape ivy?

Grape Ivy (Cissus alata), also known as Oakleaf Ivy or Kangaroo Vine, is a climbing or trailing houseplant that belongs to the Cissus genus within the grape family (Vitaceae). Despite its common name, Grape Ivy is not actually a true ivy but gets its name from the resemblance of its leaves to those of grapevines. It is native to tropical regions of Central and South America. Grape Ivy is appreciated for its attractive, glossy leaves and trailing vines, making it a popular choice for indoor gardens and hanging baskets.