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Genus to which some dozens of species of climbing plants, originating from Australia, and from the tropical areas of Asia belong; to this genus also some succulent, caudiciform species, now separated in the genus Cyphostemma, belonged. The most common are Cissus antarctica, a native of Australia, with thin leaves and green stems, equipped with tendrils; and C. rhombifolia, with broad glossy leaves, pubescent and white on the underside, the brown stems covered with a thin white hair. Generally these species of Cisso are cultivated as prostrate plants, leaving the long stems hanging from baskets. In spring the Cissus antarctica plants produce small greenish-white flowers, of little decorative value, followed by small round fruits gathered in clusters.
The specimens of Australian vine, another name of the Cisso, are cultivated in a luminous position, but far from the direct rays of the sun; It is also possible to keep Cissus antarctica in a partially shaded or shaded place. Most species fear the cold and need winter temperatures above 10 ° C. The ideal temperature for the luxuriant growth of Australian vine plants is around 22 ° C.
Water the Cisso plants regularly throughout the year, working regularly during the summer; between one watering and the other it is advisable to let the soil dry. In winter the watering must be reduced, intervening only when the soil has dried and always avoiding the formation of water stagnation that can easily lead to the formation of water stagnation.
Every 20-25 days, provide fertilizer for green plants, mixed with the water used for watering.
Cisso plants are multiplied by cuttings in spring or late summer; Cissus antarctica cuttings root very quickly; they should be placed in a mixture of peat and sand and placed in a protected and sheltered place, where the temperature is mild and constant. When the first shoots appear, it is possible to transplant each cutting into a single pot, placing the pots in a shady place.
Specimens of Australian vines prefer loose and soft soils, rich in organic matter, well drained, to avoid the onset of root rot.
It is good to proceed with repotting annually, as this type of plants grows very quickly and the root system may be forced into a too small vessel. Use soil mixed with peat and sand to form the ideal substrate.
Australian vine, Cisso - Cissus antarctica: Pests and diseases
It is sporadically attacked by red spider mites and scale insects. In case their presence is noticed, it is possible to intervene with appropriate insecticide products, or, in the case of the cochineal, if the presence is reduced, intervening manually with a cloth or a cotton pad soaked in alcohol. For the red spider it may be sufficient to increase the amount of moisture in the air with water vaporization.
The life cycle of the plant is quite short, around 6 or 7 years.