Dischidia is an epiphytic succulent genus with over 80 distinct species. These plants are known to grow in tropical areas of the world, including India, the Philippines, New Guinea, and even Australia.
A plant that grows on the surface of another object, such as a rock or the branches of a tree, is known as an epiphyte. Because epiphytes do not grow in soil and do not form ‘roots’ in the traditional sense, they get their nutrients from the moisture in the air, rain, and debris that blows in and around them.
Their distinct and exotic appearance, as well as their ease of cultivation, have helped them to become popular houseplants. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant to grow or give as a gift, consider a Dischidia plant. You’ll find all the information you need to grow and care for one down below.
What Is Dischidia Oiantha?
Dischidia oiantha ‘Variegata’ has lovely, oval, silvery-white-edged leaves that look lovely hanging from a wall hook or trailing down a mantelpiece!
These plants are epiphytes, which means they grow on and feed off tree trunks and branches in the wild. You can make your own by using a pole or one of our plant supports.
How Do You Grow A Dischidia Plant?
As houseplants, these plants can be grown in containers. We particularly enjoy growing these plants in hanging containers because of their flowing foliage, which allows the foliage to spill out and hang elegantly.
These houseplants can also be grown in the garden. They do well during the warmer months of the year, but depending on the type of winter in your area, they may require extra shelter or be brought indoors.
If you decide to grow them outside, make sure to plant them in the shade of other, taller plants, as they do not thrive in direct sunlight.
Some varieties are classified as climbers. These plants are frequently seen climbing the bark of trees in the wild. Plant these species with a support structure, such as a trellis, to encourage them to climb upwards. You could also plant them next to a fence or simply let them climb the pot’s hanging system.
We recommend taking cuttings in the spring and summer. Cut below a leaf node on one of the healthiest, most established stems with a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears.
Place the cutting in water and allow it to grow new roots. This process could take up to 30 days.
Take the cutting out of the water and place it in a new container filled with any basic cactus or succulent mixture. You could also try mounting your cutting on a sphagnum moss ball.
Place the newly propagated specimens in a location that receives indirect sunlight and care for them as usual.
These plants are easily propagated through cuttings. Propagating from cuttings is the most dependable method, and it helps to ensure that the new plant has the same characteristics as the parent plant.
These houseplants can be grown from seed as well. However, this is by far the longest process. Moreover, it is impossible to predict how the new plant will grow and perform. Surprisingly, the seeds have small hairs on them that aid in their transport by the wind.
These plants should not be grown in a soil-based growing medium because they are epiphytic. Instead, they should be planted in an epiphyte-friendly medium.
A standard orchid potting mix from the store is a good choice. However, you could also use shredded bark or coconut husk as a substrate. It is also possible to mount your Dischidia plant to a sphagnum moss ball without using any soil.
These plants do not require extensive or frequent pruning. Keep an eye out for and remove any yellowing or dying foliage, however. You can control the shape and size of your Dischidia plant by pruning it once a year.
Always use clean tools when pruning to avoid spreading bacterial or fungal diseases. Pruning with a sharp tool provides the best incision and helps avoid shocking and damaging the plant unnecessarily.
Transplanting and repotting
Your plant may eventually outgrow its container and become root-bound. When a plant becomes rootbound, you may notice roots growing out of the drainage holes. You should consider repotting your Dischidia plant every 2 to 3 years to keep up with its growth. When repotting, choose a container with adequate drainage.
Transplant shock can occur if the repotting process becomes overly stressful. We recommend that you disturb the roots as little as possible to avoid transplant shock. Water your plant before removing it from its container because moist roots will travel more easily. Also, after your plant has been transplanted into its new home, make sure to thoroughly water it.
If you took a cutting for propagation, you should wait until early spring to transplant your new Dischidia.
These plants use an average amount of water. They are usually content with being watered once a week. If the soil appears to dry out faster during the hotter months of the year, you may need to water more frequently. Your Dischidia plant, on the other hand, may require less watering during the winter months.
Overwatering should be avoided. Oversaturation can cause root rot, which can kill your prized plant. Check the moisture level of the soil with your finger to avoid overwatering. Water if the soil appears to be dry. Wait if it still feels moist.
Dischidia plants are native to forested areas, where they coexist with tall trees and plants. As a result, most varieties prefer medium to bright indirect sunlight.
Avoid exposing your Dischidia plant to direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can damage the plant by scorching the delicate and tender foliage.
When it comes to choosing the best location around the house, we recommend a window facing southeast or west. This area should be well-ventilated as well. Proper ventilation is essential for preventing plant disease and pest infestation. It should be noted, however, that good ventilation does not imply cold drafts.
Humidity and temperature
Dischidia plants prefer tropical climates. It is best to keep your plant away from cold drafts and freezing temperatures. This should not be a problem if you are growing your plant indoors. The ideal temperature range for your plants is 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dischidia plants get vital moisture from the air around them because they are epiphytic. This is why Dischidia plants prefer humidity. We recommend spraying your plants with water to increase the humidity level.
If your growing environment is particularly dry, you should consider running a humidifier once or twice a day.
Another effective method for increasing humidity around your plants is to place them in a homemade humidifying tray. Simply fill a shallow tray with water and pebbles (large enough to hold your Dischdia’s container). The water will evaporate over time, increasing the humidity.
Dischidia plants are not known to be voracious eaters. They can thrive in the absence of a fertilizing regimen. However, fertilizing is recommended if you want to encourage vigorous growth.
If you decide to fertilize, a diluted solution of any store-bought houseplant fertilizer should suffice. Fertilizing is best done in the spring and summer. To avoid over-fertilization, cut the recommended dosage in half.
We recommend that you reduce your fertilizing protocol during the winter months.
Diseases and pests
Pests are rarely a problem for Dischidia plants. However, keep an eye out for insects such as mealybugs and scale insects. If you suspect a pest infestation, we recommend washing your plant with an insecticidal soap or oil, such as neem oil.
When it comes to Dischidia plants, root rot is the most common issue. You may notice the following symptoms if your plant is suffering from root rot:
- Yellow or rotten leaves
- Moldy soil or substrate
- Stunted growth
Remove the plant from its container if you suspect root rot, and remove the affected (rotten) roots while leaving the healthy roots alone. Sterilize the container and wash the remaining healthy roots gently with lukewarm water.
Powdery mildew or blight is another common problem with Dischidia plants. These diseases are caused by allowing too much moisture to accumulate on the foliage. If your Dischidia plant has blight or mildew, remove the affected areas and relocate the plant to a more dry location.
How to Care Dischidia Plants?
The specific care you give your plant is determined by the variety of Dischidia you choose to grow. However, there are some universal themes that apply to all species. In general, when raising Dischidias, the goal is to replicate their natural environment.
It’s all about striking a balance between adequate moisture in the soil or growing substrate, proper lighting, and good humidity for these plants. The ideal conditions may come naturally. It depends on where you live. However, in colder and drier climates, it may be necessary to put in a little extra effort to ensure that your plants are happy and comfortable.
Dischidia plants are excellent indoor succulents, especially if you want a unique and low-maintenance epiphyte that can be grown in a variety of conditions. They thrive in a wide range of light conditions, are relatively drought-tolerant, and are resistant to pests and plant disease.