GROWING SCINDAPSUS

10 deg C/50 deg F

This is a genus of climbing plants closely related to philodendrons. and they are grown in much the same way. S. aureus. which is now named by botanists as I’.pipri’innum aurewn. Devil’s ivy from the Solomon Islands, is the one most often seen as a houseplant. and it has a number of forms with different leaf markings and colourings. The leaves are broadly spear-shaped, and in ideal conditions the plants can climb to at least 1.8m (6ft). sending out aerial roots. As the plants mature, the leaves become more heart-shaped and the size increases three-fold to reach about 30cm (1 ft) in length. Sometimes, these large leaves are rooted by nurseries and sold in this form. However, as the plant grows it will revert to producing small foliage and continue to do so until it matures. Many people buying these large-leaved rooted cuttings often imagine that it is their fault that a dramatic leaf size change takes place soon after purchase. The foliage of the type species is usually bright green with golden-yellow blotching. ‘Marble Queen’ is green with creamy-white marbling, as the name implies. ‘Golden Queen’ has almost entirely golden-yellow foliage. ‘Tricolor

has a mixture of green, gold, and cream speckling. Less frequently seen is.S. pictus, the silver vine, from Java and Malaya, and usually grown in the form ‘Argyraeus’. This is similar to Epiprem-mun aureum (syn. Sciiidapsus aureus) hut with smaller leaves and shorter leaf stalks. The foliage is green, attractively blotched and spotted with silvery markings.

Scindapsus like warmth and humidity and slight shade in summer, with plenty of watering at that time. They are best grown up moss-covered supports, and enjoy being sprayed with a mist of water from time to time during the hottest months of the year. In winter, keep in much drier conditions, especially if temperatures tend to get low. Potting is best done during spring, using a peat-based compost with a little granular charcoal added. If plants become too large they can be cut back drastically during ]une. At the same time, cuttings can be taken from unwanted basal or lip growths. These need to be rooted in a temperature

of about 21 deg C

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