The tetrastigma plant is a member of the Vine family. The genus includes about 100 species which can be found in nature in northern Australia and South Asia. In the mid-latitudes it is cultivated as a houseplant and referred to as "the indoor grape".
Tetrastigma is a large liana decorated with lobed leaves. Under natural conditions, the plant can reach a length of over 50 meters.
The small flowers are of no ornamental value. It is very easy to grow such a liana in room conditions, and it can grow incredibly long even here, but most often it is regularly shortened to 200-300 cm. The tetrastigma is a very fast grower, so that in 12 months its length can increase by approximately 100cm (depending on its conditions).
Home care for tetrastigma
Even an inexperienced grower can easily raise a tetrastigma in your home. This liana is unpretentious but still has certain features in its cultivation.
The tetrastigma is a light loving plant that needs a lot of light. The light must be strong, but it must be diffused as direct rays can cause burns on the leaves.
In the warm season the plant needs warmth (temperature should not drop below 23 degrees). In winter it needs coolness (15 to 17 degrees), but make sure the room is not colder than 12 degrees, because this can cause the shrub to start shedding its leaves. Draughts can also damage the plant.
Pouring and humidity
Tetrastigma grows normally at a low humidity level, which is typical for living rooms. However, it is still advisable to moisten its foliage once a week with a sprayer, but only if the bush is kept warm. In cool winters, it is not necessary to moisten the foliage.
A watering regime should be chosen that will completely avoid drying out the soil clump in the pot. In spring and summer, on average, the liana is watered twice a week.
In cool winters the number of waterings should be reduced to two per month and the potting soil should be kept slightly moist all the time.
Free, nutrient-rich soil is suitable for planting room grapes, but it may be slightly acidic or neutral. To make a suitable earth mixture should be combined garden, turf and deciduous soil, and also perlite (1:2:2:2). Also make a good drainage layer at the bottom of the pot, which must have holes.
Feed the liana only during the growing season, which is in spring and summer.
Fertilizer is applied to the substrate at intervals of 2 times a month. If the growth of the bush is very fast, the frequency of feeding can be increased to 1 time in 7 days. Experts recommend using organic and complex mineral fertilizers.
For the first two years, when the growth of the liana is most intensive, you should repot it several times a year. Older specimens are subjected to this procedure systematically once a year.
Tetrastigma tolerates transplanting quite well. A new container should be taken a couple of times larger than the old one. Once the bush is planted in a pot measuring over 30 centimeters across, repotting becomes very difficult; in this case, we recommend replacing the 3-cm top layer systematically with fresh potting soil.
Trimming the liana is not very necessary. But if pruned, the tetrastigma will tolerate it well.
As the bush grows older, it will have to be pruned to curb the growth. Remember, however, that touching the young leaves with your hands, as well as cutting them in no case, because there is a chance that it will fall off together with a part of the shoot. The grown flower needs a support, but it is recommended to install it in advance.
How to propagate with cuttings
The house tetrastigma can be easily propagated with cuttings. As cuttings, use the tops of stems that should have one bud and two grown leaf plates.
The lower cuttings are treated with a solution of a drug that enhances root growth. For rooting, cuttings are planted in a mixture of sand and peat or they are placed in a glass with water. For rooting to go faster, the container with cuttings from above should be covered with cling film, and the air temperature should be about 24 degrees. Rooted shoot segments are planted in a pot filled with a soil mixture suitable for growing adult lianas.
Diseases and pests
Tetrastigma is highly resistant to disease and pests, but if not cared for properly, the liana may begin to have problems.
If the humidity is too low, spider mites can settle on the bush, they suck the sap out of it, depleting it. You can tell that pests have settled on the liana by the thin spider web and powdery plaque. To save the flower, you will need a warm shower (water temperature about 40 degrees). If the pests remain, it can be treated with an insecticide solution.
If a mealy worm settles on the liana, a whitish scum should appear on its leaves.
Remove this film with a damp sponge and then spray the bush with an insecticide or a folk remedy (garlic, tobacco or marigold infusion).
If not cared for properly, the shrub can have several problems:
- Stems stretching out due to low light;
- Yellow spots on the leaves if the light is too bright;
- Yellow spots on the leaves also appear if the plant is watered too hard;
- If it is exposed to very cold temperatures, dark spots will appear on the leaves.
Tetrastigma species with photo
The most popular species for flower growers in the middle latitudes is Tetrastigma voynier. It is a large liana, turning woody with time, which is an evergreen. The petiolate, palm-shaped leaf plates are dark green in color and pubescent on the underside.
When grown at home, the bush almost never blooms, but it is still occasionally decorated with small pale green flowers.
Tetrastigma lanceolata is also grown by florists, but much less frequently. Unlike Wuanye tetrastigma, the leaves of this species are more massive and colored dark green. However, the 2 species are otherwise very similar.
Tetrastigma obovate - This species differs from the others in that the oval leaf plate is attached to the petiole at the sharp end, with the apex being blunt.
The leaves are dark green in color, with denticles on the edge and a tufted pubescence on the lower surface.