Dischidia platyphylla is part of the Apocynaceae family and its native range is the Philippines. This epiphytic climbing vine is composed of twining branches, leaves are arranged opposite and overlap a little. Leaves are round and helmeted with adventitious roots underneath, however it is their imbricated leaves that grasp the bark allowing the plant to shingle and grow flat on trees. These plants share a symbiosis with arboreal ants - the helmeted leaves are home to the ants and as the ant detritus builds up, the plant roots extract the nutrients. The ants also act as a deterrent to predatory insects.
These plants would grow very well if they were mounted on some bark in order to mimic their natural growth habit.
Pot: ø 14cm
Foliage: Approximately 40cm in length.
Light: Dischidia grow in filtered sunlight in their native environment, in the home I would recommend near an east facing window for some morning sun. It is important for the plant to see the sky in order to thrive.
Water: Allow the majority of the mix to dry out as the mix is traditionally quite chunky, water will usually flow through quite easily. Be sure to thoroughly moisten the substrate. Pour water slowly over the top of the substrate and allow the water to pass through the drainage holes.
Potting mix: A chunky well draining mix composed of coco coir, perlite or vermiculite, orchid bark, sphagnum moss and worm castings; you could also add some horticultural charcoal to this epiphytic mix. A simple mix of coco coir chips and sphagnum moss would work just as well.
Fertilising: Feed your plant every few waterings during the growing season or when you observe active growth. You can dilute fertiliser to half the recommended amount but never add more.
Humidity: Dischidia would prefer higher humidity, between 60-80%. You can increase humidity by placing the plant on a watered pebble tray or using a humidifier.
Dischidia aren’t considered toxic, however, they may make your pet or child vomit if ingested, keep out of reach just to be safe.