Looking for a cascading green beauty for your room? This Dischidia imbricata Care Guide will help you grow one!
Native to the tropics of Southeast Asia, Dischidia imbricata makes for an attractive addition to bookshelves, center tables, or hanging baskets with its compact growth habit, fascinating foliage, and cascading vines. If you are looking for a low-maintenance hanging specimen to grace your indoors, follow this Dischidia imbricata Care Guide to learn more!
- Botanical Name: Dischidia imbricata
- Popular as—Shingle Plant
- Prefers bright, indirect light sunlight
- Thrives in a temperature range of 40° to 80°F (4° to 27°C)
- Non-Toxic to pets
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What is Dischidia Imbricata?
Belonging to the Apocynaceae family, Shingle Plant is a unique epiphytic perennial characterized by its flat, rounded, and succulent leaves that overlap one another, creating intriguing, hollow “pockets” or “shingles.” These pockets often host ant colonies in their native habitat, earning the plant its other nickname—Ant Plant.
Apart from its aesthetics, the leaf extracts of Dischidia imbricata possess potential allelopathic benefits. When grown indoors, the plant can be displayed in various ways, such as mounted on cork or wood, placed in a hanging basket, or grown on a moss pole or trellis, allowing it to showcase its unique growth habit and foliage.
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Dischidia imbricata Flowers
Dischidia imbricata‘s floral display is as captivating as its foliage, featuring tiny, tubular, and inconspicuous flowers that mist the air with a subtle fragrance. The pale yellow or white flowers typically emerge from the base of the leaves, close to the stem. While the floral display of the plant may not be much showy, its understated charm perfectly complements the plant’s unique growth habit and foliage.
Ideal Pot Size
Opt for a container that is one size bigger than the plant’s root ball to help the epiphytic roots breathe. A 4-6 inches pot with a hole in the bottom is good enough for a young Dischidia imbricata. You may transfer the plant to a one-size bigger container when you see the roots coming out of the holes.
To mimic the plant’s natural environment, consider mounting the plant on a piece of cork or wood. This method will showcase its shingled growth habit while providing excellent air circulation around the roots.
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Dischidia imbricata Propagation
Dischidia imbricata can be propagated via Stem cuttings or Layering. Both methods are relatively straightforward and easy. All you need is a healthy, disease-free plant, sterile clippers, and a good-quality potting mix.
- Select a healthy, robust stem with at least two leaves and make a cut just below a leaf node using a sterile clipper to get a 4-6 inches cutting.
- Allow the cut end to dry and callous over for 24 hours before planting.
- Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone, dusting the excess to boost the chances of successful propagation.
- Place the cutting in the well-draining, airy potting mix, ensuring at least one node is buried.
- Keep the medium moist and place it in a spot with bright, filtered sunlight.
- Choose a long, healthy stem with multiple leaves.
- Gently pin the stem to the potting mix or mounting surface using a U-shaped pin or clip, ensuring contact between the node and the growing medium.
- Monitor the pinned stem for root development, maintaining proper care conditions.
- Once roots have formed, cut the stem from the parent plant and repot or remount the new plant as desired.
You’ll have the baby plant ready in a couple of weeks. Provide it with a warm, humid environment, and watch it thrive!
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Dischidia Imbricata Care
Dischidia imbricata thrives in bright, indirect light, which closely mimics the dappled sunlight found in its natural habitat beneath the tropical forest canopy. Direct sunlight can scorch the plant’s delicate leaves, while insufficient light can lead to leggy growth and reduced vigor.
Place the plant near a north or east facing window, where it can receive ample filtered light without scorching in the intense afternoon sun. Opt for fluorescent grow lights or LED strips in case of insufficient natural light.
As an epiphytic plant, Shingle Plant requires a well-draining, loose, and airy potting mix to support its root system. Combine equal parts of orchid bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss or coconut coir to allow sufficient drainage and aeration while retaining enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
Alternatively, you can use a high-quality, commercial potting mix specifically designed for epiphytes to maintain the right balance of drainage, aeration, and moisture retention for your plant.
The plant prefers a moist environment that does not soak wet. To maintain optimal moisture levels, maintain a weekly deep-watering session by saturating the medium until the excess water drains out of drainage holes. Let the top 1-2 inches dry out before watering again.
Adjust your watering schedule based on seasonal changes, temperature, and humidity, providing more frequent watering during the warmer, growing months and reducing during the cooler, dormant months.
Temperature and Humidity
Dischidia imbricata prefers a warm, humid environment, with ideal temperatures ranging between 40° to 80°F (4° to 27°C. Avoid sudden temperature fluctuations and keep the plant away from drafty windows or doors, particularly during colder months, to minimize the risk of plant stress.
Maintain humidity levels around 60-80% to help the plant thrive. Utilize a pebble tray filled with water, a humidifier, or regularly mist with tepid water to boost humidity on dry days. Grouping your plant with other humidity-loving plants can also work.
Feed your Shingle Plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, such as a 20-20-20 NPK ratio formulation or a fertilizer specifically designed for epiphytes. Dilute the fertilizer to half-strength and apply it every 4-6 weeks during the active growing season in spring and summer.
Avoid fertilizing the plant during the dormant months in fall and winter, as overfertilization can lead to salt burn in the roots, stunting the plant’s growth and causing leaf damage.
Regularly trim back any leggy or overgrown stems to encourage branching and a fuller, more compact growth habit. Ensure to prune during the active growing season, typically in spring or early summer. Additionally, remove any dead or yellowing leaves to prevent the spread of diseases.
Major Troubleshooting Tips
Here are some key troubleshooting tips for growing a healthy plant:
- Wilted or Yellow Leaves: Adjust your watering schedule to avoid overwatering and ensure the potting mix is well-draining to prevent root rot.
- Curling or Crispy Leaves: Increase humidity levels around the plant and check the moisture level of the potting mix before watering. Mist the plant with tepid water regularly.
- Leggy or Sparse Growth: Relocate your plant to a brighter spot with indirect light to encourage healthy growth.
- Pests: Shingle Plants may be susceptible to pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Inspect your plant regularly for signs of infestation and treat promptly using insecticidal soap or neem oil spray. Maintain good air circulation and avoid overwatering to prevent potential issues.
Where to Buy Dischidia imbricata?
To acquire a Dischidia imbricata for your indoor plant collection, begin by checking local nurseries and garden centers, as they may carry this unique plant. Additionally, consider attending plant swaps, joining local plant enthusiast groups, or browsing online forums to connect with fellow collectors who may offer the plant.
For a more extensive selection, turn to specialized online retailers that focus on rare and exotic plants. Websites like Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace often feature individual sellers offering Dischidia imbricata for Sale, but ensure to research the reviews before purchasing.