Grace the bland corners of your home with the lush cascading vines of the Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’!
Native to the tropical forests of Philippines, Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ is widely loved for its cascading growth habit and small, heart-shaped leaves, making for an attractive addition to hanging baskets or high shelves. If you wish to enjoy its enchanting presence, follow this care guide carefully!
- Botanical Name: Dischidia ruscifolia
- Popular as—Million Hearts
- Loves bright, filtered light
- Thrives in a temperature range of 40° to 80°F (4° to 27°C)
- Non-Toxic to pets
Learn about Growing Dischidia Hirsuta ‘Red Leaf’ here
What is Dischidia Ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’?
Member of the Apocynaceae family, Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ is an epiphytic perennial featuring delicate, cascading vines adorned with small, succulent-like, heart-shaped, green leaves, with some varieties displaying variegation or silver speckling. The foliage looks like several little hearts attached to the vines, giving it the nickname—Million Hearts.
Apart from its attractive foliage, the plant produces tiny, white, urn-shaped flowers that add a subtle charm to its overall appearance. With easy adaptability, low-maintenance nature, and an impressive growth habit, Dischidia ruscifolia makes for a popular choice among indoor plant parents!
Dischidia ruscifolia Variegata
The Dischidia ruscifolia Variegata is a delightful variation of the standard Dischidia ruscifolia species, characterized by its cream and green marbled foliage. The variegated form offers the same ease of care as the non-variegated variety, making it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced indoor gardeners.
The distinctive foliage adds a touch of elegance and visual interest to any indoor space, creating a lively atmosphere when combined with other houseplants.
Want to Grow Dischidia Nummularia Variegata Indoors? Click here
Is Dischidia Ruscifolia a Hoya?
The similar foliage and vining appearance may trick you into believing that Dischidia ruscifolia is a Hoya. However, while both Dischidia and Hoya belong to the same plant family—Apocynaceae, they are distinct genera with unique characteristics.
Hoya is a genus of more than 300 species, most of which are epiphytic and are admired for their thick, waxy leaves and fragrant, long-lasting blooms. On the other hand, Dischidia ruscifolia is a single species with smaller, heart-shaped leaves and tiny, inconspicuous flowers.
Look at some Variegated Hoya Varieties here
Is Dischidia ruscifolia Toxic to Cats?
As a pet owner, you might be a little reluctant about bringing this beauty indoors; however, the good news is—Dischidia ruscifolia is considered non-toxic to cats, as stated by the ASPCA.
However, to say on the safer side. prevent your feline companions from chewing on your plants, as ingesting any plant material may cause minor gastrointestinal discomfort. To ensure your cat’s safety, consider placing the Million Hearts in a hanging planter or on a high shelf, away from curious paws and mouths.
Ideal Pot Size
As an epiphytic plant, Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ prefers a small pot that provides adequate drainage and air circulation around its roots. A pot of 4 to 6 inches is ideal for a young plant, while a larger pot of 8 to 10 inches can be used as the plant matures and its root system expands.
Choose a pot made of breathable materials, such as terracotta or clay, to promote proper aeration and prevent root rot. Ensure to drill enough drainage holes to prevent root rot.
Dischidia ruscifolia Propagation
Propagation via stem cuttings is the easiest method to multiply a Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’. Get a mature plant, a sharp, sterile knife, a small pot with drainage holes, and a well-draining potting mix suitable for epiphytic plants to follow the process:
- Choose a vigorous, healthy stem with at least 3-4 leaves and no signs of pests or diseases.
- Using the sterile knife, cut the stem just below a leaf node, ensuring a clean and smooth cut.
- Place the cut end of the stem in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight, for 24 hours to let it callous over, reducing the risk of infection or rot.
- Fill the pot with the prepared potting mix and plant the cutting in the hole, ensuring that at least one leaf node is covered by the potting mix.
- Water the medium thoroughly and place it in a warm, bright location with indirect sunlight.
You’ll notice new growth in a couple of weeks, post which you must pull back on watering and provide the plant with a suitable growing environment, helping it thrive.
Learn about Growing Dischidia Oianthe here
Dischidia ruscifolia Care
With an epiphytic growth habit, Dischidia ruscifolia thrives in bright, indirect light. Too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves, while insufficient light may result in slow growth and pale foliage.
Place the plant near a north or east-facing window, so it can enjoy a few hours of mild morning sunlight, keeping away the intense sun. If natural light is insufficient, keep LED strips or fluorescent grow lights to meet its growth requirements.
The Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ requires a well-draining, loose, and airy potting mix to thrive. Combine equal parts of orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss or coconut coir—while perlite will improve drainage and peat moss or coconut coir will retain some moisture.
Alternatively, you can use a high-quality, commercial potting mix designed for epiphytes, ensuring proper drainage and aeration for your plant.
The plant prefers evenly moist soil but is sensitive to overwatering. To maintain a balance, water the plant thoroughly when the top 1-2 inches of the potting mix is dry to the touch. Ensure that excess water drains out of the pot to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
Also, ensure to adjust your watering schedule based on the season, temperature, and humidity. The plant may need more water during the growing season in spring and summer, while reduced frequency will be better in fall and winter.
Temperature and Humidity
Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ prefers a warm, humid environment, similar to its native tropical rainforest habitat. The ideal temperature range is between 40° to 80°F (4° to 27°C). To minimize chances of plant shock, avoid temperature fluctuations and keep it away from drafty windows or doors during the cooler months.
High humidity is crucial for the plant to maintain its lush, leathery foliage. Maintain a humidity level of around 60-80%. Place it on a tray filled with water and pebbles, use a humidifier, or regularly mist the plant with tepid water to boost humidity on drier days. Grouping your Dischidia ruscifolia with other humidity-loving plants will also help.
Use a fertilizer with a 20-20-20 NPK ratio or a specific formulation designed for epiphytes, diluted to half-strength every 4-6 weeks during the growing season in spring and summer. Do not feed the plant in the colder months while in its dormancy. Overfertilization will lead to salt burn in the roots, stunting the plant growth.
Use a clean, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to trim back any leggy or overgrown stems. This encourages branching and results in a fuller, bushier plant. 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. Pruning not only keeps your Dischidia ruscifolia looking its best but also stimulates new growth and ensures a thriving, happy plant.
Major Troubleshooting Tips
Growing Dischidia ruscifolia ‘Million Hearts’ indoors is a rewarding experience, but it may encounter some issues. Here are some major troubleshooting tips to ensure your plant remains healthy and thriving:
- Yellowing Leaves: Check the potting mix to ensure it is well-draining, and adjust your watering schedule to prevent waterlogging.
- Browning Leaf Tips or Edges: Increase the humidity around the plant using a pebble tray, humidifier, or regular misting. Also, reduce the fertilizer application and ensure you’re diluting it to half-strength.
- Leggy Growth or Pale Leaves: Move the plant to a brighter location with filtered or indirect light to encourage healthy growth.
- Pests: Inspect the plant regularly for signs of spider mites, mealybugs, or aphid infestation and treat promptly using insecticidal soap or neem oil. Maintain good air circulation and avoid overwatering to prevent pest issues.
- Root Rot: Ensure the pot has drainage holes and use a well-draining, airy potting mix. If root rot is suspected, remove the plant from the pot, trim away any affected roots, and repot in fresh soil.
- Curling Leaves: Check the moisture level of the potting mix and water the plant thoroughly if the top 1-2 inches are dry. Boost humidity levels by using a pebble tray, humidifier, or misting the plant regularly.
Where to Buy Dischidia Ruscifolia?
Finding a ‘Dischidia ruscifolia Million Hearts’ for Sale can be as simple as visiting your local nurseries or garden centers, which may carry this unique plant. Alternatively, consider attending plant swaps, joining local plant enthusiast groups, or browsing online forums, where you may find fellow collectors offering the plant for trade or purchase.
For a wider selection, turn to specialized online retailers that focus on rare and exotic plants. Websites like Etsy, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace may have individual sellers offering Dischidia ruscifolia, but always check the seller’s reviews and reputation before purchasing.