Dischidia Nummularia is a unique tropical vine that can be grown in hanging baskets to add a fabulous touch of nature inside a home. This charming plant is so loved as a houseplant due to its cascade of round, green leaves growing on long cords of branches. This plant is a creeping epiphyte that grows on trees and rocks in its natural habitat. You can grow this alluring plant in your home in beautiful hanging baskets or terrariums.
- String of Nickels
- Button Orchid
- Family: Apocynaceae
- Genus: Dischidia
- Species: D. nummularia
About the Genus Dischidia
Dischidia is a genus from the Apocynaceae family that contains 80 flowering species. The species of this genus are native to China, India, and Indo-China. Most of these species are epiphytes and resemble Hoya plants.
Origin and Distribution
It was first discovered in Malaysia and Austria. This plant is found in India, Australia, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and many tropical countries of Southeast Asia.
Dischidia Nummularia Features
Foliage and Stem
This plant has tiny coin-shaped, lime-green leaves. These leaves are thick and succulent-type in texture. Numerous leaves grow on these branches resembling rounded coins attached to a cord. These leaves are 10x10x10 in size.
The string of Nickels plant has beautiful umbels having 1-5 flowers each. These flowers are white to off-white colored. Upon maturing, these flowers turn to seed-pods and give off seeds.
It is an evergreen herbaceous species whose foliage stays functional throughout the year. Its leaves stay on its branches all year round. Autumn cannot force this plant to lose all of its foliage at once.
If grown indoors, this gorgeous vine grows up to 9 feet long. If grown outdoors, its length increases even more. This plant’s height depends greatly on its supporting pole. If there is a pole to grow upon, this plant’s height will increase automatically.
Temperature extremes are a big No-No for this plant. It is not winter-hardy; do not leave it outside on a chilly day. In summers, do not place it in the way of hot drafts or near an air conditioner.
This plant can survive high humidity, but low humidity does not work well with this plant. If the humidity falls below 60%, its leaves start to lose their color and freshness. Always regulate high humidity around this plant.
As it is succulent, it is a fairly drought-tolerant plant. You need not worry if you forget to water it for some weeks; it can take care of its own. Its thick stem and leaves retain water for such harsh conditions.
Disease and Pest Resistance
It is only susceptible to mealybugs and fungi attacks. Both of these problems occur if you are not watering the plant correctly. Luckily, there is a way to get rid of them and save the other parts of your plant from getting infected.
For fungal infections, use fungicides. And for mealybugs, use insecticides. You can also use a neem oil-dipped cotton ball to keep mealybugs at bay. Simply rub the foliage with this cotton ball, and it will do the rest of the trick.
This plant grows at a fast growth rate. If grown outdoors, its growth rate and height increase tremendously. If you want to increase its growth rate inside the home too, place a pole or totem with it. It is a climbing vine, so it will use that supporting pole and totem to grow fast and straight.
The USDA plant hardiness growth zones recommended for this plant are 10-11.
The sap present in the stem and leaves of this plant is proven to cause skin irritation if contacted. But this alluring species is not at all toxic to humans or pets in any other ways.
Just like its cousin succulents, String of Nickels Succulent does not need much care and maintenance. It is a low-maintenance houseplant that has minimum care needs. You do not have to be on your toes to fulfill its needs every day, as it does not have any. This plant actually thrives on neglect.
Winter dormancy is inevitable for this plant. Every year, when temperature and light levels lower below the normal range, this plant stops growing and enters a resting stage. During these days, it does not need to be fertilized.
Dischidia Nummularia Care
Dischidia Nummularia Care requirements involve once-a-week watering in summers and regular misting. It needs a fast-draining, non-soil-based potting mix to grow. The humidity must be above 75%. The temperature must be in a range of 15-27°C. This plant must be fertilized with a houseplant fertilizer every month.
This succulent species likes to stay dry between waterings. Being succulent, it does not require much water. It is better to underwater it rather than overwatering this plant and killing it off with root rot. The higher the temperature, the quickly its potting mix gets dry. You will have to water it more often in summers than in winters.
The average watering frequency in summers is one time a week. In winters, it drops down to once every 10 days. You should always water it thoroughly. Submerge it in water for 2-3 minutes.
This String of Nickels Plant is an epiphytic species, so it does not need the soil-based potting mix to survive. Using a soil-based potting mix will let the plant die quickly as it retains a lot of moisture. This plant does best in an orchid bark potting mix. You can also use a combination of cocoa husk chips and a layer of sphagnum moss as a potting mix.
The pot that you will be using to keep this lovely Dischidia Nummularia Variegata must have a drainage hole at its bottom. This plant needs a fast-draining potting mix for the healthy growth of its roots and to prevent them from getting root rot.
This adorable vine is habitual of growing under a tree canopy in its natural habitat. It would be best if you can mimic such a surrounding. Place this plant under dappled sunlight where it receives some morning and evening sun rays.
You already know the hint here; it loves an east-facing window. Place it on the windowsill facing east. Here, it will receive the necessary morning sunlight and evening rays of warmth. In this spot, it will also be safe from the hot afternoon sun. This plant also does well in indirect sunlight.
The ideal temperature range for this lovely plant is 15° to 27°C. As you already know, it is a tropical plant; it cannot survive temperature extremes. It functions well only at average room temperature. Warmer spots are the best places for its pot’s placement. This plant does not like extreme cold or extreme heat.
You should place it in a corner where the temperature stays warm and does not fluctuate much. In mid-summer, when the sun is at its peak, this plant must not be left outside to burn. In mid-winter, when the temperature is far too low, this adorable species must not be grown outdoors to get any chilly injuries.
The String of Nickels plant is a moisture-loving vine that grows best in a high humidity level. The humidity around this plant must be kept around 75%. This humidity is a lot higher than the average household humidity level. You will have to increase the moisture level around this plant in other ways.
This plant demands regular misting. Use a spritzer to mist the foliage of the plant daily; this practice will increase the amount of moisture in the air. If regular misting feels more work to you, you can try other ways. Place this plant on a pebble tray; this method is another effective way of increasing the moisture around this plant naturally.
Monthly fertilization is an important task of String of Nickels plant care. You should fertilize this plant every four weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer. It is better to use a houseplant fertilizer as it contains all the 13 essential micronutrients for this plant’s proper growth.
There are some rules of fertilization. One: you should always dilute the fertilizer to one-quarter of its strength. Two: you should always water the plant before adding any fertilizer. This will protect its roots from burning.
Grooming and Pruning
Light pruning is important for grooming Dischidia Nummularia. Trimming and cutting must be done at the beginning of the growing season. This is how you ensure the fast growth of new leaves and branches. If you cut down this plant’s old foliage in winters when the plant is in dormancy, new leaves will take ages to grow.
Another helpful tip for pruning your String of Nickels plant is to always sterilize the gardening shears before using them on your plant. This practice will not let the wounds be exposed to infections.
It is important to re-pot this tropical vine every year. Yearly repotting replenishes the used up nutrients from the soil and thus increases the plant’s growth rate. You should always use a pot one size bigger than the previous one while repotting this plant. Also, use a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom.
After moving your plant to its new home, you will notice no growth for 2-4 weeks. This is because your plant will stay in transplant shock for some time. Once it gets adjusted to its new home, this plant will start to grow at its normal rate.
Propagating Dischidia Nummularia is so easy, you won’t even need to read the guide twice. You can propagate this beautiful plant on your own and increase your collection of it. Its propagation can be done through seeds and stem cuttings.
You can get the seeds of this plant from its flowers. Its flowers turn into seed-pods. These seed-pods bursts on maturing. If you cover it with a small piece of cloth, all the seeds will collect into it instead of scattering away. Once you get the seeds, plant them into a pot and watch a baby Dischidia grow out of it.
Through Stem Cuttings:
- Take a knife and disinfect it with ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Use this knife to take a stem cutting.
- Leave this stem cutting to dry for a day or two.
- Place this cutting in sphagnum moss. Use strings to support it.
- New roots will grow in some days.
- Once you observe new growth, move the cutting to a proper pot having a potting mix.
- Place the pot under bright, indirect sunlight and keep watering it.
- This is how you will get a new String of Nickels Plant.
Dischidia Nummularia is another lovely vine that must be added to every home collection of plants. It looks great in hanging plants as its long branches hold uncountable round, green, coin-like leaves. You are going to love this handsome vine as it is a low-maintenance, easy-to-grow houseplant that can beautify every corner of a house with its unique appearance and winsome foliage.