Home Plants Dischidia Ovata – Gorgeous Trailing Plant

Dischidia Ovata – Gorgeous Trailing Plant

by gardeningit
Dischidia Ovata

Dischidia ovata is a beautiful trailing species of the family, Dischidia. The plant gets its species name “ovata” due to its egged-shaped ovate leaves. It is also commonly known as the Watermelon Dischidia as its leaf markings match the pattern on a watermelon. These cousins of Hoyas are much easier to grow and give an unusual touch to any collection of houseplants or even as wreaths and Christmas decorations. When exposed to many hours of direct sunlight, they take on a beautiful reddish tinge. Its flowers are small, produced between the stem and a leaf. The plant often gets presented in a hanging basket, either wound round or with its stems trailing the basket supports. Although they are less common than Hoyas, they are becoming more readily available and more popular.


  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
  • Genus: Dischidia R.Br.

 About the Genus Dischidia

There are more than 100 species of Dischidia. It is a genus of epiphytic, succulent vines indigenous to Southeast Asia. The best-known species of this genus is the Dischidia major that has pitcher leaves, and arboreal ants use them as nesting sites. The ants collect organic debris inside the pitcher leaves. The plant grows adventitious roots inside the blade and gets nutrients from the accumulated waste. Many other species of Dischidia occur in arboreal ant nests; they have a variety of structures which may function in plant & ant interactions.

Some other species have shell-shaped leaves. Like the pitcher leaves, they are held firmly against the bark of the host tree. Sometimes they function as ant houses. Other species have oil-rich structures on the seeds and healthy leaves. The seeds are attractive to ants and facilitate seed dispersal into ant nests. Some species do not function in ant/plant interactions. These are epiphytes. They are plants that grow on other plants, like on branches of trees. Epiphytes include the majority of bromeliads, orchids, and many others. The epiphytes produce roots along with the nodes that absorb water and nutrients and secure the plant against the host tree.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Dischidia Ovata
  • Watermelon Ovata
  • Hoya Dischidia Ovata

 Origin and Distribution

The plant grows throughout the tropical regions of Asia, including Taiwan, parts of China, New Guinea, India, and other locations. Mainly the species is native to South Asia. Altitudinal range from 150m to near sea level. They grow as epiphytic vines in swamp forests, open forest, monsoon forest & rain forest.

 Dischidia Ovata Features

Foliage and Stem

Being a slender vine, they do not exceed a stem diameter of 2 cm. The plants with fleshy dark green, ovate leaves containing contrasting silvery veins in an arranged watermelon pattern, petioles and twigs produce a milky exudate. Their leaf blades are thick and fleshy, about 12-31 × 20-50 mm, petioles are about 2 to 5 mm long. Lateral veins are pale, usually 2 to 3 present on either side of the midribs. One or two collectors located on the upper surface of the midrib near to its junction with the petiole. The co-lot of foliage varies based on culture.


The plants are evergreen, meaning their leaves stay fresh and beautiful till they live. It is one of the favorable characteristics for houseplant lovers who wish to grow tropical plants indoors and use them as a display.


Typically, the plant size is small. If given the proper care and environment to grow, the plant can grow from almost 10 cm to a foot long.

Temperature Tolerance

This particular species is very tender in terms of temperature changes. They do not survive under extreme temperatures like under scorching sunlight or near an air conditioner, a fan, or a heat ventilator. They are useful in a bathroom or kitchen in good light, but extreme temperatures can make these plants ill.

Humidity Tolerance

In comparison to temperature, the plants do not have any problem with more humidity in the air, particularly during the growing seasons of spring and summer. Make sure that you do not overdo it, and during the winter and autumn seasons, reduce the moisture in the air.


The flowers of the plant are small white-colored, with two-branched or a simple raceme located on a short peduncle. Flowers are usually urn-shaped that add to the beauty of this plant. The corolla lobes are about 2-2.5 mm long with hairy throats. Their sepals range about 1 x 1.5 mm. The carpel is about 1 mm long. The flowers have numerous ovules.


Dischidia watermelon has thick and succulent leaves, making it drought resistance. It makes the care of the plant an easy task. Sometimes the leaves have a reddish touch. I happen because of the production of pigments in the leaves in response to toxic light.

Pressure Tolerance

Hoya dischidia ovata plants are just as delicate as they look. The plants will not tolerate being pressed against other materials or plants or stepped on. Make sure to put them out of people’s way and somewhere high in free space for plants to grow.

Disease Resistance

The plants are not entirely disease resistant; the most common disease attack to these plants is root rot. Watermelon Dischidia is prone to catching this disease if it gets extremely wet due to high watering. A damp, shady environment promotes microbial growth or infection. Make sure to water the plant at the right time and in the right amount and thoroughly check it every other day while you clean and dust it.

Pest Resistance

It is essential to keep the plant clean and dry, as water sitting for too long on the leaves and stem of the plant attracts the snail and slugs. Regularly inspect and examine the plant to make sure there are not any spots or bugs on the stem and leaves. If insects are attacking your plant, just spray them with an insecticide or soap water to kill the insects. For a natural alternative, use rubbing alcohol or Neem oil to wipe the leaves.


The plant grows on a support such as branches or trees. Their stem grows roots near the nodes to absorb nutrients and water.


There is no evidence that this particular plant species are toxic to pets or not, until that is sure, avoid ingesting the plant. The plants have a sap inside that can cause dermatitis on exposing to the skin. As if the plant itself is not toxic, keep them away from your pets and children due to the potential dust, poisonous chemicals, and bacteria that get latched on the leaves. The dangerous substances may cause mild to severe physical symptoms of ingestion.


If you take good care of the plant, they are pretty durable. They can live for a long time.


Dischidia Ovata care does not require any special effort to grow the plant. The houseplant enthusiasts love this species as the plant thrives well in an indoor environment, moderate temperature, and humidity. The plant is not only beautiful, but it requires pretty low-maintenance.


During the dry season, it is good to let the plant reduce its food and water and supply as needed. Do not fertilize the plant in these months because the plant is sleeping and will not take overfeeding well. To avoid dehydration of the plant, occasionally mist it. Make sure not to dry completely. Avoid propagating or grooming the plant until new growth starts in spring.

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Dischidia Ovata Care

Dischidia Ovata care includes watering of the plant only when the soil starts to dry. Put the plants under indirect sunlight & warm temperatures to make them grow to their full potential. Do not expose the plant to intense, direct sunlight, as it is prone to sunburn.

Water Requirements

It is good to water the plants frequently as they are growing during spring and summer. When the plant gets mature or when the winter or autumn seasons arrive, gradually decrease the amount and frequency of watering. In the routine, keep the soil moist and water the plant 3 or 4 times a week, allowing the plant to dry in between these watering sessions.

Soil Requirements

Because of the organic nature of the plant, they can grow in pots and baskets. For substrate, plants need loose soil which drains well. It prevents root rot, that is a severe issue. Look for a ground that is specific for epiphytic Dischidia watermelon. Traditionally the soil consists of coconut husk or shredded bark.

It gives additional support to plants. If Hoya Dischidia Ovata gets proper care, these are the easiest and rewarding plants to grow. They tolerate a wide range to change in temperature and humidity.

Sunlight Requirements

Keep them in a well-lit, bright room and not under direct sunlight. The plant prefers living in a shady spot than being exposed to the direct sun. To get better growth, put these plants behind sheer curtains or next to windows facing south. The direct sunlight burns the leaves of the plant. Make sure to keep rotating the plant for equal distribution of light to all parts of the plant. It enables an equally balanced growth.

Temperature Requirements

This beautiful plant lives under moderate temperatures. It keeps the plants away from direct extreme temperatures, such as fans and air conditioners. It avoids sudden temperature fluctuations throughout the day. The plants can tolerate temperatures ranging from 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If the surroundings get too warm or too cold outside, shift the plant to a more suitable spot.


Install an indoor humidifier or some water-loving plants together, to sum up, the factor of humidity, collectively around all the plants. You can put the plant in a pebble tray at home and add some water to the plate. Anyhow, be sure that the pot is on the pebbles, not directly in contact with water. To avoid dehydration of the plant, occasional misting gives better results. The moisture should not linger on the plant’s surface as that is an open invitation to pests and infections.


The growth of the plant does not need any fertilizer necessarily, but fertilizing the plant in the growing seasons is especially beneficial to it. During this time, use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content. In the autumn season, switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer. Do not fertilize the plant while it is dormant. Make sure not to use cheap fertilizers for plants as low-quality food silently kills the plants.


It is essential to report the plants each year. By doing this, the plants get all of the nutrients significant to stay healthy & avoid disease. Re-potting the particular plant sometimes can be a bit tricky because it tends to become root-bound quickly. If the roots get tangled around the rootball, remove them gently. The root system is easily damageable, so it must keep this in mind.

Grooming and Pruning

If there is a need to trim the plant, just take care that it does not cut off the stem. Trim off the flowers that are fading carefully & clean the plant thoroughly. Then in the following year, flowers will grow on the same stalks.

Dischidia Ovata Propagation

You can do the propagation of the plant by cutting off the stem. First, place them in water and then transfer it to coconut husk chunks. Make sure to change the water periodically to keep your plant fresh. You can also take cuttings & place them directly into the potting medium, whatsoever you choose to grow them in or to root. Keep in mind to make the medium a little moisture as compared to usual to encourage rooting. As they are epiphytes, their frequent misting will help to root.

Dischidia Ovata for Sale

These plants are easily in the botanical market. When looking for a watermelon dischidia for sale, inspect it thoroughly for any spots, diseases, or dead parts. Look under the leaves and the stems to be sure that the plant is quite healthy. Ensure that there are no kinks on the stems or inside of flowers. Question about the age of the plant, make sure to be comfortable with how old the plant is as baby plants tend to require more attention than the mature plants.

Final Thoughts

Dischidia ovata is a beautiful plant that blooms in the spring and grows stunning flowers in white color. These plants are gorgeous, are very easy to grow & simple to maintain. They are not toxic, but their sap sometimes causes skin irritation, so make sure your children and pets do not ingest it. The plant can be propagated by cutting their stem and growing them under appropriate conditions. You can arrange these plants in your homes and office settings to add a vibrant, bright touch of color to the place.

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