Growing Tetrastigma voinierianum
Tetrastigma voinierianum may not be the easiest of latin names to pronounce but it IS an easy plant to grow (for the most part), and it happens to be one of my favorites. Tetrastigma, or chestnut vine, combines two of my favorite plant features, abnormally large leaves AND palmately compound leaves. I have no idea what my obsession with large palmately compound leaves is but I sure do love them! Because of the large leaves and vining nature this is NOT the plant for small spaces.
My personal plant was started from at cutting I got at work about 3 years ago. I’m currently trying to train it up a stake so that it can eventually get a trunk and be more upright, like the ones at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago (which of course I don’t have a picture of :( )
But enough ranting about my love of them! How does one grow it? Easy!
Sunlight: I’ve got mine in an East facing window that gets pretty good shade in the summer and full sun in the winter (well as much sun as an east window can get in the northern latitudes). I’m sure they can take more but I doubt they’d be able to handle too much more shade.
Watering: This seems to be the trickiest part. They don’t want to be soaking wet but if they dry out the new growth will die. I’ve let them get pretty dry for quite a while and the old growth doesn’t seem to mind but the new growth falls off without fail. This could be a useful trick if you want to keep it from getting too big too fast but I really wouldn’t recommend it from too long because stressed plants invite pests and no one wants pests.
Fertilizer: This guy gets fertilized about 4 times a year (when I remember to) and seems to like it just fine
Potting: I keep mine in a generic potting soil and it does just fine. My plant has been in this pot for 3 years now and doesn’t seem pot bound so I’m in no hurry to repot it. It mostly just seems to like being left alone.
As usual this care sheet will be linked to in the “Cast of Characters” tab! Check there for any others that I may have posted and you missed (except that as of this post there is only one other one)!