Live to Plant

What is the Origin of Dischidia Plant

Updated: December 27, 2022

Dischidia is a genus of epiphytic plants native to tropical areas of Asia and the Pacific. These plants have become increasingly popular in recent years as a houseplant due to their unique appearance, low maintenance requirements, and air-purifying abilities. In this article, we will explore the origin of the Dischidia plant and its journey to becoming a beloved plant in homes across the world.

The History of Dischidia

The genus Dischidia was first described by Carl Ludwig Blume, a Dutch botanist, in 1825. The name “Dischidia” comes from the Greek word “diskos,” which means “a circular plate” and refers to the shape of the flowers.

Dischidia plants are part of the milkweed family (Apocynaceae) and are closely related to Hoya plants. Like Hoyas, Dischidias are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants or structures rather than in soil. They have adapted to this lifestyle by developing specialized roots that cling onto tree bark or other surfaces.

Where are Dischidia Plants Found?

Dischidia plants are native to tropical regions of Asia and the Pacific, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. They can be found growing in rainforests, on tree trunks or branches, and also on rocky cliffs.

How did Dischidia Plants Become Popular Houseplants?

Dischidia plants have become increasingly popular as a houseplant due to their unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. They are also known for their air-purifying abilities, making them an excellent choice for indoor spaces.

In recent years, social media has played a significant role in the rise of Dischidia’s popularity. Plant enthusiasts have shared photos of their collections online, showcasing the beauty and diversity of this plant genus. As a result, more people have become interested in growing Dischidia plants in their homes.

Types of Dischidia Plants

There are over 80 different species of Dischidia plants, each with its unique appearance and growing requirements. Some popular types of Dischidia plants include:

  • Dischidia nummularia (String of Nickels): This plant has small, round leaves that resemble coins and grows well in hanging baskets or mounted on a board.
  • Dischidia ovata (Watermelon Dischidia): This variety has green and white variegated leaves that resemble the skin of a watermelon.
  • Dischidia ruscifolia (Million Hearts): This plant has small, heart-shaped leaves that grow densely together and is often used in terrariums or as a ground cover.

Growing Dischidia Plants

Dischidia plants are relatively easy to grow and care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners. They prefer bright, indirect light and should be watered when the top inch of soil is dry. These plants also benefit from occasional fertilization during the growing season.

One unique characteristic of Dischidia plants is their ability to store water in their leaves, so they are less prone to drying out. However, this also means they are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. It’s essential to allow the soil to dry out between waterings and ensure adequate drainage.


Can Dischidia plants be grown in soil?

While Dischidia plants are epiphytes and can grow without soil, they can also be grown in a well-draining soil mix. It’s essential to ensure the soil doesn’t retain too much moisture and has adequate drainage.

How often should I fertilize my Dischidia plant?

Dischidia plants benefit from occasional fertilization during the growing season, typically from spring to fall. Use a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength.

Can Dischidia plants be propagated?

Yes, Dischidia plants can be propagated through stem cuttings. Simply cut a section of the stem with a few leaves and place it in water or a well-draining soil mix until roots develop.

Are Dischidia plants toxic to pets?

Dischidia plants are non-toxic to pets, making them a safe choice for pet owners.

In conclusion, Dischidia plants are fascinating epiphytic plants with a rich history and unique appearance. They have become increasingly popular as houseplants due to their low maintenance requirements and air-purifying abilities. With proper care, these plants can thrive in indoor spaces and bring a touch of the tropics into your home.