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Dischidia nummularia (String of Nickels)

Dischidia nummularia (String of Nickels)


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Scientific Name

Dischidia nummularia R.Br.

Common Names

String of Nickels, Button Orchid

Synonyms

Collyris minor, Dischidia actephila, Dischidia aemula, Dischidia beiningiana, Dischidia copelandii, Dischidia decipiens, Dischidia dirhiza, Dischidia gaudichaudii, Dischidia glabra, Dischidia horsfieldiana, Dischidia microphylla, Dischidia minor, Dischidia orbicularis, Dischidia rhombifolia, Dischidia ridleyana, Dischidia schumanniana, Dischidia sepikana, Leptostemma truncatum

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Dischidia

Description

Dischidia nummularia is a slender, creeping epiphyte often forming dense masses on trees on which it occurs. Young leaves are occasionally with a powdery bloom. The flowers are white to yellowish-white, occurring in umbels of 1 to 5 flowers and typically appear in the spring. The fruits are follicles that split open at one side when mature.

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 45 °F (+7.2 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Allow the soil to dry out before you water the plant. They are used to getting moisture only from dew and the air, and cannot tolerate boggy media. When the bark medium is dry to the touch, submerge the container in water until air bubbles are gone.

Dischidia also needs high humidity. Mist the plant every day or place the container on a saucer filled with pebbles and water. The water will evaporate and moisten the air while the pebbles will hold the sensitive roots out of the water.

Dischidia doesn't really need fertilizer but you should change the planting media every year. If you wish, apply a diluted by half liquid plant food when you water beginning in spring and stopping by September… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Dischidia

Origin

Dischidia nummularia is native to India, China, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia and Australia.

Links

  • Back to genus Dischidia
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

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Dischidia Nummularia Care

These plants are a little different than many of your houseplants so it is critical that you know a few very important things about how to grow Dischidia nummularia.

Keep reading and I will describe some very important care tips so you can ensure success!

Potting Mix

For one, these plants are epiphytes, which means that they grow on trees in nature. Because of this, you should never plant Dischidia nummularia in normal potting soil!

They are normally found growing in masses on branches in trees and are native to areas including India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and other surrounding areas. As houseplants, they are normally grown in hanging baskets.

Similar to most orchids, like any epiphyte, you should grow your Dischidia nummularia in a chunky and extremely well drained potting mix. You can use a variety of potting mixes, such as a good orchid mix.

I grow my own Dischidia nummularia in coco husk chips. Coco husk chips are made from coconut shells.

If you use a standard potting soil, it will hold too much water and compact too much. This will spell death for any epiphyte.

I chose to use coco husk chips for my own plant since this is what is traditionally used by growers. And it is thriving!

One tip from a grower in Singapore is the following. He advises to mix some sphagnum moss into the coco husk chunks. This will help retain moisture. If Dischidia dries out too much, it may stunt the growth.

Of course this all depends on your watering habits and environmental conditions, but it is something to consider!

Eventually the potting mix will break down, so keep an eye on this and change it out when that happens.

If the potting mix breaks down, whether you are using coco husk chips or an orchid potting mix, the roots will not receive the oxygen that they need (being epiphytes) and your plant will die.

Watering

Dischidia nummularia likes to dry out a bit in between watering, but try and avoid letting it completely dry out. If you let it dry out too much, the leaves and stems will shrivel.

Since this plant is grown in very chunky potting mixes, like coco husk chips, the drainage will be very sharp. As a result, you should take special care when you water this plant.

Water will go straight through very quickly when you use chunky mixes for epiphytes, so be sure to thoroughly moisten the potting mix. Circle your watering can over the entire surface of the pot.

And under no circumstances should you be growing this plant in a pot without a drainage hole. This will spell death for any epiphyte!

Light

Dischidia prefers filtered sunlight, or at the bare minimum, bright indirect light. Some direct sun is perfectly fine. But take care not to place this plant in a location that has too many hours of direct sun.

My own plant is growing near an east window so it will get some morning sun.

In the summer, I like to place my plant outdoors where I hang it from my pergola. It is mostly shaded, but also received filtered sun.

It absolutely thrives outdoors from the rain, increased air circulation, and humidity that all epiphytes love.

Misting Dischidia

I like to frequently mist my Dischidia nummularia. Not for the humidity (if you follow my blog, you know how I feel about humidity!)

I mist my plant indoors mainly because it is an epiphyte and it helps provide some moisture. When my plant is outdoors, I don’t bother because of the higher humidity in the air and rain.

Fertilizing

I follow my standard fertilizing approach and will fertilize very dilutely with every watering. These plants are not heavy feeders, but some feeding will benefit them.

I only fertilize during the growing season and withhold fertilizer during our dark and cold winters. If you live in a warmer climate, you may be able to fertilize year round.


Dischidia Species, Button Orchid, String of Nickels

Family: Apocynaceae (a-pos-ih-NAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Dischidia (dis-KID-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: nummularia (num-ew-LAH-ree-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Collyris minor
Synonym:Dischidia actephila
Synonym:Dischidia aemula
Synonym:Dischidia beiningiana
Synonym:Dischidia copelandii

Category:

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs Water regularly do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Foliage:

Foliage Color:

Height:

Spacing:

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers

Danger:

Bloom Color:

Bloom Characteristics:

Bloom Size:

Bloom Time:

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant break open to collect seeds

Seed does not store well sow as soon as possible

Regional

This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Kure Beach, North Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:

On Sep 24, 2012, tropicbreeze from noonamah,
Australia wrote:

This plant isn't an orchid as stated. It's related to Hoyas, in the family Asclepiadaceae. Grows as an epiphyte on trees where it can completely 'veil' over the trunk and branches. It likes high humidity and warmth. And it can be grown without soil.

On Dec 27, 2006, Pashta from Moncks Corner, SC (Zone 8b) wrote:

Just rescued this plant from Lowes. The tag it came with gave very little care instructions, but so far it seems to be doing fine. I had no clue this was a member of the orchid family! The tag did say medium light, however it started to whither, so I put it under something a little stronger and it has sort of evened itself out. No new growth, but no new death either. I think it needs to be in something a bit more shallow. Im hoping to get it outside in the spring, if I can keep it going through the rest of the winter. Pretty plant, though!


Watch the video: Dischidia nummularia - Houseplant care - How to propagate Dischidia plant - String of Nickles


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