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How to Grow Dischidia Ruscifolia: Million Hearts Plant

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Million Hearts Plant, or Dischidia ruscifolia, is gaining in popularity, and for good reason! It is very easy to grow, grows quickly, and the heart shaped leaves (hence the common name!) are delightful! Keep reading to learn how I grow this amazing epiphyte!

Million Hearts Plant is actually an epiphyte, which means it grows on other plants such as on trees or tree branches. It is really important to know this because it will dictate how you care for it!

This plant is native to Asia.The care of this plant is very similar to Dischidia nummularia, another species in the Dischidia genus, except I think the ruscifolia species (Million Hearts) is even easier to grow.

Another added benefit is that Million Hearts Plant flowers readily and often. The flower are white and TINY! But they pack quite a fragrance!

Once I was walking around my sunroom and I noticed a wonderful fragrance and I initially couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It was coming from my Dischidia ruscifolia.

Do you see the tiny white flowers in the photo below on my plant? Look on the stem that is growing over the left side of the pot below. I told you the flowers are tiny…but what a fragrance!

dischidia ruscifolia million hearts plant

Dischidia Ruscifolia Care

Since these plants are epiphytes, you should treat them a little differently. Keep reading to learn how best to care for these plants!

DISCHIDIA POTTING MIX

Like any epiphyte, these plants should not be grown in normal potting soil. Dischidia, and other epiphytes, grow attached to trees. They use their roots to attach onto their host trees. Very similar to many orchids.

Because they grow naturally with a lot of air circulation all around them, they are best grown in a very loose potting mix. You can use either an orchid bark mix or something like coco husk chips.

I have heard of people using normal potting soil, but I personally wouldn’t because they are epiphytes in nature and it doesn’t make any sense to place them in potting soil. You may risk having issues.

I grow my own Dischidia ruscifolia in coco husk chips myself because I wanted to experiment and it produced great results! I could have used an orchid bark potting mix, but I wanted to try something new to experiment.

dischidia nummularia

Whether you use orchid bark or coco husk chips, I like to soak them in hot water for a good half an hour before I use them in order to hydrate them.

dischidia ruscifolia million hearts plant

I just used my bathroom sink to soak the coco husk chips. I’ll get into how I propagated my plant a bit later. A friend had sent me cuttings which I rooted and used to make my plant. More on that later!

WATERING DISCHIDIA

As far as watering goes, I treat these like my moth orchids. (If you want to read how I care for my moth orchids, check out my blog post on moth orchid care!)

You want to let the potting mix dry out a bit in between watering. When do you water, circle your watering can all over the surface of the pot in order to ensure that you get a thorough soaking.

Since it’s an epiphyte, go ahead and get the leaves wet too! I do like to mist my Dischidia plants. (Not for humidity…because misting really is not effective at all to increase humidity…but because epiphytes will absorb moisture when you get them wet).

On the other end, be very careful not to let your plant stay wet for extended periods or it may rot. If you plant your Dischidia in a chunky mix like orchid bark mix or coco husk chips, it will be difficult to “overwater.”

And ALWAYS have a drainage hole!

LIGHT

Bright indirect light, or filtered light, works well for this plant. A little morning sun also works very well, especially indoors. And especially during the winter.

I keep my own plant in front of an Eastern facing window and it thrives there.

When they get some direct sunshine, the leaves may turn a little reddish in color. That is perfectly fine, but be careful not to give it too much sun otherwise it may burn.

dischidia ruscifolia million hearts plant

FERTILIZING

Like most of my houseplants, I fertilize dilutely with almost every watering during the growing season (typically from about March through September or so). So basically Spring and Summer.

My fertilizer of choice is Dyna-Gro Grow. It is a nutritionally complete, premium fertilizer that contains all the micro and macro nutrients that plants need.

PROPAGATING MILLION HEARTS PLANT

I grew my own plant from cuttings that a friend send me. The cuttings transported very well since the leaves are succulent and very sturdy!

To propagate them, I simply stripped the bottom leaves off the stems and placed them in a vase of water. Be careful though because the plant will excrete a white, milky substance that may irritate your skin. Wash your hands with soap and water after handling.

dischidia ruscifolia million hearts plant

After several weeks, roots formed and I potted them up in my coco husk chips like I described above.

Be sure to change your water at least once a week to keep it fresh. If you notice any cloudiness, change it more frequently.

That’s about it! If you see a Dischidia ruscifolia, I highly recommend it! It is a fantastic and easy to grow houseplant. It has a good growth rate as well.

I find that it grows a bit faster the Dischidia nummularia, but I love both!

Check out my blog posts that I wrote on growing Dischidia nummularia and also the “watermelon” Dischidia which is Dischidia ovata. All so different, and all so lovely!

Do you have any Dischidia plants in your collection? Comment below with any questions!

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

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Arfa Khanum

Saturday 20th of June 2020

Hey. I bought one a couple of weeks ago but there is no growth in the stem although flowers are blooming. It gets enough water and light. Any suggestions for faster growth?

Raffaele

Sunday 21st of June 2020

If your conditions are good like you describe, you have to just have patience. The plant has to get used to your environment and it will grow when it is ready :-). If you're not fertilizing, be sure to fertilize during the growing season.

AL

Thursday 18th of June 2020

I just bought a small pot of the Dischidia Ruscifolia and I noticed the leaves have been turning yellow at the tips and many leaves have fallen off over the past week. I waited till the medium (potting mix with some moss) was dry before watering. May I know what could possibly be causing this? It is hanging in a pot under the shelter right about 2 feet away from the window. The window is open all the time and there is light and breeze. Not direct sunlight on the plant though.

Raffaele

Thursday 18th of June 2020

Did it stay completely dry for a long time? Was it dry when you bought it? How long have you had it?

Jenn

Thursday 14th of May 2020

I just bought a small 2.5 inch plant and got it a week ago. When I got it a few stems looked a bit yellow on the cut ends. Now a few of the leaves are yellow. It arrived wet and I waited to water til it was dry. Gets bright indirect light. Any ideas? Hope I can save it. Also haven’t repotted or anything.

Jenn

Saturday 16th of May 2020

@Rafaele and i did replant it just a few hours ago into a terra cotta pot in succulent mix and rocks at the bottom for drainage as well as a drainage hole. Hope that’s ok. 🙈. Roots had come out the drainage hole of nursery pot and I felt like the plastic pot and soil held on to the moisture for too long. I hope I am not dooming this thing. Maybe should also mention it’s the variegated variety.

Jenn

Saturday 16th of May 2020

@Raffaele, it did dry out once since arriving and I watered thoroughly then until water came out the drainage hole. It’s right next to the window around the edge so it’s not in the sun but it’s very bright.

Raffaele

Thursday 14th of May 2020

How close to a window is your plant? Your plant may just need a little time to adjust since you just got it. Has the soil dried out since you received it?

Maureen

Friday 8th of May 2020

What fertilizer do you recommend? I’m planning o get one soon...a 2 inch one. And when would I know it’s time to change to a bigger pot?

Raffaele

Monday 11th of May 2020

I use Dyna-Gro Grow for my houseplants. You'd have to check the roots and see if they're tight inside the pot, or maybe growing out of the drainage holes.

Carly

Thursday 16th of April 2020

Hi,

My friend has bought me one of these, been after one for ages. I have a perfect light spot for it in a bathroom, it's not direct except for the morning. But would you recommend a bathroom? will there be too much moisture in the air?

Thank you

Raffaele

Friday 17th of April 2020

Hi Carly! That sounds like a perfect spot! It will not be too much moisture in the air at all. An Eastern exposure window with morning sun, and humid air, will be wonderful!