By Erin Marissa Russell
Do you want to find out how to give your silver dollar vine the best care? We’ve got everything you need to know to plant, grow, and propagate silver dollar vine here in this article.
Silver dollar vine is a succulent. You may find it also referred to as dollar vine, penny plant, and silver dollar plant.
It produces vines of silvery green leaves that grow to be a maximum of 20 inches tall. The climbing vines burst into small yellow-green blooms in the spring and summer. This versatile plant is appropriate for most indoor environments, and when its care needs are met, it stands strong against pests and diseases.
Silver dollar vine does best if you give it fertilizer just once per year, diluted to half strength. Choose a 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer. Mix a quarter teaspoon of fertilizer into a liter of water, and water the plant with it as usual.
Too much fertilizer can actually burn the foliage of a silver dollar vine, so make sure to give fertilizer just once per year, and make sure it’s diluted to half strength.
The ideal temperature range for silver dollar vines is between 68 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day (20 to 27 degrees Celsius) and 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night (10 to 21 degrees Celsius). As a succulent, silver dollar vine flourishes in low humidity, under 50 percent.
Incorrect temperature range or humidity levels can cause silver dollar vines to be susceptible to plant diseases. If your outdoor garden doesn’t provide the environment that a silver dollar vine needs, consider growing it in a container as a houseplant.
Silver dollar vine will continue to grow and change shape if not pruned, getting taller and bushier. You can train your silver dollar vine to grow into a certain silhouette by pruning it periodically. Pruning your plant also improves the air circulation around it and can also improve the sun exposure of the plant if parts of its foliage are blocking the sun from other parts of the plant.
Start with a pair of clean, sterilized gardening shears. Make your cuts just below a leaf or bud, at a 45-degree angle along the stem. At the same time, snip off any dead or diseased branches, as well as spent flowers. When silver dollar vines grow too long, the vines may twist back on the plant and cause black rot at the node where they meet the main stem. Look for these areas and prune those vines off if they exist.
Silver dollar vines need loose, coarse soil that drains well. You can get soil for them at the garden center or nursery by looking for a potting mix designed for succulents and cacti.
You may decide instead to create your own potting mix for your silver dollar vines. They will do well in a mix made of equal parts coarse sand, perlite, and potting soil.
Silver dollar vine plants are happiest when they’re given at least four hours of bright indirect light
per day. If silver dollar vines get too much direct sunlight, their foliage is likely to be scorched with sunscald.
Indirect light may either be sunlight that’s reflected onto the plant from another object or light that’s filtered through a curtain or leaves on a tree. For best results, find your silver dollar vine a spot in an east-facing or west-facing window that provides at least four hours of bright indirect light each day.
Gardeners in zones 9b through 11b can grow silver dollar vine outdoors. If you plant your silver dollar vine outdoors, find it a place where it will get sun in the morning and shade in the afternoon when temperatures heat up. If your summers are too hot, your plant may even need some partial shade in the early afternoon to keep the plant from getting sunscald.
Silver dollar vines are sensitive to cramped spaces, and if they spend too long in a small container, often become rootbound. When you transplant the silver dollar vine, choose a container that’s just slightly larger than the current pot. You must also make sure that the container you will use for silver dollar vine has holes in the bottom for drainage.
Start by gently lifting your silver dollar vine out of its current pot, taking care not to damage its roots. If the roots have been growing together, carefully loosen them with your fingers and shake out any excess soil. You should use brand new, fresh soil in the new container, and as discussed in the soil section, make sure to use soil for succulents and cacti so the soil will be loose and airy enough for silver dollar vine. Don’t water the silver dollar vine for a week after moving it to its new home so it has a chance to settle down into the soil.
As a succulent, silver dollar vine thrives on deep drinks every once in a while. The plant is much more susceptible to overwatering than underwatering. The ground should be allowed to dry out completely between watering sessions so that silver dollar vine doesn’t fall victim to fungal diseases or root rot.
There’s an easy way to test whether it’s time to water your silver dollar vine or not. Just stick a finger down into the soil an inch. Does it still feel moist? Does the earth cling to your fingers? If the answer to either question is yes, it isn’t yet time to give your silver dollar vine more water.
Scheduling of watering sessions will vary depending on your plant and your conditions. However, as a general rule, in spring and summer you will water your silver dollar vine every week to three weeks. In fall and winter, when the plants are dormant, you’ll give silver dollar vines water every week to six weeks. Use the test described above to determine exactly when to water your silver dollar vine.
Silver dollar vine does not need to be misted. It can only take in the water that reaches its roots, so aim for the base of the plant when you water. Moisture that splashes onto the foliage or around the growing area can’t be absorbed by the plant and can put it at risk for fungal diseases or rot.
When silver dollar vine is properly cared for, it’s hardy against pests and diseases. However, if the plant begins to become unhealthy due to overwatering, underwatering, too much or too little sun, or soil that doesn’t provide good drainage, it becomes susceptible to certain pests and diseases. We’ll describe how to identify these problems as well as how to treat them here.
If aphids have been munching on your plant, you’re likely to see damaged foliage before you notice the tiny insects. But once an invasion is underway, you can find lots of the little bugs on the undersides of the leaves where they’re feeding. Aphid damage causes foliage to curl, wrinkle, and become distorted.
The simplest way to handle an aphid infestation is to simply remove the bugs with a jet of water from the high pressure hose. You may need to repeat this treatment several times for it to work. There are lots of ways to dispatch aphids, and you can learn more about them in our article All About Aphids, and How to Kill Them.
As we’ve mentioned, fungal infections are possible when the soil where your silver dollar vine is growing stays too wet, not getting enough drainage. You’re most likely to see powdery mildew, which presents as a white powder on your silver dollar vine’s foliage.
These infections can also turn into root rot, which can be fatal to a plant. Whether you see signs of fungal infection or rot, you need to remove the diseased parts of the plant before drying it out to solve the problem.
Gently lift your silver dollar vine from the soil where it is growing, taking care not to harm its roots. Inspect the roots for areas that are slimy, have an unpleasant smell, or are discolored to brown or black instead of the pale color of healthy roots. Wherever you see these signs in the roots, use a pair of clean, sterilized gardening shears to snip them out of the plant. Also clip away any foliage that has the white powder of fungal disease present. Discard these trimmings and do not use them in compost.
Get a fresh new container and fill it with a fresh batch of soil for your silver dollar vine. Discard the soil it was growing in. You can use the container again once it has been cleaned and disinfected. Then plant the silver dollar vine in its new container with fresh, clean soil. Do not water the plant for three days to let it dry out.
Make sure to take steps to prevent fungal infections or root rot from happening in the future. Use a container for your silver dollar vine that has drainage holes in the bottom. Make sure you are using a succulent and cacti mix (or a homemade mix) for your silver dollar vine. Do not water it too frequently. Wait for the top inch of soil to dry out before you water your silver dollar vine again.
Mealybugs are small insects that resemble wisps of cotton that cause damage to silver dollar vine foliage when they feed on it. You can identify a mealybug infestation by the presence of the bugs or by looking for the damaged foliage, which will be yellow and curled. You may also see sticky or sooty areas on the plant.
Physically remove the mealybugs with an old wet toothbrush, and treat the bottom and top of your silver dollar vine’s leaves with a neem oil spray. To make the spray, mix a liter of warm water with a few drops of dish soap and a tablespoon of neem oil. To learn more, see our article How to Control Mealybugs.
If your silver dollar vine grows outdoors and the temperature in your area will drop to under 50 degrees Fahrenheit at night, you will need to take steps to protect your silver dollar vine in winter. Transplant the silver dollar vine to a container if it is not in one already. Then move it to a protected area, like your home, patio, or a shed. Make sure the plant will get at least four hours of indirect sunlight each day in its new spot. Once temperatures climb back into the silver dollar vine’s ideal range in spring, you can bring the plant back outside.
Indoor silver dollar vines also need their care to change a bit in winter.
- Check to be sure the spot where your silver dollar vine is growing still gets plenty of light in the winter. Lighting conditions can change over the course of a year. Your silver dollar vine needs at least four hours of bright indirect light each day to thrive.
- As directed in the section on watering, give your silver dollar vine less water in the winter when it is dormant than you do during the growing season.
- Do not fertilize your silver dollar vine during the winter, or it may cause burnt foliage.
- Visually inspect your silver dollar vine at regular intervals for signs of disease or insect infestation. Your plant is more susceptible to diseases and pest infestations during the winter.
After reading this article, you’re ready to provide your silver dollar vine with the best possible care all year long.