Dischidia ovata

Dischidia ovata grows throughout the tropical regions of Asia, including Taiwan, parts of China, New Guinea, India, and other locations. Mainly the species is native to South Asia. Altitudinal range from 150m to near sea level. They grow as epiphytic vines in swamp forests, open forest, monsoon forest & rain forest.

I first grew Dischidia ovata around 2010, and it may have been my very first Dischidia. I knew little about it, but really liked the leaves. I had it potted up in soil, where it did well initially, but succumbed to root rot after I had only had it a few months. I forgot about the plant for a few years but decided in 2016 that I needed another one and have successfully kept it ever since. I have grown it well using two different substrates. It grows quite well for a couple of years in sphagnum moss as most Dischidia do, but after that time the sphagnum begins to break down, and then the moss holds too much water, and root rot sets in. I have found that Bonsai Jack’s Inorganic Bonsai Substrate with a little bit of vermiculite mixed in to hold a little extra moisture works exceptionally well for growing Dischidia ovata. It does not break down and seems to give the roots room to breathe. I water the mix about once a week, and the plant is very happy.

The common name of Dischidia ovata is the Watermelon Dischidia, because of the shape, pattern, and color of the leaves. I have successfully grown this plant in the regular house as a hanging basket and in grow tents and greenhouses. It makes a lovely houseplant that gets my highest recommendation.