A native to Tropical American, Cissus sicyoides, commonly known as the Possum Grape Vine, is an ornamental creeper grown in USDA Zone 9-11. It is a fast growing plant with woody stems, waxy dark green leaves, and black grape-like fruit that provide a showy display in the fall. In addition to its ornamental foliage, it is a popular ethnomedical plant, used as a remedy in traditional medicine. The leaf decoctions of Cissus sicyoides are taken widely as a popular remedy for diabetes mellitus in Brazil, where its common name is vegetal insulin.
For optimal growth and health, plant Cissus sicyoides in full sun and semi-shade, with moderate water needed. It is best grown in a pot for cold regions. Ensure the pot has good drainage, as the plant does not like to remain with wet soil for long- periods of time. When first planting, loosen the root ball, cover the root area with soil, and then water the pot. Additionally, the pot should be large enough to accommodate the vine's size when fully mature. For maximum growth, use a balanced slow-release fertilizer and apply it every six months. Prune away dead or damaged foliage as needed.
Cissus sicyoides can be invasive, so plant it with caution and check for stray growth. As an invasive species, it has the potential to spread weeds and adversely affect local ecosystems. Be sure to keep an eye out for overgrowth, and contain and prune it if necessary.