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Callisia Repens Plant

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Callisia Repens Plant

The genus Callisia, family Commelinaceae, includes 20 species of native herbaceous plants, mostly from Mexico and Central America. Some species are: Callisia repens, Callisia elegans, Callisia fragrans, Callisia gentlei.

Common names:

Creeping inch plant, Turtle vine, Bolivian Jew. This species is native to Central and South America.

Callisia Repens Plant Information

They are small perennial plants with a hanging or covering habit and brittle stems that reach 20-30 cm in height. The decorative fleshy leaves are heart-shaped and hug the stems. The flowers are small and white but they are not decorative. They bloom in summer.

They are used as indoor plants in hanging pots and as covers in regions with a subtropical and tropical climate.

Callisia Repens Plant prefers semi-shade exposure as direct sun (especially in Mediterranean climates) can burn the leaves. The winter temperature should not be lower than 15 ºC.

The soil can be a mixture, in equal parts, of garden substrate with siliceous sand, peat and leaf mulch or a substrate for indoor plants.


There are over nineteen species of Callisia that originate right across the Americas. The genus was first described in the 1720s by Pehr Löfling, using the Greek word for ‘beauty’ in reference to some of the species’ foliar appearance. Some popular species within the genus are the C. elegans, C. fragrans and C. repens – scroll down to ‘Flowers‘ to learn when each produce blooms.

Common Issues with Callisia

Under-watering is the biggest issue. Typical signs of this include wilting, sunken and yellowed leaves and stunted growth. If the plant is in direct sunlight, relocate it to a slightly shadier area. Increase the number of waters, as Callisia tend to grow along moist forest floors that rarely promote droughts. As long as you keep an eye out for drying soil, success is inevitable.
Those situated in direct sunlight or within three metres of a radiator are most likely to suffer from this issue.

Location & Light 

Bright indirect light is best. The combination of good soil moisture and a well-lit location will provide the best results for your plant.

Sunny locations should be avoided at all costs; prolonged exposure to the sun or dry soil will result in pale leaves, stunted growth and crisping foliage. Remember, if it’s too hot for a chocolate bar, it’ll be too hot for the plant, too!

Alternatively, lower-lit areas should only be used, if wholly necessary. Although Callisia can thrive in shady locations, the reduced rates of photosynthesis and too moist soil will lead to a weakened plant, along with the chance of developing root rot and soil mould. Variegated specimens situated in these areas will slowly revert to a full green appearance, too.


Callisia love moist soil. Once the pot begins to feel light when lifted, it’s time for another water. Although pouring water directly through the foliage is acceptable if situated in a bright location, irrigate using the bottom-up method to be extra cautious. Place the pot on a saucer of water (20% submerged) until thorough absorption to provide deep hydration. Wetting the foliage every time you come to hydrate the plant will allow excess moisture to settle, causing the leaves to yellow and rot away. Under-watering symptoms include crispy/curling leaves, a grey, washed-out appearance, yellowing leaves and a lack of new growth. These issues are commonly down to either too much heat/light forgetfulness. Dehydration is the number one issue among growers, so always keep an eye out for drying soil. Over-watering symptoms, on the other hand, include yellowing lower leaves, little to no growth and a rotting stem or leaves. Never allow a Callisia to endure long periods of soggy soil or a dark location as both will significantly increase the chance of over-watering and death. Finally, if you water your specimen from the top (over its foliage into the soil), be sure to blow the excess moisture from the leaves’ cubbyholes to avert the risk of rotten foliage.


Average humidity found in the home is more than enough to occupy a Callisia. If the leaf-tips begin to brown over, it could be a sign of too low humidity; either finely mist the foliage weekly or introduce a humidity tray to keep life happy.


Feed every four waters during the growing period and every six in the autumn and winter, using a ‘Houseplant’ labelled fertiliser. Never apply a ‘Ready to Use’ product into the soil without a pre-water first, as it may burn the roots and lead to yellowed leaves.


10° – 30°C   (50° – 86°F)
H1b (Hardiness Zone 12) – Can be grown outdoors during the summer in a sheltered location with temperatures above 12℃  (54℉),  but is fine to remain indoors, too. If you decide to bring this plant outdoors, don’t allow it to endure any direct sunlight as it may result in sun-scorch and dehydration. Regularly keep an eye out for pests, especially when re-introducing it back indoors.

Pruning & Maintenance

Remove yellow or dying leaves, and plant debris to encourage better-growing conditions. While pruning, always use clean utensils or shears to reduce the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases. Never cut through yellowed tissue as this may cause further damage in the likes of diseases or bacterial infections. Remember to make clean incisions as too-damaged wounds may shock the plant, causing weakened growth and a decline in health.

Please Note

This product will be hand delivered to your doorstep.

The image is for reference only.

Please take out the plant from the box immediately after receiving and water it as required.
Water the soil, not the leaves and flowers.
Keep it away from direct sunlight.

Avoid placing plants in trouble spots, such as near heat or air conditioning ducts.

From enisarg.com


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