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Dischidia nummularia: Growing the String of Nickels plant

String of nickels is a rare member of the Apocynaceae family. It is a climbing plant with epiphytic characteristics. And Its major features are its green succulent leaves which are waxy and small. 

Dischidia nummularia

It gets the name “String of Nickels because of its oval shape. This is because they resemble coins or nickels held by a string.  

The Dischidia variety is native to tropical regions of Asia. And are best grown as ornamental vining plants in hanging baskets or pots. 

You don’t have to be careful when dealing with the String of coins plant. They are non-toxic to both pets and people when eaten.

Botanical NameDischidia nummularia 
Common NamesString of nickels, String of coins 
Plant TypeEpiphytic vining plant
Full SizeRanges from 2 feet to 3 feet long 
Sun ExposureBright Indirect Sunlight 
Soil TypeWell-draining, soilless potting mix
Toxicitynon-toxic to pets and people 

Dischidia nummularia Care

The potted Dischidia nummularia is often regarded as a low-maintenance plant. Their lighting, watering, temperature, and potting requirements are simple. Being an epiphyte makes it a little unique but they can survive a little neglect.

String of Nickels Lighting Requirement

Always ensure that you provide enough access to filtered or indirect sunlight. The delicate foliage would need bright light. 

It can survive a few hours of exposure to direct sunlight. But, you would need to move the plant to a different location. Excess sunlight could scorch the plant. And too little sunlight would limit its growth.  

Keeping the exotic species in an east-facing window would be perfect. There, it can get access to the morning sunlight.

If you can’t relocate the plant. You can make use of a light curtain or cloth. This would help in reducing the harsh sun intensity. 

Watering Requirements For Strings of Nickel

Watering Requirements For Strings of Nickel
Succulents Network

It helps to allow the plant’s foliage to dry out a little before watering.  This is because they like watering to be kept at moderate levels. 

Aim for a watering schedule of once every week or 10 days. If they get too little water, they would shrink. Overwatering on other hand can attract fungi which would lead to rot.  

When watering, avoid using cold water or tap water. This is because the chemicals and water temperature would stress the plant. Aim for rainwater, or make use of dechlorinated water. 

Your watering should be thorough and focused on the pot. Ensure that it has enough drainage holes to allow easy passage of water. 

Potting Mix For the Dischidia Nummularia 

As an epiphytic plant, the Dischidia variety does not need soil. Instead, make use of a well-draining soilless potting mix. 

The potting mix used should also be chunky and well-aerated.  You can make your potting mix using a regular orchid mix. 

Add one part of coco husk chips to the orchid mix to make it well-draining. Try adding sphagnum moss to the mix for easy aeration.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

Being tropical plants, native to Asian regions, they love high humidity. As such, always aim for a humidity level of 50% to 80%. 

You can achieve this with regular misting. You can also try using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near it. 

Temperature levels should also be high for the String of Nickels. A range between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 degrees Fahrenheit should be okay.  Avoid lower temperature levels as they could be damaging to the plant. 

String of Nickels Fertilizer Requirement 

String of Nickels Fertilizer Requirement 

Depending on the location, they need fertilizer to grow well. Use an orchid fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer.

Before using it, dilute it to about half of its initial strength. This is because they are light feeders and high concentration could stress them.

Fertilizer feeding should be done in its growing season. Avoid the winter and cold climates and fertilize once a month in the summer season.

Propagation and Pruning Requirement for String of Nickels

Propagate the potted plant through stem cuttings. Always ensure you sterilize the tools to be used before propagation.

Pruning should be done often to keep the plant looking fresh. Use a sterilized tool and be careful not to damage the stems.

Common Health Problems of the Dischidia Nummularia 

  • Shriveling leaves 
  • Leaf spots
  • Rots 
  • Spider mites
  • Aphids
  • Mealy bugs

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the string of nickels plant produce flowers?

Yes, the variegated string of nickels is known to produce flowers. These blooms range from yellow to white.

How long do strings of nickels grow?

The Dischidia variety can grow 3 meters long. This ranges depending on its growth conditions.

Can you grow the Dischidia nummularia Outdoors?

Yes, you can. But they would need warm regions to flourish. 

What is the most popular Dischidia?

The Dischidia vidalii or Ant plant is the most popular variety. It is known in most parts of Asia.

Are strings of nickels rare?

They are more uncommon than rare. They can be found growing in most Asian regions.