Botanical Name — Xerosicyos danguyi
Common Name — Silver dollar plant, Silver Dollar Vine or Penny Plant
Plant Family — Curcubitaceae
Xerosicyos danguyi is native to West and South-West Madagascar. This plant is a climbing succulent vine with cylindrical stems and thick, succulent, flattened round silvery-green leaves (the leaf shape and size gives this plant its common name) and is a relative to the Cucumber family. This plant climbs using the same kind of delicate tendrils to grip onto a support structure. The name Xerosicyos means dry cucumber. Although a climber, the Silver Dollar Vine forms a loose scrambling kind of shrub over time. It also produces a small caudex at the base. This is one of three in the species.
- Xerosicyos danguyi plants do best in full sun, at least 5 to 8 hours a day but can be grown in partial shade. Avoid intense afternoon sun. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure and direct sun.
- The penny plant likes room temperatures around 65 to 80 F. Night time temperatures can go down to 60 F. During the winter, they prefer cooler temperatures down to 50 F.
- Water regularly and deeply over summer when the plant is growing. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings. Keep fairly dry over winter. These plants are drought tolerant.
- These plants prefer a sandy, sharply draining mix. Cacti or succulent potting mix is great. You can amend a regular potting soil with sand or pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.
- Has a large caudex root system.
- Flowers are tiny and pale yellow and bloom in the early spring.
- These plants do not require fertilizer though it can be added to give container grown plants a boost or to supplement poor soil. Apply a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer monthly, diluted at half strength.
- Propagate by seed or stem cuttings.
- Stem cuttings should be taken in the spring. Let the cutting callus for a couple of weeks and then plant.
- Xerosicyos danguyi are not prone to pests.
- Root rot can also be a concern and is triggered by overwatering. Always err on the side of underwatering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Can repot in the spring, when the plant becomes root bound. Generally, they should be repotted every other year in order to provide fresh soil. After repotting, hold off on watering for a week or more. Will need a large pot to accommodate a large root system.
- Use a stake to control vines.
- Xerosicyos danguyi are not known to be toxic to humans or pets but should not be ingested.
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