Cebu Blue is an evergreen, tropical vine that you could grow both indoors and outdoors. It’s a great plant to add to your indoor jungle since it doesn’t require major care and also looks pretty attractive. It’s a pretty versatile plant and adapts fairly well to different conditions. If you want the plant to grow to its maximum length/height, you may let it grow outdoors.
Here’s a quick summary of what you can expect when caring for a Cebu Blue: Maintenance requirements for this plant are pretty minimal. You just need to subject it to the right amount of light and water. Pot it in a well draining soil. It does like humidity but can cope well in regular home environments. Fertilizing only needs to be done during the growing season, around two times per month.
If you are considering growing a Cebu Blue and then you should know a bit more about its maintenance requirements, bad practices to avoid, or even different ways to propagate the plant. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the plant’s basic care and maintenance needs in some detail.
Cebu Blue: A Brief Intro to the Plant
Cebu Blue is a pothos – a plant variant with silvery-blue, shiny leaves that tend to have a sparkle under the right lighting conditions. The plant belongs to the Epipremnum genus, which is where it gets its pothos association. This flowering plant species is a member of the Araceae family.
It gets half of its name Cebu Blue is from the island of Cebu in the Philippines. The plant is commonly found in the island’s native perennial vines. It’s also commonly found in various
other Asian countries, and also several parts of Europe and North Australia.
The plant can trail, climb, and can be a solid addition to pretty much any indoor garden. Not to mention, the plant is pretty low on maintenance too, adding to the home appeal.
Cebu Blue can typically grow anywhere from 4 to 40 feet tall. However, when grown indoors, the height is not usually in the double digits. Though it’s primarily an indoor plant, it does just fine in outdoor environments as well. Cebu Blue is also known by a few other names, which include: Centipede Tongavine, Devil’s Ivy, Dragon-tail plant, Schindapsus Aureum, and Blue Pothos.
The Two Unique Growth Phases of Cebu Blue
The plant basically has two different phases: juvenile (young) and mature. The two phases determine the size and color of the plant’s leaves and also how the plant behaves or grows in general.
During this phase, the plant’s leaves are prominently silver or bluish-gray in color. The uniqueness lies in the fact that multiple leaves of the same plant could be in different shades such as bluish-green, green, silver, and blue. Under bright light, these shades come across even more pronounced and attractive.
The leaves are usually elongated or oval in shape, with the length typically being two to four inches. In this phase, the plant usually goes by the “European house plant” name since it’s commonly used in European houses for interior decoration.
As far as behavior or nature goes, the immature plant is terrestrial, or it grows without much support from its human caretaker. When young, the plant is also pretty likely to form sleek dangling vines when put in hanging plant baskets. We’ll discuss a bit more about potting later in the article.
When mature, Cebu Blue’s leaves take a very greenish hue with certain zig-zag divisions going up to the leaves’ mid section. The leaves, in fact, look much like a palm tree’s fronds or branches. You can expect the leaves to reach around 4 inches in length. When mature, Cebu Blue is also quite a natural climber.
Kindly note, the aforementioned growth numbers apply only indoors. If you were to grow the plant outdoors, you can expect multiple times the growth a regular indoor plant would have. The leaves would vary in size too. For instance, the leaves of a Cebu Blue plant grown indoors are usually four inches in length. The same leaves could be much bigger (up to 30 inches) when the plant is grown outdoors.
Indoor plants do not bloom as well as outdoor plants. But that’s not a bad thing since managing the plant indoors would become extremely difficult if the growth is excessive. Don’t worry, their beauty is still astounding.
Lighting For Your Cebu Blue
Cebu Blue doesn’t need a lot of light. It tends to live quite content within medium-light scenarios. However, if you would like the foliage to be pretty lush and beautiful, a good amount of indirect light is recommended. But don’t forget it does need some periods of darkness too.
Do not keep it in direct sunlight though. If you would like to take the plant outdoors for some healthy dose of light, make sure the light is filtered. For example, you could place it under a tree or a bigger plant. If you cannot find a tree or a bigger plant, place the plant close to your window during the day, especially when it’s still growing but monitor the amount of direct sunlight.
Occasional direct sun exposure is fine, but make sure it’s limited.The morning sun would, in fact, be ideal, particularly during winters when pretty much all your indoor plants would benefit immensely from some direct exposure to the early morning sun.
Make sure you take your Cebu Blue plant out of the sun during afternoons or when the sun is at its peak. When subjected to good light and watering, the plant could grow by a few feet within a season.
Watering Your Cebu Blue
It’s a plant that doesn’t depend too much on water, you’ll be glad to hear. But if you sprinkle it with the right amount and appropriate type of water, it will return the favor in the form of true lushness. You need not resort to any special watering techniques for that. Just water it the way you would water any other indoor plant.
Give the plant a complete soak and allow it to dry out a bit between each watering session. The excess water should completely escape through the drainage hole. Let the top inch of the soil become dry to the touch before you could water the plant again.
If your medium looks drenched at all times, it means you’ve been watering it a bit too much and/or at too frequent intervals. On the contrary, if the leaves have yellowed out or the foliage looks a bit wilted in general, it indicates you’re not watering the plant enough.
Temperature & Humidity
Cebu Blue is usually okay when kept at room temperature or when the humidity is typical of a regular household. If the indoors feel okay to you, then the plant should be fine too.
However, if the region you’re living in is a bit on the drier side or the humidity is usually on the lower side (air conditioning can have an affect on this), you should consider a humidifier or a pebble tray. You may also group it with other plants to boost the
How does a pebble tray help with humidity? Also called a pebble saucer, a pebble tray is an easy-to-make, simple gardening tool generally used for indoor plants. To make the tray, you’ll need a regular tray along with some gravel or pebbles and water. Place your Cebu Blue plant pot in the tray for optimal humidity.
Your Cebu Blue would most likely be okay with bagged potting mixes or any easily available potting mix.
However, if there is the option, go with a well-draining, chunky mix that consists of perlite or vermiculite
and orchid bark. Just a quick note to remember, vermiculite holds on to a lot more moisture compared to perlite.
The pot itself can have an affect on how your plant will grow. Here are a couple of potting options and how they could affect it:
Hanging pot – If you’re considering putting the plant in a hanging pot, it would most likely stay immature for long or indefinitely. This is because when hanging, the plant doesn’t have enough grip on itself and starts to dangle. When dangling, there is usually no growth. In fact, the leaves may even begin to shrink a bit. In other words, a hanging pot may look good but it’s not great for the plant’s growth.
Pot with support – If you provide the pot some moss support, the plant will start to climb and will grow into a mature, beautiful plant in pretty much no time. And this growth pattern is considered natural – both indoors and in the wild. When outdoors, particularly in a forest, Cebu Blue uses a tree for support and climbs on it to become stronger and beautiful. Long story short, give the pot some support if you’d like to see the Cebu Blue in its elements.
Fertilizing is essential during a Cebu Blue’s growing years. The plant can grow pretty well on its own, which means you need not fertilize it much – particularly if the potting mix already has some slow-release fertilizer in it. With some external help in the form of fertilizers, you are just accelerating things or helping the plant grow bigger and flourish.
The fertilizer added to the soil is usually a mix of macronutrients (nutrients the plant needs in larger quantities) and micronutrients (the nutrients the plant needs in smaller doses). The macronutrients generally used are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The list of micronutrients is a bit longer, which includes calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.
Of the micronutrients mentioned above, the ones that aren’t abundantly available in the soil include copper, zinc, manganese, and boron. Therefore, it’s important you supplement your Cebu Blue plant with them during the growing season.
Also, make sure you dilute the fertilizers with water so that the dosage isn’t too strong. Generally, it’s recommended you do not use fertilizers too much during the off-season or when the plant is not actively growing. Cebu Blue usually grows during summer or spring.
If you think putting together all the macro and micronutrients for the right fertilizer combination sounds like a lot of work, you can always buy ready-to-use fertilizers from your local plant nursery or at an online store. These prepackaged fertilizer products comprise pretty much all nutrients the plant would need. Therefore, you need not worry about missing out on a nutrient or two.
If you want to know how these various nutrients work on your plant, then read below. Otherwise, skip to the next section.
Nitrogen – This is needed not just by plants but pretty much every living organism on Earth, including humans. As far as plants go, nitrogen helps them form chlorophyll, which helps with photosynthesis or allows the plant to convert light into absorbable energy. Chlorophyll is green and, therefore, nitrogen is imperative for any plant to grow healthy green leaves.
Phosphorus – Another essential macronutrient as it helps create sturdy and healthy cells. Basically, plants need it for respiration, cell growth, and cell division. Phosphorus also facilitates the healthy growth of roots, fruit, and flowers.
Potassium – Helps with the photosynthesis process and with the overall management of the nutrients and water you feed the plant. Potassium also comes in handy with the plant’s health in general. In other words, it makes sure your plant doesn’t attract pests easily and doesn’t develop diseases.
Calcium – Helps your plant absorb various nutrients, increases the soil’s pH level so that it
isn’t too acidic, and helps your plant ward off diseases.
Magnesium – A component of chlorophyll. Therefore, it’s required for photosynthesis to happen. It also helps with phosphorus stabilization.
Sulfur – Helps synthesize important protein-making amino acids or the plant’s building blocks. Sulfur also ensures your plant doesn’t enter dormancy during winter.
Boron – Needed for the solidity of the plant’s cell membrane and assists with sugar transport, cell division, and seed development.
Chlorine – This essential plant growth nutrient participates in the leaves’ opening and closing. Your Cebu Blue plant’s leaves open and close to receive and release gas via inspiration and expiration. Simply put, it helps the plant breathe.
Copper – This needed for activating enzymes, assists with respiration, helps with photosynthesis, and is a critical component in the vitamin A production process. Copper also helps boost the color of the leaves.
Iron – Helps with food production and plant growth. A lot of the enzymes needed to transfer energy, reduce the nitrogen fixation, and promote lignin formation have iron content in them.
Manganese – Plays an important part in photosynthesis, accelerating the plant’s germination and growth. It also increases the bioavailability of calcium and phosphorus.
Zinc – A critical element in several proteins and enzymes, which makes it extremely important for plant growth.
Propagating Your Cebu Blue
No prizes for guessing that Cebu Blue is propagation-friendly too. The plant, in fact, propagates readily and quite easily. So, there are two different methods that you can choose from. Regular cuttings, or the single leaf method. Both are pretty simple, have a read through them and see which one you prefer.
To begin the propagation, just make cuttings a few inches in length and then root them in either water or soil. There is no preferred method, but if you’d like to see the roots grow, start with propagating the cuts in water. Once the roots have grown to a healthy level, you may move them to a pot.
When harvesting the cuttings for propagation, make sure the cuts have at least a couple of nodes, and they should be underwater during the water propagation phase. A node is basically the point where the leaf comes in contact with the stem. Roots grow from that point.
Pot the cuttings right after you see visible root growth. Do not wait to transfer the cuttings from the water to soil for too long as that could decrease the pace at which the plant grows.
If you’re not very sure of the water propagation technique or would like to skip directly to the pot, you can do that too. Just make sure you place the cuttings in a way that one node or a couple are buried under the soil. Also, ensure the soil is fairly moist. When the soil is moist and humid, the cuttings propagate better.
If you don’t fancy the pot and would like something transparent to monitor the growth, you may fill a clear plastic bag with the soil and put the cuttings into that soil. Make sure you do not put the plastic with the soil and cuttings in direct sunlight or expose it to any kind of strong light as the plastic may then deteriorate and react adversely.
Also, aerate the bag so that there isn’t internal mold growth. Once you start seeing some growth or are sure about the plant’s rooting, you could move it to potting soil. Water propagation would be fine too.
Single Leaf Propagation
You may also propagate the plant with just one leaf. All you need to do is cut one leaf with its stem (usually an inch long) and a single node. Dip the leaf’s stalk and the basal stem within a small jar.
In the jar, the leaf should be upright and not completely drowned. Tiny roots could develop from even single nodes dipped into the water. However, compared to multi-leaf cuttings, you may have to give a single leaf cutting some time to grow roots and/or stem before you could transfer it to the soil.
Unfortunately, this is a toxic plant to cats and dogs. Make sure you keep the plant out of reach of pets and children. You certainly do not want the uninformed to come in contact with the plant.
Common symptoms are pain, swelling and redness. Usually you’ll find these symptoms in the mouth as this is toxic when ingested. Rare symptoms can also include difficulty breathing and vomiting, but as I said, these are rare and unlikely.
So if you have children or pets running around that are likely to ingest some of the plant then ensure you keep it far out of their reach. Just to be on the safer side.
This is generally a no-fuss, easy-to-grow plant. However, it’s not foolproof. There are issues that even a Cebu Blue could develop, which include:
Leaf Yellowing / Unusual Shape – When you do not provide the plant enough water and light, its leaves could become noticeably flatter than normal and turn yellowish. To ensure such issues do not occur, you need to water the plant at regular intervals.
Browning of Leaves – If Cebu Blue’s leaves look brownish, it could mean excess sunlight exposure. In other words, too much sunlight may have simply burned the leaves. Adding too much fertilizer and overwatering could also be the causes.
To prevent the issue, ensure the plant doesn’t spend too much time in the sun. You need not cut out the sun completely as that would tilt the scale to the other extreme. Simply managing the plant’s sun exposure would be fine.
Pest Attacks – It can be quite susceptible to mealy bugs, spider mites, and other common pests. You may bring the situation under control by regularly wiping the leaves with a clean, damp cloth and also spraying it with pesticides.