Anredera cordifolia, commonly known as Madeira Vine, is an aggressive climbing succulent vine that can rapidly invade areas in mild frost-free subtropical to tropical regions. It is native to relatively dry sub-tropical regions of South America in Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina. Still, over time, it has been cultivated around the world as an ornamental plant.
Madeira Vine grows from fleshy rhizomes. It climbs by counterclockwise, twining, reddish-green stems with distinctive heart-shaped thick and fleshy leaves. The stems grow up to 120 feet (36.5 m) long, 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 m) per year. More mature vines have weird knobbly growths like small potatoes along their length.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Madeira Vine is winter hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 9-11, where this vine is easily grown in full sun to part shade in humusy well-drained soils. This plant is a subtropical vine that only tolerates brief instances of light frost.
Control is easy if caught early. Each plant sprouts from a shallow underground tuber and regrows from this or the easily broken-off stem tubers which fall to the ground. So all below- and above-ground tubers need to be removed and disposed of in the garbage.
While young and less than 3.3 feet (1 m) long, lift out the plant, easing out the tuber from the soil at its base. The underground tuber snaps readily, so be sure to get all bits. At this stage, the stem tubers will not have developed.
Beyond this stage, the plant is quickly growing and vigorous, with stem tubers growing rapidly. Once it has taken off like this, pulling the vine down from trees will knock its tubers to the ground where they will grow, so care must be taken. Cutting and gently removing small sections and laying a sheet on the ground below to catch the tubers. By now, the main underground tuber will have enlarged and will require careful digging to get it all. Be aware that the tubers can lie dormant in the soil for many years.
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