Dioscorea: Greenhouse Plants
T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
Dioscorea discolor from Surinam is the species mostly grown for its ornamental foliage. Leaves are heart-shaped and marked with pale green and silvery-grey over a dark green background. Undersides of the leaves are a luminous maroon. The plant is twining and makes so much growth in a season that it is hard to believe that it dies down in autumn and will make all that growth again from the following spring. It is related to the Yam and has underground storage tubers. For this reason the plant should be kept dry after it has died down and only watered again very carefully at first from February onwards. Propagation is by removing small tubers in the spring and growing them individually. I have found that if plants are left in the same pot they become very poor. It is best to repot every other year just as they start to shoot in the spring. A peatywith some loam is the best—and remember to put a tall tripod of canes in early as this plant really will romp away.