Native to South America, grape ivy is one of those long- established, dependable indoor plants that practically everyone grows at one time or another. Handsome dark green leaves have attractive bronze overtones due to reddish hairs on the leaf undersides. Each leaf is divided into three diamond-shaped, 1- to 4 inches-long leaflets with sharply toothed edges; leaves look like miniature grape leaves in overall outline, hence the common name. Tendrils twine around any support provided. Propagate by taking stem cuttings in spring and summer. 'Mandaiana' is more upright and compact than the species, with larger, more substantial leaflets. 'Ellen Danica' is another, compact selection, with darker green, less lustrous leaves than the species; its leaf- lets are shallowly lobed, like an oak leaf.
Indoors, grape ivy is ideal for hanging baskets. Situate it in bright light but not in direct, hot sun. Let soil go slightly dry between waterings. For best results, feed with a balanced liquid fertilizer monthly; cut back on water and fertilizer in winter. In the Tropical South, you can grow grape ivy outdoors; train it on a wall, pergola, or trellis, or use as ground cover for shaded areas.