Trichodiadema bulbosum (mimicry)
Plants with large bulbs partially hidden under the soil or with a swollen caudiciform-base store water and nutrients in these receptacles. Leaves and vines make chlorophyll, and water and food are sent down to be stored in thickened stems and bases. As this happens, the bulb or base grows and enlarges. Plants can take regular watering at this time.
When the season changes and weather cools, these plants usually go deciduous (meaning they lose their leaves). In the case of Cissus tuberosa, the "Climbing Oak," or Bowiea, the "Climbing Onion," and several other vining bulbs, the entire vine dies back and the plant is left with the attractive, characteristic bulb or base only. When leafless like this, the plant is only resting. As long as it is still hard and firm to the touch, it is fine. During this "snooze" time, the dormant plant needs very little water. It is subsisting mostly on its stored water and nutrients.
When weather and light factors warrant it, the vine and/or foliage sprouts anew and grows out into an even bigger and better specimen of glossy-leafed beauty. This is the time to gradually resume regular watering and feeding. How absolutely fantastic it is to watch these unique plants go through their cyclic changes and offer you a chance to witness the changing pattern of things, as life and growth unfolds anew!