How to Water a Swedish Ivy Plant

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Hello! I keep hearing how easy Swedish Ivy is to grow, but I seem to have trouble! I have ordered plants from two different stores and killed them both. I know I overwatered the first one, so I tried to be more careful with the second. I let it go about a week between waterings (it was pretty humid during that time as well), but it still wilted and started turning brown from the stem up. Any advice? Is there particular soil that would be good for them? Thank you so much!


Hi Kelley,

I do think it is a watering problem that starts with size of the pot the plant is in. The pot should be no larger than 1″-2″ bigger than the root ball of the plant. When the pot is too large, the plant stays wet too long, and the roots of the plant rot. Do not re-pot a Swedish Ivy until the roots have entirely filled its current pot.

These plants have thick, dark green leaves. Do not water until the leaves become soft and a little pale in color. Since you tend to over water, I recommend that you water from the bottom by setting your Swedish Ivy in a deep saucer of water  for ten minutes.  The plant will absorb the water it needs through the drip holes in the bottom of the pot. Never allow the plant to sit in water at any other time. Yellow leaves indicate the plant is over-watered. You can save an under-watered Swedish Ivy but it is hard to save an over-watered plant once the roots have been damaged.

Right now you need to take the plant out of the pot and get rid of all of the soil, especially on the roots. Cut off the dead stems and any dead roots; allow the plant to sit out bare root overnight. Repot into a small container of dry potting mix that barely fits the root ball. Place the plant in a clear plastic bag, lightly moisten the soil, and seal the bag if possible. Hopefully new growth will start to develop in a couple of weeks. Do not water until the soil dries out.

You can read all my care tips for a Swedish Ivy in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.