An English Ivy , Hedera helix, was originally found growing in most of Europe, Asia, and North America. Outdoors, the long vines of English ivy plants can be seen clinging to garden walls, fences, tree trunks, and the exterior of homes and buildings, growing 60-90 ft. high and using its aerial roots to cling to surfaces. Where there is no surface for the roots to cling to, an English Ivy plant becomes a ground cover. Indoors, an English Ivy plant can be easily pruned to the size and shape that best fits it location. For smaller areas, select a small-leafed, slow-growing English Ivy variety.
English Ivy Description
The English Ivy plant is a very popular indoor houseplant available in over a hundred different colors such as solid green, variegated green and white, variegated green and yellow and different leaf shapes which may be lobed and unlobed. Whether you want a plant to sit on a table, grow at the base of another plant, hang in a basket, drape down in a wall sconce, or be trained as an impressive topiary plant, there is an English Ivy plant for you. They are also excellent climbers when attached to a trellis, stake, or a bark or styrofoam pole.
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Quick Care tips for an English Ivy
English Ivy Plants prefer cool temperatures especially at night
Provide bright indirect light, even in winter, or new leaves will be small
Crispy leaves indicate over not under watering
Prune leaf tips to keep an English Ivy bushy. Use clippings for propagation.
English Ivy Problems
New variegated leaves are all green-plant needs more light
Leaf edges and tips are brown and dry- temperatures are too low, air too dry, spider mites
New leaves are small and stems are bare with large spaces between the leaves-too little light
The English Ivy plant is a very popular indoor plant, but not as easy to care for as some think. The hot, dry air in our heated homes during the winter causes leaf damage and encourages spider mites. Increase the humidity by clustering plants together to create a mini greenhouse affect; placing a small humidifier nearby, or setting the plant on a wet pebble tray. Be sure the plant is sitting on the pebbles and not in the water. NASA has determined that English Ivy plants are excellent clean air plants and can absorb air-born toxins such as formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and especially benzene. These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants
English Ivy plants like bright indirect light. Direct sun burns their leaves. When the light is too low, the new leaves are smaller and further apart on the stem.
Most English Ivy plants die because they are over-watered. Allow the top 25-30% of the soil to dry out before watering. Crispy leaves indicate over-watering not under-watering.
Feed every two weeks in the spring and summer with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Fertilize monthly in the fall and winter. Never feed an English Ivy if the temperature is extremely hot or cold, if the soil is very dry, or if the ivy plant is not producing new leaves.
English Ivy plants grow well in temperatures between 55°- 75°F (12.8°-23.9° C) during the daytime and about 10° cooler at night (45°-65°F/ 7.2°-12.8°C). They do grow better when the temperature is consistent.
Medium to high humidity helps maintain the appearance of the leaves.
English Ivy plants are susceptible to spider mites, scale, mealy bugs, aphids, and white flies. To help prevent plant pests, spray once a month with the “Green Solution” (recipe in the Glossary).
Watch out for fungal and bacterial Leaf Spot disease. Read more about Leaf Spot disease in the Glossary of the website. https://www.houseplant411.com/glossary/leaf-spot-plant-disease-identify-and-treat
Use a well-drained, rich, organic soil
Aggressively trim the long runners to keep the plant bushy and full.
English Ivy plants are easily propagated using stem tip cuttings. Read more about this propagation technique in the Glossary.
Clean Air Plant
NASA lists an English Ivy plant as one of its top 10 clean air plants.
Poisonous Plant Info
An English Ivy is a very poisonous plant with a #3 toxicity level. Keep it away from pets and small children.
Your English Ivy plant is getting brown, crispy leaves because of over-watering. Read how to water an English Ivy plant in the care section above. Prune all of the dead foliage, allow the soil to thoroughly dry out, and your English Ivy plant should recover.
The webs and the pale leaf color on your English Ivy plant indicate that the plant has spider mites. Spider mites, a very common plant pest, like dry air, so increase the humidity around your English Ivy plant and spray the plant with the ” green solution“. (Recipe for the green solution” in the Glossary of the website).
The leaves on an English Ivy plant get smaller and further apart when the plant isn’t getting enough light.
The white cottony, sticky patches are residue from a plant pest called Mealy Bugs. Spray all sides of the leaves and stems of with the green solution. (recipe in the Glossary)
When there is not enough light, the variegation in the leaves of a plant disappears. If you move your English Ivy plant to a brighter location, the variegated color should return.