The English Ivy (Hedera Helix) is a houseplant and a perennial vine native to Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the Pacific Islands. It has been used as decoration on the façade of buildings since the Victorian era. Its aggressive growth makes it ideal for quickly covering large areas of dirt or stone in gardens and landscapes.
If you’re looking for a new houseplant but are worried about how much work it might be- don’t worry! The English Ivy requires no more than weekly watering and maybe a bit of sunshine now and again! Its small, green leaves won’t take up too much real estate on your kitchen or bathroom windowsill. It also doesn’t need much light to flourish, making it ideal for apartments where natural sunlight can be hard to come by during the winter.
- English Ivy Main Characteristics
- English Ivy Care
- Types (Cultivars) of English Ivy
- Propagating English Ivy
- Potting and Repotting English Ivy
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- English Ivy (Hedera Helix) Care and Growing Guide (Video)
English Ivy Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Algerian Ivy, Baltic Ivy, Branching Ivy, California Ivy, Common Ivy, English Ivy, Glacier Ivy, Needlepoint Ivy, Sweetheart Ivy|
|Botanical Name||Hedera helix|
|Synonyms||Hedera burgalensis, Hedera caucasigena|
|Native Range||Europe, Scandinavia, Russia|
|Common Cultivars||Angularis Aurea, Buttercup, Caecilia, Ceridwen, Congesta, Duckfoot, Glacier, Goldchild, Golden Ingot, Maple Leaf, Manda’s Crested, Midas Touch, Parsley Crested, Shamrock, Spetchley|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||4 to 9|
|Mature Size||Height: 20-80 feet; Spread: 3-50 feet|
|Bloom Time||September to October|
|Propagation methods||by cuttings|
|Sun||Full sun, Dappled Sun, Partial shade, Deep shade|
|Soil||Good Drainage, Moist|
English Ivy Care
The English Ivy is a houseplant that has been popular since the Victorian Era. With its aggressive growing habits – this plant is one of the easiest to grow indoors. You can find it in homes worldwide. It thrives on neglect, so it’s perfect for those who forget to water their plants or have no time for gardening.
Light and Location
English Ivy does best in partial sun but will also grow in deep shade. It will also grow in full sun, but the leaves may get burnt.
When planted outdoors, it’s mainly used as a groundcover or a wall climber. Indoors, place it anywhere it looks attractive, it’s not picky. It thrives in colder rooms, unlike most other houseplants. A hanging planter on an unheated patio or a draughty room would do nicely.
Indoors, English Ivy plant doesn’t require a lot of water, but it must have access to water. This plant should be watered sparingly and be allowed to almost dry between watering than for it to be over-watered. This plant hates being waterlogged.
As a houseplant, English Ivy prefers colder temperatures. Around 2–16ºC (35–60ºF) is considered optimal. This plant is winter hardy in zones 4-9.
Although it has already been mentioned, it still bears repeating- this plant is incredibly easy to grow and care for. It likes moderate humidity levels and does well in most temperate climates. Even if the room becomes too dry, mist it occasionally, and it should be fine.
Fertilizer requirements for the English Ivy plant are relatively low. As a general rule, fertilize once a month in the spring and summer with a balanced fertilizer. In the fall, fertilize every other month. Do not fertilize in the winter.
English Ivy plant is considered an invasive species in some states. It thrives in urban areas where you can find it on buildings, sidewalks, and even in gardens and parks. Its variegated leaves may look pretty, but it can choke out other plants by crowding them out and taking over. The leaves also have a toxic effect on wildlife if eaten by animals such as deer or squirrels, which may become sick and even die. Check your local laws and see if this vine is considered invasive in your area before planting.
Types (Cultivars) of English Ivy
There are many types of English Ivy plant, with a wide range of foliage colors. They are bred for different characteristics, such as yellow marbling on the leaves or slower growth to curb their invasive nature. Twelve varieties have won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit:
- Angularis Aurea
- Golden Ingot
- Maple Leaf
- Manda’s Crested
- Midas Touch
- Parsley Crested
Propagating English Ivy
It is relatively easy to propagate, and there are a few different ways to go about it, but the most common is by taking stem cuttings.
To take stem cuttings, you will need to find a healthy stem on the plant with at least two leaves. Cut the stem just below a node; this is where the roots will form, and clean leaves off the lower half of the cutting. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone. Then place it in a standard potting mix. Ensure the soil is moist and keep the cutting in an area that receives bright light. The cutting will need a few weeks to develop roots.
Potting and Repotting English Ivy
When potting English Ivy, use a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom. To make sure that roots have some room to wiggle, use a pot at least twelve inches wide. For the soil, the best potting mix is loam-based compost with good drainage properties.
When repotting, use a pot only two inches larger in diameter than the current pot. English Ivy does not like to be root-bound and will become leggy if it’s not given enough space to grow. Use a well-drained potting mix and add organic matter such as compost or manure. Water regularly, but don’t let the potting mix get too wet.
The English Ivy plant contains triterpenoid saponins which are toxic to both humans and animals. These saponins can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ingestion of leaves is more dangerous than the berries, though both are poisonous. Contact can also cause skin irritation.
English Ivy can get infected with scales, aphids, and mealybugs. However, the biggest problems are usually red spider mites. They feed on the plant sap, causing the leaves to become mottled. Eradicating the mites can be somewhat troublesome if the standard pesticide doesn’t work, as some strains are more resistant than others.
Either the plant is not getting enough light, or the room is too warm. Move it to a brighter spot that’s a bit colder. Cut off the affected areas; they will quickly grow back in better conditions.
Brown Leaf tips or edges?
Browning occurs when the humidity is too low. Start misting the leaves daily, and they should go back to normal soon. It could also be due to the temperature being too hot. Move it to a colder room if that’s the case.
Variegated Leaves turning all green?
Most varieties of English Ivy plant have variegated leaves with white marbling on the green. If the whites are beginning to fade and you see all green leaves, it’s due to the plant not getting enough light. The plant will continue to grow just fine, but move it to a brighter spot if you want your leaf colors back.
English Ivy (Hedera Helix) Care and Growing Guide (Video)
How to propagate English Ivy?
While you can propagate by seeds, it’s much easier to use stem cuttings. Choose a stem with a couple of leaves. Use a sharp knife to cut it off from just below the node. Plant the cutting in a loamy, slightly acidic potting mix. To promote quicker growth, increase humidity and temperature around the pot. And wait a few weeks for the plant to take root.
How often to water English Ivy?
In summer and spring, water moderately but ensure that it drains well. Don’t let the soil become soggy. In autumn and winter, keep the soil barely moist.
How to care for English Ivy indoors?
Put it up in a cold room with temperatures around 2–16ºC. Water moderately in the growing period (spring and summer), but don’t let the soil get waterlogged. Fertilize monthly during this time.
“Hedera helix” by gergelyhideg is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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