Caring for your Ivy Plant

 

Native to Europe and Africa, Ivies are very fast-growing climber plants that are often used for landscaping. You've probably seen them covering buildings or fences in movie settings! Ivies make beautiful hanging indoor decor as they drape down gracefully from their pots, and if you plan on putting them outdoors or in your balcony, they can climb up your walls and provide a lovely rustic feel. However, note that Ivies only climb when they are young. Once they begin to mature, they start to grow bushier.

Although the Ivy houseplant (Hedera Helix) is hardly the infamous poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans), the sap of the Ivy houseplant is still poisonous to both humans and pets. Some people develop a skin rash when they come in contact with Ivy. If you know that you have this reaction, it is recommended that you wear gloves when pruning your Ivy.

Although poisonous to pets, it actually makes a great addition to households with animals as it is an air-purifying plant capable of removing fecal matter in the air. Just ensure that your pets don't bite the Ivy, or you can choose to hang your Ivy so it remains out of reach.

Sunlight 

Arguably the most important part of its care, the Ivy plant needs bright, indirect light when being grown indoors. The best place to grow your Ivy would be by a window. If placed in direct sunlight, the leaves might scorch and die!

If starved of light, their growth will be stunted and leaves of variegated Ivy plants will begin to turn entirely green, losing their patterns. Variegated varieties are able to tolerate sunnier conditions compared to their green-leafed counterparts.

 

Watering

For Ivies, it's safer to err on the dry side! You should only water them when their soil is dry to the touch (or around half an inch's depth).  Water them thoroughly each time, ensuring that the water drains very well such that your Ivy does not remain soaking in water.

Overwatering your Ivy can cause its leaves to start appearing brown and dry, which might cause you to think that you aren't watering it enough! You should relook your watering intervals ASAP so that root rot does not begin to fester.

 

Repotting

There is no specific length of time after which you need to repot your Ivy. You should repot it when it starts to get too dense or top-heavy, root-bound or dry out too quickly.

If it is compact, gently hit your existing pot against a table to loosen the soil of your Ivy plant, removing the plant and its roots as a ball. Find a new pot that is at least an inch bigger in diameter than your current one, ensuring that it has drainage holes. Fill a third of your pot with regular soil and make a hole for your Ivy's root ball to be placed in. After that, fill the rest of the pot with your soil mix.

Alternatively, if you're not confident in doing this yourself, you can engage a repotting service!

 

Temperature and Humidity

Ivies prefer cooler temperatures but higher humidities. To increase the humidity around your Ivy plant, you can consider getting a tabletop humidifier, or alternatively place your plant on a tray of wet pebbles. They also enjoy good air circulation, so try not to crowd them or place them in cluttered areas.

 

Fertiliser

Fertilise once a month with an organic houseplant fertiliser.

  

Propagating

You can propagate Ivy via stem-cutting. Cut an inch of your Ivy vine (starting your measurement from the leaves at the top of the stem), ensuring that the cutting has at least 2 leaves. You can either root your cutting in sandy soil medium or water, but chances of successful post-relocation survival are higher in sandy soil medium.

To root your Ivy in sandy soil, dip your stem in rooting hormone powder to increase the chances of successful rooting. Water your cutting well, keeping it constantly moist (you can place your pot with your cutting in a plastic bag). After 6 to 8 weeks, it's ready to be permanently relocated into a proper planter and regular Ivy soil.

You can watch this video on how to propagate your Ivy.

 

Troubleshooting

Webs forming on undersides of leaves: Presence spider mites (small little black specks), which indicates under-watering. Spider mites reproduce very quickly so it's important for you to deal with them immediately. You can get rid of them by spraying them off with water, or by applying Neem oil. You should start to water your Ivy a bit more frequently, as these mites love dry and dark places, and get their water by sucking the moisture out of your plant.

 

If you're prepared for an Ivy plant, you can get one here.

 

P.s. Ivy houseplants benefit from periodic washing to remove dust and pests from their leaves. To wash your ivy plant, simply place the plant in the shower and allow the water to run over the plant for a few minutes.

 

 

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