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How to Care for Your English Ivy Plant

How to Care for Your English Ivy Plant

If you're looking for a houseplant with an undeniable personality and whimsical quality, whether it's climbing in your garden or hanging at your home, it's the English Ivy plant. Learn how to care for your English Ivy plant, an aggressive and hardy vine.

English Ivy, also known as Hedera helix, is a very common houseplant. Most of the time, you'll see it on the exterior of buildings and houses that looks like the entrance of The Secret Garden. However, the English Ivy plant is sometimes aggressive that it's banned in the state of Oregon because it's so invasive when grown outdoors. So before you propagate or purchase an English Ivy plant, make sure to double-check that it's legal where you live.

Fun Fact: The English Ivy plant is one of the top 10 air-purifying plants, according to NASA. It can remove toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, toulene, and xylene. Herbalists also use the English Ivy plant to treat respiratory conditions.

Originated from Europe and Western Asia, the English Ivy can be commonly seen growing on buildings and houses, but it's not solely for decoration. This elegant vine actually acts as an insulation and siding because it can change the interior temperature. For example, the English Ivy can make the space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also protects the building's walls from bad weather and temperature changes.

An English Ivy plant can grow 8 inches tall and at least 15 feet wide, if you set it to grow horizontally. However, it can spread more than 50 feet high, if you set it to grow vertically. This plant prefers bright light, but it can also thrive well in the shade if you don't have a sunny and warm spot in your home.

It's best to grow the English Ivy plant in a pot and hang it by your window or put it on a shelf. Make sure that the pot you're going to use can hold its roots. For example, a shallow and wide pot would be perfect for this plant. Do not let its roots burrow down deep into the soil because it will not thrive.

Here's everything else you need to know on how to care for your English Ivy plant.

Botanical Name Hedera helix
Common Name English Ivy, European Ivy, or Ivy
Plant Size The English Ivy plant can grow 8 inches tall and at least 15 feet wide, if you set it to grow horizontally. It can reach more than 50 feet high if you set it to grow vertically. Its mature size can stretch up to 100 feet in height.
Types of English Ivy Plants Boston Ivy, Canarian Ivy, Irish Ivy, Japanese Ivy, Nepalese Ivy, Persian Ivy, Russian Ivy or Iranian Ivy, and Swedish Ivy
Sunlight It grows best in partial to full shade. However, it can also adapt to almost any amount of light, from full sun to full shade.
Water Water your English Ivy plant when the top inch of the potting mix is completely dry.
Humidity The English Ivy plant loves humidity. It's best to place your English Ivy plant in a humid area of your home, such as the bathroom. You can also increase the humidity in your home by misting it often or by using a humidifier or a pebble tray.
Temperature It prefers a temperature range of 65–85°F.
Toxicity According to the ASPCA, the English Ivy plant is toxic to pets.
Food Feed your English Ivy plant with a balanced fertilizer that contains necessary nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.
Pests and Problems Overwatering and underwatering are the main problems of an English Ivy plant. It is also prone to common pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, scales, and whiteflies.
Omysa Plant Care Tip Avoid overwatering your English Ivy plant, if you want to be a successful plant parent. Sometimes, it's best to keep this houseplant a little too dry than little too wet. However, if you want to give your plant some extra TLC, we recommend that you mist it often.

English Ivy Plant Care Tips

The first thing you need to learn how to care for your English Ivy plant is that it needs bright, indirect light to grow well. However, if the vines get too long, you can simply trim them back. You can create new English Ivy plants by putting the root cuttings in water. It's best to hang your English Ivy plant, especially inside your home because its vines attach to surfaces, which can cause damage to walls.

Here's a detailed explanation of how to care for your English Ivy plant, from sunlight requirement to common problems and its solutions.

Sunlight

First, on our list on how to care for your English Ivy plant is to put it in a location where it can get lots of bright, indirect light. It can also handle part shade or full sun, but not direct sunlight since this can lead to leaf burn.

Common Problem: If your English Ivy plant becomes leggy, looks sick, and prone to pests, this means it's not getting enough light.

Solution: Without the right amount of light, your English Ivy plant may also lose its color variation. Again, it needs bright, indirect light to grow well.

Water

Next, on our list on how to care for your English Ivy plant is to water it when the top inch of the potting mix is completely dry. It would usually take one to two weeks before you can water your plant again. Moreover, it depends on the climate of your area or how much light your plant is getting every day.

Common Problem: If the leaves of your English Ivy plant are turning brown and dry on the edges, this could mean that you are overwatering your plant.

Solution: You might think that your plant needs more water, but the truth is the roots are too wet that it can't deliver nutrients anymore. It's best to keep your English Ivy plant a bit on the dry side since an overwatered plant is prone to root rot, which can eventually kill your plant.

Humidity & Temperature

Adding to our list on how to care for your English Ivy plant is to put it in a humid environment, such as your bathroom. Additionally, your English Ivy plant prefers a temperature range of 65–85°F.

The English Ivy plant is prone to common pests if the humidity is low. To avoid this, you must mist it often, place it near a humidifier, or use a pebble tray. Avoid placing your plant near air conditioning vents, doors, and drafty areas.

Toxicity

Your English Ivy plant is toxic to pets.

Food

Another on our list on how to care for your English Ivy plant is to feed it biweekly during the warmer season, and then feed it monthly in the cooler season with a balanced fertilizer that contains necessary nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Remember to follow the recommended amount of fertilizer and schedule to avoid fertilizer burn or plant burn.

Pests & Other Problems

Dry air, lower light levels, and a too-dry English Ivy plant can lead to pest infestations. The only solution to avoid pests, such as aphids, mealybugs, mites, scales, and whiteflies is to increase your home's humidity, place it under bright, indirect light, and create a watering schedule. However, if your plant is already infested, you can eliminate these pests with insecticidal soap or pesticides.

The most serious disease of an English Ivy plant is Rhizoctonia root rot from overwatering and Xanthomonas, which is a bacterial leaf spot that looks like black or brown spots on the leaves of your English Ivy plant. Remove the infected parts of the plant and spray the remaining parts with a solution of 1 part vinegar mixed with 10 parts water.

That's a wrap on how to care for your English Ivy plant. Keep in mind that it's best to grow an English Ivy plant in a hanging basket to avoid its trailing vines from climbing and potentially damaging your home's walls.

Grow your plant knowledge. Check out our Plant Care blog to learn more about different houseplants and tips on how to keep your plants alive and healthy.

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