How to Grow English Ivy Plant

Tree Branch

About English Ivy House Plants

European colonists brought English Ivy plants to the U.S. in the 1700s. This versatile, low-maintenance plant looks good in a wide variety of settings. Outdoors, you often see it growing up on buildings, with little to cling to. Sometimes, you see it completely cover the wall of a two-story house. English Ivy vines are also great groundcover. Y While you may think that English Ivy originated in England, it is native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia. Growing English Ivy is easy. This ornamental evergreen vine is aggressive. It quickly grows up down, and across, climbing over everything in its path.

English Ivy is a good plant selection in a wide variety of settings. It is a great, evergreen ground cover. Its’ thick, aggressive nature chokes out most weeds. Give it something, almost anything to climb on, and it can grow to 50 feet or more. It is very popular as an indoor house plant, either in a flowerpot or cascading over a hanging basket. Speaking of hanging baskets, English Ivy is quite popular in hanging baskets on patios, decks, and balconies.  

When grown outdoors, the plants produce flowers in late summer to early Fall. In warmer regions, the fruit will grow through the Fall and ripen in early winter. Birds feed on the ripe fruit. Indoor English Ivy vines seldom flower.  

Did You Know? The U.S. National Park Service considers English Ivy an aggressive weed. Left unchecked, it can take over forest floors and open areas.

English Ivy Specifications

Native To: Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia

Vine Length: Some varieties can grow to 100 ft.

Flower Colors: Greenish-white and greenish-yellow.

Flowers Bloom: Fall

Plant Hardiness Zones: 4 – 13

Ph levels: English Ivy is an acid-loving plant. The ideal Ph is 5.5 – 6.5

Botanical Name: Hedera Helix

English Ivy Vines Medical Applications

Do you need an anti-inflammatory treatment? The medicine you need might be growing in your house or yard. The plant has antioxidants for you, too. English Ivy is sometimes used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  Why, it might even help suppress your cough.

English Ivy Plant Propagation

English Ivy plants are grown from cuttings. For use as a houseplant, take a cutting and root the cutting in water.

Outdoors, the plants will root themselves, as they spread across an empty area. For planting in new areas, plant cuttings in the spring.

How to Grow English Ivy House Plants

English Ivy is very easy to grow indoors, or out.

Temperature: 45 to 80 ° F. Plants will survive winters in most areas.

Soil: The plants will grow in a wide range of soils. If grown in heavy clay soil, add plenty of compost before planting.

Light / Sunlight: The plants grow well from full sun to full shade. In full shade, they will grow more slowly.

Water: Plants are somewhat drought tolerant. Keep soil moist, not wet. Plants need about 1/2″ to 1″ of water a week. Water outdoors, only during periods of drought. Indoors: allow the top of the soil to dry between watering. Mist indoor plants frequently.

Fertilizer Regimen:  English Ivy vines are acid-loving plants. Outdoor plants do not need much additional fertilizer in most soils. Add a general-purpose fertilizer once or twice a year –  spring and early to mid-summer. For indoor plants, add a light solution of liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks. Or, use slow-release indoor fertilizer spikes

Pruning: Prune plants when they reach the end of the space allowed, by snipping off growing tips. For ivy used as ground cover, in the spring you can use a trimmer or shears to trim them back. New growth will appear and be more vibrant. Prune indoor plants and those grown in hanging baskets, as desired to maintain a full and shapely appearance.

Plant Problems

Full sunlight can burn leaves, in hot, dry summer weather.

A variety of insects can occasionally infest the plants. These include aphids, mealy bugs, and red spider mites. Outdoors, use a general-purpose insecticide. For indoor plants, use an insecticidal soap specific and safe for indoor use.

Rodents can also be a problem. This can a variety of rodents, including mice and chipmunks, to name a few.  More on Pest Control.

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