How to Grow English Ivy as a House Plant or Ground Cover
European colonists brought English Ivy to the U.S. in 1700's. This versatile,
low maintenance plant looks good in a wide variety of settings. While you
may think that English Ivy originated in England, it is native to Europe,
northern Africa, and Asia..
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 flower pot, or cascading over a hanging basket. Speaking of hanging baskets,
English Ivy is quite popular in hanging baskets on patios, decks and balconies.
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
Vine Length: Some varieties can grow to 100 ft.
Propagating English Ivy Plants:
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 Vines:
English Ivy is very easy to grow indoors, or out.
Temperature: 45 to 80 ° F. Plants will survive winters in most
Ph levels: English Ivy is an acid loving plant. The ideal Ph is 5.5
Soil: The plants will grow in a wide range of soils. If grown in heavy
clay soil, add plenty of compost prior to planting.
Light / Sunlight: The plants grow well in 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.
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.
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