Growing Ivy Indoors

Growing Ivy Indoors

Ivy is one of the few plants native to Europe, and was also one of the first plants to be grown in the home. Ivy has many different cultivators, and varies in leaf size as well as color and variegation. The leaves of some ivies are as large as a saucer while others have leaves smaller than a dime. Many ivies have leaves edged, splashed or centered with silver, gray-green, white, cream, yellow, chartreuse or gold. Because ivies are such easy plants to keep, there are often neglected. It is important to remember that they do not like an environment that is too hot or too dry. They will do best in the humid company of other plants. But, with proper care and maintenance, they will thrive in your home year round.

Healthy ivy plants grow bright, firm leaves that are compact with strong shoots growing from the center of the plant. Simply clip out the leading shoots a few times a year to encourage bushy growth. Ivies do best in full light, but too much direct light can bleach the leaves. If you begin to loose leaf variegation, you need more light. Water once a week in the winter, and it is a good idea to water the leaves as well. Simply put the plant in the kitchen sink, water thoroughly and then spray the foliage. Humidity is important, so try to make sure that you spray the leaves with a mister a few times a week.

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A few problems to look out for:

-leaves pale in the summer months mean the plant is getting too much direct sun so move the plant to a slightly shaded spot

-silvery marks on the leaves indicate thrips which can be eliminated with a insecticide spray every week until clear

-leaves turning dry and crisp means that the plant has gotten too hot and dry so move the plant to a cooler room and increase the humidity by spraying

-lanky stems with long spaces between leaves or excessive leaf drop means that the plant got too cold or too little light. Move to a warmer spot with temperatures over 45 degrees

-leaves turn black indicates too much water so let the soil dry between watering

Ivy (Hedera species) is a versatile houseplant that can be grown in many different situations. Ivies can be grown in hanging baskets, at the base of other houseplants and in pots of their own. Ivy is often trained on trellis frames or wire topiary forms into various formal or whimsical shapes. With proper care and maintenance, an ivy plant should thrive in the home for many years.