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English Ivy Care

Updated on October 31, 2012

English Ivy

English ivy under a high-pressure sodium grow lamp.
English ivy under a high-pressure sodium grow lamp. | Source

Air Purification

English ivy cleans the air of formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide.

English Ivy Care Overview

English ivy is a very nice addition to gardens due to its climbing ability and attractive leaves, as well as a houseplant among other houseplants. The ivy is native to Europe and parts of Asia, but is considered invasive in some regions of the world. Planting outside in regions where it is labeled as invasive is highly discouraged and usually illegal. Do plenty of research before planting outside.

Caring for English ivy is relatively simple and its growth rate can be rather quick if given optimal conditions. Sunlight, temperature, moisture, soil, and fertilizer are key factors when growing English ivy. Propagating English ivy is one of the more easier plants to propagate, especially via cuttings.

English ivy prefer filtered sunlight.
English ivy prefer filtered sunlight. | Source

Light Requirements for English Ivy

English ivy prefers indirect sunlight and does great under fluorescent and artificial lighting. Variegated English ivy has a tendency to change entirely to one color if light is not at optimal levels. The ivy will usually grow upwards towards the light source which may become a problem if grown indoors or alongside a building.

Too much sun can easily cause sunburn and destroy the leaves. Crispy leaves with discoloration are a sign of sunburning. Move the ivy away from the light source if sunburning occurs.

Temperature for English Ivy

The optimal temperatures for the ivy are between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. English ivy is hardy from Zones 5 to 10. The ivy can tolerate temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot, dry weather can take its toll on the ivy. Indoor temperatures are usually ideal for English ivy growth.

Thoroughly water container grown English ivy
Thoroughly water container grown English ivy | Source

Watering English Ivy

English ivy prefer soil that is remains slightly moist. Keep soil evenly moist but not soggy from spring through fall. Keep the soil slightly drier in winter because the ivy is not vigorously growing. Standing water must be drained from container-grown ivy to prevent disease.

Thorough Watering
Always water thoroughly. Water dripping out of the bottom of a container does not indicate a thorough watering. Break up crusty soil with a fork before watering to allow water to reach the base of the root zone. Otherwise, the water will simply run down the insides of the container and drain away.

When to Water
Water container-grown English ivy by picking up and feeling the weight of the container, only if the container is small and lightweight enough to do so. Feeling for water weight is the best way to determine when to water. Compare the "dry" weight to the "wet" weight. Thoroughly water when the container feels light and dry.

Misting English ivy will help keep the moisture levels up. Wiping the leaves after misting will remove dust and debris which helps the ivy purify the air more efficiently.

Soil for English Ivy

The average potting soil works fine to grow English ivy in. Potting soil can be used due to its ability to retain moisture and drain water. Soil that is heavy in organic matter may retain excessive moisture and promote disease and root rot. Sandy soils tend to drain easily, while clayey soils retain excess water. Organic matter, like compost and mulch, can be used to amend soils that drain too quickly. Coarse sand and perlite can be used to facilitate drainage in clayey soils. Deeply mix amendments into poor soils.

Water soluble fertilizer
Water soluble fertilizer | Source

Fertilize English Ivy

English ivy can grow quick and may rapidly deplete the soil of nutrients. An application of 15-5-15 NPK fertilizer twice a year will replenish lost nutrients in established ivy beds. Houseplant English ivy could use another application or two during the growing season.

Use half of the recommended amount listed on the package. This will prevent fertilizer burn to the foliage and roots. Water soluble and granular fertilizers can both be used for English ivy.

Propagate English Ivy

Ivy is easy to propagate through cuttings. Take a 4 to 6 inch cutting from a growing shoot off of the end of a branch. Place the cutting in water or regularly moist, sterile soil near a window that receives a decent amount of daily sunlight. Plant the cuttings after roots become established.


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    • rexy profile image

      rexy 4 years ago

      interesting read... also English Ivy is poisonous especially where children play out doors... if it is consumed ...