English Ivy can fulfill your dream of a green-covered wall or terrace. This perennial houseplant is evergreen and can be grown under different circumstances. You can use it to cover the ground or grow from the basket or use a trellis. English Ivy is a fantastic climber as well because it comes with aerial roots and it can go up to 80 feet high. You can also make beautiful topiary of different shapes. So we can say that English Ivy is a versatile houseplant.
The scientific name of this plant is Hedera Helix. Apart from the name English Ivy, it is also known as Common Ivy, European Ivy, and Baltic Ivy. As per the name perceived, the origin of this plant is in Europe. This evergreen vine comes under the Araliaceae family of plants. Primarily, it is of green colour but the variegated varieties are also available.
As this plant originated in Europe. The colonial settlers introduced this plant to the world. It was used to cover the fences and walls of the colonial-style bungalows. The famous Ivy League College got its name due to the ivy-covered wall. Now, it has become quite popular as an outdoor as well as an indoor plant.
Is English Ivy a good houseplant?
English Ivy is a very popular houseplant. This plant can stay evergreen even in the shady area of your house. You can relish the green blanket in your garden even in winter. It can quickly climb the walls or fences to give your house an aesthetic look. You can also cascade it from the window pane. Many people love to cultivate it as an ornamental plant.
English Ivy is an excellent air purifier plant as well. It is recognized by NASA as a plant that can absorb the toxic from the air. It is a very low-maintenance plant as well. You don’t need to spend lots of time in the care of English Ivy. You can also grow English Ivy indoors.
How to propagate English Ivy?
For most gardeners, it is very easy to propagate English Ivy. You can grow this plant either indoor or outdoor and multiply it as much as you want. Here are the ways you can propagate the English Ivy plant.
Take the cutting: Take a sharp scissor and cut at least a 6-inch-long stem. You need to make sure that the stem is healthy enough so that you can get a healthy plant.
Plant it in Cocopeat or Water: The easiest way to propagate English Ivy is to keep it in the water. After a few days, you can find out roots. Change the water every 2/3 days so that there will be enough supply of oxygen. You can also plant it in the cocopeat as it helps to grow the roots.
Place it into the soil: English Ivy grows fast once it develops the roots. When it has strong roots, you can plant it in the soil. Take a potting mix apt for English Ivy and carefully bury the roots so that they can grow perfectly.
You can not only propagate English Ivy in water, you can grow it in the medium as well. If you are intended to keep it indoors, then water is a good medium for it.
How to Care for English Ivy?
To grow English Ivy, you need partial shade or full shade. While most of the crippers need full sun, it is quite rare as this vine can thrive in shade, and for that reason, it is used to cover the ground, especially under the big tree areas where grasses don’t grow due to lack of sunlight. Along with that, it has a vigorous growth habit and can cover the area quite quickly.
If you keep it under medium sunlight, the growth can be interrupted. Moreover, the variegated English Ivy can lose the colour variegation due to sunlight. You can have bright sunlight but make sure that it is not direct as it can damage the plant. You can also grow ivy indoors in artificial light.
You can also keep it near the window so that it can receive bright indirect sunlight. Though direct sunlight can damage the plant, the plant can have it in the winter for a limited period of time.
The evergreen vine needs well-drained soil that does not hold water for long. In many places, you can find English Ivies grow in poor soil that has a range of PH levels, but for the best result, you must keep the pH of the soil in moderation. If you are from a dry climate, then add mulching to lock the moisture of the soil.
After potting the English Ivy, you need to keep watering once a day for at least one month. After the roots grow well and strong, you need to change the watering routine. Mature English Ivies like soil on the drier side. Always check the soil before watering. Make sure the soil is completely dried out before you water them again.
Ivy plants thrive in moisture but they don’t love soggy soil. The excess water will damage the roots of the plant. There must be good drainage as you should not keep the plant in standing water or wet soil.
English Ivy grows best at moderate temperature. The best growth of the plant can be seen at a temperature between 20-35 degrees Celsius. This plant is like neither chilly winter nor heat weave. When the temperature is steady, the colour of the leaves stays dark green.
However, there are some species of English Ivy plants that can sustain extreme weather when keep in pots. In spring, you can see new growth from the stems of the English Ivy plant.
English Ivy prefers medium to high humidity. There are many places with high humidity and English Ivy grows very well in those locations. If you are growing it indoors, you can arrange a humidifier to keep the plant lively and thriving.
You don’t need to add fertilizer to English Ivy all through the year. You can add organic compost during spring and summer every two weeks. Use an NPK fertilizer of 20-20-20 proportion.
If the plant is under a very stressful situation like the temperature is too hot or cold, you should not add any sort of fertilizer as it can stop the leaf production of the plant.
Pruning of English Ivy:
Spring is the ideal time to prune the plant. It will encourage the growth of new stems. Before pruning, always clean the scissor with alcohol or spirit so that there will be no bacterial growth. Seasonal pruning also helps to manage the growth of the plant. To make it bushier, you need to pinch the head in the spring. Hard pruning is beneficial for the English Ivy every two years.
In case, the English Ivy is climbing on your tree and you want to remove it, you have to be very careful while removing it. The rootlets cringe the bark of the tree and while removing the vine, it can damage the bark. The best practice is to cut the base of the plant that comes out from the soil. And when there will be no supply of nutrients to the vine, it will die eventually without damaging the tree.
This is the best way to stop the invasion of English Ivy, but you need a little patience to execute it. However, new saplings or stems can come up next year. So, you have to be a little vigilant and repeat the process so that the growth stops forever.
Potting of English Ivy:
The urban gardeners prefer to grow English Ivy in the hanging baskets so that the branches cascade down the sides. It is a very sensible way to grow a plant which is invasive in nature. You can also enjoy the beauty of the plant from the hanging basket.
Initially, you need to report to the English Ivy once a year. When the plant grows well and becomes large; it can be repotted once every two years. Always add compost and soil mix while repotting the plant. Many times, dull English Ivy plants can revive simply after repotting.
Ornamental Feature of English Ivy:
The waxed leaves of English Ivy are so beautiful that they can surely beautify your place. There are many ways you can utilize this beautiful vine. The shape of the leaves is quite interesting. You can buy English Ivy in beautiful variegation as well. This plant thrives in shady and indoor apart from semi-sunny spots
There are types of English Ivies that have leaves which are splashed, edged, or splashed with different colours like yellow, cream, silver, gray, white, or gold.
So, here are some ideas you can décor your space with English Ivy.
1. You can cover the ground with this green lush vine. You can also arrange green and variegated ivy in some artistic ways. You can make some designs and plant the English Ivy accordingly to get the desired look.
2. You can keep it from the hanging basket on your balcony. Just pinch the head to make it bushier. The hanging English Ivy is a thing of beauty that can add beauty to your balcony or terrace.
3. English Ivy is a very popular plant as a climber. If can climb and cover the wall or terrace of the house. The English Ivy-covered fences are quite popular in colonial-style bungalows.
4. You can simply grow this plant in a planter. You can also use the trellis to spread the vines of the plant. It grows quite fast.
5. English Ivy is an excellent choice to make a topiary. You can make the structure with aluminum wire and plant the English ivy accordingly. Within a few days, it will cover the structure to give the desired look as this plant grows rapidly.
Plant Disease and Pest Attacks on English Ivy:
English Ivy plant is prone to aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and many other types of pests. To control them, you need to spray them with water with a full-force hose. You can occasionally spray neem oil or any other insecticide liquid. You can also use the mixture of dish soap and water to keep the aphids at a bay.
If you look for the diseases that affect English Ivy most, then you must know that bacterial leaf spots and root rots are the two biggest problems for this plant. There may be black or dark brown spotting on the leaves of the plant. Unfortunately, there is no proven remedy for this infection. The best way to stop this problem is to uproot the affected plants. Along with that, you have to spray a mixture of water and vinegar on the adjacent plants in order to keep them safe.
Root rot is another hazardous issue for the Hedera Helix plant. It is caused by standing water and a humid atmosphere. Root rot can be fatal for the plant. You can cut down the plant and propagate the stem to get a new one. You need to treat the remaining part with fungicide.
Why English Ivy is called Invasive?
There are many types of English Ivy available in the market. The stems of this plant have rootlets or aerial roots that help the plant to cling to the surface and grow quite rapidly. It can grow uncontrollably unless it is trimmed occasionally. For that reason, in many parts of the world, it is considered invasive. It can overrun the native plant and make a hindrance in their natural growth.
Is English Ivy Poisonous?
English Ivy is known as toxic to humans and pets. Consumption of the leaves of English Ivy can cause vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, and many other conditions. Many can feel irritation while touching the leaves. For that reason, it is advisable to wear gloves while working with this plant. Moreover, it is also suggested to keep the plant out of reach of the children.
English Ivy Medicinal Use:
There are some medicinal benefits of English Ivy as well.
– The extracts of ivy are used to make cough medicine.
– The leaves of the plant are known to cure bronchitis and cough.
– Hedera Helix infused water is used to treat sore eyes.
English Ivy is a beautiful ornamental plant. It also has tiny little flowers which are insignificant. However, a fully grown Ivy plant will increase the beauty of your space for sure.