When & How to Start a New Ivy Plant


When it comes to indoor plants, ivy has just about everything you could ask for. Ivy is a sturdy plant that will thrive with little care, making it perfect for both seasoned and beginning gardeners. Ivy can be planted in hanging pots where the attractive leaves will trail over the sides of the container, or it can grow in a pot with a trellis to wrap itself around. Start a new ivy plant in spring or summer, or any time that the ivy is actively growing.

Step 1

Fill a pot with coarse sand, then set the pot aside while you prepare the ivy cutting. Any pot with bottom drainage will work.

Step 2

Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut a 4-inch to 5-inch tip from a healthy stem, making the cut just below a leaf. Wipe the blade with rubbing alcohol before you begin, so that bacteria won't be transmitted to the plant.

Step 3

Strip the leaves from the bottom half of the ivy stem. Dip the cut end of the stem in powdered rooting hormone.

Step 4

Plant the stem in the pot with 1 to 1 1/2 inches of the stem in the soil and the leaves above. Add enough water to settle the sand around the roots. The sand should be damp clear through, but not drenched.

Step 5

Slide the pot into a clear plastic bag, and secure the bag with a rubber band. You can also cover the pot with a plastic dome that can be purchased at a garden center.

Step 6

Place the pot in a bright location, but avoid placing it in direct sunlight. Although the plastic will keep the sand moist, the pot should be checked daily. If the top of the sand feels dry to the touch, the sand should be moistened immediately.

Step 7

Watch for the ivy cuttings to root in two to three months. When the roots are at least 2 to 3 inches long, plant the ivy in a 4-inch to 6-inch pot that has been filled with all-purpose commercial potting mix.

Step 8

Place the ivy in bright sunlight away from direct sun or hot windows. Allow the top 1/2 inch of the potting mix to dry before watering, then water deeply. Pour out any water remaining in the drainage saucer, and never allow the pot to sit in water.

Step 9

Fertilize ivy monthly using a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing ivy during the winter months and during the hottest part of the summer.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Coarse sand
  • Sharp knife or kitchen shears
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic bag or plastic dome
  • Rubber band
  • Planting container with drainage hole and saucer
  • All-purpose commercial potting mix
  • Houseplant fertilizer


  • University of Nebraska: Propagating House Plants
  • Iowa State University: How Can I Propagate English Ivy?
  • Clemson University: Indoor Ivy
Keywords: ivy, houseplant, stem cutting

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.