How to Take Care of an Ivy Plant


Ivy is a broad term used to describe 25 different species of plant grown in the United States, according to University of Florida Extension. The Hedera species of ivy, which includes English Ivy, is the most common ivy grown. Ivy plants will continue to grow and spread as long as they are allowed and have few problems with disease. Ivy is known for its ornamental features, displaying a wide range of foliage styles. Ivy needs a small amount of care to thrive.

Step 1

Place your ivy plant in an area with bright light, but little direct sun, recommends Clemson University Extension. Ivy plants tolerate a low to medium light, but growth and color of the plant are affected.

Step 2

Water ivy plants so that the soil is moist but not wet, and allow the soil to dry to the touch, down to a depth of a 1/2 inch before watering again. If the plant is in a pot or hanging basket, do not let it stand in water.

Step 3

Apply fertilizer to the ivy plant using a fertilizer with a 3:1:2 or 3:1:3 ratio, such as 12-4-8 or 15-5-15, suggests University of Florida Extension. Fertilizer applied at one pound per 1,200 square feet will promote moderate growth of the ivy plant. Apply twice in the year, in the spring and fall. If growing indoors, fertilize monthly with a foliage houseplant fertilizer.

Step 4

Prune ivy to remove dead or unwanted tissue from the plant. Ivy used as ground cover outdoors requires cutting back to 4 to 6 inches in height every few years to encourage new and vigorous growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • University of Florida Extension: English Ivies to Know and Grow
  • Clemson Extension: Indoor Ivy
  • Aggie Horticulture Texas A & M Extension: Follow Proper Pruning Techniques
Keywords: ivy plant, ivy plant care, ivy plant instructions

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.