How to Get a Start From Swedish Ivy


Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis) is a fast-growing indoor plant, valued for its glossy, scalloped green leaves and easygoing nature. Planted in a hanging container, Swedish ivy will cascade over the sides like a lush, green waterfall. If conditions are just right, the plant will produce spiky white blooms. Swedish ivy can be propagated by taking stem cuttings from a healthy plant any time of year except winter.

Step 1

Fill a pot with coarse sand or a mixture of half sand and half perlite or peat moss. Use a container with at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Spray the potting mixture with water until the mixture is evenly damp, but not dripping wet. Set the pot aside while you prepare the stem cutting.

Step 2

Use a sharp, clean knife or a new razor blade to cut a 2- to 4-inch stem trip from a healthy Swedish ivy plant. Make the cut near a leaf or a bud. Carefully strip the leaves from the bottom half of the stem.

Step 3

Roll the end of the stem in powdered rooting hormone. Use the eraser end of a pencil to make a hole in the potting mixture and plant the bare end of the stem in the hole. Firm the soil gently around the stem.

Step 4

Cover the pot with a zip-close bag. Place the pot in bright light away from hot, direct sunlight. Keep the plants in a warm room with the temperature set at approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, place the pot on an electric seed starter mat or on top of a warm appliance such as a refrigerator.

Step 5

Check the soil every day and mist inside the bag if the soil feels dry.

Step 6

Watch for the stem to take root, which will be indicated by new growth. Remove the pot from the plastic bag and move the pot into indirect bright light or bright light filtered through a sheer curtain. Keep the potting mixture evenly moist, neither soggy nor bone dry.

Step 7

Pinch back the tips of the Swedish ivy plant to create a full, bushy plant; repeat as often as needed. Turn the plant every week so all sides of the Swedish ivy are exposed to sunlight.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot with drainage hole
  • Sand or mixture of sand, perlite and peat moss
  • Spray bottle
  • Sharp knife or new razor blade
  • Powdered rooting hormone
  • Zip-close bag
  • Electric seed starter mat (optional)


  • Texas A&M: Swedish Ivy, Plectranthus australis
  • University of Vermont: Rooting Cuttingsl
  • Texas A&M: Propagating Foliage & Flowering Plants
Keywords: root swedish ivy, propagate english ivy, start english ivy

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.