How Not to Kill an Ivy Plant in the Home

Overview

A variety of ivies are suitable for growing as potted plants inside the home. Ivy naturally thrives in low- to medium-light conditions which are usually present indoors. There are many different types of ivy sold as houseplants, including potted English ivy and Pothos ivy. Each type has its own care requirements, although most are similar enough to thrive under the same general maintenance. Caring properly for your ivy encourages it to thrive and survive for many years.

Step 1

Place the ivy in a window that receives bright, indirect or filtered sunlight. An east facing window provides morning light but is still suitable for the ivy.

Step 2

Keep ivy in a 60 to 70 F room as too much heat can cause the ivy to wilt or die. Avoid placing it near air vents or in drafty areas.

Step 3

Check the soil prior to watering. Stick your finger into the soil; if the top ¼ to ½ inch of soil feels dry, water until the moisture drains out the pot's drainage holes and into the drip tray.

Step 4

Empty the drip tray after every watering. Standing water may damage roots and may also lead to disease.

Step 5

Fertilize indoor ivy monthly during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Use a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer following label application instructions.

Step 6

Wash ivy plants weekly to remove dust and to prevent insect infestations that can kill the plant. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water then submerge the ivy in the water. Cover the soil with one hand to prevent it from coming out in the water.

Tips and Warnings

  • Aphids and spider mites are the main insects that infect indoor ivy. Mites cause speckled leaves while aphids feed on the underside of leaves. Washing minimizes infestations, but use an insecticidal soap in plants that are badly affected.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Bucket

References

  • Smith College: Ivy Maintenance
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension: Indoor Plant Care
Keywords: caring for potted ivy, houseplant care, growing ivy

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.