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How to Root English Ivy

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How to Root English Ivy

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Overview

As a houseplant, English ivy provides lush green foliage throughout the year. This vining plant often reaches a length of 6 feet or more and thrives under normal household conditions. Many gardeners add English ivy to window boxes and containers during the summer months and bring them inside as houseplants for the winter. Propagating English ivy from stem cuttings during the winter provides a supply of young plants for decorative plantings in the spring.

Step 1

Cut 4- to 6-inch terminal ends a quarter- to a half-inch below leaf nodes (the points where new leaves form on the stem) with scissors or a sharp knife. Leaf nodes contain enzymes that promote growth and produce roots quickly. Look for healthy foliage and firm stems.

Step 2

Remove leaves from the bottom 2 inches of the stems, leaving two to four healthy leaves on the terminal ends.

Step 3

Pour rooting compound into a paper cup and dip the bottom inch of the stems into it. Tap the cuttings on the side of the cup to remove excess rooting compound.

Step 4

Mix equal parts perlite and peat moss to create a loose soil for starting stem cuttings. Fill a 2- to 4-inch pot with the growing medium and water to moisten.

Step 5

Place the cuttings in the moist soil to a depth of 1 inch. Firm the soil around the base to secure the cuttings.

Step 6

Set the pot in clear plastic food bag and pull the sides over the tops of the plants. Secure with a twist tie.

Step 7

Place in an area that receives filtered light. Check daily and maintain moist soil. Open the bag to increase air circulation if signs of mold or mildew appear.

Step 8

Check for roots by gently pulling the cuttings free of the soil mixture. Once roots reach 1 inch in length, pot in individual pots with fresh soil. Mix equal parts perlite, peat moss and all-purpose potting soil for a loose, lightweight soil.

Step 9

Reduce watering and allow soil to dry between waterings. Apply water-soluble fertilizer once a month, as soon as plants become established and show signs of new growth. Increase fertilizer to every two weeks when a flush of new growth appears in spring.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors or sharp knife
  • Rooting compound
  • Paper cup
  • Planting medium (perlite, peat moss, potting soil)
  • Plant pots
  • Plastic food storage bag
  • Twist tie
  • Water-soluble fertilizer

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Home Propagation of Houseplants
  • Central Florida Research and Education Center: English Ivy Production Guide
  • NC State University: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings

Who Can Help

  • A&M University Extension: House Plants
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Houseplants
  • University of Illinois Extension: Houseplants
Keywords: English ivy, propagate English ivy, root English ivy, English ivy cuttings, root stem cuttings

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.

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