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Indoor Ivy Plant Types

ivy leaf image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

When searching for indoor ivy plant types, realize that their versatility is twofold; not only is there variety in ivy cultivars for indoor use, but the way in which ivy can be displayed is also diverse. They can be potted, hung in baskets, placed on a trellis, or used in topiary, according to the Clemson University Extension. Indoor ivy thrives in bright, indirect sunlight and prefers nutrient-rich houseplant potting mix with good drainage.

Algerian Ivy

Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis), also referred to as Canary Island ivy, is an indoor ivy plant type that displays large glossy leaves that resemble the shape of a heart and reach a length of 4 to 6 inches. Algerian ivy has a rapid growth rate, so it's best displayed indoors in a hanging basket. A widely used gray/green cultivar is Glore de Marengo.

English Ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix) is a widely used indoor ivy plant type available in hundreds of cultivars that are diverse in color, shape and size. Some cultivars of English ivy include Calico (small, triple-lobed leaves with white centers), Curly Locks (large leaves that curl), Jubilee (a miniature cultivar with gray/green leaves and cream-hued edges), and Spectre, (a large-leafed, cream and grey clumping ivy).

Nepal Ivy

Nepal ivy (Hedera nepalensis) is an indoor ivy plant type with a delicate aesthetic quality. Its gray/green leaves atop thin stems create an appearance of lace when placed in a hanging basket.

Irish Ivy

Though usually grown for outdoor use, Irish ivy is well known as an indoor plant thanks to the cultivar Sweetheart Ivy. Another indoor cultivar is Deltoidea, which has a slow growth rate, and displays dark, textured leaves.

Plant Ivy Vines

Select a moist, shaded outdoor location to plant ivy vines in fall or early spring. Dig into the soil to loosen it, and mix a 3-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure with the soil. Dig a hole in the prepared soil large enough to accommodate one ivy vine's root ball. Remove the ivy from its nursery pot, and place it in the hole. Dig an additional hole for each ivy vine, spacing the holes so the plants will be about 1 to 2 feet apart if they are grown outdoors. Plant each ivy vine the same way you planted the first plant. Water the newly planted ivy vines regularly to keep the soil moist but not wet. If fast ivy growth is desired, use a high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as one marked as 12-4-8; apply it according to the fertilizer package directions. Water the site after applying fertilizer to avoid burning the ivy foliage.

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