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How to Care for Indoor English Ivy

ivy leaves image by Alison Bowden from

English ivy, or Hedera helix, is among the most popular ivies grown in the United States. The plant is used extensively and excels in outdoor landscaping. For indoor enthusiasts, it performs as an attractive focal point in any well-lit room. This European native is a climber by nature, and trailing vines will reach and twine appealingly around anything they can touch.

Place your English ivy in the brightest room in your home. The plant will thrive with either indirect sun exposure or fluorescent lighting. If natural light is available, a spot near a bright window is a perfect location. A few hours of direct morning or late afternoon sun daily are appreciated by this light-loving plant. The temperature should be between 50 and 70 degrees F.

Water English ivy enough to evenly moisten the soil surface. Allow it to dry out slightly before watering again. Lift a stem to see if it feels relatively lightweight. Feel the texture of some of the leaves. If they feel light and a little limp, the plant is about to wilt. This indicates that it needs water. Salts present in ordinary tap water are highly detrimental to these plants, so use a distilled product whenever possible. It’s best if the water is tepid or at room temperature.

Feed a complete 20-20-20 or 20-10-20 houseplant fertilizer once monthly throughout the growing season. Follow the packaging instructions carefully. The best time to fertilize your English ivy is after new growth is present. Don’t over-feed this plant; too much fertilizer can result in a buildup of toxic levels of salt in the soil.

Scatter some gravel or pebbles in the ivy’s drip tray and cover them halfway with water. Set the pot on the pebbles and make sure that it doesn’t come into contact with the water. This will provide crucial humidity for the plant. Mist your English ivy plant once weekly during the growing season to provide additional humidity. Misting also goes a long way toward keeping spider mites at bay.

Move your English ivy to a partially shaded spot outside whenever summer weather permits. It will appreciate exposure to the great outdoors.

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