How to Propagate an Ivy Plant
The ivy plant is a trailing foliage plant often grown as a houseplant in hanging baskets or on trellises. Prized from its bright green star-shaped leaves, ivy requires little care and grows rapidly. Although similar, English ivy and German ivy differ in foliage and stems, with the German ivy producing a woodier stem and thicker leaves. Both propagate easily from stem cuttings to produce new plants identical to the parent plant.
Take 4 to 6 inch stem cuttings from the terminal end of healthy new growth. Saving the ends when cutting the plant back is an excellent way to produce new plants in a relatively short period.
Remove leaves on the bottom 2 to 3 inches of the cutting and place in a vase of glass of water. Although it is not necessary, a clear glass is ideal as it allows you to monitor root formation without disturbing the cuttings.
Place on a windowsill that receives bright light, but avoid southern windows, as the heat from the sun may overheat the water and damage you cuttings or burn tender foliage.
Check daily and change the water often to prevent stagnation. Look for the emergence of fine hair roots. These will appear in a matter of days. Allow to grow in water for several days as roots develop, but watch them carefully. If you have several cuttings in one vase, the roots will tangle quickly, making it difficult to transplant them without damaging the roots.
Remove from the vase and transplant into moist potting soil once roots are 2 to 3 inches long and new leaves begin to form. Use care not to damage fine roots when transplanting.
Propagate Ivy Plants
It's surprisingly simple to propagate English ivy (Hedera helix) by rooting vines that touch the ground, which is a process called layering. English ivy produces blue-black berries, each of which contain three to five fleshy seeds about 1/3 inch wide. English ivy spreads on the ground naturally by layering, which partially explains its invasive tendencies. Pale green ivy runners or vines spread along the ground and climb walls and trees. Use a pot with drainage holes for the ivy. Remove the leaves from the bottom 1 inch of the cutting and bury it 1 inch deep in a growing flat or pot with holes in the bottom and filled with a mix of 1 part peat moss and 1 part vermiculite. Cover the cuttings with burlap or cheesecloth, put them in indirect light and water regularly to keep them from drying out. To develop root hairs, place the rooted cuttings in a moist soilless mix inside a plastic bag. Don’t let the mix dry out. The vine nodes grow roots and more vines. The vines spread, forming dense mats that smother plants that get in their way. The temperature should be above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Clear vase/glass jar
- Potting soil
- Plant pots
- North Dakota State University Extension
- Denver Plants
- The American Ivy Society: Cloning Your Ivies
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Hedera Helix
- U.S. Forest Service: Hedera Helix
- University of Michigan: Hedera Helix
- University of California Cooperative Extension: Seed Packets: Revealing the Truth
- American Ivy Society: The Care of Ivies
- Penn State University Extension: Homemade Potting Media
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Hedera Helix
- The Nature Conservancy: Controlling English Ivy in the Pacific Northwest
- North Carolina State University: Invasive, Exotic Plants of the Southeast: English Ivy