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How to Heal an Ivy Plant

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ivy plants tend to require little maintenance and can provide years of color and aesthetic beauty, however, they also can fall victim to poor growing environments and infestations. To heal an ivy plant, examine the growing conditions. It may be as simple as moving the plant from one part of the house to another or it may need more attention.

Insert a finger and check the moisture of the soil. Water the ivy when the soil surface feels dry. The ivy may be doing poorly because the roots are not getting enough water. Saturate the entire root system until water drains out of the bottom of the container.

Move the dying ivy to a location with as much natural light as possible, although ivy doesn't grow well with direct afternoon sun. If the plant is wilting, it may be getting too little or too much sunlight.

Look for spider mites, the bane of ivies. Yellow leaves or cobwebs indicate an infestation. Spider mites don't like cold water so spray the plant and most of the insects will wash away. Give the plant regular baths in cool soapy water to help it stay healthy.

Consider whether the ivy plant is too warm. Indoor ivies need cool temperatures, and homes tend to get too warm. Move the plant somewhere with minimal heat such as a sun porch that drops to 40 to 60 degrees F. at night.

Look for signs of scale. During an attack, the leaves turn yellow, then fall off. The plant may also grow a lot smaller. Spray infested ivy with a light horticultural oil to smother the adults and their eggs.

Move overgrown ivy plants to a larger container if the roots are tangled. Overgrown roots will start to grow out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container. If you notice this, move the ivy to a larger pot and fill to 3/4 with fresh soil.

Encourage new growth with pruning. Trim each stem down to 4 to 6 inches long.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Light horticultural oil
  • Container
  • Soil
  • Pruning shears


  • Spread out ivy roots carefully when repotting.


  • Clean pruning shears with rubbing alcohol between cuts if trimming diseased stems. This will keep the infestation from spreading.

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.