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How to Grow Variegated Ivy

By John Albers ; Updated September 21, 2017
Variegated English Ivy

Ivy grows quickly and can climb as high as 100 feet from the ground. Ivies can be found on all the major continents of the planet and are used primarily as decorative plants to cover bare tree trunks and unsightly walls. Variegated ivies are considered the more aesthetically pleasing--their leaves are usually several hues. This is actually due to a lack of chlorophyll in the leaves and can make growing them a little more difficult than non-variegated ivies. For that reason here is an instructional guide on how to grow variegated ivy.

Begin by obtaining a young ivy plant cutting from a friend or nursery. Ivies don’t grow well from seeds, and seeds are not typically sold in stores. Be sure to get a new length of ivy creeper at least four inches long with many large leaves. Make the cut with a clean set of garden shears and place the cut stalk in water immediately afterward.

Pour equal measures of loam, sphagnum peat moss, and clean sand into a new ceramic pot and mix them thoroughly. The pot should be about five inches wide at the base to allow the ivy’s extensive root system to grow in the first few months.

Douse the mixture thoroughly with water, making sure the soil drains well and water flows out of the vents at the bottom of the pot.

Push the cut ivy stalk about an inch deep into the pot.

Place the pot on a windowsill facing east with a paper towel underneath to absorb the water that will drain pot after waterings. An average ivy should receive about four hours of direct sunlight each day, but a variegated ivy will need more, so leave it permanently on the windowsill.

Leave the plant alone for five days or until the soil is thoroughly dry. The beginnings of a new root system should have sprouted by now. Water the plant daily, just enough to keep all the soil moist, not soaked.

Re-pot the ivy every three months thereafter. Make sure to use new soil and a pot at least four inches larger each time. You will also need to add 15-15-15 NPK fertilizer after each repotting. This means you need a fertilizer that is 15% Nitrogen, 15% Phosphorous, and 15% Potassium. Beyond this the ivy should have no other needs.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Loam
  • Sphagnum Peat Moss
  • Sand
  • Ceramic Pots with Drains
  • Paper Towels
  • Water
  • 15-15-15 NPK Fertilizer
  • Garden Shears
  • Ivy Cuttings

Tip

  • The pot and soil should allow for good water drainage, otherwise the roots could begin to rot and the ivy could die.

Warning

  • Ivy can be a bit of a problem in temperate and subtropical climates where they tend to overgrow and kill off other plants, preventing their access to sunlight.

About the Author

 

John Albers has been a freelance writer since 2007. He's successfully published articles in the "American Psychological Association Journal" and online at Garden Guides, Title Goes Here, Mindflights Magazine and many others. He's currently expanding into creative writing and quickly gaining ground. John holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Central Florida in English literature and psychology.