English ivy plant indoors

Ivy Houseplants – Information On Caring For Ivy Plants

Ivy can make a wonderful, bright light houseplant. It can grow long and lush and bring a bit of the outdoors inside. Growing ivy indoors is easy as long as you know what makes an ivy plant happy. Let’s learn a little bit more about ivy and proper ivy plant care.

About Ivy Houseplants

Ivy houseplants can actually be one of several different varieties. These include:

  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica)
  • Japanese ivy (Hedera rhombea)
  • Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis)
  • Persian ivy (Hedera colchica)
  • Nepal ivy (Hedera nepalensis)
  • Russian ivy (Hedera pastuchovii)

English ivy cultivars are the most common type of ivy grown in the home, but all can be found if you look hard enough. Each of the varieties of inside ivy plants also come in several different cultivars. This means that there is a dizzying array of ivies that you can choose for your home, depending on your preference for color (all shades of green or variegated with white, yellow, gray, black and cream), leaf shape and growth habits.

Growing Ivy Indoors

Growing ivy indoors isn’t difficult as long as you provide what the plant needs. The most important part of indoor ivy plant care is light. All true ivies need bright light. Variegated cultivars can take medium light, but be aware that their variegation will become less pronounced in less light. Without enough light, inside ivy plants will become leggy and sickly looking. They will also be more prone to pests.

Indoor Ivy Plant Care

When watering your ivy, always check the soil before adding water. Ivies prefer to be kept slightly on the dry side, so let the soil dry out some (dry to the touch on top) before you water your ivy plant again. Also, make sure that your plant has excellent drainage, as ivy does not like to be in standing water or overly wet soil.

Caring for ivy plants should also include regular fertilizing. Fertilize your ivy about once a month in the spring, summer and fall with a water soluble, nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Do not fertilize in the winter, as this is the ivy’s dormant period and the fertilizer may do more harm than good at this time.

Ivy houseplants benefit from periodic washing to remove dust and pests from their leaves. To wash your ivy plant, simply place the plant in the shower and allow the water to run over the plant for a few minutes. If you find the plant has a serious pest infestation, you may need to bring the spray closer to the plant to help knock off all the pests.

Caring for ivy plants is easy and rewarding. You will enjoy not only growing ivy indoors, but will also have fun with the wide selection of ivy plants available to do so.

Five tips for growing ivy indoors

When not associated with the word “poison,” ivy can be an attractive plant.

Ivy can be grown both indoors and outdoors, but attempting to grow it indoors is a greater challenge, according to Sara Melton, manager of The Barn Nursery in Chattanooga.

Ivy is a vine, which means the long, almost garland-like stems can become unwieldy. To keep them from becoming too spindly, Melton recommends giving the plant a “haircut” on occasion.

“Every time you cut an ivy stem back, it’ll get thicker,” she said. “So a nice way to rejuvenate an ivy plant is to cut it back.”

The cut leaves can be removed from the stem, revitalized in water and planted to create new vines.

While ivy is not recommended for consumption, Melton said it is not considered to be a hazardous plant for children and pets.


• Mist the leaves a couple of times a week. Humidity can cause them to dry out. “Heat in the winter in the house can be very dry,” said Melton. This tip is especially applicable for those who are tending to ivy topiaries, which have fewer stems traveling to the top of the plant.

• Water the plants appropriately. “It doesn’t need to sit in a puddle, but it does need to stay moist,” Melton said. A couple of times a week is a good rule of thumb, depending on the size of the pot and the air circulation. Check the soil by sticking your fingertip beneath the surface. If the soil is moist, wait to water. If it’s dry, wet it down.

• Maintain a good temperature. “They’re fine cooler,” said Melton, “Sixties are great.” Being kept in rooms where the heat is in the mid-70s can cause the leaves to dry and wilt.

• Watch your light. “Ivy plants will grow in low light, but they will not thrive in low light,” Melton said. Ivy will do best in bright, indirect light. Melton recommends keeping the plants fairly close to a sunny window but not in the direct sun.

• Invest in insecticide. Ivy can be susceptible to infestation, including spider mites. Melton said a preventive treatment can be helpful.

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The English Ivy Hedera helix, care as a houseplant is not difficult for those just starting out or seasoned indoor plant veterans.

English ivy the common name for Hedera helix is probably one of the most durable of all houseplants, but care must be taken with watering.

Like many ivies, the English ivy does not like drying out for long periods of time. On the flipside, they also don’t like over-watering.

Hedera helix – English Ivy via:commons.wikimedia.org

During the active growing season, when growing in a pot, they do like a regular diet of a liquid feed fertilizer like Miracle Grow, about every 3rd watering.

For best results, use a well-drained soil designed for houseplants. An English green ivy plant can be an active grower and can require frequent repotting.

NOTE: A potted English ivy makes a nice plant addition for the bathroom.

How To Propagate English Ivy

One of the outstanding characteristics of English ivy is the case with which it propagates.

New plants will start easily from cuttings taken at almost any time of year; the cooler periods, however, are preferable.

The first way to propagate ivy indoors is by layering.

For starters, select vines or a runner which is fairly long.

Short pieces, known as mallet cuttings, with only one strong node and having potential roots below a tuft of leaves, do nicely; so take longer cuttings of older wood.

Just under a leaf joint about half way down the stem, very carefully strip away about an inch of bark.

Next “pin” the area where the bark has been stripped away down to the surface of another pot with moist potting soil.

Hold the rooting stem in place with a paper clip or piece of electrical wire.

Once the stem has rooted and given some time to develop, clip the stem from the “mother plant.”


English ivy can also easily propagate by tip cuttings. The problem is – tip cuttings root easily but do not develop very fast.

During the spring or summer months, take tip cuttings and stick them is a good indoor potting mix. The cutting can be dipped in a rooting hormone if desired.

I like to root plants in a mini-greenhouse we like to call a soda-bottle planter.

Place the container of cuttings in an area where it will receive bright light but not direct light. In a few weeks, roots will form and the cuttings can be replanted in a new container.

Growing English Ivy Indoors: Pests and Problems

Attacks of pests and diseases are very infrequent.

Indoors plant scale and aphids can be a problem attacking new growth and hiding under leaves. This can produce leaves that are distorted, malformed and have a stickiness secreted from the insects.

Treat with a pesticide (neem pesticide), an insecticidal soap or Malathion. Make sure the plant is sprayed thoroughly including the undersides of the leaves. That is where many plant bugs like to hide.

Thrips can cause silvery patches that are glossy… treat with an insecticide – again Neem is good.

Leaves have dark patches caused by fungus… Removed affected leaves spray with an approved fungicide like captan.

Plant not growing well. Often caused by high temperatures, dry air, and insufficient lighting.

Leaves turning black, unusually in winter this is caused by over-watering.

Question: My English ivy, both indoors and outside, has small webs on the leaf undersides and leaves are yellowing. The overall appearance of the foliage color is not the normal dark green leaf but have a dusty appearance and some of the leaves are flecked with yellowish spots. Pinpoints of black dots on the surfaces of the leaves. What is the trouble and how can it be treated?

Answer: It sounds like red spider mites have infested your ivies – this can be the most destructive pest on ivies. Try washing leaves top and undersides along with the stems, increase humidity. Spray with neem or insecticidal soap.

Particularly indoors ivy needs a cool, moist place in which to grow. In temperatures above 72° degrees Fahrenheit in a dry atmosphere, it is almost impossible to keep red spiders off of English ivy.

NOTE: Always read and use only pesticides with labeled directions for home and garden use. Always read and follow label directions.

Question: A number of leaves have turned yellow and fallen from my English ivy and the new shoots turn black and dry up before they can make any growth. There do not appear to be insects on it. I have always sprayed it with a strong force of water once a week since I received it two years ago. It gets enough light with occasional sun. Could you diagnose the trouble? VB, Illinois.

Answer: The trouble with your ivy may be high temperature coupled with dry air. Temperatures above 70° degrees Fahrenheit with dry air cause ivy leaves to lose vitality. Then too, keeping the roots wet without adequate drainage causes the soil to sour.

The roots rot as a result and as the root system ceases to function the leaves yellow, new growth blackens, leaf spots become more frequent and eventually the entire plant dies.

If when the plant is watered all free water drains away, if the soil is kept moist but not sopping wet, and if the temperature is moderate, the small ivy plant is almost indestructible.

You also like the Chestnut Vine (aka Tetrastigma Voinierianum) and this selected group of 35+ common houseplants.

Growing English Ivy Hedera Helix

English ivy Hedera helix is one of the most creative plants in nature!

From the Araliaceae family along with Schefflera (dwarf umbrella plant) and Aralia (think the Ming plant), most varieties are evergreen climbers, can easily grow indoors and out.

The English ivy has several look-alikes:

  • Irish ivy (Hedera hibernica)
  • Persian ivy (Hedera colchica)
  • Boston ivy (Parthenocissus japonicus)
  • Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) sometimes confused because of its hairy stems.

The European colonists introduced English ivy as early as 1727.

However, today many consider the English Ivy Hedera helix a serious weed and invasive species. Outdoors this climbing plant needs some type of control.

Learn more on – How to Kill English Ivy

Outside, the ivy finds use as a ground cover but they also can climb up trees or grow up against the brick wall of a house.

They grow well in bright light and partial shade. The general recommendation is to NOT PLANT the ivy outdoors. It’s better suited for potted container growing.

Indoors, they can grow into beautiful tabletop house plants, grown in hanging baskets or trained on small trellises.

Ever since it burst into various mutations in the 1920’s, when the first self-branching forms were noticed, ivy has amazed us with the many unusual, countless forms it can assume.

The plant can even be grown to create a stunning decorative accent, yet in any size it is most attractive as a pot plant.

It’s possible to grow specimens 10 feet high in 14-inch tubs.

It is a great deal of fun to grow vigorous ivy plants and it can be done with a minimum of time and effort.

They are a joy to study as there is such a diversity of foliage forms.

Love growing plants indoors? Some of the best indoor vines and climbers that are easy to grow are listed here. Must check out!

A house with indoor plants looks more lavish and expensive. That’s a fact!

1. Heartleaf Philodendron

Heartleaf Philodendron is extremely easy to grow and great for beginners. It needs a moderate amount of light and prefers the soil to dry out between watering spells.

Also Read: Easiest Indoor Plants

2. Ivy

Ivy is one of the best indoor vines. It can easily adapt to many light conditions. This fast-growing vine has evergreen foliage that remains green even in winters. Plant it in a container that is wide and shallow rather than narrow and deep. Keep the pot in a spot that receives bright indirect sun.

Also Read: Best Indoor Plants According to Different Light Conditions

3. Pothos

Plants of the pothos family are easiest to grow and most of them can even grow without direct sunlight. They become great houseplants for beginners. Attractive and hardy vine prefers bright indirect light and a draft free place. It can grow in low light and needs moist soil.

Also Read: Plants You can Grow Without Sunlight

4. Betel Leaf Plant

Betel leaf plant is very popular in South and East Asia, especially in the Indian subcontinent, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. This vine from pepper family has many culinary and medicinal uses. It can be tried indoors if space where you want to keep it receives part sun and remains slightly humid. All the other information is available here.

5. Jasmine

Many jasmine varieties can be grown indoors. If you keep this most fragrant vine in a bright spot where it receives some hours of direct sunlight daily, it’ll grow. The selection of jasmine varieties you want to plant indoors depends on the climate you live in. For colder regions, Jasminum polyanthum is the one you can try, whereas in tropics most of the plants from this species will grow.

6. Creeping Fig

Ficus pumila

It’s a slow growing creeper with small, leathery dark green foliage. Vigorous-growing, clinging, dense branches adhere to any surface and look enchanting. Be careful not to overwater creeping fig. Let the soil dry out before watering.

7. Arrowhead Plant

This elegant vine like houseplant prefers to be in a spot that is bright, needs moderate watering. Allow the soil to dry out between watering spells and make sure not to overwater it, as it may lead to root rot.

Also Read: Houseplants that are Harmful to Dogs

8. Hoya (Hoya spp.)

Beautiful waxy foliage and fragrant flowers, hoya looks stunning when grown indoors. The plant has low watering needs and doesn’t mind if you forget to water it occasionally. The trailing stems of this plant is approximately a foot in length along with clusters of aromatic waxy flowers.

Also Read: 99 Great Ideas to Display Houseplants

9. String Of Pearls

Growing string of pearls is easy, it is a low-maintenance creeper. This succulent tolerates prolonged drought and does well in a bright light position. You can also combine it with other houseplants to create a great appearance or it can be grown in a hanging basket.

10. Black Eyed Susan Vine

Black-eyed Susan vine can be grown indoors. Depending on your climate, this annual or perennial flowering plant can add a dramatic appeal to your rooms. Keep it near a window, where it receives a lot of sun.

11. Inch Plant

Also called “Wandering Jew” or “Purple heart”, this wonderful houseplant has beautiful trailing stems with attractive zebra patterned foliage that look stunning. Grow it in a pot or hanging basket, it’ll thrive. You can also keep this plant in dim light, but the markings on the foliage will fade.

Ivy (botanically: hedera helix) is a common sight in yards and parks. Anyways, the plant, which is a member of the aralia family, can also be held as an indoor plant. Since ivy prettifies your room throughout the entire year with its ever-green leafs, we would like to introduce you to ivy as a vine or hanging plant.

Plant Profile

  • family: aralia family (araliaceae)
  • genus: ivy (hedera)
  • species: common ivy (hedera helix)
  • trivial names: ivy, common ivy
  • origin: Europe, Mediterranean areas
  • ever-green, climbing decorative leaf-plant due to aerial rootlet
  • height: depending on species 300 to 400 centimetres
  • heyday: September to October
  • multi-lobed leafs in crème to dark green respectively variegated
  • frost-resistant and enduring plant
  • toxic substances in all parts of the plant

Back in ancient Egypt, ivy was well-known and keenly anointed Osiris, the God of the sun. The old Greeks, too, knew the enduring plant and anointed it Dionysis, God of wine. Also, ivy is often seen on paintings of the previous century or on porcelain. It is categorized as a fast-growing and ever-green climber, a ground-cover plant with few standards to ground and habitat. Our tending guide describes in a detailed manner the claims and features of hedera helix.


Perhaps it is due to is low-standard character that ivy grows outdoors just as well as indoors. Within around 400 species there are many that do very well indoors. Interestingly, even decorative ivy can live up to 100 years. Therefore it pays out to have a closer look at these room plants and to undertake them good care.


As a friend of plants you place hedera helix at a rather cool spot. It is not quite fond of warmth. Therefore a sunny windowsill with a radiator is not the ideal spot. Regardless, it does love light, which is why a bright room with indirect sunlight irradiation is a great spot. Even in semi-shade it can develop wonderfully. A temperature of about 18 degrees Celsius with a rather high humidity is ideal. A bathroom is ideal for that purpose, in other rooms it should be damped from time to time.

Tip: Species with colorful leaves needs a brighter location than species with monochrome, dark green leaves.


As a low-standard plant, normal flower soil suffices the standards of ivy. To strengthen the plants, some horn chips can be added as a long term fertilizer. It is important that the soil is loose and doesn’t allow for waterlogging.

Seed and propagation

Ivy is bought as a plant or augmented with cuttings. Therefore continue reading in the section regarding increase.


Planting and repotting of ivy

The single ivy plant grows well on its own, but the pot takes on the desired bushy look if one plants more than one plant.

In that case one speaks of “ampelhaltung”. It is possible to cultivate hedera helix saggy or as a climber. This too should be considered beforehand. For climbing ivy, a bigger pot with space for two to five ivy plants and an additional growth support should be chosen.

Therefore it is important to:

  • choose a pot and cachepot of sufficient size
  • buy a growth support or build one from wire

Fill the pot with fresh flower soil and add some chipped horn to it. Then plant the plants and fill the pot up with soil once more. It is up to you to decide how many plants you deploy. For five plants make sure the pot is sufficiently spacious. If you want, deploy the growth support into the pot. If the plant is long enough, it can be wrapped around the growth support carefully. After the planting, pour the plants sufficiently and keep them moist.

Season of planting

The perfect season to repot is spring, alternatively autumn, too. The plant is much more comfortable, if the repotting is prior to the heating period. Spring offers the better conditions though, especially if the plants are rather large already and the roots peak out of the pot already. The new pot should be about two finger-widths larger than the old one.


Just like a lot of other plants, ivy doesn’t like waterlogging. Make sure it is kept moist, but not too wet. Those who don’t have much experience in pouring plants and ofttimes drown their plants can add some sand or cobblestone to the soil. They improve the flow of the water. Expanded clay is also suitable, it takes in spare water that the plants can use in dry phases. Expanded clay can also be used as a water store for ivy.

Using the finger trial you can easily determine whether the plant needs pouring or not. If the surface is dry, the plant needs water. The conditions change due to the change of seasons and the humidity of the room.

  • don’t use fresh tap water
  • use rainwater or old tap water to pour
  • remove spare water from the saucer
  • during winter, pour less often but damp the plant from time to time


Ivy as a house plant is very agreeable to cutting. Due to its great growth, the green plant can be cut at will. Thereby you control the long vines or the vegetation on the growth support and keep your house plant at the size you like.

This is how you cut it properly:

  • the best time for the cutback is spring
  • start by thinning out weak and withered branches
  • then cut on the above of the leaf nodes that point to the outside

During the year, too, small correcting cuts are possible. Always cut with good sharp scissors to minimize the risk of an infection. If you desire a bushy growth for your young plants, cut off the shoot tips from time to time.

Tip: Wear gloves while cutting, even hedera helix contains toxic substances.

For the same reason, do not dump your clippings in places accessible by animals.


Increase through cuttings

At the cutback you receive a lot of cuttings that can be used for the increase.

For that purpose you need shoots of about six to eight centimeters length. Now several shoots are placed in a pot with pre-swollen turf. The shoots should be slightly damped and covered by a plastic bag. Hereby the main factor of increase is humidity. Success is indicated by growing roots and fresh shoots.

The perfect time is between February and October. Alternatively you can put the shoots into a glass of water for a couple of days and set into a pot with soil with cultivation conditions after the shootout of the roots.


Hibernation of hedera helix is not an issue as long as the pot is not placed near a radiator. Between 10 and 18 degrees Celsius it is visibly comfortable. Mind that the humidity is sufficient. For this reason damping the leaves regularly is almost more important than the (in any case reduced) pouring with chalk-free water. The soil remains moderately moist.


To ensure the ivy develops splendidly, it is recommended to fertilize it from time to time. Since the soil, other than the soil outdoors, stops nourishing the plant after a while, fertilizing is recommended. Once again it becomes clear how low the standards of ivy actually are.

However, if you want a strong growth you should fertilize between March and September, either with a liquid fertilizer once in a fortnight or with a long time fertilizer which is worked into the soil.

Leaf ornamental plants prefer a nitrogen-based fertilizer, which should be added to the pouring water in a very low concentration.

Tip: Never add fertilizer to dry soil. It is better to fertilize after damping the soil.

From September on, fertilizing is not necessary anymore. The plants now slowly change into hibernation.


Seldom spider mites find their way onto ivy. In that case bright dots appear on the surface of the leaf, the leaf starts getting brown and withers. On the bottom of the leaf you can recognize dozens of tiny mites.

If the ivy is placed close to a radiator it should immediately be removed. It is possible to give the ivy a shower or completely dip the vines. Hereby the bottom of the leaves must be fully wetted to remove the mites. If this is not successful, it is necessary to use a commonly available product.

Greenflys, too, are unpopular visitors. The vermits that come in the colour green, yellow, brown or black like to pitch onto the young shoots. In this case it is only sensible to pick the greenflys off by hand or to dip the plant into slightly soapy water. In case there are still greenflys on the leaves you can wipe them off with a cloth soaked with slightly soapy water.

The same goes for scale insects, which might cause the death of the plant. Here, too, tepid water and the removal of the vermins are the first measure. If this is not sufficient, commonly available products against greenflys are to be used.


Due to ivy’s strong health there are no records of disease.


Genus and species

Curly Variegated, curled hedera helix

An insiders’ tip from plant lovers is the curled hedera helix. It fascinates with a curled leaf-edge and gives room ivy a whole new look. The leafs are crème-green and very divergent to classic ivy. Curly variegated can measure up to 300 centimetresand does not stand frost.

Hedera helix goldheart

Another new eyecatcher is hedera helix goldheart. This species has leafs crested with golden colour and loves sunny locations, however without intense noon sun.

Hedera helix glacier

Green and white leafs, streaked with silver lines – that is hedera helix glacier. This species is the ideal room plant, especially if you are looking for a long ivy that is not branched too often.

Hedera helix harlekijn

Hedera helix harlekijn grows with colourfully patched leafs on a dark green base. This new breeding cultivates different forkings and measures up to 250-350 centimeters.

Hedera helix chicago

This species is the classic room ivy. It first came up in the sixties and has not lost popularity ever since. Decoratively heart – shaped lush green leaves with slightly rose stems bring variety to the room.

A sub-species, variegata, is lined with withe additionally. Hedera helix chicago is fitted for locations in shade or semi-shade.

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