Grow English Ivy in Your Living Room
The image of a lush green plant overtaking a red brick wall, particularly of a centuries old cottage, is enough to motivate any gardener to start a fresh English ivy plant in their home. English ivy is a fantastic climber, using its tiny roots to grab any surface. It can be used to engulf anything you desire.
You can grow English ivy in pots or baskets as long as you have a structure for them to climb along. The supporting structure does not even have to be vertical. You can train your English ivy to grow in any direction with a little coaxing. Tie their vines to whatever structure you want them to follow and they will soon take it over, growing even up to 50 feet or longer. You must be patient, though. The first year will see very slow growth. The second year will yield more visible results. The third year the plant will grow so fast it may be hard to manage.
Where other plants may fail in the house, English ivy thrives. Place it in doorways and around cooler windows, since it tolerates the cold far better than your other houseplants might. You might have an ugly wall to hide or some other blemish in your house, or on the outside, that could use the friendly covering of English ivy. You might also choose to lean on English ivy as a ground covering in places where other plants refuse to grow, but it really does look much better sprawling up the walls of buildings.
English ivies love to be re-potted annually, but do it in the early Spring. Also, remember to prune them at the same time. Remove weakened parts anytime you see them.
Growing English ivy is only difficult because they do not like the warmed air of a house, which can be quite dry. Keep their soil moist while they are establishing themselves. While they do love moist conditions, they can put up with dry periods. You can also over water them. Yellowing leaves is a sure indicator of over watering. Try to keep the soil moist from Spring through Fall.
Mist your English ivy and it will love you back with lush growth. Misting an ivy will also eliminate spider mites. Aside from misting, you can raise the humidity for the English ivy by placing the pot on a tray of soaked pebbles.
It is unlikely you will ever need fertilizer. If on the off chance you do, make sure to dilute it to half strength and use a fertilizer high in nitrogen. You can feed your English ivy as often as once a month from March through September.
Plant your English ivy in soil that is rich in organics. If you must, add compost to make up for what it lacks. Mix equal parts of peat moss and perlite for a well draining soil.
They love very bright, indirect light in both the Summer and the Winter. If your variegated ivy turns solid green, you will need to expose your plant to brighter light and prune the greener parts.
You can propagate a new English ivy from a cutting about 4 inches long. Start the cutting in Spring. Start rooting the shoot in water and then moist soil.
The Final Word
DO NOT EAT the English ivy, since it has poisonous leaves. They can also cause irritation of the skin. Wear gloves if you experience problems.
If you can give your English ivy cool nights and a moist environment, it will love you back. During the Winter do not forget to mist your English ivy or place it in the bathroom right after you shower, closing the door. Your English Ivy is difficult to kill. With just the right small actions of care it will fill your home with green.