Whether you're interested in growing ivy indoors in containers or outdoors in your yard as a trellis, wall or ground cover, this article will provide you with basic tips that will teach you how to successfully care for ivy plants. Ivy is a beautiful vine that can be used both indoors and outdoors to spruce up your home and garden. Most people are familiar with English Ivy, which has small, dark green leaves, but there are several varieties of the plant available, some with leaves as long as eight inches.
Caring for Indoor Ivy
There are several things to keep in mind when growing ivy indoors. The most important consideration is watering; over-watering ivy can be detrimental to the plant's health. Make sure your ivy is growing in well-drained soil and that the pot you're growing it in has several drainage holes. You should only give your plant more water when the soil is dry to the touch.
Light is another important consideration. When ivy is grown indoors, it needs as much natural light as you can give it. If possible, place your ivy outdoors for several days in warmer weather. This will help its foliage perk up and look as healthy as possible. Ivies prefer cooler temperatures, so you should place them in a location where the temperature drops a few degrees at night. Ensuring that your plant receives proper air circulation is also important: placing your ivy plant near a fan or open window where it will receive some breeze will help it grow substantially.
Spider mites are a particular problem for ivy that is grown indoors. These bugs are very small and hardly visible to the naked eye, but they form webs over foliage similar to a spider web. When your ivy is infected by spider mites, it will lose its color quickly and have an unhealthy, dappled appearance. You might also notice leaves falling from your plant. Spraying your plant with a light solution of soapy water is usually all you need to do to get rid of spider mites.
Caring for Outdoor Ivy
Though ivy is less finicky when grown in the outdoors, you should be sure to adhere to several guidelines for care. Most varieties need to be grown in partial shade, as full sunlight will burn their leaves. Always plant your ivy in the early spring, preferably a foot apart from one another. Make sure to grow your ivy in well-drained soil enriched with peat moss or compost, and fertilize your plants once a month during the summer months. If you plant your ivy near a brick wall or trellis, it will scale the wall and create a romantic, old world effect. You can also grow ivy as a ground cover. One advantage to this is that ivy discourages soil erosion, which means your landscape will be less likely to wash away during rains. You can prune your ivy as needed to promote lush, full growth and control plants that are getting out of hand. It's easy to grow more ivy from an existing plant by divvying the plant or propagating from cuttings.