While we often think of ivy thriving outdoors—climbing up a brick wall, spilling over a fence, or winding its way across the ground—it's also a popular houseplant, and with the right care it can grow well indoors. Most species of ivy are easy-care plantings but there are some tricks to keep them growing at their best.
Ivy species are climbing vines and rambling ground covers, and they can both thrive in shade with moderate to regular water and tolerate some sun. When indoors, it's good to give your ivy bright, indirect light. With too much shade, the plant can grow leggy, and too much direct light can scorch its leaves. Humidity is generally good for ivy, and moderate temperatures are ideal.
Water and Soil Requirements
Ivy grows best when planted in well-drained soil. Most have moderate water requirements and don't like to be soggy, so be sure to let the soil dry out between watering. Once a week during the spring and summer, and less often in winter, is typical. Don't fertilize too often; feeding ivy once a month during the warmer months is usually a good bet.
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According to The New Southern Living Garden Book, "Ivies are excellent in pots and hanging baskets, trained into intricate patterns on walls, or grown on wire frames to create topiaries. Arborescent forms make superb additions to foundation plantings and shade gardens." Hanging baskets allow ivy tendrils to spill over the sides and give them plenty of space to grow. They are also easy enough to hang near a window for the indirect light that ivy needs. All-purpose or potting mix for indoor plants is adequate to get an ivy planting started.
When your ivy gets too long, you can clip off sections of the stem to keep it shaped. To propagate more plants, you can also take clippings and root them in water to start new ivy plantings. Start with an English Ivy (like 'Gold Dust' or 'Baltica') or an Algerian Ivy for pretty deep green or variegated green-and-cream leaves.
If you like ivy but are worried about it taking off and taking over your yard, growing it indoors is a good way to keep it in check. Learn more about ivy here.
What's your favorite easy-care houseplant? Do you have any pots of ivy in your home?