English ivy: Care, Types & Propagation

English ivy: Care, Types & Propagation

Table of Contents

• English Ivy - An Introduction

Green English Ivy Plant 

English Ivy, also called the Hedera helix, is most commonly found growing outdoors on boundary walls and turning simple functional concrete walls into urban spots of green. The English Ivy is considered invasive in certain parts of the world due to its aggressive growth rate, but makes for an excellent way to introduce greenery in cramped up outdoor spaces. The Ivy plant growing on outdoor walls is not only decorative but also a great and natural way to modulate the indoor temperature, it helps keep it cool in summer and warm in winter.

This plant can be planted at a height and allowed to trail down or planted at ground level and allowed to either climb up with the help of its aerial roots or spread rapidly as ground cover. The ivy has yellow or green flowers that are insignificant in function or appearance and it is mainly grown as a foliage plant for its prong shaped thick waxy leaves growing on lithe stems that grow woody on maturity. There are majorly two types of Hedera helix - green and variegated and the both have the same care that we will explore in the following sections.

Common Names English Ivy, Common Ivy, European Ivy
Flowers  Inconspicuous green-yellow flowers
Scientific Name Hedera helix
Growth Habit Climbing growth habit, trailing
Maintenance Low 


• English Ivy Plant Types to Grow

There are two types of ivy plant that are grown indoors popularly in the trailing variety and one that grows like a shrub. So, here are three different types of Ivy plants you can grow in your gardens:


1. Green English Ivy

Ugaoo English Ivy Plant in Hanging Pots

It has the trademark pronged leaf shape and the waxy thick leaves are a beautiful forest green in color. The veins on the leaves of this English Ivy plant form a subtle silver network that greatly adds to its allure. 

2. Variegated English Ivy

Ugaoo Variegated English Ivy

This variety, much like its other family members, has a pronged leaf shape with soft yellow-white edges and green body. They bear yellow flowers that resemble a min sunflower in shape but are insignificant in nature.

3. Tree Ivy

Tree Ivy looking like English Ivy trailing on a tree bark

This Ivy plant is a unique cross between species from different genera: Fatsia japonica (glossy-leaved paper plant) and Hedera helix (English Ivy), it grows in shrub form with the famous pronged leaf shape of an English Ivy plant. It has a mounding growth pattern with trailing stems that can be trained through pruning to grow as a tight shrub.


    • English Ivy Plant Care

    The English Ivy plant is easy to grow in Indian climates and can add a beautiful bust of green to any home garden. While it may be considered to grow outdoors due to aggressive growth patterns, it is very easy and extremely rewarding to grow indoors in pots and planters. It is an excellent plant choice for even new gardeners and looks great when allowed to climb walls, window grills, moss poles or allowed to trail down from hanging planters. When grown in balconies and window boxes, the curtain of English ivy can filter out a lot of the dust and pollutants entering your home from outside.

    Let’s take a look at the simple and easy to follow care tips to grow English Ivy OR Hedera helix plants indoors and in Indian homes.


    1. Light Requirements

    potted english ivy plant indoors in indirect light

    The English Ivy plant loves to grow in part to full shade where it can get indirect light through the day, making it one of the best choices to grow indoors or in north or east facing balconies and windows. Its love for shade also makes it a great choice to grow as ground cover under the shade of larger trees and is an excellent way to stop weeds from overtaking your garden. This also makes them easy maintenance plants that will not demand too much of your time of day. 

    If you are growing English Ivy indoor in planters, give your plant bright indirect light and keep it out of the sweltering summer afternoon sun and if the winters in your area go below 12 to 15 degree Celsius, always remember to keep it out of cold drafts and give it a little bit of sunlight when possible.


    2. Watering Needs

    water droplets on an english ivy leaf

    The ivy loves the soil to dry out between watering cycles. So always check the potting mix before watering and water only when the good top half of the soil is dry to touch or the planter feels lighter in weight signaling that all the water has been used up by the plant. Make sure to use a well-draining soil, as the Ivy loves and evenly moist but not soggy soil.

    While the roots of Ivy plants love to dry out in between watering sessions, the leaves love medium to high humidity. So, you must mist it regularly or use a humidifier for shorter periods. 

    However, when watering your potting mix, water it in batches to ensure that the soil absorbs all the water and it just doesn’t run out of the planter. Water a little and then wait for a while for the soil to soak up the water before watering it again till it drains out of the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter.


    3. Soil

    The evergreen and lush ivy loves a rich but extremely well-draining soil. Use a planter with good drainage holes and fill it up with a good mix of Ugaoo garden soil, Vermicompost, Cocopeat, and Perlite. If you want to avoid all the hassle of making your own mix then simply use the Ugaoo Potting Mix that can be used directly from the packet.


    4. Fertilization 

    Ugaoo Plant Food Fertilizer Green Sticks

    Use a well-balanced and generic houseplant fertilizer for your English Ivy plant. They are not heavy feeders and do well with both root and foliar application every 15 days. Using NPK is also a good idea. Dilute the fertilizer as instructed and apply directly to roots once in 15 days and put it in a misting spray and do a foliar application too once in 15 days. The foliar application guarantees bigger and showier leaves. However, don't overfeed the plant as it can lead to foliage burn.

    On the same note, if you're unable to keep up with the schedule of fertilizing your plant this way, you can also make use of Ugaoo's Plant Food Fertilizer Sticks that will ensure a balanced and slow supply of all-round nutrients for plants every time you water your plant. This will also prevent overfeeding. 


    5. Pruning

    Heavy Duty Bypass Pruner

    Buy Ugaoo Heavy Duty Bypass Pruner

    The English ivy plant does not require any pruning as such. Pruning for the ivy plant comes into play in two instances; one is to remove dead foliage and the other is to manage the shape and growing pattern of the plant. When left to its own devices it will grow with abandon and become bushy and unmanageable in no time.  Simply use a sharp clean pruning shears or scissors to prune away stems at the required length, cut at an incline in between leaf nodes.

    To remove dead or yellowing leaves, just pinch it away ensuring the leaf stalk is also removed from the main stem.

    Buy Pruning and Cutting Tools


    6. Propagation of English Ivy

    Propagating English Ivy from cuttings is one of the easiest ways to go about creating baby Ivies! It can be done by anyone with just a pair of scissors! Simply take 4 to 5 inch long cuttings of the plant, with at least 3 to 4 leaf nodes. Plant the cuttings in a moist potting mix or propagate in water. Keep the setup in a spot with bright indirect light till roots develop.


    • Problems with the English Ivy Plant and How to Deal With Them

    Like many plants, the ivy creeper can be plagued by aphids and spider mites. In case of infestation, spray the plant with neem oil solution to get rid of the pests and as preventive measures. In case of heavy infestations, prune away the infested parts.

    Buy Neem Oil





    1. Why is my English Ivy plant drooping?

    Drooping of the ivy plant can be because of one of two reasons - overwatering or underwatering. Check the soil, if the soil is constantly moist or soggy with soft decaying stems then the cause is underwatering. If the soil is extremely dry with wrinkled leaves then the cause is overwatering.


    2. How much sunlight does the plant require?

    The English Iivy plant loves growing in part or full shade. Although it will appreciate a couple of hours of morning or evening sun. keep it out of direct afternoon sun.


    3. Why are the leaves curly and turning yellow?

    Too much light or harsh sunlight can cause your Ivy leaves to curl and turn yellow. Give your plant partial shade or bright indirect sunlight and keep it out of direct afternoon sun.


    4. How much water does the plant need?

    The English Ivy plant loves to dry out in between watering sessions. So water only when the potting soil is dry to touch and use a well-draining potting mix.


    5. Is English Ivy an indoor or outdoor plant?

    The English ivy plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors with ease.