How to Take Care of Ivy

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    Indoor Ivy

    • 1). Plant ivy in a well-draining, fertile potting soil, such as a peat moss-based potting mix. Grow ivy indoors in pots or hanging baskets, or as topiaries, and choose a variety suited to your container. For example, fast-growing Algerian ivy works well in baskets, where its lush growth cascades down the sides. Grow small-leaved English ivy varieties as topiaries or in pots.

    • 2). Place ivy in a place where it receives bright but indirect sunlight. A western, eastern or northern window provides adequate light. Maintain temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Lower temperatures by 5 to 10 degrees at night.

    • 3). Water ivy thoroughly, then allow it to dry out to a depth of 1/2 inch below the soil surface before watering again. Too much water encourages root rot and insect infestations.

    • 4). Fertilize the plant monthly with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer. Follow the package directions for application rates. Stop fertilizing when the plant's growth slows, either because of summer heat or cool winter weather.

    • 5). Watch for insect infestations, which are common in ivy houseplants. Prune out plant parts infested with aphids, mealybugs, scales or mites, using scissors or pruning shears to make the cuts. Mix insecticidal soap with water according to the package directions. Dip the plant's foliage in the solution while you place your hand or a piece of aluminum foil over the potting soil to contain it.

    Outdoor Ivy

    • 1). Plant ivy varieties that meet your landscape's specific needs. Persian, Algerian and English ivy are evergreen and are well-suited for growing in flower beds and under trees. Algerian and Persian ivy have 5- to 8-inch-wide leaves and grow rapidly. Boston ivy is a deciduous vine that rambles over fences and up walls.

    • 2). Plant ivy in a shady or partially shady area with moist humus soil. Ivy grows well on slopes or shaded areas where other plants won't grow.

    • 3). Prune ivy severely on an annual basis to prevent it growing out of control and becoming invasive.

    • 4). Water ivy weekly in dry areas, or as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. Trim out ivy plants that show signs of disease, such as dead, brown leaves or brown stems.

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