English Ivy plant is usually known as Hedera helix ivy. English Ivy is adored for its appealing shape and for its deep green leaves. English Ivy comes in large varieties including Gold Heart, Butter cup, Shamrock and many more. Gold heart has green and creamy yellow leaves and Butter cup has bright yellow in sunlight and pale green in shade.
English ivy is actually a type of flowering plant in the family of Araliaceae, and native of Europe and western Asia. This fast growing ivy is a rambunctious grower that trails gracefully in gardens, on house walls, tree trunks and in wild areas. They also can be grown indoors as a houseplant in containers and in hanging baskets. English Ivy grows in the zone 5 through 9.
How to Plant English Ivy
Planting English ivy is not a big task, if you know its requirements. To plant English ivy, buy it from your local nursery or grow ivy plant from its cuttings. English ivy is very easy to propagate through cuttings. Take several cuttings from the growing shoots of an ivy plant at least 4 to 6 inches long. Remove the bottom leaves and place the stems in a glass of clean water. Keep them near a window where they can get sunlight. Change the water everyday until you see the roots in it. Another method is just dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone and plant them in a planting holes.
Ivy plant is not choosy about the soil but it thrives well in a loamy soil that has a good drainage and have the capacity to hold the moisture. Best time to plant ivy is in the spring.
Growing English Ivy Outdoors
Choose a location where the plant can get bright light, it can also grow in partial shade but the growth will be very slow with pale leaves. Do not place them in a direct hot sun, you will end up killing your plant. Plant the ivy in a ground to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, ensure the soil drains well and holds the moisture. English ivy grows best in a pH of 7. Place them near a wall, tree or trellis so that the plant can climb up and grow healthy. Water them about 1 inch every week after the initial planting or water them whenever you feel the soil is dry.
Growing Ivy in Containers
English Ivy does very well as a houseplant. They look good when it spill over the edge of the containers, or in a hanging basket. Plastic pots are best to grow ivy plants as it has the ability to hold the moisture in the soil. Best soil is potting soil which is specially made for potted plants. It has a good drainage and the capacity of holding moisture. It also provides an arid environment for the roots to get oxygen. Place them near your window where they can get enough bright light. Maintain the temperature of approximately 75 degrees F during the day and 65 degrees during the night.
How to Care English Ivy
Fertilize Ivy in a growing stage with a base nutrients of 12-12-12. Do not fertilize your plant for 3 to 4 months after planting it. Water only when the soil is dry but don’t let the soil to dry hard. Allow the top of the potted soil to dry in between watering. Water less frequently in the winter. Winter growth can often be long and spindly, so cut back to strong growth in the spring. Prune the ivy plant to promote the growth and also to get the bushy look. Check your plants for any pest and disease. Do not plant any other plants near ivy, as it will take over the plant and kill them.
English Ivy plat leaves and berries contains the glycoside hederin which may cause toxicosis if consumed. So make sure to keep this plant away from children and pets. Consumption of these plant will results in gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, hyperactivity, breathing difficulty, coma, fever, polydipsia, dilated pupils, muscular weakness, and lack of coordination.