The Q&A Archives: Indoor Ivy in Winter and Summer

Question: You have given instruction on what to do differently in Winter and Summer for Indoor Ivy. My question is: How does the Ivy know seasons if it is not outside to feel the effects of the changes? Because outside plants can be fooled into budding early when the weather permits, but it is still winter. Then they are destroyed when we have a cold spell again.

Answer: That's a good question! Some plants are sensitive to day length and some are not; this is what triggers blooming in some hardy plants while others may be triggered by accumulated "degree days" in one direction or the other.... this explains why "day neutral" strawberries bear repeated crops during the season and why onions are rated short day and long day, why apples do not bloom in the tropics and lilacs do not bloom in southern areas.... Indoors, plants such as ivy seem to respond to the decreased light intensity (and duration) coming through the window in winter. If ivy is grown under constant artificial light exclusively there would be no change required in its care, just as with the many tropical plants which do quite well under such artificial light.

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