The Q&A Archives: Care instructions for Ivy

Question: I recently bought an ivy plant from a local garden center. The care instructions advise that I place the plant in filtered sun or partial shade;keep the soil moderately moist and keep the plant at an ideal temp. range between 60-65 degrees F. Do these instructions sound about right? If so, please translate in literal terms. I am not sure what these instructions mean exactly. Does the ideal temp. range refer to the air or soil? How often do I need to fertilize? When should I water? Can I place the plant on a table near my east and,or west facing window?
Also, how can I train my potted ivy to climb a trellis? It is in a small 5-inch pot.

Thank you,

Answer: English ivy or Hedera helix is an easy to grow houseplant. It should survive with minimal care and thrive with better care. It does fine at normal household temperatures although in the winter it seems to like it a bit cooler in the room eg 65 if possible. Keep it out of hot and cold drafts, and in winter it will appreciate extra humidity such as that provided by grouping plants together or using a pebble and water tray. Water as needed to keep the soil slightly moist, never soaking wet and never bone dry. The soil surface can be dry before you water again, when you water do so thoroughly and allow any excess to drain out. If it is sitting in a saucer, empty the saucer after watering so it is not sitting in water. Fertilize when it is actively growing with a water soluble fertilizer for foliage houseplants such as 10-10-10 plus minors, follow the label directions. An unobstructed east window would be perfect, a bright north window is fine also. If you use a south or west window you will need to use a sheer curtain to avoid sun burning it. If you put the plant next to a trellis and gently twine the growing tip through the trellis as it grows it will seem to climb it. Enjoy your ivy.

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