The Q&A Archives: Boston Ivy Wilting

Question: My Boston ivy has dead leaves and spider webs in it. It is located indoors on a high overhang with low light. I need to know the proper care, i.e. proper lighting and watering. I also used miracle grow on it and it didn't seem to help it.

Answer: Based on your description it sounds like your plant is suffering from spider mites. The first thing to do is remove any dead leaves or stems, then wash the plant off with plain tepid water. Pay special attention to the undersides of the leaves and remove all visible traces of the webs. A good way to do this is to use the spray attachment on the kitchen sink if you have one. Washing or misting the plant on a regular basis will help to control the spider mites, but you may also wish to use either insecticidal soap or a houseplant spray labeled for spider mites. Be sure to follow the label instructions.

Spider mites multiply fastest under warm temperatures and low humidity, so you might want to look for a cooler location for your plant. Otherwise, it should be happy with bright indirect light and average soil moisture and fertility. Using a water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants, such as Miracle-Gro, should be fine. Follow label directions for the correct dilution rate.

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