Houseplants forum: Ivy dying? Rescue mission!

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bifftwelve
Sep 28, 2015 11:42 AM CST
Hi everyone,

I recently looked after a young ivy plant for a friend. Over the course of a fortnight or so, this ivy quickly went from full foliage to practically bare, with severe leaf drop. I tried to isolate this plant as soon as I noticed and have now discarded it, but my own more established ivy is now showing similar signs.

The symptoms are that healthy leaves begin to lose colour from the outside edges in, and then drop off. I have removed most of the leaves which show these symptoms in case that helps slow the spread for now, but attach below an example of a leaf half way through discolouration (apologies for quality). I have inspected closely, and there are no signs of any pests.

Thumb of 2015-09-28/bifftwelve/019460

Can it be rescued?
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Sep 28, 2015 12:40 PM CST
well you don't say where you at? My pure guess is that it is not liking a change in humidity from your friends house to yours. Or temp changes. Houseplants like temps and humidity to be steady and balk when they change. If you are in a colder area and are using wood heat (?) that would dry the air out.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 28, 2015 1:01 PM CST
Hi Bifftwelve, Welcome! to All Things Plants!

I've never had luck growing English Ivy (Hedera helix) as a house plant so I can't offer any advice but the American Ivy Society has some good information here: http://www.ivy.org/about_bv8.htm
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Sep 28, 2015 1:09 PM CST
Hello bifftwelve!

Just some questions:
How often were the plants watered,?
Where are the plants positioned indoors -orientation of light north, south, west, east?
What is the temperature inside the house and do you know your humidity levels?
Were these plants recently repotted?

bifftwelve
Sep 28, 2015 2:19 PM CST
Thanks everyone, for the quick replies and for the welcome!

To answer a few points, I've had this ivy for 4 years now, and it has been in the same place that whole time - and flourished to the point of taking over half a fireplace (don't worry, the fireplace is not in use!). The fact that it has done so well over the years is part of the reason that I'm so keen to save it.

Thumb of 2015-09-28/bifftwelve/73fdfa

- Watering: around once a week, though I will start easing off now as we head into winter
- Orientation: nearest window faces North-West, although given that it has done so well over the years, presumably that isn't a problem.
- Temperature: I'm not home much during the week, so the house is unheated. Outdoor temperature is around 13/14 C right now (in Scotland)
- Humidity: I don't have a measure, but I do have a few tropical plants which I mist - not sure if that will impact things?
- Repotting: around 5 months ago, and it has flourished since then

My concern is that this ivy is showing the initial signs of something passed on by the friend's ivy (fungal infection?). My hope is that I'm just noticing signs of mistreatment on mine (temperature? over watering?) because I'm watching it more closely after the death of the young plant, and that it won't come to much.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Sep 28, 2015 4:31 PM CST
Thanks for the photo and added info bifftwelve Smiling

That is really interesting, either it is reacting to change in seasonal light levels or needs better air circulation. Other than that, all I can say is observe it a bit more, maybe it is also just natural leaf aging.

bifftwelve
Oct 11, 2015 10:29 AM CST
After keeping a close eye for a few weeks, I've worked out the source of the problem - spider mites!

After doing a bit of reading, I've removed all visibly affected leaves and given it a good rinse in the shower, and plan to mist with soapy water for the next wee while. Any other tips?
Name: Deborah Pryor
Orangeburg, SC Zone 8a (Zone 8a)
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Deebie
Oct 11, 2015 4:40 PM CST
Welcome! iffftwelve. The link provided by Plantladylin, mentioned the possibility I was going to suggest that you check out. The last and only time I tried to grow ivy in my home, it became infested with spider mites almost immediately due to the dry air. Last year, I was able to overwinter a couple of potted ivy plants successfully in my garage, which is unheated. Your decision to remove the affected leaves, shows that you're moving in the right direction. Be sure to rinse the leaves carefully after you spray with soapy water. You don't want to cause additional problems from soap residue. Your plant should recover and grow new leaves soon. Thank You! for the link Lin. It was very informative.

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