Ask a Question forum: English Ivy - Is it a good house plant?

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Boston, MA
Feb 11, 2018 8:56 AM CST
Hello Pros-
I was on a different forum (different site) and was surprised to hear not such great things about english ivy... including that is not a house plant, that is matter of time to get mites, and that it will get mites to my other plants...
Surprised because in most places i see that its a great house oxygen plant...
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Feb 11, 2018 10:28 AM CST
There are so many plant care posts that are based on individual experiences that fail to take into account the many differences in individual environments, including pot size, available light, temperature, etc. Folks tend to draw broad conclusions from their personal experiences that may or may not be applicable to others. For example, there are dozens of varieties of English or Heder Ivy. Ones that do well outdoors in very cold climates may not do well indoors and vice versa.

All plants that are healthy will produce some oxygen, but not enough to have a significant impact unless your home is filled with plants. It is a plant's size (total leaf surface) and overall health and growth rate that will determine its oxygen production and health value. It is not the particular species that matters.

English Ivies that are sold in small pots for indoor use can do fine indoors, but they can be quite unforgiving about light and watering lapses. And, yes, they are favored hosts of spider mites, especially in the warm, dry air.

Potted Hederas for indoor use have fragile roots that do not like being disturbed. Avoid the urge to repot your Ivy. It is not a low light plant, so it will need to be located in or close to a moderately sunny window.

Watering is the biggest issue with Hederas. If it is still in its nursery pot, as it should be, then wait until the surface of the soil feels barely damp/almost dry. Then, water it thoroughly until a bit of water trickles through the drain holes. You will need to monitor the soil moisture regularly because if you are even a day or two off when you water, it can affect your Ivy severely.

Proper watering, cool temps, and moist air will help deter spider mites. Fertilize very sparingly if at all. Prune back long vines.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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