Ivy comes from the scientific name Hedera.
Usually just called ivy, it belongs to a group of different species of evergreen climbing or crawling plants that can be found in Western Europe, Northern Africa, and Asia.
Ivy is a very adaptable and easy-to-grow plant. It can grow both indoors or outdoors and comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors. It usually has all shades of green and the variegated ones have white, cream, yellowish orange, black and gray hues.
Ivy plants can also be a houseplant, hanging, climber or ground cover.
Uses and benefits
Having a hanging plant like ivy makes any room or garden look calming and beautiful. You can use it to dress up your stairs, garden steps, wall or trellis.
Ivy is an indoor plant with a range of health benefits including…
- Improving air quality by removing mold and other allergens from the air
- Making the air you breathe fresher
- Improving sleep
Ivy also detoxifies the skin and body, speeds up the healing process, and lessens inflammation. It also has anti-bacterial effects, prevents cancer and boosts your immune system.
Common types of Ivy
Algerian Ivy (Hedera canariensis)
- It is known as the Canary Island Ivy or Medeira Ivy. This is an evergreen specie native to some Islands of Africa and western regions. Algerian Ivy leaves are dark green with a hard texture but turns yellow-green in full bloom
- It likes bright light to light shade and should be watered once every month. This plant also thrives in direct sun but may slow down its growth and will require frequent watering
- Height ranges from 8 to 15 feet
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- The most popular and easy-to-grow houseplant. It is native to Northern Africa, Europe and Asia. It has oval-shaped leaves and makes yellow-green flowers during fall that becomes blue and black berries in spring.
- Likes bright light, grows slowly in full shade but without enough light it will get weak and prone to pests. Make sure the soil is moist, not wet. This plant requires 1/2 “to 1” of water a week. Mist the leaves frequently.
- Grows up to 50 to 100 feet
Irish Ivy (Hedera hibernica)
- Perennial plants that is native in Europe. This evergreen vine is woody with dark-green slippery leaves and white or green flowers that turns into black berries that can be harmful to pets
- Grows fast with bright light but not under direct sunlight. Keep it near the window or where there's full shade
- It can grow up to 40 to 60 cm or up to 15 meters
Japanese Ivy (Hedera rhombea)
- An Asiatic vine of Japan which has three-lobed blue-green leaves and produces purple berries in full bloom. Categorized as shrubs, climbers and vines
- Needs partial to full shade sun exposure
- Height is 60 to 90cm
- Likes bright light, without enough light it will get weak and prone to pests
Nepal Ivy (Hedera nepalensis)
- A perennial ivy specie found in Bhutan and Nepal, and also in most parts of Asia. Leaves are simple, oval-shaped and glossy; some have lobes with rounded or flat top. Bloom color is dark-green and produces yellow flowers
- Can tolerate drought or dry soil with partial to full shade sun exposure
- Plant can grow up to 30m
Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica)
- Like Algerian Ivy, this specie is native to Canary Island and Europe. It is a hardy plant with a yellow margined leaves that can survive winter
- Requires partial sunlight and moderate watering. Let the soil dry up before watering the plant.
- Grows up to 15cm
Climate and weather
An ivy plant wants warm, humid temperatures during the daytime and prefers it slightly cooler at night. Most of the Hedera species can survive winter.
When choosing a container, use a pot or basket that allows good drainage. Pick ones that have holes at the bottom to drain excess water. A clay pot is usually used as a container for indoor plants as it looks attractive. However clay pots are breakable, pricey and need frequent watering. Plastic container or pot is more convenient to use. Aside from it's being inexpensive and colorful; it is best for hanging plants. Indoor plants also need to have a saucer, either made of clay or plastic underneath the pot to keep the excess water from the pot from spilling on the floor.
Lighting and care
It is very easy to grow Ivy indoors but it is also very important that you know how to care for them. Ivies should be put or hanged in a place that has bright light but is shaded or where there's low- light during summer. They do not need direct sunlight as it can kill them. In winter, it can tolerate direct sunlight better.
Water your indoor ivies once or twice every week. The topsoil should be dry before you water it. Do not pour too much water on. When you see the water subside to the bottom and the soil is moist on top, that means it has enough. Ivies like it when the soil is slightly dry and not overly wet. Take off the dead leaves and make sure to cut it off as well as the damaged stems.
Fertilizing a plant is optional but it is very important to make the plants healthy and nourished. Indoor plants need to be fertilized once a month and so as your Ivy. Fertilize it during spring, summer and fall. Use a water-soluble fertilizer with nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. Avoid fertilizing your ivy during winter. This is ivy's dormant stage and it may damage the plant rather than nourish it.
Growing an indoor Ivy plant is very challenging yet straightforward if you follow some simple guidance.
It's one of the very best indoor plants you can use not just to beautify your home, but also to promote well-being to everyone inside the house at the same time.
Indeed, all your efforts in caring for your Ivy will be very rewarding and makes it all worth it!