Ivy, especially English ivy (Hedera Helix) is a very popular plant. With proper support, this plant will climb just about anything including brick walls, trees, mailboxes and fences. This can bring a timeless look to the exterior of any home or office building.
Unfortunately, when the plant does not have adequate support, the vines will quickly become invasive. Many people have taken to growing English ivy in pots to reduce the risk of this.
If you love the look of English ivy but don't have the room for it outdoors – no worries! It is easy to bring ivy indoors to be grown in pots and containers.
You can also take from existing English ivy plants to root and grow new plants through a process called propagation. In today's article, we will be discussing how to propagate English ivy so that you can enjoy it in your home or office, and you can grow new plants almost any time you want to. Keep reading to learn how to propagate English ivy.
Before you begin
You will want to complete this process of propagation toward the end of the growing months of the year for ivy, preferably near the end of the summer growing period.
There are two different ways you can root English ivy.
You can root your English ivy in a pot filled with potting soil, or you can root it in water. Both ways have their benefits and their drawbacks, so you'll just need to decide which way is best for you. Perhaps try doing it both ways a few times so that you get a feel for it, and then you can decide which one works best.
When propagating your English ivy in soil, you will likely want some root hormone powder that will be used to help your cuttings develop new roots.
Make your cutting
When you are ready to make your cutting from the original English ivy plant, you need to be choosy about which part to select. Do not just start cutting and hope for the best, or you probably won't have a good outcome.
You'll need to look through the plant closely in order to find the optimal stem to make your cutting from. The ideal cutting will be from a part of the plant that is a bit older – but not too old. If you choose a section that is so firms and old that it snaps when you bend it, your plant will not do well when you are propagating it.
Instead, find a section of the original plant that has enough age to be slightly woody while still being young enough to have a bit of flexibility.
Using a clean knife or some cutting shears, you'll want to cut several sections measuring four or five inches from the selected area of the original plant. The reason you'll want many cuttings is because some of them might not root well, and the more you try with, the more likely you are to succeed.
Looking at the original plant, you'll notice “nodes” along the stem. These are protrusions where leaves have grown or will grow from the stem. You will want to make your cuts right above a node or a leaf.
Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the stem. This is the part you will be using to propagate your new English ivy plant.
Growing your new english ivy plant in soil
Choose the container you wish to plant your ivy cutting in, making sure the container has a hole for drainage.
Fill your planting container with a mix of perlite and sand and poke holes into the sand for planting your cuttings. We recommend you plant at least three cuttings of your English ivy so that you have a good chance of one growing into a new plant, so you will want to poke three holes into your planting medium.
Following the packaging directions, use the root hormone you purchased to help your plant grow. Some types will have you simply dip the cutting into the hormone powder while others will have you place the powder in the soil mixture.
Once you have used the hormone powder as directed, place the stem of the cutting into the hole you made in the soil and pack the soil mixture down around it.
Moisten the soil with distilled water and place the container somewhere where it will stay warm but keep it out of direct sunlight. You can use a plastic bag to encourage the cuttings to grow, as the greenhouse it simulates will be warm and humid. Simply wrap a plastic bag around the container but be careful to not disturb the cuttings.
Be patient, as it can take three to six weeks for the English ivy cuttings to grow roots and start to form new growth.
One downside to propagating your cuttings in soil is that you cannot tell when new roots have begun to form, and the cuttings will often need a lot of TLC as they go through the process. Fortunately, the cuttings grown in soil are much easier to transfer to their own container when ready and have a higher success rate of growing on their own.
Growing your new english ivy plant in water
To propagate your English ivy in water, you will need to follow these steps.
Using a large, clear glass or vase you will want to fill it with water. Do not use tap water, as this is often chlorinated or filled with other chemicals that English ivy plants are sensitive to. Instead, use bottled or distilled water. Even better would be water from a natural source such as a stream or a river. Allow the water to warm to room temperature before continuing.
Once the water has warmed, place your English ivy cutting into the glass or vase you are using to propagate the plant, and place it in a window that faces north. This will allow the cutting to get the indirect sunlight it needs to grow.
Over time, your cutting will begin to grow roots. One benefit to growing your cutting in a clear vessel like this is that you can see when the roots begin to form, alleviating much of the guesswork needed when growing in a container. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult to successfully transplant these cuttings into soil when they are ready, and they often don't live once they have been replanted.
Planting your new english ivy plant
Once your cutting has sprouted roots and shows signs of healthy development, like growing new leaves on its own, you can plant it in its own container.
Carefully remove the plant and its newly formed root system from the soil or water you have used to propagate it, and plant it in a new container filled with a potting mix containing perlite and vermiculite.
Moisten the soil and give the plant a few weeks to acclimate, and now you have successfully propagated your English ivy plant!
If you wish to grow more English ivy plants from your existing ones, you now have the knowledge to do so. You should now be able to propagate several plants to fill your home or office with greenery, and even give some plants away as gifts to friends and loved ones.
We hope you found our instructions easy to follow, and that you are soon propagating many new English ivy plants!