Ivy Plants: How to Care for Ivy Houseplants
There are many different species of ivy, including English Ivy, Irish Ivy, Japanese Ivy, Algerian Ivy, and more! However, the most popular types of ivy when it comes to houseplants is English Ivy and Algerian Ivy. Included in these species are countless different varieties that all have their own unique features. One very consistent and telling feature of ivy plants is their palmate leaf margins. This means that their leaves have multiple prominent veins that originate at the base of the leaf near the stem. Most commonly, ivy plants have five margins similar to that of a maple tree leaf, though some leaves may vary depending on the variety. There are around 15 different species of ivy plants, each having hundreds of varieties within the species. This leaves us with more types of ivy plants than could ever be discussed in one article. So, we are just going to talk about 14 types of ivy houseplants that are our favorites!
1. Hedera algeriensis
Hedera algeriensis, or Algerian ivy, is a type of ivy that features large, evergreen leaves that are glossy and leathery. The leaves of this type of ivy can get up to four inches wide, which is what sets them apart from the more common Hedera helix, or English ivy. This type of Algerian ivy has three margins, giving them a somewhat triangular shape. These plants generally prefer indirect light when growing indoors and are a wonderful, low-maintenance option that is very adaptable.
2. Hedera algeriensis 'Gloire de Marengo'
Another type of Algerian ivy, the Glorie de Marengo Ivy, often referred to as a Marengo Ivy, features a captivating variegation that makes them really stand out from other ivy plants. This variegated Algerian ivy features a creamy white color around the outside of the leaf, with different tones of green coloring the parts of the leaf closer to the center. Tones can vary from a deep forest green to a very light grey-green color, and everything in between. The stems of this plant are also a beloved feature, being slightly red in color and creating a lovely contrast with the leaves of the plant.
3. Hedera algeriensis 'Lemon'
Lemon Algerian ivy plants do not feature any variegation, however, their beauty lies in the color of their new growth. They have the same leaf shape with the same deep green mature leaves, but their new growth is a bright but discrete lemony-green color. New growth will hold this color for longer than the average new leaf, creating a bright and eye-catching contrast between the layers of foliage.
4. Hedera algeriensis 'Marble'
Marble Algerian ivy is another type of variegated ivy, however, this type of variegation is much more random than that of the Marengo ivy. The leaves of this plant take after Jackson Polluck, decorating themselves in a splattering of different tones of whites, creams, and green. Speckled and splotchy, these leaves have a marbled effect, which is how the plant got its name. It also features reddish-brown stems that provide a lovely contrast.
5. Hedera algeriensis 'Neon'
Very similar to the Lemon Algerian ivy, this variety features new growth that is even more bright and showy. Any new leaves will hold an almost neon green color for quite some time, and will eventually turn a darker green as maturity sets in. The red/brown color of this plant's stems really stands out against the neon green leaves and it is a great option for anyone who is looking for a trailing plant with unmistakable color.
6. Hedera helix 'Asterisk'
When it comes to types of ivy houseplants, this one is quite unique. This type of English ivy features margins that are more prominent than most ivy varieties, having between five and seven "points", which is how it got its name 'Asterisk'. The foliage of this type of ivy houseplant is much more petite than Algerian ivies, being only an inch or two wide. They are a deep, rich green color with a glossy finish and brown, woody stems.
7. Hedera helix 'Baltica'
Another type of English ivy, this plant features the small, petite leaves that are typical of this species. Unique to this variety is the light-colored veins that run through the leaves. This contrast of colors between the deep green leaves and their lightly colored veins makes them stand out and gives them a bit more texture than a standard ivy. Baltic ivy can actually be grown indoors or outdoors here in Northern Colorado, and make for wonderful climbing or trailing plants.
8. Hedera helix 'Eva'
Eva English ivy is a needlepoint ivy that features very similar variegation to that of the Marengo Algerian ivy. A soft cream color borders the edges of the leaf with different shades of green coloring the leaf closer to the center. Its small leaves and dense foliage make for a beautiful, bushy plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors in Northern Colorado.
9. Hedera helix 'Gold Child'
This type of variegated English ivy has the same type of variegation as the Hedera helix 'Eva', though the leaves of this plant have a yellow or golden tint to them. Especially so with new leaves, the outer edges are a bright chartreuse. This color fades only slightly as the leaves mature. The leaves of this plant are medium to large in size and can be grown as an indoor houseplant or outdoors in your landscaping.
10. Hedera helix 'Gold Dust'
Gold Dust English ivy is less commonly seen on the shelves of any greenhouse or department store and features marbled variegation. It is very similar to the Hedera algeriensis 'Marble' that we mentioned above, with the exception that the white or cream parts of the leaves have a more yellow hue to them. Especially with new growth, the leaves of this type of ivy look almost as if they are covered with gold dust. It also features striking stems that are red/brown in color.
11. Hedera helix 'Greenheart'
Greenheart English ivy is simple but beautiful. Its leaves are deep green in color and its margins are more rounded and less defined than many of its other relatives. This makes the leaves slightly resemble the shape of a heart, hence the name 'Greenheart'. This type of ivy has petite foliage that will grow dense and lush given the right conditions.
12. Hedera helix 'Kolibri'
Kolibri ivy features cream and green variegated leaves that almost look like a cross between normal variegation and marble variegation. This variety of small-leaved ivy has leaf margins that are slightly less defined, similar to the shape of Greenheart ivy leaves. Similar to other types of ivy, this plant grows wonderfully as a trailing plant or a climbing plant, is low maintenance, and is suitable for decorating almost any area in your home.
13. Hedera helix 'Sweetheart'
Sweetheart ivy have quite a unique leaf shape, being almost perfectly in the shape of a heart! The foliage is a deep green color with light green veins, and the petite, heart-shaped foliage is too cute to pass up.
14. Hedera helix 'Shamrock'
Shamrock ivy is a miniature ivy that has very defined leaf margins. They are a deep, glossy green, and the rounded lobes are sometimes even divided into three separate leaflets that connect at the stem and slightly overlap. Like most ivy plants, this variety is wonderfully suited for indoor or outdoor growing and will grow either as a trailing or climbing plant.
How to Care for Ivy Houseplants
Ivy houseplants really are quite low-maintenance. However, even though they are considered to be easy to care for, if they do not receive the right kind of care, they will not be happy houseplants. So, follow these recommendations and keep your ivy houseplants happy, healthy, and thriving! And if you want to learn more about other low-maintenance houseplants, check out our blog.
Light Requirements for Ivy Houseplants
One of the best things about ivy houseplants is their remarkable tolerance to a wide range of lighting conditions. However, ideal sun exposure for an indoor ivy houseplant is bright but indirect light. Too much direct sun exposure can lead to the leaves burning, so try placing your ivy in a north or east-facing window. Ivies are quite tolerant of low light conditions, you will just want to adjust your watering habits accordingly. The leaves may also grow less dense and variegation may become less prominent in lower light conditions. Learn more about choosing the right lighting for your houseplants on our blog!
Water Requirements for Ivy Houseplants
Ivy plants prefer to be watered thoroughly but infrequently. They should only be watered after the top two inches of soil have had a chance to dry out. Stick your fingers into the soil and if it is dry to the touch, soak the soil until water flows freely through the drainage hole. Be sure not to let the pot sit in a saucer full of water, as the plant will not respond well to wet, soggy soil that is not able to dry out. If the soil seems to be drying out fast enough that it requires watering as frequently as every week, you may want to consider up-potting your plant as it may have outgrown the container. If the leaves of your ivy start to dry up and get crispy, this is an indication of overwatering. If your ivy is underwatered, it will indicate this by dropping leaves that appear to be perfectly healthy. Get more tips on how to water your houseplants today!
Soil and Potting Requirements for Ivy Houseplants
Your ivy will grow fine in an all-purpose potting soil, though soil that has been amended to drain well can benefit the plant especially if you tend to overwater your houseplants. Plant your ivy in a container that is 1-2 inches wider in diameter than the roots of your plant. This will give it enough room to grow without giving it too much space. A pot that is too large can easily lead to root rot, as the soil will not be able to dry out quickly enough to maintain the right growing environment. Planting in terra cotta pots will lead to the soil drying out quicker, as the clay absorbs some water. Always be sure to use a container with drainage holes to help guard against overwatering!
Fertilizing Requirements for Ivy Houseplants
Ivy houseplants will benefit from a houseplant fertilizer that is high in nitrogen since this is the component of fertilizers that contributes most to foliage growth. All fertilizers have an N-P-K value (nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium), so look for a fertilizer that has a high N-value. Fertilize once per month during the growing season. Fertilizing too much or throughout the winter when the plant is not growing nearly as quickly can result in burn damage to the roots of the plant.
Temperature and Humidity Requirements for Ivy Houseplants
Your ivy houseplant isn't going to be overly particular with temperature and humidity, but it is ideal to keep its growing environment between 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. They will also benefit from periodic misting or a humidifier nearby if you really want to love on your plant. Especially during the winter when the air is extra dry, a little extra added humidity won't hurt! Be aware of placing your plant near air vents in your home or drafty windows. Even though your thermostat may read 72 degrees in the winter, the air near windows is always colder and could cause the health of your ivy houseplant to decline.
Growing and Caring for Ivy Houseplants Indoors
If you have any more questions on how to care for ivy houseplants, feel free to come into the Garden Center, submit a contact form, or give us a call! We are always happy to help. And if you feel ready to adopt an ivy plant of your own, check out ivy plants in our online store or shop with us in person for full access to all our plants.