Indoor ivy - a classic vertical gardening
The perfect and strict beauty of ivy and its talents to mask and decorate are equally manifested both when grown in rooms and in open soil. Ivy has not gone out of fashion for the third millennium. And it is no coincidence, because few of the plants can compete with their ability to grow in modest lighting. Demanding really minimal care, ivy is able to surprise with the possibilities of use in landscaping and the ability to withstand careless care. Tenacious, fast growing and easily restrained, ivy has remained the universal favorite of vertical gardening of rooms for many decades.
Representing the family Aralievs (Araliaceae) ivy is one of the most recognizable and “ancient” cultivated plants. It belongs to the class of winding vines, capable of clinging to any support, including walls, thanks to the accessory roots in leaf nodes.
Evergreen shrubs with creeping shoots in nature are able to stretch up to 30 m in length. In rooms, the maximum shoot length is limited to 3 meters and is completely dependent on the formation. Allowing you to create stunning green "carpets", cascades and walls, thin and flexible shoots of ivy flaunt next leaves on graceful petioles.
Nondescript light, rhomboid leaves on flowering shoots in rooms are rarely noticeable, but the beauty of leafy non-fruiting branches is difficult to miss. The whole edge of rhomboid-heart-shaped leaves is less common than triangular and pentagonal variants. Flaunting with rich dark colors, often decorated with watercolor tints or colorful patterns, curly ivy leaves are some of the most elegant among the vines. The leathery surface is underlined by a glossy sheen and beautiful veins.
Indoor ivy rarely blooms. The yellowish-green umbrellas of the flowers are almost invisible, as are the black berry-like fruits ripening after flowering.
Types of indoor ivy
Indoor ivy, in fact, is no different from garden ivies; for the potted format, the same species are used as for garden culture. Only forms and varieties bred specifically for decorating the interior remain favorites in terms of compactness, color variability, and adaptation to room conditions.
Ivy creeping, or Ivy ordinary (Hedera helix) - a species considered to be typical, found in rooms most often. He became famous for his curly leaves, which differ in varieties in size and shape. Miniature varieties (‘Eva ’, ‘Dwarf ’ and so forth).
But hybrids with original leaves remain universal favorites:
- variety with a long central tooth ‘Mona Lisa ’,
- lance-like trident ‘Green Ripple ’,
- watercolor whitish ‘Glacier ’,
- curly-haired ‘Ivalace ’ and etc.
Flaunting with reddish shoots and three-lobed leaves canary ivy (Hedera canariensis) and whole leaf, fragrant Colchis ivy (Hedera colchica) - two large-leaved species that are much less common. They are represented mainly by variegate forms and varieties.
Growing conditions for indoor ivy
Ivy does not lose the love of coolness and shading in rooms, but, nevertheless, it adapts perfectly to other conditions. The plant provides ample opportunities for interior design away from windows. The degree of deviation from ideal conditions is determined experimentally: ivy itself always signals when it is extremely uncomfortable.
Lighting and placement
Ideal for ivy in a room format is soft diffused lighting or any partial shade. Strong shading will not suit him, the shoots will begin to stretch, and the leaves will turn pale, but in general, the place is easy to find. It is better to adapt to changing the place of the plant gradually, in several stages, because ivy does not welcome sharp changes in lighting. Variegated varieties are more photophilous, but they must be protected from direct sunlight.
Temperature and ventilation
Ivy does not like heat and cold: plants need to be protected from temperature drops below 12 degrees. During spring and summer, any room temperature is suitable. A cool wintering (about 15 degrees) is preferred, but not required. Too high temperatures both in summer and in winter are better compensated by an increase in air humidity.
In the warmer months, ivy prefers to be outdoors. The plant is not afraid of drafts, adoring airing. But the proximity of heating appliances is best avoided.
Ivy Care at Home
To satisfy the moisture loving nature of ivies is the main task. Despite the ability to recover quickly and endure short and rare droughts, ivy requires regular watering.
Watering and humidity
The average constant humidity of the substrate during active growth and when kept warm is ideal for ivy. It is watered so that the soil always remains stably moist, but without stagnation of water in the pan and acidification of the substrate. In winter, watering is reduced, allowing to dry up to a third of the soil in pots.
Ivy is watered only with warm and soft water.
High humidity is preferable, but humidification measures are mandatory only in the heat and during a warm winter. It is enough to carry out regular spraying or install temporary humidifiers. This plant loves soulfulness.
Fertilizing and fertilizer composition
Excess fertilizer for ivy is unacceptable. They are fed only in spring and summer, 1 time in 2-3 weeks, with a special fertilizer for decorative and deciduous plants, reducing the dose recommended by the manufacturer by 2 times.
Trimming and shaping ivy
Despite its status as a fast-growing vine, ivy remains an easily controlled plant. You can form bushes as you like, shortening the lashes, removing excess shoots, pinching the tops, cutting the entire plant to short stumps for rejuvenation or allowing the plant to stretch freely for several meters. The best time for trimming indoor ivy is spring, but you can also clean and shorten it throughout the active growth phase.
Ivy can be guided by any support - both figures, and walls or trellises, tied with a soft twine to guide growth.
Transplant, containers and substrate
Ivy is transplanted in early spring, in March-April. Young plants transship annually, adults - when filling with the roots of the entire substrate. Ivy can be planted in compositions with other vines and indoor plants.
For ivy, any universal slightly acidic substrate is suitable, including a mixture of equal parts of sand, leafy soil and peat.
For ivy, do not choose too deep containers. Pots with a diameter greater than the height and not too spacious are preferred - only a few centimeters more than the volume of the rhizome.
Ivy is transshipped, controlling the deepening: the plant should remain at the same level as in the previous container. At the bottom of the pots must lay a high layer of drainage (from 5 cm).
Diseases, pests and problems in ivy cultivation
In rooms, ivy often suffers from too much shading, cold, heat and waterlogging, reacting to changes in leaves, drying out, pallor of tone than from pests. With a strong infection of the collection, scabbards and spider mites are quickly thrown onto it, it is better to deal with them immediately with insecticides.
Bushes in strong and old plants can be divided into several parts when transplanted. Ivy is also easily rooted by layering: it is enough to fix the shoots with a bracket in the soil in a separate pot, lightly sprinkle knots with aerial roots, take care of watering and after a few months the plants can be separated as independent.
Ivy is easily propagated by cuttings. You can root both the tops and segments of stems with the beginnings of aerial roots, provided that there is at least a pair of leaves (standard length is 10-14 cm). Spring-summer cuttings are better rooted, but you can cut them throughout the year.
Rooting in water will also succeed, but it is preferable to root in the soil, immediately in the container in which they plan to grow the plant, in groups of 3-5 cuttings to obtain more lush bushes. Covering the cuttings with a cap is not necessary, but desirable. On average, rooting takes a little more than 1 month.