Ivy Help

houseplantlover86(6)March 6, 2013

Hey everyone,

It has been a long time since I have posted! I am glad to be back!

I have a problem with my English Ivy. I have had the plant since October 2008. Long story short, I am currently in transition with moving houses. Against my better judgment I have been keeping the Ivy in the basement (where I am living currently--very little sun), so I know it's not thriving like it could be in better sunlight.

I had a previous problem with spider mites, so my Mom and I sprayed it with some soapy water, and after 2 or 3 applications, it seemed to clear up the mites. I then put it in the basemment for several months where it didn't do very well. As of tonight, the Ivy is moved to the upstairs where it will get more sunlight.

My main problem is this: as seen in the photograph, there is some type of bug problem feeding on the newest shoot - the photo clerly shows them, and they are visible with the naked eye. They are too large to be spider mites, I am thinking they may be some type of scale? They were not moving from their spot, and they appeared to have legs upon looking closely, Please help me in regards to removing them!

Thank you!

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plantomaniac08(8)

Those look like aphids to me.

Planto

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:46PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

You should be able to rinse those off with water. If not, use a cotton swab or cotton ball moistened with alcohol to dab at them, which should remove and kill them at the same time. Hopefully the proper light will help your plant regain its' health.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 9:28AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes, aphids. Hold the pot sideways in the sink and sloosh them off under the tap using your fingers to help them along.

I am interested in your 'English Ivy'. Are you sure that's the correct id? I've not seen one with hairy stems and the leaves appear to be trifoliate. Can you show us the whole plant?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 1:32PM
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houseplantlover86(6)

Thank you for the information. I rinsed the plant off and it seemed to dislodge them. Then the next day one of the bugs had reappeared. As of today there is one remaining. I will rinse it again until they are all gone? I'm guessing its a matter of rinse and repeat

Here is a pic of the whole plant. You can see it doesn't have many tendrils, as it did when it was doing better. I actually cut them back 2 summers ago in order to dry the leaves and bottle them. The leaves regrew healthy as ever, and then the spider mites attacked! Now with the aphids, this one has indeed been through the wringer!But I love it and don't want to see it go!

I am almost positive the plant is a hedera helix, or common ivy. Does the picture help?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 4:05PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

I,ve had major problems with spider mites on english ivies. they are easy to grow but that makes things more complicated

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:29PM
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plantomaniac08(8)

houseplantlover86,
That looks like an ivy to me. I believe it will be a matter of "rinse and repeat" until the aphids are gone. I don't know about their breeding cycle (as if their larvae? are too small to see, etc...) I think of the pests, they are easier to get rid of than say, scale. Just keep rinsing them off as you find more, I doubt you'll find that many more (if any at all) if you've gotten rid of all but the one.

Planto

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 6:46PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Yes, now I can see the whole thing it is certainly Hedera helix, but looks like a cultivar rather than the typical wild plant. Just looked a bit weird close up. The leaves are so deeply lobed as to be almost trifoliate. I'm intrigued as to what you do with bottled dried ivy leaves. Just as a curiosity I saw a flock of sheep browsing on Hedera helix yesterday. Climbing up banks and stretching up on tree trunks to get at it. Seemed to be loving it.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:37PM
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houseplantlover86(6)

Planto, I will keep rinsing until the aphids are all gone. I am glad they are easy to get rid of ! Thank you.

flora, I am a pagan, so I like to observe the changing of the seasons and such. We have an herb cabinet full of everything: mugwort, mint, lemon balm, lavender, patchouli, catnip, rose petals, wormwood, pine leaves, orange peel etc, Also there is dried ivy leaves, used for burning as incense, or in workings having to do with protection or resilience. It is also used to treat respiratory
ailments like as an expectorant.

That's interesting to hear about the sheep! How funny!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Aphids can be very tricky little beasts. The vast majority of them result from a live birth from their mothers. There are no fathers. Each aphid is capable of bearing several aphids a day for about a month or so. Each of the youngsters (all female) will be bearing their own within a week to ten days. So....that one measly aphid can result in a major infestation in a matter of days! This type of reproduction is called parthenogenesis, by the way. Not rare in the insect world but aphids win the prize for being the best at it.

It's only at the very end of the growing season, with winter approaching, that some male aphids are birthed. They proceed to mate with the females and eggs can be produced the old fashioned way. Eggs are how aphids are able to overwinter in cold climates. There are some species of aphids, however, that never produce males....at least none that have ever been discovered.

So, we have to be vigilant about controlling aphids on our house plants. Without the benefit of the usual parasites and predators of aphids, we are the only means of control. Squishing does a good job.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 5:45AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

houseplantlover86 - sounds as if you'de feel at home over on the Herbs Forum too. Fatamorgana on there has a great blog on herbs and utilising plants.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 2:12PM
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