Why does my ivy keep dying?

shuredkiteOctober 3, 2010

I love ivy and have always thought that it was suppose to be easy to grow, but every time that I get one within a very few weeks it is brown, dry and dead. I don't under-water it or, I think, over-water it.

I bought a really nice one that was on my deck all Summer and it has thrived through a horrible heat wave that pretty much killed every other plant that I had. It is now time to bring it indoors since the season is changing and I just know that this beautiful ivy is going to die soon and I don't know how to save it. Any ideas.

(It is a light-ish green-leafed ivy with varigated stripes.)

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Are we talking English Ivy here?

Ivies don't seem destined to be indoor plants. You can join a long long list of people who have very bad experiences with this plant....once it crosses the threshold from outdoors to in. English Ivy is the only plant I've ever had to die from spider mites, by the way. DIE from spider mites, lol! If someone were to knock on my front door and give me one of these plants, I'd say thank you, then walk it straight out to the back door.

If your plant is one of the many forms of English Ivy, then you can probably keep it outside all winter with a little bit of protection from the very coldest temperatures. It is, after all, an outdoor ornamental vine in many parts of the country, including the cold Northeast.

Verify that it's a type of Hedera helix (English Ivy) and not some other vine that you are calling an ivy.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 3:30PM
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Kite, Rhizo's right about ivy's being difficult to grow indoors.

Rhizo, before I continue, I have a question for you. Although Hedera Helix is hardy, are variegated types as hardy? English and Bostons even thrive here in IL, but I've never seen any variegated types, not in this part of IL..Boston grows on brick, but don't know if they redden naturally or from sun and chilly air. What do you think?

Kite, did you want to grow outdoors or try indoors?
Do you have a cool room? Enclosed porch, etc. The cooler the better.
Variegated Ivy is a beautiful plant, especially types with deep variegation. But Variegated need more sun than strickly green. Low light causes spindly growth despite color.

If you place your ivy in a bright window, w/cooler temps, 'away from gas heat,' ventilation, and spray the leaves daily, it should do fine.
If the room is hot, dry and stuffy, Spider Mites will attack.
In winter, water less. Don't keep soil constantly wet, it needs to dry between drinks, especially if your winters are always gray.
I withhold fertilizer during winter, but depending where you are in Tn, if days have more sun than clouds, 1/4-1/2 strength will suffice.

Is your ivy hanging or staked? Toni

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 7:16PM
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Thank you both. I found the little plastic tab that was stuck into the pot when I bought it and it is called a Hedera Ivy.

Can that be kept alive inside or would it be best to try to keep it outside and bring it in only if it's going to be a really wicked night?

The ivy is currently just in an 8" pot and isn't staked or in a hanging pot.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Shuredkite, Hedera is the ivy Rhizo was talking about. Hedera's can be grown out or indoors, but if kept in the house, follow my suggestions.

It just goes to show, since Hedera is cold-hardy, when grown indoors they need a cool spot, especially once heat is turned on. It's similar to growing a Petunia or Zennia in the house, well, somewhat easier..but good light, fresh air, and cool temps is all it needs.

What's the coldest it gets there?
Here in IL, outdoors, ivy dies back in winter. Leaves dry up and die back, but renews growth in early spring. I don't know how ivy responds outdoors in Tn, especially container grown.

Did you buy the ivy to grow in your home? Toni

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 10:04PM
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I bought it to put into the corner of a large outdoor container back in April. I wanted it to spill over the side. Once every other plant in the pot had run it's course I replanted it by itself and left it outside.

In the Winter here it can get into the single digits for a few days at a time.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2010 at 11:13PM
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Then perhaps you can leave it outside until temps drop below 45F.
While indoors, carry to the sink and hose foliage. But, don't set outside afterwards, especially if it's cold.

Keeping inside a few days will give you a chance to admire your ivy.
Perhaps you should put the pot in a hanging basket???

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 12:23AM
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I live in Ohio and we had a particularly bad winter. I have English ivy in a contained bed near my front door. For the first time in 16 years, it appears to be dead, even though I see some green peeking out around the edges. Will it come back? Should I pull all the dead leaves out?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 5:18PM
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