Hedera Helix Common Ivy

     When it comes to choosing foliage plants for the house hedera helix (ivy) deserves a mention even if it is more commonly associated with the garden.

     Ideally ivies need a cool environment which is brightly lit without any strong summer sunshine.  So, our old favourite for cool-growing lovers, the enclosed cool porch or conservatory, comes into its own again.  Ivies will be quite happy in a cold greenhouse over winter as well. Moving your plants into the garden for the summer will be beneficial but if they become permanent fixtures in your porch etc. mist-spray the foliage regularly and keep them well watered.

     Being natural creepers, ivies will need some form of support if you wish to train them to grow vertically.   As they produce aerial roots along their stems they will also self-cling if you want to clothe a plain brick wall for example. Otherwise allow them to trail from a pot on a shelf or grow them in a hanging basket.

     There are so many different varieties available now with varying degrees of variegation and colour.  Two of my particular favourites are Hedera helix mint colibri and H. helix goldchild.

     Ivy is a useful plant for bowl work both as an upright plant on a cane at the back of an arrangement or as a trailer at the front.  Ivy will thrive for a reasonable amount of time in a warm room, at least until the arrangement is ready for splitting up into individual plants.

     One variety of ivy that does not have any clinging aerial roots is H.helix canariensis.

(Canary Island Ivy).  The leaves are comparatively larger than most other ivies with a creamy yellow edging to the darker green centre. 

     If your ivy becomes straggly or bare towards the base a good pruning back will help to encourage new fresh growths.