Ivy from the Hedera genus is likely the most recognized indoor tropical plant. Almost everyone has owned one of the dozens of varieties of this elegant plant. It is a very common tropical office plant and a favorite of house plant enthusiasts everywhere. Its popularity is likely owed to its versatility. It is tolerant of a fairly wide range of environmental conditions. It is also available in many forms: hanging baskets, climbing on trellis, shaped into topiaries, just to name a few. It is commonly used in mixed tropical arrangements, adding a delicate contrast to larger feature plants. The most common species, Hedera helix or English ivy has many cultivars, each with leaves having unique colors, patterns and shapes. The leaves may be solid green or green with yellow or white blotches. The leaves are smaller than the related species Algerian ivy. One variety of Hedera helix, the Needlepoint Ivy has very tiny, long delicate green leaves. The large leaf Algerian ivy may also have variegated leaves with white or yellow. A newer variety called Neon has leaves that are a very bright, light green. Don’t have enough light for ivy? Consider an artificial ivy. High quality artificial ivy are available.
All varieties of indoor ivy prefer somewhat bright but indirect light. They will adapt to fairly low light levels, but may not be as full. They do not tolerate direct sun and intense heat. These conditions will encourage spider mites which can quickly devastate the plant. If you see evidence of this pest, such as fine webs on the leaves, move the plant to a less bright location and wipe the leaves thoroughly with a damp cloth. Spider mites will also be a problem if ivy becomes too dry; keep the soil evenly moist at all times but do not over water. Ivy prefers a light, porous soil with good drainage. Regular fertilizing will keep the roots strong and the leaves green.