Growing English Ivy from a Cutting

29 January 2016

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I'm a bit of a plant nut. Well, for anyone who only knows me through my blog, you probably know that too. I have a whole bunch of indoor plants and I really want to add ivy to that list. I would love to grow it on a bit of an indoor kind of climbing wall type deal. Like living art, which is kind of what I think all my plants are.

 So anyway, I have been waiting for some ivy to come into stock at my local plant place, but no such luck as of yet. Then I realised, wait a second! I have a whole bunch of ivy at my home! Now I've just got to learn how to propagate it.

So here are all the steps to growing your own ivy from a cutting.

 1. Find Some Ivy & Cut A Piece
Now I have a lot of ivy growing over the back wall of my home's courtyard. So that means the first part was taken care of. You'll want to find a reasonably long piece that's poking out, and I chose a relatively new growth, which had a lot of little baby tendrils at the end.

If you look closely at the ivy stem, you'll notice every inch, or so there will be a tiny triangle-like fold. You will want to snip off your piece just above this for a good quality cutting. Cut off quite a long bit, one you can snip into smaller pieces for potting.

2. Decide How You Want to Root Your Cutting 
There are two different ways to start growing your little piece of ivy. I've done both ways today. There are pros and cons to both. You can plant the ivy in the soil or pop it into water.

If you put your cutting in a jar of water, you will be able to see when the roots start to form, and it can usually survive quite a while like this. But it will be harder to transplant the cutting into the soil once you do it this way and the survival rate is a lot lower than the alternative, which is planting the cutting in the soil. Doing this you can't tell when the ivy has started to root, and it requires a lot of tending to. But will be a lot easier to repot in the end!

3. Growing Ivy in Soil
Trim the leaves off the bottom half of the ivy cutting, so that the part that you want to bury doesn't have any leaves on it. Get out your little pot of a sand/soil mix. It's recommended to plant at least 3 pieces of ivy, to have the best chance of one growing.

Poke a pencil into the soil to leave a deep hole for planting. Now you will need some cutting powder, which is a hormone that helps cuttings sprout. I got mine from my local plant/hardware store for about $5.00. Anywhere that stocks gardening equipment and plants should have some.

Follow the instructions on the packaging, all may be slightly different. In mine, I dipped the stem I was burying into some water and then into the rooting powder. Then I popped the ivy into the hole and patted it down so it was properly buried. I did this for all three pieces!

The pot should be kept moist and in a warm shady position. It can take from 3-6 weeks for your ivy to finally start rooting. Don't give up! It's a lot easier to grow them if you choose a softer stem, some of my pieces had quite a hardened and woody stem, so they will take longer to root.

You can also place a plastic bag around the pot to give the cuttings more of a greenhouse atmosphere, to help keep them healthy.

4. Growing Ivy in Water
Trim the leaves off the bottom half of the ivy again like you did with the first lot. Fill a clear glass with lukewarm unchlorinated water. The best is bottled water, or water from a stream or well if you can find one.

Pop your ivy cutting in the glass of water and place it in a warm sunny position, then wait! You will be able to see when it starts rooting.

I hope you've enjoyed this post and now feel like you can grow some Ivy from a cutting too! I can't wait to see the progress of my little ivy over time. 

I'll let you know!

Have you ever grown a plant from a cutting? Ivy or anything really? How did you go?

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