Growing English Ivy from a Cutting

29 January 2016

As many of you know, both in real life and through my blog, I'm a self-proclaimed plant enthusiast. My home is filled with indoor plants, and I've been longing to add English ivy to my collection. I envision it cascading down an indoor climbing wall, transforming it into living art – which is how I see all my plants.

Frustratingly, my local nursery hasn't stocked any ivy lately. Then it dawned on me – I have a wealth of ivy in my very own courtyard! So, I embarked on a journey to learn how to propagate it. 

Here's a step-by-step guide on growing your own English ivy from a cutting.

 1. Locate Ivy & Snip a Cutting

I have an abundance of ivy covering the back wall of my courtyard, making this step a breeze. Locate a reasonably long piece with new growth, featuring plenty of baby tendrils. You'll notice tiny, triangular folds along the ivy stem, approximately every inch or so. 

Snip your cutting just above one of these folds to ensure a high-quality cutting. Aim for a lengthy piece, which can later be divided into smaller sections for potting.

2. Choose Your Rooting Method

There are two methods to root your ivy cutting – in water or soil. I tried both, each with its pros and cons.

Water rooting allows you to observe root development, and cuttings can survive in water for a considerable time. However, transplanting the cutting into soil later is more challenging, and the survival rate is lower compared to soil rooting. With soil rooting, it's harder to determine when the ivy starts to root, and it requires more attention. On the plus side, it's easier to repot the cutting later.

2A. Growing Ivy in Soil

Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the cutting, ensuring the portion you'll bury is leaf-free. Prepare a small pot with a sand/soil mixture. To increase your chances of success, plant at least three ivy cuttings.

Create a deep hole for planting using a pencil. Purchase cutting powder, a hormone that promotes rooting, from a plant or hardware store. Follow the package instructions, which may vary slightly. For my product, I dipped the stem into water, and then into the rooting powder before planting it in the hole. Firmly pat the soil around the cutting. Repeat for all cuttings.

Place the pot in a warm, shaded spot, and keep the soil moist. It can take 3-6 weeks for your ivy to root. Don't lose hope! Softer stems root more quickly, while woody stems take longer. For a greenhouse effect, place a plastic bag around the pot to maintain a healthy atmosphere.

2B. Growing Ivy in Water

Like with soil rooting, remove leaves from the bottom half of the cutting. Fill a clear glass with lukewarm, unchlorinated water – bottled water or water from a stream or well is ideal.

Place the ivy cutting in the glass of water and position it in a warm, sunny spot. Wait patiently – you'll be able to see when roots start to develop.

I hope this post has inspired you to grow your own English ivy from a cutting! I'm excited to watch my ivy flourish and share its progress with you. 

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

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