How to root ivy cuttings

Written by kim joyce
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How to root ivy cuttings
Ivy is a useful plant for covering up ugly fences or walls. (graphia76/iStock/Getty Images)

Ivy is a vigorous, fast-growing evergreen vine that works well as high garden groundcover, as a topiary or container plant and even as an easy-care houseplant due to its attractive leaves and graceful form. Ivy is easy to root from tip cuttings, or the young, growing tips of established plants. English ivy varieties can successfully be rooted in a glass or jar of tap water. Other ivies are best rooted in soil-free potting mix.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Established ivy plants
  • Clipping container filled with water
  • Sharp garden scissors
  • Clean glasses or jars
  • Tap water
  • Large plant flat or small rooting pots
  • Clean (never used) soil-free potting mix
  • Large clear plastic bags

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Fill glasses or jars with water until each is almost full. Place jars in your potting area or kitchen -- a convenient work area where they can be left undisturbed while cuttings form roots.

  2. 2

    Clip young growing tips from healthy ivy plants, placing cuttings immediately in water to prevent air from getting into stems.

  3. 3

    Snip cuttings again, if needed, so each is 7.5 to 15 cm long with three or four nodes, or points along the stem where leaves attach.

  4. 4

    Pinch off the bottom two or three leaves from each cutting -- removing leaves right at the stem -- and immediately place them in rooting jars, making sure water covers the rooting nodes. Place multiple cuttings in each rooting jar, but not so many that it will be impossible to untangle plant roots when it's time to plant individual cuttings.

  5. 5

    Place rooting jars near a window in bright but indirect light. Check water levels every few days, and replenish water as it evaporates. Roots should be developed and ivy plants ready to pot up in four to six weeks.

  1. 1

    Clip young growing tips from healthy ivy plants, placing cuttings immediately in water to prevent air from getting into stems.

  2. 2

    Snip cuttings again, if needed, so each is 3 to 6 inches long with 3 or 4 nodes, or points along the stem where leaves attach.

  3. 3

    Pinch off the bottom two or three leaves from each cutting--removing leaves right at the stem--then stick each cutting into a flat or pot of clean, thoroughly moistened potting mix, making sure the leaf nodes--where new roots will start--are completely covered.

  4. 4

    Place the rooting flats or pots in a warm, shady location--inside a plastic bag, to retain moisture and warmth like a greenhouse. Open the bag from time to time so humidity doesn't reach 100 per cent, which can cause cuttings to rot.

  5. 5

    Remove the plastic bag "greenhouse" altogether after several weeks. Water the potting mix only when the surface dries out.

Tips and warnings

  • Once well started, young ivy plants can be grown in any rich houseplant potting mix in almost any type of well-drained container, or hardened off and transplanted outdoors.

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