Several types of ivy species can be grown indoors. Plant ivy in pots or in hanging baskets so that its foliage creates trailing vines that hang over the edge of the container. You also can train some species to climb up a vertical structure. Most indoor ivies prefer bright but indirect sunlight. Use artificial light or place plants near windows that face north, east or west. Water ivies well approximately once a week. Do not overwater, however, or the roots will rot, causing plant death. A good test is sticking your finger half an inch into the soil. If the soil is dry, the plant is ready to be watered again.
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Over 100 varieties of English ivy (Hedera helix) exist. Indoors, it is often grown in a hanging pot so that its foliage can drape over the edge of the container. It also can be trained as a climber to weave its foliage around a moss stick or trellis, says Guide to Houseplants. According to Care 2 Make a Difference, English ivy is one of the top ten houseplants for removing pollutants from the air and maintaining indoor air quality. Make sure to prevent young children and pets from consuming its leaves and berries as they are toxic and cause irritation to the throat. Examples of English ivy varieties are Gold Heart, which has heart-shaped green leaves with yellow centres and pink stems; Kolibri, which has silver and green leaves with small spots of emerald; and Caecilia, with frilled, variegated green and grey leaves lined with white borders.
Algerian ivy (Hedera canariensis), also called Canary Island ivy, is often planted in hanging baskets and prefers partially shaded environments. It grows quite quickly to produce draping vines. Algerian ivy leaves are heart-shaped, shiny and variegated. Leaves are either grey or green surrounded by a white border. Their leaves and berries also are toxic when ingested.
Persian ivy (Hedera colchica) also is best planted in a hanging basket. But, like other indoor ivies, if you choose to plant it in a pot, you can prune its foliage to keep its spread manageable. Persian ivies grow quickly and produce thick, leathery leaves. The Sulphur Heart variety of Persian ivy has heart-shaped light green leaves. The interior of the leaves have a yellow centre and their veins are outlined with white.
Japanese ivy (Hedera rhombea) grows quickly and if you set up a trellis, its stems will twine around the structure. Its leaves are triangular and have a deep green colour bordered by a white or grey outline. This type of ivy is adaptable to most growing conditions.
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- Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Indoor Ivy
- The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension: Gardening in Containers Using Tropical Plants
- Guide to Houseplants: English Ivy Plant Care
- Care 2 Make a Difference: Top 10 Houseplants for Cleaner Air
- U.S. Army Medical Department: Toxic Plant Index