English Ivy is a versatile and aesthetically pleasing plant that can thrive both indoors and outdoors. However, one of the common issues with English Ivy is its tendency to grow leggy. While leggy growth is not a problem in itself, it can be frustrating for those who desire a fuller, more lush-looking plant.
Here’s how to make an English ivy plant fuller:
- Ensure the English ivy receives adequate sunlight.
- Trim the plant periodically.
- Provide it with a humid environment.
- Water as needed.
- Use the correct type of soil.
- Fertilize your ivy.
- Take cuttings and add them to the pot.
If you’re wondering how to make your English ivy plant fuller, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll explore practical steps to ensure your English ivy attains the full and vibrant appearance you desire.
1. Ensure the English Ivy Receives Adequate Sunlight
One of the most critical aspects of plant care is sunlight, as plants can’t thrive without it. With English ivy, providing the right level of sunlight is essential, especially if you want the plant to grow fuller. Too little sunlight will cause the ivy to grow “leggy,” while too much direct sunlight will scorch the leaves.
English ivy needs sufficient bright, indirect sunlight for ideal growth. This plant can survive in low light conditions, but it won’t grow as fast or develop fuller foliage as in bright light conditions.
If you’re struggling to find an area that has bright, indirect sunlight, consider the following tips:
Find an East-Facing Window
East-facing windows will have gentle morning sunlight for your plant, while west or south-facing windows will have intense, bright sunlight. If you have an east-facing window, you can place your plant next to it.
On the other hand, keep it 4-8 feet (1.2-2.4 m) away from bright western or southern windows. Any further away will be more low-light, and any closer will give your plant too much sunlight. It’s also best to ensure the light isn’t directly hitting your plant, even from such a distance.
Hang a Sheer Curtain
You should hang a sheer curtain over a west or south-facing window. An eastern window may also need a curtain during the peak of summer or on hot and dry days. A sheer curtain will block the direct sunlight and give your plant the indirect sunlight it needs.
2. Trim the Plant Periodically
Trimming your English ivy now and then is a good idea to promote fuller growth. Not only will trimming shape your ivy (which also makes it look a bit fuller), but also encourages the plant to grow more stems, leading to a fuller-looking ivy plant.
If you want to trim your ivy, consider these helpful tips:
Tailor Your Pruning Strategy to Your Needs
If you’re growing your ivy outdoors, it might not need to be as full or bushy as you think, as growing longer stems is ideal in this case. If you’re growing your English ivy indoors, shaping it and making it fuller is best due to the limited space.
Trim Your Plant in the Spring
It’s always best to cut your English ivy just before the growing season so that it can quickly recover and grow new shoots. Avoid pruning your ivy in the winter—especially those grown outdoors—because they might suffer winter injury.
Make Straight Cuts
When trimming ivy, be sure to make a straight cut just above a leaf. This cut will encourage new growth on the stem.
Utilize Sterilized Pruning Shears
It’s best to use sterile pruning shears or scissors over pinching. Pinching is often perfectly acceptable, but scissors guarantee a clean cut on the stem.
Leave Room for Regrowth
When trimming, leave at least 18 inches (46 cm) of the stem. Otherwise, the stem may not regrow.
3. Provide It With a Humid Environment
Ivy thrives in moderate humidity of about 40%. So, if you want your plant to be fuller, it’s ideal to provide it with the environment it needs to grow healthy. It’s crucial to provide a more humid climate if you’re growing your ivy indoors. Additionally, keep ivy at a temperature around 50-70 °F (10-21 °C).
If you’re growing your English ivy indoors, consider these tips for increasing the humidity of the plant:
Set Up a Pebble Tray Below the Plant
The water on the pebble tray will gradually evaporate and raise the humidity around your plant. Not only does it increase the humidity for plants that need it, but this tray also comes with decorative rocks, which add a beautiful accent to your home.
Group Your Ivy With Other Plants
Grouping plants together often increases the humidity levels around them, which is necessary for your ivy’s growth and development. Choose plants that share the same humidity and light requirements as your ivy, such as snake plants and philodendrons.
Consider Using a Humidifier
Although humidifiers aren’t the most cost-effective option to put near your plant, they offer many benefits, including keeping your ivy in a nice, humid environment.
4. Water as Needed
Along with sunlight, water is an essential part of plant care. With English ivy, it’s important to water it only as needed, as too much or too little water can stunt the plant’s growth.
If you want your ivy to grow as full or bushy as possible, only water it when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry. Additionally, when you water it, ensure you water the plant thoroughly until the excess flows out of the drainage holes.
5. Use the Correct Type of Soil
The soil you use for a plant is essential to its growth and development. Some plants require more or fewer nutrients than others, which is why there are so many different types of soil, and why it’s essential to use the one right for your plant.
English ivy requires well-draining soil. This requirement is essential because ivy needs proper drainage to avoid root rot.
Using loam soil for outdoor ivies is ideal. Loam soil includes various particles, such as clay, silt, and sand. This soil drains well and contains all the nutrients necessary for English ivy.
On the other hand, for potted or indoor English ivies, the potting mix should contain equal parts loam, compost, perlite, and coco coir for an excellent balance of organic matter content, drainage, and moisture retention.
6. Fertilize Your Ivy
While fertilizing your ivy isn’t always necessary, it does help if you don’t think your English ivy is growing as it should or if you want to give it a little boost to grow more.
If you’re trying to give your ivy a fuller appearance, consider giving it a half-strength 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer, such as the EZ-gro 20 20 20 Fertilizer on Amazon.com. This liquid fertilizer contains various essential micronutrients and functions as an all-purpose fertilizer, which will help your ivy grow more robust and fuller.
Fertilization Frequency and Timing
You should fertilize English ivy 1-2 times a month in the spring until summer. Fertilizing every 2-4 weeks during these seasons will encourage better, faster growth in the plant. However, it’s essential to provide the ivy with the proper environmental conditions for the fertilizer to achieve optimal results.
7. Take Cuttings and Add Them to the Pot
Lastly, if you want your English ivy plant to be fuller, consider taking cuttings from the plant and adding them to the pot that holds your ivy. Propagating English ivy is simple, and repotting it is even simpler! If your main goal is to make your ivy fuller, this is a perfect way.
Follow these steps to propagate your ivy using cuttings:
- Collect your materials. To make cuttings and propagate them, you’ll need pruning scissors and a water container.
- Use the scissors to cut off 4 to 5-inch (10-12.7 cm) shoots.
- Remove any leaves at the bottom of the cuttings. When propagating the cuttings, you should ensure that you don’t submerge any leaves in the water. Ensure nodes are left on the stem, or create your own nodes.
- Place the cuttings in a water container. Again, you’ll want to ensure that you submerge only the stem in the water.
- Place the container in an area with bright, indirect sunlight. After around five weeks, you’ll start to notice root growth.
- Once the roots reach around 2 inches (5 cm) in length, transplant the cuttings into the soil, strategically arranging them around the original English ivy plant. As these cuttings grow, your ivy will achieve a fuller appearance.
English ivy plants are prone to growing long and leggy, but for those who want the plant to be fuller, this can pose a challenge. Luckily, there are many ways you can promote fuller growth in your English ivy plant.
It’s essential to provide the plant’s ideal environment and growing conditions, including adequate sunlight, humidity, and water. Using the correct soil type, trimming, and fertilizing are also essential.
However, the best way to make an English ivy fuller is to take cuttings from the plant and add them to the same pot.