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Propagating English Ivy: A Guide to an Elegant Climber

Are you familiar with the beautiful green vines that are often seen climbing along walls and spilling over balconies? Then you’ve seen English ivy at its finest! This lovely plant is not only a pleasure to view, it’s easy to multiply, as well.

Interested in learning how to propagate English ivy plants? Continue reading to find out how!

propagating english ivy

Why Propagate English Ivy?

English ivy, or Hedera helix, can be expensive to purchase. If you’re hoping to have several pots of English ivy around your house or office, it could end up becoming a costly hobby to maintain.

However, a single vine can be cut and turned into a dozen new plants with little effort. Once you begin propagating your English Ivy, you’ll never have a need to purchase Ivy again.

Overall, it’s an easy process that simply takes some time and care, along with just a few necessary supplies.

English ivy is decorative and beautiful as it climbs walls, grows over balconies, or falls from hanging planters. And it can help regulate indoor temperatures in the space where it grows.

There are two types of English ivy–green ivy and Variegated ivy. Both are propagated in the same way, so regardless of which you choose to purchase, you can easily propagate it at any time.

The ease of propagating English ivy makes it a great choice for beginner gardeners or for experienced gardeners alike.

Supplies Needed to Propagate English Ivy

Propagating and growing common ivy in the greenhouse

There are surprisingly few items needed to propagate your English ivy. As long as you have a sharp pair of gardening shears or knives, a jar or container in which to grow it, and the English ivy itself, you’re all set!

Until you’re ready to transplant to the soil, there are no other items needed to propagate English ivy in water.

How to Propagate English Ivy in Water

To propagate English Ivy, be sure to begin with a healthy plant. Do not attempt to propagate a plant that is sick or infested with bugs, as it will likely increase the chances of failure to thrive. Find a stem that is healthy and doesn’t appear to be woody or tough.

1. Snip Overgrowth

Use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut away any overgrowth or dead stems. Look for a newer growth stem to clip your cutting from.

The chances of thriving are increased if you choose a new growth that has formed in the last 12 months. New growth is typically indicated by lighter-colored leaves.

2. Clip the Cutting

Find a 4-5 inch length of ivy that contains at least three leaf nodes. You can cut anywhere on the stem. Just make sure that the cutting is long enough to thrive. The remaining stem will continue to grow.

You can cut a single vine in multiple sections if there is enough length to do so. Be sure the remaining stem has at least 1 inch left of growth to regrow.

3. Locate Available Nodes

Look for nodes along the part of the stem that will be submerged in the water. Nodes are bumps that leaves, stems, or roots will grow out of. Peel off the leaves from the vine. You don’t want to submerge any leaves under the water.

4. Place in Water

Place the cuttings in a glass jar filled with clean, fresh water. The jar can sit in a window with direct sunlight as it propagates. Add water to the jar as needed to ensure the nodes remain submerged in the water so they propagate properly.

Consider taking several plant cuttings in case 1 or more fail to thrive. Propagating more than you need will likely result in the exact number of plants you wish to have by the end.

Change the water weekly or when it looks dirty. As you change the water, however, disturb the plant as little as possible in the process.

If it appears the plant is receiving too much sunlight, move it to partial shade to avoid scorching.

The root system should be established in about 3 weeks. The clippings can be transplanted between 4-6 weeks once the roots have reached at least 2 inches long.

Alternative to No Available Nodes

If you discover there aren’t any healthy nodes on your clipping, there’s no need to throw it away. You can make your own!

Do this by creating a wound on the stem. Begin by removing about 2 inches of leaves from the cutting. Use a sharp knife to pull a chunk of the outer stem off, creating a small circle divot in the stem. Be sure this part of the stem is submerged in the water to grow a root system.

Moving the English Ivy to Soil

The good news is, there’s no need to race to get your clippings into the soil if you aren’t immediately able to. Once the roots are ready, you can move them to the soil at your leisure. The cuttings will continue to grow just fine in the jar of water as long as you keep the water clean.

Once you are ready, be sure to use quality potting soil. Gently dig a 3-4 inch hole in the soil and carefully move the plant to the soil, taking care of the root system. Try not to jostle the roots too much.

English ivy is hardy and should transplant fairly easily. But keep a close eye on the newly planted cutting for the first week or two after transplanting to be sure it’s continuing to thrive.

Once it’s been planted, remember to keep it in partial shade.

Alternative Method of Progagating Directly Into the Soil

Devil's ivy plant propagation by cutting stems that have water roots

It’s possible you want to plant the cuttings directly into a pot or planter right away. Propagating English ivy directly into the soil is the same process as propagating in water.

Once you’ve got your clippings, you’ll want to be sure the stems stay moist. If you are going to wait an hour or more between clipping and planting, consider wrapping the stems in a damp paper towel and placing them inside a ziplock baggie.

Continue to plant the cuttings directly into the soil in the same way as you would when transplanting from water. Be sure the pot or planter is at least 8 inches in depth for the roots to have room to grow. You can easily plant several cuttings in the same pot to grow.

Frequently Asked Questions About Propagating English Ivy

English Ivy in plant pot in the garden , home and garden concept ,selective focus

Are there any problems associated with propagating English Ivy?

English ivy can attract aphids and spider mites just the same as other plants. If you find you have an infestation, use a neem oil solution to kill current pests and prevent future infestations. If the infestation is bad enough, you might need to prune those infested sections of the plant.

How do I care for my English Ivy?

Use well-draining potting soil when planting your English ivy and water only when the soil is dry to the touch. Place your English ivy in partial or full shade, with sun exposure during the early morning or evening hours. Do not subject your English ivy to direct sunlight in the intense afternoon sunlight.

What do I do if my English ivy begins to droop?

Drooping is most likely caused by overwatering or underwatering. Again, check the soil. It shouldn’t be constantly moist or soggy, but it also shouldn’t be so dry the leaves are beginning to shrivel. It should be just dry to the touch as a signal to water again.

What do I do if my English ivy leaves are beginning to turn yellow or curl?

This may be a sign of too much sun exposure. Make sure your English ivy is getting indirect sunlight in partial shade to keep it safe from the harmful afternoon sun.

Can I grow English ivy anywhere?

English Ivy is not a native plant to US soil and is considered an invasive plant. Be sure to check with your local extension office to ensure you are allowed to plant outdoors.

Time to Propagate Your English Ivy!

That’s everything you need to know about how to propagate your English ivy. Where will you choose to grow your beautiful green climbing vines? Be sure to save a few cuttings to share with others so they can join in the fun of growing English ivy, as well!

Interested in learning how to propagate other plants? Visit our post on Propagating Plants: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners to learn more!