How to grow ivy houseplants

Attractive and easy to grow in baskets or on supports. Green-leaved ivy prefers bright light without direct sun; a north window is ideal. Variegated kinds are more colorful when they get 2 to 3 hours of sun daily. Summer temperatures of about 65°F are best for the many varieties of English ivy, but they can stand more warmth if the air is fairly humid. The unrelated grape and Swedish ivies prefer somewhat warmer temperatures. Hot, dry air encourages red spider mites in all kinds.

Grow ivy in equal parts potting soil, peat moss, and sand or perlite. Repot when roots get crowded. During the growing season, let the top 1/2 inch of soil dry out before watering. Feed every 2 weeks with a balanced plant food.

To let the plants go dormant in winter, keep English ivy at 50°F, grape ivy at 55°F, and Swedish ivy at 60°F Water sparingly and withhold fertilizer.