English ivy (Hedera helix) is a very vigorous and aggressive woody evergreen vine. Outdoors, English ivy is used as an ornamental ground-cover or elegant green covering for stone or brick walls. This is the plant that inspired the Ivy League colleges nickname. English ivy is also a very popular indoor houseplant or for use in outdoor hanging baskets. A European native, English ivy was brought to the New World by colonial settlers but soon naturalized into the wild.
In both winter and summer, ivy requires bright light, but avoid direct sunlight in summer. In winter, plants can accept a bit of direct sunlight, such as when placed in south-facing windows.
Fertile, moist, but well-drained soil is ideal for English ivy. In hotter, drier climates, the ground should be heavily mulched to keep it cool and moist. Indoors, English ivy likes loose, well-drained potting mix.
Potted ivy prefers moist, humid conditions, but not soaking. Don’t let the soil dry out and keep it evenly moist..
Temperature and Humidity
Outdoors, English ivy does best in moderate conditions, protected from both harsh winter winds and excessive heat of summer. Very humid conditions can encourage root rot and bacterial leaf spot.
Ivies grown indoors prefer cooler nights, often below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Many species can overwinter outside in pots and will grow back from their stems. During hot summer days, mist frequently.