Ivy is a well-known and luscious plant that adds a lot of green to any space. It is not only a great plant for beginners and experienced gardeners alike, but it is also easy to propagate.
If you are new to gardening and want to grow a plant with no fuss, whether you want to grow it outside or as a part of your in-house decor, you should learn how to propagate ivy.
Buying a lot of ivy for the area you want can be expensive. You can get a large batch for free by reading our article on propagating it.
Its invasive nature makes it easy for anyone to carry out this project successfully, and with a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to growing enough even to gift people.
Supplies Needed to Propagate Ivy
Just like a hunter goes into the bush with his gun, you must have a few items on the ground to carry out your task.
- Clean and sterilized shears or knife
- An ivy plant to take cuttings from
- Ivy seeds
- Water vessel
- A pot of container
- Potting mix
Methods of Propagating Ivy
There are several ways to propagate ivy. One is by rooting vines that touch the ground through layering.
You can also root ivy cuttings or grow one from seed. Let’s get into all the pertinent details.
English ivy spreads on the ground naturally, explaining its invasive nature. It has pale green vines or runners that climb up walls and trees or spread in the ground.
There are nodes along the vines that leaves and roots grow from. You can use this to your advantage and propagate your ivy plant.
All you need to drop is to pin a vine to the ground using small pieces of wire. Make sure to moisten the soil around the pinned runner.
In time, roots would begin to grow from the nodes. When this happens, take a sanitized knife and cut 3-inch sections with a rooted node in the middle of each section.
Dig up these sections and plant them in a pot with drainage holes filled with a potting mix of peat moss and vermiculite.
Keep your new plants out of direct sunlight and water regularly. Care for them as you would any other ivy plant.
Congratulations, you have new ivy plants!
Planting Ivy Seeds
Another way to propagate ivy plants is by using the seeds they produce. You can buy some seeds or use the ones from the berries your English ivy produces.
Take those seeds and plant them 2 or 3 inches deep in a container filled with potting mix or in your outdoor garden.
Do this in spring when all danger of frost has passed. Choose a spot where they can access six to eight hours of sun daily.
Water the soil enough to moisten it but not make it soggy. The seeds should germinate in four to eight weeks.
After the new plants have established a suitable rooting system with two or more leaves, you can separate them into their containers.
Rooting Ivy Cuttings
Most plants can be propagated by rooting cuttings, and ivy is one of them. It is an easy process that would save you the cost of buying new plants.
The most critical piece of this operation is the cutting itself. You should always choose a healthy plant to take cuttings from.
Never attempt to propagate a plant that is sick, dying, or infested, but if you must, try not to be too hopeful because the chances of success are slim.
Also, it is advisable to take more than one cutting. It is better to have a few extras if the one you’re starting with fails.
Use ivy cuttings from vines that are from recent growth. Check the color of the leaves, as lighter colors indicate new growth.
Check that the stems are not too woody. Not that it is impossible to propagate woody stems, but it’ll make the process harder for you.
Find a stem with maybe three nodes on it to improve the chances of success.
Using a sharp, clean, and sterilized knife or shears, cut sections that are 6 inches long and have several leaves. Remove the bottom leaves.
Using clean equipment reduces the risk of introducing a disease or pest onto the cutting.
Next, you are going to be rooting your cuttings. There are two different rooting techniques; rooting in soil and water.
Rooting in Soil
Rooting ivy cuttings in the soil is better than in water because transplanting the already rooted plant from water may lower the survival rate of the new plant.
After taking your cuttings, you can dip the ends of each stem in the rooting hormone or forego this step.
Then, fill a planter or pot large enough to take all the cuttings and fill it with potting soil for propagation with a high percentage of sand or perlite.
Always use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom. I speak from experience when I say you do not want to deal with soggy soil.
Next, wet the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes.
Now, poke holes 3 inches deep in the soil using a pencil or any small pointed object. Make the holes 2 inches apart.
These holes will allow you to put the cuttings into the soil without removing the rooting hormone from the end of the stems.
Now, you are going to insert each cutting into individual holes by the end covered in rooting hormone and compress the soil around it to secure it.
Water the soil thoroughly. You can cover the container with a plastic bag to help with humidity and open it when you need water.
In about one to two months, the cuttings would begin to grow roots. When you spot new growth, transplant the new plants to their pots.
Continue to care for them, and you will see your plants flourish.
Rooting in Water
Ivy plants are also easy to root in water. You need to follow these steps carefully, and have a new set of plants on your hands.
First, you should cut your stem just below the lowest node. If there are any leaves at the bottom, trim them off.
Then place the cutting in a clean container with room-temperature water. Make sure no leaf is sitting in the water.
It is better to use a clear glass container to root your cuttings. This way, you can monitor the water for any signs of infection or disease.
Change the water every three to five days. Keep the container somewhere it can get plenty of bright indirect light.
With the right care, roots would start to grow in about three to four weeks. Wait until the sixth week or the roots have grown at least 2 inches before transplanting to an appropriate potting soil.
How to Care for Your Cuttings as They Root
- Place the pots or water vessels in a warm place with access to bright light. They should not be directly under the sunlight, but they should not be deprived of either.
- Always keep the soil moist, but be careful not to drown your cuttings.
- Remove any dead or damaged cutting from the soil so it won’t affect the others.
- Allow the cuttings to establish themselves properly before repotting them.
Sometimes, propagation fails for no obvious reason. However, ivy is hardy, and with a little care, your newly propagated plant will thrive and be beautiful.