Tips on Growing Ivy as Houseplant

by Colombo Richmond

In spite of the vast number of which are much more attractive in appearance a surprising number of green-leaved ivies still retain their popularity. The fact that there are so many other colourful plants on the market is in all probability a very good reason for the continued appeal of the green varieties, as they are useful for toning down the colouring when planted arrangements are being prepared. . Chicago has simple-shaped green leaves with no frills whatsoever. Green Ripple has slightly larger green leaves with prominent veins which are the main attraction.

A cool, lightly shaded position in the room or garden room is ideal, with compost which is, if anything, inclined to he on the dry side. Stuffy conditions are also detrimental so, in warmer rooms, the windows ought to he opened occasionally to allow the circulation of fresh air.

On the floor of the damp greenhouse helxine can become a rampant weed, but is not unattractive and has the capacity for smothering any other weeds that may consider setting up home under the greenhouse staging.

The rate of growth can be quite phenomenal; less than ten years ago we used H. Glacier to edge a bed of geraniums outside a store shed and, in spite of constant removal of cuttings for propagation, the building has almost disappeared. The best of the grey-foliaged ones are H. .Adam and H. Little Diamond, both of which are very popular and, because of the demand, seem to he forever in short supply. The latter has, as the name suggests, leaves that are vaguely diamond- shaped in appearance, while H. Adam has very small grey and white leaves which are as beautiful in their way as that of any foliage plant. These plants vary considerably and plants with quite large leaves are often sold as being H. Adam, but the discerning purchaser should examine them carefully and make a point of selecting the miniature form.

Heptapleurum Arbor Icoia is something of a miniature schefflera, with similarly shaped leaves that are smaller and more compact. It also branches quite freely when the growing top has been removed, so is better suited to the room where space is limited.

Cool conditions are preferred, though it will tolerate higher temperatures without too much discomfort. In good conditions growth is fairly rapid, but this should not create too many problems as the leading shoots can be pinched out at any time to keep the plant within bounds. Good light affording some shelter from the sun is best, and water should be given moderately, particularly in winter. For bolder effect several plants grouped in a container can be pleasing.

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