Ivy is a climbing plant that grows in almost every part of the world. It is a low maintenance plant and will grow indoors and outdoors. Ivy plants form a magnificent landscape, especially when growing along a house wall or on a trellis. Ivies can also be used as ground covers or house plants. Although it is not very demanding, an ivy plant can die due to the below factors:
Excess or Inadequate Water
Too much water is not suitable for an ivy plant. Only add water when the soil surface feels dry, especially for ivies growing indoors. Use distilled water that is at room temperature, since extremely cold or warm water will slow its growth rate. When grown outdoors, ivy will require sufficient watering, too, especially in the dry months.
For better growth, adopt a regular schedule of watering your plants. When growing ivies in pots, ensure they have functional drainage holes to eliminate excess water since water-logging can easily kill your plants.
Under-watering the plant weakens it and makes it susceptible to pests and diseases.
Attack by Pests and Diseases
Just like other plants, ivy can get attacked by pests. If there are in large numbers or not detected early enough, they can kill the plant. Some of the pests that attack ivies include:
Aphids suck sap from ivy plants and slow its growth. They form clusters on the leaf surfaces, mostly on their lower side. They also produce a substance that encourages the growth of sooty mold on the plants. The mold prevents the plants from getting sufficient sunlight, resulting in leaf discoloration since photosynthesis does not occur. Apply insecticidal soap on your plants to get rid of aphids and their eggs.
Caterpillars resemble worms and are the larval stages of butterflies and moths. Spray pyrethrin on your ivy plants to get rid of them. You can also repel caterpillars by growing cilantro around your garden, cilantro is else a herb, that adds flavor to various dishes, and is ways to grow and maintain.
Whiteflies attack plants and lay eggs under their leaves. They can easily kill an ivy plant if they attack it in large numbers. They cause the yellowing of
leaves and slow down the growth of plants. Like aphids, whiteflies produce honeydew, which encourages the growth of sooty mold, and prevents the plant from getting sufficient sunlight. Spray water on your ivy plants to get rid of whiteflies. Neem oil is also an effective solution to killing whiteflies.
You can also use whiteflies traps, for getting rid of matured whiteflies.
4. Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs attack many garden plants, including the ivy plant. They leave slimy substances on the plants’ surface and love hiding under leaves and other debris in the garden. They feed on ivy plant leaves and leave holes on them. To get rid of the pests, handpick them using hand gloves. Pick them at night since that is the time they are usually active.
You can also use snail traps to catch them.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your ivy plant to repel these harmful pests.
5. Spider Mites
Ivy plants growing indoors are highly susceptible to spider mites attack. The mites from webs on the surfaces of the plant and feed on the leaves by sucking chlorophyll. Spray your plants with water to get rid of the webs. They also hate the smell of neem oil, and applying it on your plants will instantly send them away.
Spider mites also attack other plants like bamboo and palms.
Some of the diseases that may affect ivy plants include:
Anthracnose causes the leaves of the ivy plant to develop black spots. The spots usually form on the center of the leaves, and it might dry off if the disease continues to spread. Spray your outdoor ivy plants with a fungicide to treat anthracnose. To prevent it, water your plants at the base, and avoid the foliage, since the fungus that causes anthracnose prefers wet leaves.
7. Leaf spot
The leaves of ivy plants affected by leaf spot turn to brown. Avoid over-watering your plants, as too much water causes sogginess, which makes the plants susceptible to leaf spot. Space them adequately, to promote enough air circulation. Get rid of affected leaves and separate affected plants from healthy ones, to avoid the spread of the fungus to healthy plants.
8. Powdery mildew
Powdery mildew makes the leaves of ivy plants develop white spots. It mainly affects plants that don’t receive sufficient lighting and growing in dry conditions. In extreme cases, the plant will start withering and eventually die. The disease also affects vegetables and other flowers.
If the disease has already affected your plants, use fungicides to treat them.
9. Root rot
Root rot causes discoloration of the leaves. It is usually as a result of contaminated soil and causes slow growth rate on the ivy plants. To prevent root rot, use sterile potting soil. Isolate affected plants to avoid further spread of the diseases. There are safe pesticides available for treating root rot too.
10. Dry Air
Ivy plants thrive in moist conditions. If they don’t get sufficient humidity, the leaves start turning brown on the edges. Place a humidifier near your plants to keep the air moist.
11. Poor Lighting
Ivy plants make a big family, and different species have different light requirements. Some of them will thrive in the shade, while others will need full sun for proper growth. When growing ivies indoors, you can use artificial lighting if there is not sufficient natural lighting.
Addition of Fertilizer at the Wrong Time
Add fertilizer to ivy plants when they are at an active stage. Don’t apply it during their dormancy stage, as it might harm them. The roots will absorb the fertilizer, but the other parts of the plant won’t utilize it. Eventually, the roots might get overwhelmed and start dying.
How to Bring Dying Ivy Back to Life
To bring a dying back to life, identify the cause of its death first. Sometimes, there might be a single cause or several of them.
Carefully uproot the plant from the soil, with great care to avoid breaking them. Check whether they have developed root rot. If some parts of it have started rotting, remove them and plant the ivy on fresh potting soil.
Do you find any spots on the surface of the leaves? It might be a sign of a fungal infection. Use approved fungicides or other products like neem oil and insecticidal soaps to treat the pants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ivy plants will shed leaves if they are growing in dry conditions. Always ensure the plant is growing in moist conditions.
Some varieties of ivies such as the English ivy contain toxins harmful to pets if they consume it.
Add fertilizer on your plant to revive its health. Apply fertilizer after a month, for your plants to thrive.
Ivy plants may dry due to many reasons. Under-watering, over-watering, and insufficient lighting are the most probable causes.
Ivy plants can be propagated from seeds or cuttings. Those grown from cuttings will mature faster than those grown from seeds.