Choosing the perfect soil and fertilizer for vining plants can make you break a sweat. On top of that, if the plant is English Ivy, good luck!
English Ivy is an evergreen plant that can also act as a ground cover, thanks to its growth habit.
Generally, English Ivy grows best in well-draining, loamy soil with added organic materials. In addition, they need well-balanced fertilizer with NPK ratio of 15-15-15 during their growing season.
How the plant grows up depends on its soil and fertilizers. You must look at certain factors while choosing the soil and fertilizer for English Ivy.
Look below to see what information we mustered on soil and fertilizers for English Ivy.
Table of Contents
- What Kind of Soil does English Ivy Need and Why?
- Prepping the Soil/Potting Mix for English Ivy
- Common Signs that You are Using the Wrong Potting Mix
- Best Commercial Soil Mixes for English Ivy
- Does English Ivy Plant Need Fertilizers?
- Signs your English Ivy Needs Fertilizing
- Fertilizers Content for Healthy Growth in English Ivy
- How to Fertilize English Ivy?
- Best English Ivy Plant Fertilizers to Use
What Kind of Soil does English Ivy Need and Why?
English Ivy (Hedera helix) is a popular houseplant brought into the limelight by European colonists in early 1727.
This plant has various uses and benefits that add to its ability to act as a carpet plant.
A plant with so many benefits needs extra care and looking after. So, you must be conscious about what kind of soil you use for English Ivy.
English Ivy prefers well-draining loamy soil with some organic matters. It prefers neutral soil pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.5.
For better growth of English Ivy, you should provide proper soil with good fertilizer and other factors like light, temperature, humidity, etc.
Look below for the features in proper soil.
|Soil Compaction||Loose Soil|
|Water Retention||Doesn't like water for a long time in soil|
Moreover, clay pots are the best for English Ivy as they provide good airflow. You can also use plastic pots but make sure they provide good drainage.
1. Soil Aeration
Compact soil is a condition that occurs when the soil particles are pressed together and do not let the air or water flow smoothly between them.
Plants growing in compact soil cannot expand their roots as they desire. The roots also cannot breathe and get water as per their needs.
English Ivy prefers soil that provides good aeration. Among three loam components, sand provides the best aeration.
If the aeration is not enough, the root will show certain distress signs like darkness, shortness, poorly developed hairs, etc.
When my soil was not providing good aeration, I punctured small holes in the soil, and the holes did the trick.
2. Soil Texture
Soil texture is generally the soil’s proportion of sand, silt, and clay. This phenomenon is the key to different factors like water and airflow on the soil.
Generally, English Ivy prefers average loam soil that consists of 50% of soil particles (40% of sand, 40% of silt, and 20% of clay) and 50% of pores.
Although English Ivy doesn’t care much about the soil texture, you need to maintain the shape of aggregates for better water flow.
If the plant grows in loamy soil with round aggregates, it will grow efficiently.
3. Soil Structure
Soil structure is another of the essential aspects you need to look out for in soil for the betterment of your plant.
This phenomenon explains how the soil particles are lined up in the soil.
Generally, English Ivy can sustain in any soil structure but thrives the best in granular or crumb soil structure.
English Ivy is not too choosy about the soil structure it grows in. In granular or crumb structures, the water passes quickly, thus proving best for English Ivy.
4. Drainage Capacity of Soil
Water drainage is an important aspect you must look for in the soil you use for indoor plants.
Most indoor plants cannot stand staying in soggy soil for too long. English Ivy is no different.
English Ivy prefers a soil that drains water faster and will succumb to diseases like root rot if it stays in soggy soil for too long.
If you want the long life of your plant, you need to let the plant dry out between watering. The dryness can be quick if the soil is well-draining.
To increase the drainage, you need to add organic matter to the soil.
5. Organic Matters and Nutrients
Although English Ivy is not a sucker for fertilizers, you still need to fertilize them to provide added nutrients.
In general, potting soil should naturally provide nutrients. However, it will not be enough for the plants to thrive fully.
English Ivy prefers organic compounds added to its soil as it fulfills the plant’s requirements for nutrients and increases its quality.
The soil nutrients are divided into two categories. They are;
|Macronutrients||Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulfur (S), Magnesium (Mg), and Calcium (Ca)|
|Micronutrients||Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo), Chlorine (Cl)|
Both macro and micronutrients have their functions on the plant’s longevity. Macronutrients focus on creating new plant cells.
Similarly, micronutrients focus on the plant’s growth and development.
6. Soil Temperature
English Ivy is a tropical plant that favors its soil to be warmer. But, as it is a creeping plant, it may not be too demanding of the soil temperature.
Generally, English Ivy prefers a soil temperature ranging from 65°F to 75°F. But it can grow in other soil temperatures as well.
If the soil temperature is too low, the plant’s photosynthesis process cannot carry out smoothly. Similarly, if the temperature is too high, the absorption of minerals will halt.
The trick is to maintain the optimal temperature for the plant to let it grow efficiently.
7. Soil pH
Soil pH is another important factor that determines how the plant grows. A pH test is usually done to determine the soil’s acidity or basicity.
Generally, English Ivy prefers the soil pH around 6.0 to 7.5.
Soil pH is an essential aspect as it determines certain factors like:
- Soil bacteria
- Nutrient leaching
- Nutrient availability
- Toxic elements
- Soil structure
As the above factors have a more significant effect on the plants, soil pH is considered essential.
But don’t worry, English Ivy can do good in most pH values.
Prepping the Soil/Potting Mix for English Ivy
You can go to the market and buy yourself a potting mix for your plant. Or, you can prepare the mixture at home by yourself.
Each has its benefits, but if you want to prepare the potting mix at home, we have you covered.
Look below for the potting mix you can create at home for your plant.
Get the following materials ready for the preparation process.
|Perlite||Improves soil aeration, drainage|
|Peat Moss||Lowers pH, improves drainage|
|Coco Coir||Makes soil porous and light|
|Vermiculite||Helps retain nutrients|
|Limestone||Manages the soil pH|
|Compost||Adds required nutrients to the soil|
Below is the list of recipes for your English Ivy.
- One part of perlite
- A part of peat moss
- An equal amount of potting topsoil
- Four and a half gallons of perlite
- Six gallons of peat moss or coco coir
- Six gallons of compost
- One and half-gallon of organic fertilizer
- One-fourth cup lime if you are using peat moss
- Two gallons of peat moss or coco coir
- Three tablespoons of lime if you are using peat moss
- Two cups of sand
- One and a half gallons of perlite
- Two tablespoons of organic fertilizer
Be careful while mixing the recipes, as one wrong mixture can kill your plant.
Understanding what every material does is always better before hurling them into the potting mix.
Common Signs that You are Using the Wrong Potting Mix
As you already know, soil plays a vital role in the plant’s growth. You must be very careful in the soil department.
Look out for the signs of distress the plant displays and tend to them in time to avoid grave damage.
Below are the common signs the plant may display if the potting mix is not correct.
- If your soil is giving an unpleasant odor, it is high time to check the soil quality you are using.
- The pests love soil that is not up to the standards. Check the plant and soil regularly for any signs of pests.
- If your soil doesn’t have good circulation, you will see white molds on the soil’s surface.
- Bad potting soil will not let the plant take the required nutrients and water. So if your plant has stunted growth, it may be a sign.
- Look for the signs of soil compaction. If your soil cannot soak water quickly, it’s time to change the potting soil.
- If the water infiltration is poor, the root will start to rot. So, check the roots constantly for signs of any damage.
- The plant’s foliage will be withered and show terrible signs of improper growth. Catch up on those signs.
Best Commercial Soil Mixes for English Ivy
Besides preparing the potting mixes at home, you have another option to buy the potting mixes commercially.
Some excellent market potting mixes can make your plants a world of good.
Look below for the potting mixes we recommend for your plant.
|Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting||1. Comes with added coco-coir|
2. Good for container plants
|Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix||1. Helps grow the plant twice as big|
2. Absorbs as much as 33% water
|All Purpose Indoor Houseplant Potting Soil Mix||1. Contains 50% peat moss and 50% perlite|
2. Useful for many indoor plants
|Fox Farm FoxFarmOcean2||1. Filled with nutrients|
2. Well-aerated and adjusted pH
Does English Ivy Plant Need Fertilizers?
English Ivy is not a plant that will require frequent fertilization. But, it doesn’t hurt to provide the plant with some nutrients once in a while.
After all, they will not say no to some added nutrients, will they?
Generally, English Ivy needs fertilizing every two weeks with a dry, balanced fertilizer during spring and summer.
During winter, avoid fertilizing the plant when they are dormant.
You can also go for a 20-20-20 ratio houseplant fertilizer diluted down to half its strength every month during spring and summer.
If you mess up the fertilizing for your plant, it will show some symptoms that you should be wary of.
Signs your English Ivy Needs Fertilizing
When the plant requires some nutrient boosts, it will give you some visible signs. Look out for the following symptoms in English Ivy.
- The plant will show yellow leaf tips. The yellowing will gradually spread through the leaf and into the stem. Nitrogen deficiency is the leading cause of yellowing leaves.
- You will see the leaves have a dull appearance. This is due to too many nitrates caused by a lack of potassium.
- Lack of potassium causes small patches of discoloration that grows with time.
- Even in the plant’s peak growing season, its growth will be slow and eventually halt.
- Leaves will turn purple or reddish, and you will even witness chlorosis on the plant.
If your plant is going through stressful situations like temperature extremities, no new leaf production, extreme soil dryness, etc., you should not fertilize them.
Sometimes you may overfertilize the plant. If you do that, the plant will show symptoms like leaves falling off, slow growth, weak stems, etc.
Fertilizers Content for Healthy Growth in English Ivy
You must have heard about “NPK” values while researching fertilizers.
NPK value/ratio is the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium available in the fertilizer. Each of the nutrients has a special role in a plant’s development.
Nutrients for plants are divided into two categories; macronutrients and micronutrients.
Both types have specific functions that are important for the plant’s growth. Let’s look at what they do to the plants.
|Nitrogen||Provides energy to plant whenever they need it.|
|Phosphorus||Helps in formation of new tissue and cell division.|
|Potassium||Promotes root growth and drought tolerance.|
|Hydrogen||Helps to build sugar and produces glucose.|
|Oxygen||Helps in cellular respiration.|
|Carbon||Promotes healthier and productive growth.|
|Calcium||Produces plant tissues and improves growth.|
|Sulphur||Helps in formation of proteins, amino acids and oils.|
|Magnesium||Sustains metabolic role in plants.|
|Micronutrients||Plays important role in photosynthesis and protein synthesis.|
English Ivy does not prefer foliar application fertilizers. So, the best fertilizer to use for them is liquid fertilizer.
How to Fertilize English Ivy?
To fertilize English Ivy, you must follow a certain procedure to ensure efficient fertilization. Look below for the fertilizing steps.
- Get a tub, a liquid fertilizer, a watering can, and a measuring cup. Wear protective gear like a mask, gloves, and goggles.
- Dilute the liquid fertilizer to half its strength by mixing it with equal water. Stir the solution well.
- My English Ivy liked it when I applied the solution directly to the soil. So, do the same.
- After the fertilization, water the plant to ensure the nutrients have spread throughout the pot well.
- Empty the saucer beneath the pot to avoid stressing the plant.
- Do not fertilize English Ivy during winter, when the plant is already stressed due to low temperature and light.
If you ever overfertilize your plant, you can remove the excess salt from the top of the soil or flush the salt off using high-pressure water.
The best organic fertilizer you can use for English Ivy is fish emulsion. But be careful; too much organic material can imbalance the nutrients.
Best English Ivy Plant Fertilizers to Use
You can look for fertilizers for English Ivy online if you don’t want to depend on organic materials only.
Look below for the list of best fertilizers for English Ivy.
|Pothos Fertilizer (NPK: 3-1-2)||1. Effortless application|
2. Provides required nutrients to the plant
|FoxFarm Liquid Nutrient Trio Soil Formula (NPK: 6-4-4)||1. Works for a load of indoor plants|
2. Heals the root system
|Organic Indoor Plant Food (NPK: 1-1-1)||1. Comes with extra zinc, iron, soyabean, and seaweed|
2. All-purpose fertilizer
|Miracle-Gro Liquafeed All Purpose Plant Food||1. Suitable for both indoors and outdoors plant|
2. Provides nutrients instantly
English Ivy may not be too needy about what kind of care conditions you provide them, but they will grow best if you tend to their needs.
English Ivy soil and fertilizer needs are as important as other factors.
Good luck choosing the right one!
Read more to find out about the best indoor herbs fertilizers.