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How To Propagate Ivy

Propagating ivy is an excellent way to grow new plants from existing ones, whether you want to expand your collection or share them with friends and family. Several methods to propagate ivy include stem cuttings, water propagation, division, and air layering.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Propagating Ivy

Here are some of the commonest ways to propagate ivy:

Stem Cuttings In Sandy Soil

Follow these steps to propagate ivy stem cuttings in sandy soil:

  1. Choose a healthy ivy plant to take cuttings from. Select a mature stem with several leaves and nodes.

  2. Cut a stem below a node at a 45-degree angle using clean and sharp garden shears. The cutting should be about 4-6 inches long.

  3. Remove the leaves from the lower part of the stem, leaving a few leaves at the top.

  4. Fill a pot with sandy soil, leaving about an inch of space at the top.

  5. Dip the end of the stem into a rooting hormone powder and gently tap off any excess.

  6. Insert the stem cutting into the soil, gently compacting the earth around it, so it stands upright.

  7. Water the new cutting until the soil is moist but don't overwater it. Cover the cutting in the pot with a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse environment.

  8. Place the pot in bright, indirect sunlight and mist the cutting daily with water.

  9. After 3-4 weeks, check for root growth by gently tugging on the stem. If it resists, roots have formed, and you can remove the plastic covering and care for it as you would with a mature ivy plant.

Healthy stem cuttings can easily be rooted directly in soil.

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are some steps you can follow to propagate ivy stem cuttings in water:

  1. First, snip a few inches of ivy cuttings from a parent plant, ensuring each cutting has at least one leaf node.

  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom few inches of the cutting, leaving only a few leaves at the top. This will help the cutting focus its energy on developing new roots rather than supporting existing foliage.

  3. Place the cut end in a vase of water near a bright, indirect light source.

  4. After a few weeks, the new roots should be established, and the cuttings can be potted or added to your garden as ground cover.

Remember that English ivy is considered an invasive plant that can kill native trees and other plants it grows on. It’s best grown as a houseplant, but if you do plant it outside, be sure you have a plan to control growth.

Air Layering

This method involves wrapping a section of a stem with moist sphagnum moss so roots form around the section.

  1. Follow steps 1 to 3 as described in the stem cuttings section.

  2. Wrap a small amount of moist sphagnum moss around the incision, and cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, securing it tightly to prevent air from entering.

  3. Check the moss frequently to make sure it stays moist. Mist it with water as it starts to dry out.

  4. After several weeks, roots should begin to grow into the sphagnum moss.

  5. Once the roots are several inches long, carefully remove the plastic or aluminum foil, cut the stem just below the sphagnum moss, and plant the rooted stem into a pot filled with sandy soil or potting soil.

  6. Water the newly potted ivy plant and place it on a sunny window sill with indirect light.


This method involves separating an existing ivy plant into two or more sections, each with its own roots and leaves.

Here are the steps to propagate ivy by division:

  1. Choose an ivy plant with multiple stems and large enough to divide.

  2. Carefully remove the plant from its pot or dig it up from the ground, taking care not to damage the roots.

  3. Gently separate the stems and root system into two or more sections. You can use your hands, a sharp garden knife, or scissors to make clean cuts.

  4. Trim away any damaged or dead roots and leaves.

  5. Plant each divided section into a pot filled with sandy soil or potting mix.

  6. Water each newly potted ivy plant and place it in bright, indirect light.

  7. Monitor the newly potted plants for the next few weeks to ensure they adapt well. Avoid overwatering but keep the soil moist, and avoid exposing the plants to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.

Ivy is a hearty houseplant that can easily be divided at the roots.

Seed Propagation

This method involves growing ivy from seed, although it's not as common as other methods because ivy seeds can take a long time to germinate and grow.

  1. Collect ivy seeds, usually in late fall or early winter. Ivy plants produce small, black berries that contain 1-3 seeds each.

  2. Place the seeds in water for 24 hours to promote germination.

  3. Fill a small pot with a seed starting mix or a mixture of peat moss and sand.

  4. Scatter the ivy seeds evenly over the soil surface, then cover them with a thin layer of soil or sand.

  5. Water the soil to ensure it is moist but not waterlogged.

  6. Cover the pot or seed tray with clear plastic wrap or a lid to create a humid environment and help the seeds germinate.

  7. Place the pot or tray in a warm location with bright but indirect sunlight.

  8. Check the soil and water as needed to keep it moist.

  9. After 4-6 weeks, the seeds should begin to germinate. Once the seedlings have leaves, transplant them into pots filled with sandy soil or potting mix with perlite or vermiculite for drainage.

  10. Water the newly potted ivy plants and place them in a bright but indirect sunlight location.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes an indoor ivy plant so popular?

English ivy, also known as Hedera helix, is a popular houseplant due to its beautiful heart-shaped leaves and ability to thrive in bright and indirect light. Propagating English ivy can be a fun and easy DIY project for plant enthusiasts who want to expand their collection.

Why should I propagate my ivy plant?

Propagating ivy can be a rewarding experience, especially when you see new growth on a healthy plant. This low-maintenance houseplant makes a great gift for friends and family.

What is the best time of year to propagate ivy?

Spring or early summer is the best time to propagate ivy plants.

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