How to Trim Ivy as a Houseplant

The classic evergreen foliage of ivy (Hedera helix) is popular for use as a houseplant. The low height but sprawling, dangling stems add grace to home decor, but over time they eventually reach lengths that require trimming. Reducing stem length with hand pruners or household scissors is easily accomplished and can be a proactive measure done every spring to ensure the ivy remains an appropriate size.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners
  • Scissors


    • 1

      Avoid pruning the ivy houseplant in the short days of winter. The plant naturally slows its growth at this time of year and will not respond quickly with new leaves and stems. However, if the size of the ivy warrants immediate trimming, expect little regrowth from a wintertime pruning until the earliest weeks of spring.

    • 2

      Evaluate the ivy plant. Determine which stems are too long, are devoid of leaves, may be diseased or entirely dead. Some stems may have one or two leaves that need removal because of discoloration or being dead.

    • 3

      Trim dead or diseased stems with hand pruners or household scissors by clipping the stem 1/4 inch above a leaf or node, the scaled bump or scar left by an old leaf. Remove individual leaves on stems as needed if you see they are also dead or plagued with mold or an insect.

    • 4

      Reduce the length of the undesirably long stems back to 6 inches shorter than a perfect length. For example, a stem may be 36 inches long, and you wish to reduce it to 24 inches in length. Plan on making the pruning cut at 18 inches, snipping the stem 1/4 inch above a leaf or node.

    • 5

      Scan the plant after the initial round of trimmings. Turn the container and look for balance and overall attractiveness of the plant. If stems or leaves remain that are too long or brown, trim them as per Steps 1 to 3.

    • 6

      Fertilize lightly with a balanced houseplant fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, at half the dosage rate per label directions. Granular or liquid fertilizer is acceptable. If pruning is done in early spring, fertilize at the full dosage per the label directions.

Tips & Warnings

  • An annual pruning maintenance on your ivy vine is ideally conducted in early spring, just before the plant would naturally increase its growth. Trimming results in side buds to form new stem tips, creating a specimen plant that is fuller, with more leaves and graceful branches.
  • Low ambient humidity in the home can cause foliage and stem tips to brown readily. Increase humidity by grouping houseplants near one another or setting the container atop a small tray of pebbles filled with water.
  • Do not over water houseplants; it promotes fungal diseases and root rot. Ivy appreciates an evenly moist soil, never bone dry or soggy wet.
Related Searches



You May Also Like

  • How to Prune Ivy Ground Cover

    Ivy (Hedera) is one of those vining plants that roots every place it touches the ground. It is important to keep it...

  • How to Prune Ivy Topiaries

    Topiary bushes provide an air of elegance and class to any garden or yard. They can be made into almost any shape,...

  • How to Prune English Ivy

    English ivy that sprouts long side branches as opposed to vine shoots often does not require the pruning than vining ivy does....

  • How to Trim an Ivy Plant

    Ivy can provide groundcover to your lawn or garden outside, or thrive as a potted plant inside your home. When it stays...

  • How to Prune a Hedera Ivy

    Hedera helix, also known as Hedera ivy, English ivy and common ivy, grows and spread rapidly. This vine adds lots of greenery...

  • How to Trim English Ivy

    English ivy is versatile, fast-growing evergreen vine commonly used as a privacy screen for fences, a climbing vine for trellises or a...

  • Ivy House Plant

    True ivies are all varieties of the Hedera genus. Their reputation as easy plants to grow indoors goes back to the unheated...

  • How to Trim an Ivy Plant

    Ivy plants can add a unique old-world look to any structure and look better after a proper trim. Cut your ivy plant...

  • How to Grow Devil's Ivy Houseplant

    The next time you admire a Devil's Ivy plant at your friend's house, ask to borrow a few shoots. That's all you'll...

  • How to Care for English Ivy

    English ivy, often seen climbing bricks in outdoor landscapes, is a popular houseplant. Its small green leaves on vines have an elegant...

  • How to Propagate Swedish Ivy

    Swedish ivy is not native to Sweden and it is not technically ivy. It originated in Australia, but became a popular house...

  • How to Prune Topiary Shapes

    Plants have been trained and cut into artificial shapes for decorative effect since Roman times. Topiary has a place in many gardens,...

  • How to Trim Ivy to Make it Grow Fuller

    Ivy-covered trellises or brick walls add a distinct air of sophistication to any home -- but not all ivies are allowed to...

  • How to Trim a Creeping Charlie Houseplant

    Creeping Charlie (Plectranthus australis) is a trailing vine that is a member of the mint family and is native to Australia. More...

  • How to Trim a Creeping Charley House Plant

    Creeping Charlie, or Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis), is a low-maintenance plant, which makes it an excellent choice for home or office. It...

  • What is a Creeping Charlie House Plant?

    Creeping Charlie is a nickname given to more than one species of ivy plant. All the creeping Charlies are characterized by their...

  • How to Grow Variegated Ivy

    Ivy grows quickly and can climb as high as 100 feet from the ground. Ivies can be found on all the major...

Related Ads

Read Article

Fabulous Fall Decor: Seasonal Touches for Your Home and Table