4 Types of Ivy Houseplants and How to Care for Them

4 Types of Ivy Houseplants and How to Care for Them

Ivy is an excellent choice for the beginner gardener. It’s one of the most popular types of indoor plant in the world. It’s hardy, resilient, and grows through adversity -- what more could a novice gardener need?

But while people often refer to many different varieties of ivy under this one blanket name, there are many more nuanced details. The best way to grow this plant will also depend on your climate, available light, and schedule.

If you’ve never grown plants indoors before, ivy is an excellent choice to start. Because it tolerates many mistakes and survives for a long time, it’s easy to grow successfully. Ivy is also one of the most versatile plants around. You can place it in a pot on a desk, hang it from your ceiling, or grow it in an outdoor terrace.

First, this guide will break down the specific features of all of the most common different strains of ivy. While they all share the same general characteristics, certain aspects may differ between various cultivars. 

Afterward, we’ll discuss some essential characteristics of ivy as a whole. Then, we’ll reveal some beginner tips on how to grow and care for ivy in your own home. These tricks apply to all types of ivy -- no matter which strain catches your eye, you can build it in nearly the same way!

Types of Ivy Houseplants

closeup photo of green leafed plant

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Most people can instantly recognize ivy when they see it. But did you know that there are countless varieties of this common houseplant available? Below is a list of some of the most common types. We’ve also included the essential characteristics of a few strains to help you tell them apart.


English ivy is by far the most popular type of ivy to grow in your house. It’s hardy and resilient, and it features appealing green leaves in a triangular shape. Different kinds of English ivy feature different variegations, including dots and rings of cream, white, and other colors. 


Persian ivy is another popular choice for home gardeners. It’s even more durable than English ivy -- this plant can survive extended periods in direct sun and won’t falter without water. Persian ivy sports heart-shaped leaves. These leaves may feature patches or lines of white and off-white colors. The leaves of Persian ivy are also huge. 


While it’s sometimes grouped with Persian ivy, Russian ivy is a different type of ivy that grows in both warm and cold weather. Though it matures best with sunlight exposure and regular watering, it can survive in much colder conditions than many other ivy varieties. 


Japanese ivy prefers warm weather. While its leaves are similar in shape to those of Persian ivy, they’re much smaller and less pointy. Japanese ivy’s most distinctive feature is its purplish stem. Some plants may feature white spots against the rich green background.

Features of Ivy

ivy facade

Image by TheoRivierenlaan from Pixabay 

All varieties of ivy are known for their delicate leaves and spindly vines. Ivy comes in many different colors, ranging from green to cream, white, yellow, and even some brown, gray, and black. It’s possible to find specialty ivies that contain any range of these colors -- the options are practically endless!

Most people buy the ivy plant that catches their eye. More often than not, this is due to its variegation. Variegation is a technical term that describes the unique coloring patterns on each ivy plant. All types of ivy have a particular base shade, but different strains may show streaks, dots, or lines of other colors on top of that base.

Ivy strains also vary significantly in size. Certain types make great desk plants; they fit comfortably in small pots and don’t expand to take over your entire space. Other varieties are much faster growers, and will cover your walls if left unattended! Before you decide on any one type of ivy, it’s essential to consider how much space you can allow for it to grow.

Ivy leaves are generally triangular. The specific size and shape vary between cultivars. Some strains have bulbous, less defined leaves, while others are thinner and far more pointy. Some leaves are also much smaller than others. You can find ivy leaves that range from the size of small coins to ones that cover your full palm.

Similarly, ivy vines may differ in size. Longer varieties may have thinner vines, though it varies depending on each species. Larger leaves and vines cause the ivy to weigh more and may make it droop as it extends beyond its plant. If you don’t like the drooping look or want the leaves to stand up on their own, you should look for a variety of ivy with smaller leaves and lighter vines.

Apart from being easy to care for, ivy has some other positive effects. One significant benefit of the plant is that it purifies your air. Having an ivy plant in your house can help keep your air clean and free from toxins. The plant absorbs carbon dioxide, which can relieve excess buildup from your home. It also releases oxygen to help you breathe more easily.

Unfortunately, ivy plants can also be prone to pest infestations. To prevent any issues -- or counteract any outbreaks if they do arise -- you’ll need to learn how to care for your ivy properly. Read ahead to find out some essential tips!

How to Care for Ivy

As we mentioned above, ivy is not a delicate plant to grow. It adjusts well to a variety of different surroundings and will remain alive even when access to light or water is sparse. However, just because ivy is a hardy plant doesn’t mean you should mistreat it! With just a few quick tips, you can keep your ivy plant in the best possible shape. 




Pests and Washing


green vine plant beside wall

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Ivy is an excellent option for beginner and advanced indoor gardeners alike. Follow our tips and tricks here to keep your ivy looking healthy and beautiful!


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