Simple & Easy Houseplant – Swedish Ivy Care
Somehow I am starting to accumulate more and more indoor houseplants. I guess it sort of sneaks up on you when you’ve planted some to take inside (like I have), and then you love how they look where they are sitting under the window. So you keep that inside. Next time you are out shopping, when you pass a pretty plant that you know won’t live through an Ohio winter outside, I just tell myself ” Just one more won’t hurt…”
Does this happen to you? We people who love to garden still want those plants in winter too, so we give in to our temptations. Then wonder later how we got so many plants!
I thought I could start a series of posts on the houseplants I have. Or the ones I wish I had. Shush now! (whispering) Or maybe the ones I will get when my husband is not looking. “Oh that one? I have had that for a while. Don’t you remember it?” LOL
So that brings me to my first plant, Swedish Ivy. It is also called Creeping Charlie (not the same as the WEED by that name), but its official name is Plectranthus australis. Swedish Ivy care is so easy that this could be a “beginner plant” if you are in your first stages of getting addicted to plants and gardening.
Swedish Ivy is great for hanging baskets outdoors and indoors. It cascades so beautifully down the sides of a pot that a hanging pot becomes a huge ball or teardrop shape. The leaves are thick-ish (I would call it a succulent-like plant) and hold water well. Maybe that is one of the reasons it is easy to grow since it stores water for a while.
But don’t let yours dry out until it droops because that kind of stress is hard on a plant. Water it well and empty the saucer after ten minutes or so as a safeguard against it standing in water. (If yours is outside, just tip the saucer under it a little until it is no longer full.)
Plectranthus is grown outdoors all year in USDA Zones 10a to 11b, so that is way out of my range in Ohio Zone 6. Currently mine is growing in a large ceramic pot (loving the cascade down this pot) and we keep it in the corner of the breakfast room near a window but not sitting in the direct light of the window. Intense bright light can burn the leaves so be careful. But I think this houseplant is perfect for a bright area.
This plant is not an ivy, but I guess it gets its name from its vining habit. Leaves are glossy and have a curvy edge on an almost heart-shaped leaf. A really pretty plant.
And of course, here is my video. Please take a look!
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More Swedish Ivy Care and Propagation
Propagating this plant is so easy, new plants can be ready in a week. Just select a branch and snip it off with sharp pruners or if you accidentally break off a piece, just put that branch in a small container of water and new roots will form in a few days. You can root the branch directly into the soil (which I think is the best way). Add a touch of rooting hormone if you like.
My plant has bloomed in past years which was surprising. The small flower shapes look somewhat like a penstemon, it seems to me. These were white flowers. In hindsight, I should have taken a photo but I didn’t. Some say that the better the light, the more likely to flower, but you’ll need to be careful not to provide too much sunlight since the leaves could get burned.
Enjoy your houseplants. I think they add a lot to a home. You will love the look of your houseplants when the outdoors become white and covered with snow. Yes, it will come soon. Don’t you think the year has gone by quickly?
Hi! I somehow killed my first Swedish Ivy. I think it was root rot because the leaves turned yellow and the plant drooped. This was within a day or two after i first watered it. So I did some research and reordered another one. This time, i waited until around two weeks after it was delivered. The plant was packaged very well, appeared super healthy, though it did seem a little croded in the plastic pot they sent it in.however, instructions said to wait a few weeks before repotting ti give the plant time to acclimate after having been shipped.
Anyway…at 2 weeks, I checked the soil, it felt very dry. I watered the plant, made sure excess water was entirely out of the bottom of the planter…i tipped the pot this way and thay to ensure excess water came out. As an dded precaution, I even set the planter on top of small rocks i placed inside the drainage dish..to ensure there was plenty of space for any bit of excess which might remain to properly drain and for some air to reach the roots. The next day….some bottom leaves were yellow! So I pinched those off. I added some extra drainage holes to the bottom of the plastic pot. I feel i now need to replant it into a larger pot. The trick is to find a good potting soil that does NOT have fungus flies in it. We have few options where I live and the potting soil we get around here is rife with those nasty things. I, fortunately, do not have them in my plants or house. But many others I know do.
My second issue is this: what material is the best for a pot for swedish ivy? Plastic self watering with a wick? Terracotta? I want to do this right. And i want to save my plant. It is not drooping…yet. and it may be just fine if i can repot it with new soil. Worth a shot. Help! Advice is needed, please.
Sorry you are having so much trouble with the plant. My only thoughts would be to be careful when watering to only water when it is fairly dry (usually starts to wilt a little) and to be sure not to have in too large a pot. Depending on the size of your plant, it may need a somewhat “small” seeming pot so that the moisture is consistent through the pot. You may feel dry at the top, but if the pot is too large, it may be still moist in the bottom and therefore not need water at this time. And of course the soil needs to be well-draining. I think the best pots are “breathable” pots which would be terra cotta or hypertufa. I think air circulating thru the walls of the pot help the roots better than plastic or ceramic. JMO . Good luck!
Hi – I rooted five leaves and planted them. The leaves are gorgeous and big but so far no new leaves have popped up in the bundle. The roots are healthy and plenty – they are popping out of the bottom of the pot. It’s been about five months and still no babies.
The only thing I can think of is that maybe you don’t have a large enough piece of the plant. Be sure to have a node or two (or more) and roots will grow in just a few days. Not sure why there would be massive roots but no growth?
What is your best advice to transition Swedish Ivy water propagations into soil?
I think that once it has grown a few roots, it is ready to put into loose soil. Hold off on watering for a day or two, then put a bit into the soil. Give the roots time to learn to search out the water once again and it should be good to go. Maybe pinch off an end of a few branches to stimulate for branching and a thick full plant. This has always worked for me.
I have a Swedish ivy in a rather small pot, it is doing very well. But I wonder if it would do better in a larger pot? Or perhaps a hanging pot?
Would you recommend that I transfer to a larger pot?
Hello, Ashley, If it is getting too big for that pot, this would be a great time to pot it up to a larger pot (spring where you are?). They grow so quickly that you will have a giant plant soon. I have a few hanging pots where I have snipped a branch off the main plant. They grow so easily.
Pretty plant, it looks very happy 🙂 I have a number of strategies for sneaking in new houseplants. My husband gets the feeling the numbers are increasing but he can’t specifically identify any new plants. Sometimes he’ll ask me if one is new but he’s always wrong. I hide larger new plants in rooms he doesn’t really enter for a while, then move them around, and if he notices I can honestly say, “No I’ve had that one for quite a while, I’ve just moved it to a different spot, it needed more light.” Smaller plants can be added to existing groups, he can’t remember whether there were already four there or was it just three? Baby plants start out on the kitchen windowsill, there are always some there so he assumes they’re the same ones. Confessions of a houseplant addict!
Wow, you have a real system. I can take lessons from that. So funny!
I love Swedish Ivy and just bought two new little plants and plan to hang them on my patio, which gets morning sun. I live in zone 8b. Will my Swedish Ivy plants be okay outside in the winter? Also, how often should I water these plants?
Hi Susan, I think yours will do great in morning sun. Not sure it can survive in winter there. It is listed for zone 10b and higher. It should not be allowed in freezing temps and only limited to mid 40-45°F. If it grows too big to go back inside in winter, root some cuttings in advance to take some inside. Grows great inside too!