How To Plant Ivy From Cuttings [ Full Guide ]

Ivy, known for its lush foliage and ability to cascade down from walls and containers, is a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens. One of the most cost-effective and efficient methods to propagate ivy is by using cuttings. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to successfully plant ivy from cuttings. From selecting the right cuttings to preparing the potting soil, we will cover everything you need to know to ensure your ivy cuttings flourish into healthy and thriving plants.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Ivy From Cuttings

To quickly summarize the process:

  1. Select a healthy cutting from a mature ivy plant.
  2. Use clean and sharp scissors or pruners to take a 4-6 inch cutting.
  3. Remove the lower leaves from the cutting, leaving at least two leaves at the top.
  4. Allow the cutting to dry and callus for a few hours.
  5. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone (optional).
  6. Plant the cutting in a pot with well-draining soil.
  7. Keep the soil consistently moist and place the cutting in a warm, bright location but out of direct sunlight.
  8. After a few weeks, new roots should start to develop, indicating successful propagation.

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process in detail.

Selecting The Right Ivy Cutting

Selecting the right cutting is crucial for successful propagation. Follow these guidelines to ensure you choose the best cutting for planting:

Choose A Healthy Parent Plant

Look for a healthy and mature ivy plant from which to take cuttings. Ensure the parent plant is free from diseases, pests, and any signs of distress.

Cutting Size

When taking cuttings from the ivy plant, aim for a length of about 4-6 inches. This length is ideal for promoting root development while being manageable for planting and care.

Leaf Condition

Inspect the leaves on the parent plant and choose cuttings with healthy, unblemished leaves. Avoid cuttings with yellowing or damaged leaves, as these may struggle to propagate successfully.

Node Placement

Nodes are the small protrusions on the stem where leaves emerge. When selecting a cutting, make sure it has at least two to three nodes, as this is where the roots will emerge.

Seasonal Considerations

While ivy cuttings can be taken throughout the year, spring and early summer tend to be the best times for propagation, as plants are actively growing during this period, which can boost the success rate of propagation.

Tools And Materials Needed

Before you embark on planting ivy from cuttings, it’s important to have the necessary tools and materials ready. Here’s what you’ll need:


  1. Pruners or Scissors: Clean and sharp pruners or scissors to take precise and clean cuttings. Dull or dirty tools can damage the stems, making it harder for the cutting to root.

  2. Rooting Hormone (Optional): While not essential, rooting hormone can encourage root development and increase the success rate of propagation, especially for more difficult-to-root cultivars.


  1. Pots or Containers: Small pots or containers with drainage holes to plant the ivy cuttings. Ensure the pots are clean and have been thoroughly washed and dried.

  2. Potting Soil: Well-draining potting soil or a mixture of equal parts peat moss and perlite for optimal root growth.

  3. Spray Bottle: A spray bottle for misting the cuttings and keeping the soil moist during the propagation process.

  4. Clear Plastic Bags or Domes (Optional): To create a humid environment for the cuttings and maintain moisture levels, clear plastic bags or domes can be used to cover the pots.

Preparing The Potting Soil

The potting soil used for planting ivy cuttings is crucial, as it provides the necessary support and nutrients for root development. Follow these steps to prepare the potting soil for your ivy cuttings:

Choose Well-Draining Soil

Ivy cuttings require soil that is well-draining to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to rotting. Choose a high-quality potting mix or create your own by combining equal parts of peat moss and perlite.

Sterilize The Soil (Optional)

To prevent the introduction of pests and diseases, you can choose to sterilize the potting soil before planting the cuttings. You can do so by placing the soil in an oven-safe container and heating it in the oven at 180°F (82°C) for about 30 minutes to kill any potential pathogens.

Fill The Containers

Fill the pots or containers with the prepared potting soil, leaving about half an inch of space at the top to accommodate the cuttings. Gently pat down the soil to remove any air pockets.

Now that you have selected the right ivy cutting, gathered the necessary tools and materials, and prepared the potting soil, you are ready to embark on the process of planting ivy from cuttings.

Propagating ivy from cuttings can be a rewarding and cost-effective way to expand your plant collection. By selecting the right cuttings, using the appropriate tools and materials, and preparing the potting soil correctly, you can increase the likelihood of successful root development and establish healthy new plants. Taking the time to follow these steps and provide the optimal conditions for your ivy cuttings will set the stage for robust and thriving plants in the future. With patience and care, you can enjoy the satisfaction of watching your ivy cuttings grow into mature, beautiful plants that enhance your indoor or outdoor space.

Preparing The Cuttings

Ivy is a popular and versatile plant that adds a touch of elegance and beauty to any garden or indoor space. While ivy can be grown from seeds, planting ivy from cuttings is a more common and effective method. Propagating ivy from cuttings not only saves money but also allows you to create more plants that are genetically identical to the parent plant.

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Before starting the propagation process, it is important to gather the necessary materials and prepare the cuttings properly. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Sharp, sterilized pruning shears
  2. Clean, sharp knife
  3. Rooting hormone (optional)
  4. Clean container or ziplock bag
  5. Potting mix or water
  6. Clear plastic bag or plastic wrap
  7. Spray bottle

Now that you have all the materials, follow these steps to prepare the cuttings:

  1. Identify a healthy, well-established ivy plant as your source for cuttings. Look for vigorous growth, disease-free leaves, and no signs of pests.
  2. Plan your cuttings during the spring or early summer, when the ivy plant is actively growing.
  3. Using sterile pruning shears, cut a 4-6 inch section of a non-flowering stem from the parent plant. Make a clean 45-degree angle cut just below a node (the point where the leaf or bud is attached to the stem). Nodes are vital for root development.
  4. If you are planning to root multiple cuttings, make sure each cutting has at least two or three nodes.
  5. Remove any leaves from the bottom 1-2 inches of the cutting. This will prevent them from rotting when in contact with the growing medium.
  6. If desired, you can dip the cut end of the stem in a rooting hormone powder or gel to enhance the chances of successful rooting. This step is optional but can increase the success rate.

Starting The Cuttings: Water Or Soil Method

Once you have prepared the cuttings, you have the option to root them in water or directly in soil. Both methods have their advantages, so choose the one that suits your preferences and available resources best. Here’s how to initiate the rooting process using both methods:

Water Method

  1. Fill a clean, narrow-mouthed glass or jar with distilled water, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Avoid using tap water as it may contain chemicals that can hinder root development.
  2. Place the prepared cuttings in the jar, ensuring that the bottom two nodes are submerged in water. Make sure the leaves are not submerged.
  3. Position the jar in a well-lit area but away from direct sunlight. Indirect light is ideal for root development.
  4. Replace the water every 2-3 days to avoid the development of mold or bacteria. Maintain the water level to ensure the cuttings remain submerged.
  5. Monitor the progress by observing the cuttings for root development. It typically takes 2-4 weeks for the roots to grow to a suitable length for transplanting.
  6. Once the roots are about 1-2 inches long, the cuttings are ready to be potted in soil. Be careful when transferring the delicate roots to avoid damage.

Soil Method

  1. Fill a clean container with a well-draining potting mix. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite is ideal for ivy cuttings.
    Avoid using heavy garden soil or compost, as they can retain too much water and impede root development.
  2. Make small holes in the soil using a pencil or your finger, ensuring they are deep enough to accommodate the bottom nodes of the cuttings.
  3. Insert the prepared cuttings into the holes, gently firming the soil around them to provide stability.
  4. Lightly mist the cuttings and soil with a spray bottle to promote moisture. It is crucial to keep the soil consistently moist during the rooting process.
  5. Cover the container with a clear plastic bag or plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse effect, retaining humidity and heat. Ensure the plastic doesn’t touch the leaves of the cuttings.
  6. Place the container in a warm, well-lit area, avoiding direct sunlight. A temperature of around 70°F (21°C) is optimal for root growth.
  7. Check the soil moisture regularly and mist the cuttings if it becomes dry. Avoid overwatering, as excessive moisture can lead to rot.

Potting The Cuttings: Best Practices

Once the cuttings have developed a sufficient root system, it’s time to pot them into individual containers. Following these best practices will ensure successful transplantation and further growth:

  1. Choose small pots that provide adequate drainage. Use a high-quality, well-draining potting mix suitable for indoor or outdoor plants, depending on where you intend to grow the ivy.
  2. Fill the pots with the potting mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top to prevent overflow and allow for watering.
  3. Carefully remove the cuttings from the water or soil, ensuring the delicate roots remain intact.
  4. Gently place each cutting in an individual pot, ensuring the roots are covered with soil. Avoid burying the leaves or nodes too deep.
  5. Lightly press the soil around the base of the cutting to provide stability.
  6. Water the newly potted cuttings thoroughly until water begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. This helps settle the soil and eliminate any air pockets around the roots.
  7. Place the pots in a location with bright, indirect light. Ivy prefers bright but not direct sunlight, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor settings.
  8. Maintain a consistent watering schedule, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause stress and stunted growth.
  9. Fertilize the young plants every 4-6 weeks during the growing season, using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label for the correct dosage.
  10. Monitor the plants regularly for any signs of pests or diseases. Common issues include aphids, spider mites, and powdery mildew. Promptly treat any problems to ensure the health and vitality of your ivy plants.
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Suitable Planting Conditions

To ensure the proper growth and development of your ivy plants, it is crucial to provide suitable planting conditions. Consider the following factors when selecting the ideal location for your newly propagated ivy:

  1. Light: Ivy prefers bright, indirect light. Place the plants near a window with filtered sunlight or in a shaded area of your garden. Avoid exposing the plants to direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.
  2. Temperature: Ivy thrives in temperatures between 50°F (10°C) and 70°F (21°C). It can tolerate slightly cooler or warmer conditions but may suffer in extreme heat or cold.
  3. Humidity: While ivy can adapt to varying humidity levels, it generally prefers moderate humidity. To increase humidity in indoor settings, you can mist the plants regularly or use a humidifier.
  4. Soil: Ivy grows best in well-draining soil that retains some moisture while allowing excess water to drain away. The pH of the soil should be slightly acidic to neutral (between 6.0 and 7.0).
  5. Watering: Keep the soil evenly moist but avoid overwatering. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings. Stick your finger into the soil to check the moisture level before watering.
  6. Fertilization: Feed your ivy plants with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season. Follow the recommended dosage and frequency based on the specific fertilizer you are using.
  7. Support: Ivy is a climbing plant that benefits from a support structure. Consider providing a trellis, stake, or wall for the ivy to climb and grow vertically.
  8. Pruning: Regularly prune your ivy plants to maintain their shape and prevent legginess. Remove any dead or damaged leaves, and trim back excessive growth to encourage bushier and healthier plants.

With proper techniques and care, planting ivy from cuttings can be a rewarding and successful endeavor. Whether you choose the water or soil method, ensure your cuttings receive adequate light, moisture, and temperature to promote root development. Once the ivy has developed a healthy root system, pot them in individual containers using well-draining soil. Remember to provide the suitable planting conditions and regularly monitor and maintain the health of your ivy plants. Soon, you will enjoy the captivating beauty and versatility of your own propagated ivy plants, whether indoors or in your garden.

Watering And Fertilizing Guidelines

Ivy is a popular and versatile plant that can add greenery and beauty to any garden or indoor space. One of the easiest ways to propagate ivy is through stem cuttings. By following a few simple steps, you can successfully plant ivy cuttings and watch them grow into healthy and vibrant plants.

When it comes to planting ivy cuttings, proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the success and growth of the new plants. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Watering

  • Before planting the cuttings, it’s important to ensure that the soil is moist but not soaked. Saturated soil can lead to root rot, while dry soil can hinder root development.
  • After planting the cuttings, water them thoroughly and keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged.
  • The frequency of watering will depend on the climate and the moisture retention capability of the soil. In general, water the ivy cuttings whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
  • Avoid overwatering, as this can also lead to root rot. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

2. Fertilizing

  • Ivy plants are not heavy feeders, but regular fertilizing can promote healthy growth.
  • Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 10-10-10 or 20-20-20. Dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package.
  • Apply the fertilizer every two to four weeks during the active growing season, which is typically spring and summer.
  • Avoid fertilizing in the fall and winter months when ivy plants enter a period of dormancy.

Protecting The New Ivy Plants

Just like any other newly planted cuttings or seedlings, ivy plants need some extra care and protection in their early stages. Here are a few ways you can safeguard them:

1. Provide Adequate Light

  • Place the newly planted ivy cuttings in a location that receives bright but indirect light.
  • Direct sunlight can scorch the delicate leaves and inhibit the growth of the new plants.
  • If you are planting the ivy cuttings indoors, consider placing them near a window that faces east or west for optimal light exposure.

2. Create A Humid Environment

  • Ivy plants thrive in a humid environment, especially during their initial growth stages.
  • To increase humidity levels, mist the leaves of the new plants with water daily using a spray bottle.
  • Alternatively, you can place a tray filled with water near the plants, which will create a humid microclimate as the water evaporates.

3. Avoid Temperature Extremes

  • Ivy plants prefer moderate temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 24 degrees Celsius).
  • Avoid exposing the new plants to extreme temperature fluctuations, such as drafts or heating vents.
  • If you are planting the ivy cuttings outdoors, make sure to do so when the weather is mild, preferably during spring or fall.
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Caring For Ivy Plants As They Grow

Once the ivy cuttings have rooted and established themselves, they require regular care to ensure optimal growth. Here are some essential care guidelines to follow:

1. Pruning And Training

  • Ivy plants tend to grow vigorously and can become invasive if not properly maintained.
  • Regular pruning helps control the growth and shape of the plants. Trim the ivy’s stems and foliage to maintain the desired size and form.
  • You can also train the ivy to climb up trellises, walls, or other supports. Use soft ties or twine to gently guide the ivy’s tendrils onto the support structure.

2. Repotting

  • As ivy plants grow, they may outgrow their containers or become root-bound.
  • If you notice that the ivy’s roots are tightly packed, it’s time to repot the plant into a larger container.
  • Select a pot that is one size larger than the current one, fill it with well-draining potting soil, and carefully transfer the ivy plant.
  • Water the plant thoroughly after repotting and continue regular care as usual.

3. Preventing Pest Infestations

  • Ivy plants are generally resistant to most common pests, but they can occasionally suffer from infestations.
  • Inspect the leaves regularly for signs of aphids, mealybugs, or spider mites. These pests can be removed by gently wiping the leaves with a damp cloth or by using an insecticidal soap.
  • Avoid overwatering, as it can create a humid environment that attracts pests. Ensure proper ventilation and airflow around the plants to prevent pest issues.

4. Winter Care

  • Ivy plants are generally hardy, but they may require some additional care during the winter months, especially in colder climates.
  • Reduce watering during the dormant period and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • If the ivy plants are growing outdoors, provide a layer of mulch around the base to protect the roots from freezing temperatures.
  • If you are growing ivy indoors, place it away from cold drafts or heating vents to prevent stress to the plants.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

While growing ivy from cuttings is usually a straightforward process, there can be some common issues that you may encounter along the way. Here are a few problems and their solutions:

1. Root Rot

  • Overwatering or poorly draining soil can lead to root rot in ivy plants. Symptoms include wilting, yellowing leaves, and a foul smell from the soil.
  • To address root rot, remove the affected plant carefully and inspect the roots. Trim away any rotting or mushy roots.
  • Repot the ivy plant into fresh, well-draining soil, and adjust your watering practices to prevent the recurrence of root rot.

2. Leaf Browning Or Dropping

  • Browning or dropping of ivy leaves can be caused by underwatering, overly dry air, or exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Increase watering frequency and ensure that the soil is evenly moist, especially during hot and dry periods.
  • Create a humid microclimate around the plant by misting the leaves or placing a tray of water nearby.
  • Move the plant to a location with indirect light or provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day.

3. Lack Of Growth

  • If your ivy plants are not growing or have stalled in their growth, it could be due to factors such as inadequate light, poor nutrition, or rootbound conditions.
  • Ensure that the plants are receiving sufficient bright but indirect light. Consider supplementing with artificial grow lights if necessary.
  • Fertilize the ivy plants regularly with a balanced fertilizer to provide the necessary nutrients for growth.
  • If the plant appears rootbound, repot it into a larger container with fresh soil to give its roots more room to grow.


Planting ivy from cuttings can be a rewarding and satisfying process. By following the proper watering and fertilizing guidelines, protecting the new plants, and providing adequate care as they grow, you can ensure the successful establishment and growth of your ivy plants. Remember to troubleshoot any issues that may arise, and enjoy the beauty of your thriving ivy plants as they add a touch of green to your surroundings.


What Is The Best Time Of Year To Take Cuttings From An Existing Ivy Plant?

Late spring or early summer is the ideal time to take cuttings from an established ivy plant.

What Type Of Cutting Should I Use For Planting Ivy?

Use stem cuttings that are about 4-6 inches long and have at least 3-4 leaves.

How Do I Prepare The Cutting For Planting?

Trim the bottom of the cutting just below a leaf node and remove any lower leaves to expose at least 1-2 inches of the stem.

Do I Need To Use Any Rooting Hormone?

It is not necessary, but using a rooting hormone can help speed up the rooting process and increase the chances of success.

Where Should I Plant The Ivy Cuttings?

Plant the cuttings in a well-draining potting mix and place them in a location with indirect sunlight and warm temperatures.