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Hanging Ivies are elegant and rich looking, easy to grow, and they age gracefully. Keep an eye out for spider mite. If you catch the pest and spray early your ivy will stay healthy looking. We emphasize early pest detection because mites do extensive damage in little time.
They can be trained to cover shapes with their vines, but they need constant clipping directing. We prefer our ivies hanging or over a ledge. They need regular trimming to keep their shape. Cuttings can be easily rooted in water
Plectranthus species come from Africa and Australia but are called Swedish ivy because they were first grown as house plants in Sweden. Most are fast-growing trailing soft-stemmed plants with roundish thick-textured leaves shallowly scalloped along the edges. All are easy to grow, even in plain water, and the trailing ones are especially attractive in hanging containers.
Swedish ivy has 1 1/2- to 2-foot-long trailing stems that bear waxy dark green leaves about 1 inch across. The white-edged Swedish ivy, a bushy plant 8 to 12 inches tall, has 2- to 3-inch hairy green leaves with creamy white edges. The candle plant, one of the most attractive trailing types with stems up to 2 feet long, has 1-inch bronze-green leaves accented by a network of bright silvery veins; the leaf stalks and undersides of old leaves are purplish. The variegated candle plant, P. oertendahlii 'Variegatus', has dark green foliage with broad, irregular white blotches. The purple-leaved Swedish ivy has trailing stems up to 2 feet long; its 3/4-inch purplish green leaves are covered with tiny velvety hairs and have dull purple undersides.
HOW TO GROW.
Swedish ivies do best in bright indirect or curtain-filtered sunlight; if only artificial light is available, provide at least 400 foot-candles. Night temperatures of 55° to 65° and day temperatures of 65° to 75° are ideal. Keep the soil barely moist at all times. Feed established plants at two-month intervals with a standard house-plant fertilizer diluted to half the minimum strength recommended on the label, but wait three to four months before feeding newly purchased or potted plants. Repot overcrowded plants at any season, using a mixture of 1 part loam, 1 part peat moss or leaf mold and 1 part sharp sand; to each gallon pailful of this mixture add 1 1/2 teaspoons of 20 per cent superphosphate, 1 tablespoon of ground limestone and 2 teaspoons of 5-10-5 fertilizer. Otherwise, use a packaged general-purpose potting soil. Pinch off long stems at any season to encourage dense branching; these tips can then be rooted to make new plants. Watch for mealybugs.