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Ivy Pests and Problems

Hedera helix

This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringA photograph of Hedera helix is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper Al Zahursky wrote:

I'm not much of a gardener, so I hope I'm able to give you enough info. to help me out...

I have an ivy plant - I'm not sure what kind it is, but it's leaves are a solid green. It was once a healthy plant, and I'm not sure what I did to it. Some of the leaves have started to get small dark spots of dried out area, then they turn yellowish and drop off. The spots don't come on the edge, more toward the center. Not very many leaves have the spots either. But, all the leaves are kind of puckering on the corners. I used to have the plant in a west window, but I live in the mountains so it doesn't get all that much sunlight. I've moved it further from the window and have been really keeping track of it's progress. Now, it only has 3 leaves with spots (one or two spots per leaf). I really loved this plant and it used to be so healthy. Please help me!

Ivy climbing a wall

Hi Al,

It would be my best guess that your ivy plant has red spider mites. Use a magnifying glass and examine the underside of the leaves. Spider mites are extremely small, so look closely for any mites(they look like a miniature spider), or any webbing.

Should you find any evidence, isolate the plant from all of your other plants. Check your other houseplants too, mites are small enough that a breeze can transport them to the next plant.

There are commercial insecticides available to control mites, but read the label, some types can not be used on ivy. Before you resort to poison,,,,try dipping the foliage in room temperature, mildly soapy water. Dip it again in a week or so, and then recheck for mites. With any luck,,,you'll have 'em beat.

Ivy, as with most glossy leafed houseplants, need their leaves wiped with a damp cloth, occasionally. A periodic misting is helpful also.

As far as lighting goes, ivy likes bright light, but not necessarily full sun. The amount of light does have a direct bearing on the size of the leaves.

If you check your plant, and find no evidence of insects, write back, and I'll try again. Bill