English Ivy, also known as Hedera Helix, is a popular plant known for its lengthy growth on walls, fences, trees, or other surfaces. They are hardy and can grow inside and outside the house with little care. But you might find your English ivy drooping! Let’s understand why.
The main causes for droopy leaves in English Ivy are overwatering, unfavorable temperatures, insufficient light, or inadequate humidity levels. To prevent droopy leaves, avoid watering without checking the soil, keep the plant in a bright spot and ensure it gets enough humidity.
In this article, I will address all the possible causes that cause droopy leaves in your English Ivy and provide some helpful information to identify the cause and fix the same.
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Why my English ivy leaves are drooping?
If you find your English ivy plant drooping its leaves and looking frail, it could be an early sign of something wrong with the plant.
It can only be a matter of days before the underlying cause behind this problem becomes evident.
Improper care and unsuitable growing conditions will cause the evergreen plant to droop back its leaves.
If you find any signs of droopy leaves, try to find out the exact cause and fix it before the condition becomes severe.
The potential reasons that can cause droopy leaves on English Ivy are:
- Wrong lighting
- Unfavorable temperatures
- Low humidity levels
- Repotting shock
- Pest infestations
Let us now understand these in detail.
Overwatering harms all plants, including English ivy, although it is hardy.
The plant will get overwatered in poorly drained soil, pot with no drainage holes, or if exposed to low light and temperatures.
Soggy and dense soil indicates an overwatered and unhealthy plant.
Overwatering will make the soil soggy and prevent the plant’s roots from receiving the oxygen needed for transferring water and nutrients to the leaves and stems.
Prolonged overwatering will cause deadly diseases such as root rot.
Droopy leaves can signify underwatering, but the best way to confirm is by checking the soil’s moisture level.
How do I fix a droopy overwatered English ivy?
- First, stop watering your ivy.
- Place your plant in a bright area with good air circulation so the soil can dry out quickly.
- If your ivy doesn’t recover, remove the plant from the pot and check its root system for infections.
- If the roots are fine, spread them and the soil on paper and let them dry under a well-lit spot with indirect light.
- If the roots are decaying, prune them and spray fungicide over healthy ones.
- Repot your ivy plant in a new pot with fresh soil mix. Make sure the pot has enough drainage holes.
- After repotting, take good care of your plant and resume watering and fertilizing once it fully recovers.
English ivy prefers to grow in dry rather than moist soil, but that doesn’t mean you will underwater them.
Ivies require adequate water to carry nutrients and minerals from their root system.
The plant will undergo dehydration and become weak due to a lack of watering.
The soil can also dry out quickly if you use a small pot with less soil or expose the plant to high temperatures or intense light.
When your English ivy is thirty, it will show you signs of dry, brittle, brown, and droopy leaves.
How do I fix a droopy, underwatered English ivy?
- If the soil has turned dry, take a chopstick and poke holes into it. After that, water the plant thoroughly until it starts draining out of the drainage holes.
- You can rescue your English Ivy with another method. Take a bucket filled with 3-4 inches of water. Take the plant out of the pot and place it in the bucket for 30-40 minutes. Once the soil is soaked, put the plant back into the pot and place it in a bright location.
- If the top few inches of the soil feels dry, provide water to your ivy thoroughly until the excess water starts to drain out from the pot.
Intense sunlight will dehydrate the plant due to an increased transpiration rate.
Too much water loss will cause weakness resulting in droopy leaves.
Direct light will cause discolored, scorched leaves and curly and bleached spots on leaves.
On the other hand, not providing the plant with sufficient light can also result in droopy leaves.
Under low light conditions, Your English ivy will not be able to perform photosynthesis properly, due to which it will not get the energy for carrying out various life processes.
Due to a lack of energy and food, the plant will lose its turgidity and get droopy.
Low light can cause stunted growth, wilted and droopy leaves, smaller leaves, and leggy growth.
How do I provide the right lighting conditions for my English ivy?
- Keep your English Ivy where it can receive moderate and partial shade. Keep the plant away from direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and droopiness.
- Place the plant near a north, east, or west-facing window. Avoid keeping the plant near a south-facing window to protect it from direct sunlight.
- If you don’t have an east or north-facing window, place your plant a few feet away or filter the light using curtains or window films.
- If natural light is lacking, consider using artificial lights in a preferred position for your plant.
Wrong temperatures make Your English Ivy unhealthy and weak.
They will grow well if temperatures are between 60 to 65°F during the daytime and 50°F during the night.
Extreme temperatures will dehydrate the plant, due to which the leaves will lose all the moisture and start drooping.
Low temperatures, however, will damage the plant’s cells and lead to droopiness.
Your English Ivy will also suffer from temperature stress if you suddenly expose it to a new environment!
A sudden temperature change will shock the plant, due to which the leaves will droop.
How do I keep my English ivy under the correct temperatures?
- Try to maintain ideal temperatures for your ivy by protecting it from extreme temperature fluctuations.
- Avoid keeping the plant near any frosty windows, leaky windowsills, open doors, or air conditioners.
- Also, do not place your plant near heating devices like heaters, radiators, vents, fireplaces, etc.
- Avoid moving the plant frequently to a new location, and even if you do, make sure the temperatures are stable there.
- You can use a thermostat device to maintain ideal temperatures around your plant.
Low humidity levels
English ivies prefer to grow in places where humidity is medium to high.
They do not thrive in dry air.
They need a minimum of 40-50% humidity to survive.
But if humidity levels fall below 40%, the plant will struggle.
At low humidity levels, the plant transpires more, which causes moisture loss from the leaves.
The low humidity problem is difficult to point out since it has the same signs as underwatering, like crispy, curly, brown, dry, and droopy leaves.
To identify a low humidity problem, you can use a hygrometer to determine the exact humidity around your plant.
How do I increase the humidity around my English ivy?
- You can increase humidity by misting the leaves of your English ivy plant twice a week with a spray bottle.
- You can use a humidifier to raise the humidity levels.
- You can keep your English ivy plant with other houseplants to raise the humidity levels through transpiration.
- You can keep your plant in a pebble tray filled with water and pebbles. The tray water will evaporate and raise the humidity around the plant.
English ivy needs little fertilization to grow and thrive.
Excessive fertilization can hurt and kill the plant.
Overfertilization can damage the entire plant in various ways.
When your plant is fertilized with higher doses, the extra salt in the fertilizer accumulates in the soil and burns the roots.
The damaged and unhealthy roots fail to carry physiological processes, due to which the plant becomes weak and starts drooping.
Signs of overfertilization on your English ivy include brown spots on leaves, droopy leaves, brown tips and edges, and white crust on the soil surface.
How to fix an overfertilized English ivy?
- If you have overfertilized ivy and the damage is minor, you can recover it by scraping the soil’s top layer and adding a new layer of fresh soil.
- After that, wash the soil thoroughly with water 3-4 times to drain the excess fertilizer from the soil.
- After washing the soil, allow the plant to dry in bright filtered sunlight. After a few days, you will notice your plant recover.
- But if the damage is major, you must repot your English ivy in fresh potting soil.
- Prune off the damaged leaves and parts and carefully repot your plant using a fresh soil mix with added nutrients.
- Avoid fertilizing the plant for a few months until it is fully recovered.
Just as too much fertilizer can cause droopy leaves, adding too little fertilizer can result in the same.
The soil may not contain the required nutrients.
Even if it does, it loses nutrients each time you water your English ivy plant.
Also, if you use a relatively small pot, then the roots of your plant will become pot-bound and fail to access the essential nutrients from the pot.
And if the soil has a nitrogen deficit, your English ivy will stop growing, and the leaves will droop and die off.
Lack of fertilizer will also result in slow growth, weaker stems, and faded leaves.
How do I fertilize my English ivy?
- Fertilize your English ivy plant every two weeks during the spring and summer when it is actively growing. You can also fertilize it in the fall.
- Fertilize the soil with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20.
- Dilute the fertilizer at half strength to avoid the chances of overfertilization.
- Do not fertilize the plant during the winter as it remains dormant. Adding fertilizer can do more harm than good to the plant.
Repotting can stress your English ivy due to a sudden change in its growing condition.
The roots might get hurt during the repotting process and stress the plant.
In such conditions, the damaged roots won’t be able to transfer water and nutrients to the plant, causing it to droop.
Your English ivy can also experience stress if you repot it during winter.
The plant remains dormant during winters and can’t accept a sudden changing environment, due to which the leaves start to droop.
When should I repot my English ivy?
- Ivy will face stress after you repot it as it is natural to get stressed out due to a sudden change in growing conditions. However, you can reduce it by doing it with care.
- While repotting, be attentive and careful whenever you remove the roots from the soil. Do not hurt or harm the roots.
- The new potting mix should be similar to the old potting mix. Otherwise, the plant will get distressed by the new soil composition.
- Water the plant thoroughly after repotting to reduce its stress.
If you have ruled out watering practices and environmental factors as the cause of your droopy English ivy, it might be time to check the plant for pests and diseases.
Pests like mealybugs, spider mites, whiteflies, scales, and aphids can attack your English ivy.
They are sap-sucking insects that can suck out the entire nutrients and water from the leaves.
As a result, the plant gets dehydrated and becomes weak and unhealthy, leading to droopy leaves.
They spread very quickly, and a little delay in treatment can end your plant’s life.
How to treat a pest-infested English ivy?
- At first, isolate your English ivy to prevent the spread of pests to other houseplants.
- Prune off the damaged, diseased, and infected leaves and parts of the plant with sharp and sterile pruners.
- Wash your plant by placing it under running water to drain the pests away.
- Remove the remaining pests by wiping the infected area with wet cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol.
- Spray Neem oil or horticulture oil on your ivy every month to keep the pests away.
- If the condition is worse, consider using pesticides to kill the pests.
Should I prune the droopy leaves of my English ivy?
You can prune back the droopy leaves of your plant if the damage is more than 50%.
Consider pruning the brown, yellow, crispy, curly, and spotted leaves, as pruning them off will help the plant encourage new growth.
Always use sharp and sterile scissors or pruners for making sharp and clean cuts.
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There can be several reasons that can cause your English Ivy to droop. You must inspect the plant carefully to identify the exact reason. I have explained the possible causes of droopy leaves and their remedies.
If only a few leaves of your ivy are droopy and haven’t fallen, you have identified the problem fast enough to save its life.
Once you understand the problem and rectify the issues, your plant will stop drooping and turn back healthy within a few weeks. To prevent droopy leaves, try to provide your English ivy with ideal growing conditions and proper care.