Hedera Helix 'Green California'
If “fast-growing” is the main quality you’re looking for in a plant, the Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ is for you. This deep-green vine quickly fills its pot, spills over the sides, and keeps on growing! This makes decorating with the Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ extremely exciting. While other plants can take up a small corner or a spot on your window sill, this Ivy can occupy as much or as little space as you like. Place the Hedera Helix on top of a shelf and let it cascade down to the floor. Toss it in a hanging pot and let it create natural curtains for your windows. Don’t want it to spread too far? No problem! Simply prune the vines that are getting too long and shape the plant exactly how you like. Give it bright light and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Keep it out of reach from pets and children because the Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ is toxic if ingested.
Medium to bright indirect light
Let the soil dry out between watering. Ivy prefers to be kept on the dry side.
45° – 80°F
Hedera Helix ‘Green California’
A part-time shade lover and a full-time friend, the Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ (also known as English Ivy) is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in the toughest of environments! This vigorous, fast-growing perennial excels as a climbing vine or trailing ground cover.
If you care for your Hedera Helix properly, it will reward you with beautiful, green foliage for your home! Whether you decide to care for it indoors or let it run wild and free outdoors, there are a few things you should know. Keep reading to learn more!
What is a Hedera Helix?
English Ivy is a woody evergreen vine native to Europe and parts of Russia. When planted outdoors, this plant works best as an ornamental ground cover or beautiful green covering for stone or brick walls.
The Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ (common name: English Ivy) is best planted in the fall, growing rapidly that time of year. As an invasive species in much of the United States, the Helix ivies are hard to control, especially if they begin growing somewhere they’re not wanted!
Your Hedera Helix may reach between 3 to 50 ft. in width and 20 t0 80 ft. in height during their growing cycle, as long as you provide it with indirect bright light.
Ivy plants are aggressive growers and are enormous when growing outside. They’re commonly a garnish to brick walls or stately old homes.
The Hedera Felix requires bright indirect sunlight. That being said, you should avoid exposing your plant to direct sunlight during the hot summer months. The hot sun could burn the foliage.
All types of English ivy grow well in partial sun to partial shade. Varieties with variegated foliage can tolerate brighter conditions like full sun better than those with solid green leaves.
English Ivy prefers moist, humid conditions but does not take well to being soaking wet. Although this plant may survive minimal drought-like conditions, it is important not to dry out the soil. Keeping your plant’s soil evenly watered will help produce the most vibrant color.
Typically, these plants don’t require constant watering. You can water your Hedera Helix every 5 to 7 days, depending on living conditions. When watering your ivy, try to aim your hose at the base of the plant to avoid drenching the leaves. Drenching the leaves may make the plant vulnerable to fungal diseases.
Outdoors, the English Ivy should be protected from both harsh winters and excessive summer heat. Humid conditions in the summer months encourage root rot.
Ivy that grows indoors thrive in cooler temperatures, with nights often below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. During hot summer days, aim to mist your indoor ivy frequently to increase its humidity levels. Unless you live in a desert-like climate, outdoor plants will likely get enough humidity from the environment.
Why Choose a Hedera Helix Plant?
Other than ornamentation, the English Ivy has many medicinal and air purifying qualities! When it comes down to functionality, it is a very versatile plant to own. Not only will it liven up any space with its beautiful green foliage, but it also provides you with clean air!
English Ivies are one of the top 10 air-purifying plants! They reduce mold and improve air quality. This is especially good news for anyone that suffers from asthma or allergies.
Not only a great way to adorn your home inside and out, but the English Ivy also provides many medicinal properties. Herbalists use it to treat respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, and inflammation.
One study found that English ivies could reduce particles of fecal matter and mold. The amount of fecal matter dropped by more than 94% in 12 hours.
Research shows that ivy relaxes the airways and may reduce coughs. The saponin components in the leaf extracts can make breathing easier. They are bitter-tasting, usually toxic plant-derived chemicals. Saponins improve gut health and fight bacteria.
When extracted, Saponin may help make breathing easier by:
- Loosening up mucus, so it clears out faster
- Making airway muscles relax
- Increasing the production and secretion of liquid in exchange for oxygen
On top of making a beautiful adornment for your home, office space, or garden, the Hedera Helix is a proven plant for stress relief and anxiety. This plant can reduce headaches and can help promote a good night’s sleep. Those who have asthma will find themselves breathing a little better due to its air purifying qualities.
Are English Ivy Plants Good Indoors & Outdoors?
English Ivy is a common houseplant, which can be surprising because it is a bit picky indoors than it is outdoors. The artificially dry air found in most homes paired with air-conditioned environments is not ideal for ivies. Nevertheless, you can find common ground for this beautiful plant and create a suitable indoor environment.
Find a place in your home that will offer your ivy with medium-light when indoors. While you can grow ivies in low-light indoors, they won’t last as long. It is best to keep your ivy indoors, a little too dry than a little too wet. They do not fare well when they are overwatered.
You will notice that if you overwater your plant, the leaves will turn brown and dry on the edges. This may make it seem as if the plant needs more water. On the contrary, the leaves lose their beautiful green color because the plant is drowning. Safe to say, it is best to keep your ivy on the dry side.
Ivies thrive outdoors in cool, humid, and moist conditions. Most varieties have aerial roots, which allows the plant to grow upwards. You will want to provide your plant with supports like a trellis or a structure, like a shed. Because English Ivies are aggressive growers, they may start growing rapidly along walls, the side of houses, or gates.
Are English Ivy Plants Pet and Children Friendly?
Although this plant makes for great decor indoors and outdoors, English Ivy’s are poisonous to pets and children. If you have any curious puppies or small children who often find themselves in trouble, it is best to keep this plant out of reach. If consumed, this plant may introduce negative side effects like rash and breathing problems.
English Ivy Plant Family Relatives
The Hedera Helix belongs to the Araliaceae family, a family of flowering plants. This group consists primarily of woody plants and some herbaceous plants and is predominantly distinguishable due to its woody habit and tropical distribution.
Here are a few plants that are also a part of the Araliaceae family!
- Ginseng: Ginseng refers to 11 varieties of short, slow-growing plants with fleshy roots. This herb has a fork-shaped root, a long stalk, and oval-shaped green leaves. Ginseng is known for its highly medicinal properties! It may boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, and promote relaxation.
- Dwarf Umbrella Tree: The Schefflera, also known as the Dwarf plant, is considered a tropical plant. The larger version of this plant can be referred to as the Dwarf Umbrella Tree. This tree features shiny oval green leaves that droop, resembling an umbrella. Schefflera, grow best in cooler climates. They are grown indoors for most of the year and can be taken outdoors in warmer weather. Although they can grow indoors, the Schefflera will not bloom inside. It must be grown outdoors to display their red, white, or pink tentacle-like flowers.
- Fatsia: This evergreen shrub is very similar to the Hedera Helix plant. The Fatsia plant enjoys bright indirect sunlight. As indoor plants, make sure to provide them with at least 6 hours of much-needed light a day. When watering, drench the soil completely and allow it to partially dry out between watering periods.
Plants That Are Similar to the Hedera Helix
If the Hedera Helix isn’t right for you, there are a ton of alternatives to adorn your home with. These plants are similar in style and aesthetic that will make a great addition to your home!
- Allegheny spurge
- Virginia creeper
- American wisteria
This is not an exhaustive list of the many plants that resemble the Hedera Helix, but it’s a good place to start if you’re looking to liven up any space!
Final Thoughts – Hedera Helix – English Ivy Plant
The Hedera Helix ‘Green California’ is perfect for those who wish to test their green thumb. Although a bit tricky to curate the right environment for it, once you check off all the boxes, you’ll be able to admire your hard work!