Ivy Tree (x Fatshedera): How to Grow it Indoors

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Your Ivy Tree as a Houseplant

Hardy and beautiful, it is easy to grow an Ivy Tree Indoors. Also known as “x Fatshedera lizei, these unusual plants result from a cross between two genera, the English ivy (Hedera) and Fatsia japonica.

The resulting hybrid, with the Latin name of x Fatshedera, provides an interesting specimen. While it grows wild alongside the roads in tropical regions, growers propagate them for houseplant specimens, too. The hybrid retains the leaf shape of its Fatsia japonica genetics and the climbing nature of the English Ivy. However, it lacks the ability to climb walls and trees, instead of relying on supports.

ivy tree
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Ivy Tree

 

 

Because Fatshedera does not grip like a true ivy, to create the tree effect, you need to provide a stake or similar support. However, once properly staked, the plant’s stems grow quite long and form an interesting border to a bright window.

Ivy Tree Fatshedera Compare to English Ivy Plant

Like the English Ivy parent plant, Fatshedera prefers a cooler temperature. It also requires a high humidity level to maintain its health. Generally speaking, if you grow English Ivy successfully, you will find similar results with Fatshedera.

Discovered over a century ago, growing in the wild, Fatshedera quickly gained admirers. The oversized leaves with creamy splashes around the leaf edges resemble a giant ivy.

 

Ivy Tree Growing Conditions Needed

ivy tree
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Use these guidelines for growing your ivy tree:

  • Light: It thrives in anything from bright light to light shade in the summer. Dimmer light suffices during winter. Dappled sunlight keeps it happy. However, it doesn’t like direct sunlight.  Consider this plant for cooler rooms. In winter, keep at about 70°F for the best plant health.
  • Water: Keep the soil moist in the summer growing season. But your Ivy Tree prefers less water in the winter months when mostly dormant.  Remember to use cool or room temperature water, never warm or hot. Fatshedera enjoys a  mist occasionally to raise humidity.
  • Fertilizer: During the growing season, feed weekly with a weak liquid fertilizer. Ensure it includes micronutrients to encourage blooming. Fatshedera responds well to ample fertilization as it is a heavy feeder.
  • Soil:  Use light, fast-draining potting soil. Some like to use fortified soils.

 

Propagation

As a sterile hybrid, Ivy trees propagate from stem-tip cuttings, not from seeds. While not essential, using a rooting hormone increases the odds of success. Also, be sure to keep the humidity level high.

 

Repotting

Repot each year at the beginning of the new growing season. When repotting, use fresh potting soil and use a pot at least one size larger than the one it currently grows in.

The Ivy Tree needs cooler temperatures anytime. However, during repotting and shortly after, excessive heat causes even more stress. Avoid exposure to warmer temperatures, especially during the repotting time and shortly after.

Fatshedera often appears quite sparse. To create a bushier look, plant two or three in the same pot. Alternatively, try pinching off the growing tips of emerging stems. This encourages some side growth.

 

Varieties

As a hybrid cross of English ivy and Fatsia japonica, Fatshedera exists in only one variety. In fact, because it is sterile as many hybrids are, Fatshedera does not cross with other species, either. However, several variations exist. They show increased leaf variegation or larger cream-color splotches on the leaves.

 

Grow an Ivy PlantUsing These Tips

Just as with English ivy, providing plenty of humidity with cooler temperatures offers the key to growing these successfully. Avoid over-watering as it causes leaves to turn yellow and often drop off. Likewise, hot, dry air causes the leaves to turn brown and drop off the plant.

To increase the color variegation in plants with green and cream coloring, increase the light. More light results in stronger variegation. However, leaves that are all green with no cream need less light. Growers consider them easier to grow, due to the lessened light needs.

To increase growth, consider these two choices. Using a climbing post, train the plant to grow vertically. This usually requires tying the plant to your post as Fatshedera does not climb like the English Ivy parent.

Alternatively, if you don’t have room for a climbing plant, pinch off the growing shoots to encourage a shrubby growth habit.

Pests you might find when you grow an ivy tree

Fatshedera plants are vulnerable to spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. As such, look under the big leaves for signs of infestation. Also, look for crinkling or curled leaves.

Always treat infestations early to prevent the pests from spreading to the whole plant or to your other houseplants.

 

 

Ivy Tree Outstanding Qualities

Nicknamed “botanical wonder” due to its hybridization, Fatshedera combines the qualities of both parents:  Fatsia japonica and Hedera helix (English ivy).

One parent, English Ivy, happily climbs wherever it grows. The other, Fatsia japonica, grows as a shrub. Fatshedera combines these by growing vertically like ivy, but then falling over and continuing its growth across the ground. However, tying the thin, pliable branches onto a support post or pole enables us to train them to climb.

Fatshedera produces shiny, dark green leaves about 8 inches wide. In spring look for new growth covered with a fine layer of rusty brown hairs. A flourishing plant produces small clusters of white flowers in the fall.

But, don’t worry about seedlings. This hybrid, like many bigeneric, remains completely sterile. NOTE: The x sign preceding the genus names indicates that it is a bigeneric hybrid. The term bigeneric means that the parent stock crossed represents a different genus.

 

Ivy Plant Quick Facts

Plant Type: vine

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 24 in. (0.61 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 10 ft. (3.05 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Sun/Light Exposure: sunlight, filtered light, will tolerate shade

Water Requirements: regular summer watering brings full, lush growth

 

Ivy Plant Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: silver, gold, blue, variegated

Great Color Partners: dark green, white, chartreuse

Culture: This evergreen hybrid prefers rich, well-drained soil. It tolerates sandy soil or clay but requires good drainage. While it needs regular watering in the growing season, it requires less in the winter. Protect it from full sun to keep its color and growth.

 

Indoor Growing Requirements for Ivy Fatshedera

 When it comes to growing the ivy tree fatshedera, you will find that it does best when grown indoors. This is a plant that enjoys humidity and moderates to bright light. If you live in a warm climate, you can place the ivy tree fatshedera outdoors in the summertime. However, you should bring it back inside. Do this before the temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

Watering Requirements for Ivy Plant Fatshedera

 You need to water the ivy tree fatshedera regularly, especially when it is young. Water generously always. But, allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings. Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
 

Pruning and Maintenance Requirements for Ivy Fatshedera

 You should prune your ivy tree fatshedera regularly to maintain its shape. Prune back the branches as needed and remove any dead or diseased leaves.
 

FAQS on Ivy Tree Fatshedera

 

How is an ivy tree plant as a houseplant?

 If you are still in search of a houseplant, ivy tree fatshedera is a great option for you. This plant does well indoors, thanks to its preference for humidity and moderate to bright light. You can also place it outdoors in the summertime in warm climates. But, make sure to bring it back inside before the temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

What are the watering requirements for ivy tree fatshedera?

 You need to water your ivy tree fatshedera generously, especially when it is young. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat between waterings. You should also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season.
 

How often does ivy fatshedera need pruning?

 You should prune your ivy tree fatshedera regularly to maintain its shape. Prune back the branches as needed and remove any dead or diseased leaves.
 

What are some common problems with ivy fatshedera?

 Some common problems with ivy tree fatshedera include overwatering, under watering, and fertilizing too often. Make sure to read the care instructions carefully in order to prevent these issues. Another issue could be pests, so keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and take action if necessary.
 

Can variegated ivy grow indoors?

Yes. An ivy tree can grow indoors but you need to ensure you have the right temperature. This houseplant needs to be in room temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. At night, it should be around 5-10 degrees or lower. The best thing about an ivy tree houseplant is its adaptability. Many conditions such as lack of light, drafty windows, or changing seasons will not bother this plant. It is one of the easiest plants to keep alive.
 

How do you care for variegated tree ivy?

Caring for variegated tree ivy is easy. You should water it when the soil feels dry to the touch. Keep in mind that this plant likes humidity, so you may need to water it more often if the air is dry. Make sure to fertilize it every other week with a balanced fertilizer. Prune it back as needed and remove any dead or diseased leaves. You can also move it outdoors in the summertime if you live in a warm climate. Just make sure to bring it back inside before the temperature dips below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
 

Can ivy tree plants live in low light?

An ivy tree plant can live in low light but it may not grow as well. This plant prefers bright, indirect light. If you have a spot in your home that gets sunlight for only a few hours a day, you can still place your ivy tree there. You need to supplement it with artificial light. You can also rotate the pot so the plant receives light from all sides.
 

Why is my indoor ivy dying?

 
There are many reasons why your indoor ivy may be dying. The most common reasons are overwatering, under watering, and not giving it enough light. To revive your indoor ivy, start by checking the water level. Make sure to water it when the soil feels dry to the touch. You should also fertilize it every other week with a balanced fertilizer. If it is still not doing well, move it to a spot that gets more sunlight.
 

How tall does an ivy fatshedera grow?

 
An ivy tree fatshedera can grow up to 8 feet tall. Make sure you have enough space for it before you purchase one. This plant is also very versatile and you can place it in a variety of locations, such as in a pot on the porch or in the garden.
 

What type of soil does an ivy fatshedera need?

 Ivy tree fatshedera prefers a well-draining soil mix. You can make your own mix by combining equal parts potting soil, compost, and perlite.
 

Is ivy plant poisonous?

 No, ivy is not poisonous. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction if they come into contact with it. You can always wear gloves when pruning or handling the plant.
 

Is the ivy fatshedera an evergreen?

 Yes, the ivy tree fatshedera is an evergreen. This means that it will keep its leaves throughout the year. It may lose some leaves during winter but it will eventually grow back.
 

What is the best way to propagate ivy tree fatshedera?

The best way to propagate ivy tree fatshedera is by taking cuttings from a healthy plant. Cut a stem about 6-8 inches long and remove the leaves from the bottom two-thirds of the stem. Dip the end of the stem in rooting hormone then place it in a soil mix. Keep the soil moist and wait for the new plant to grow.
 

In Summary

To conclude, an ivy tree plant is a great option for a houseplant. It does well indoors, thanks to its preference for humidity and moderate to bright light. If you are looking for a houseplant that requires not much attention, then ivy tree fatshedera is a perfect choice for you.

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12 Comments

  1. Leahrae

    I like this ivy tree.  I have lots of windows in my home and being in Florida, means we get a lot of sunshine pretty much year round.  I don’t, however, want a house plant that would get to big and over take an area.  So, trimming this plant is okay to keep the size  I want?  That would be my only concern.  I have a rather small home, so I have to go with smaller size plants.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, the Ivy Tree grows large but is easily trimmed to the size you need for your home. In fact, it can be kept at quite a small size. However, you might want to check out some of the smaller plants I’ve written about. I’m adding more often, too, so please stop by again soon.

      Reply
  2. Anthony Hu

    Thank you for your post. It is a timely article for us. We just moved into a new house and plan to plant some houseplant. We have limited experience with houseplant and would like to start with ones which are easy to grow. 

    As mentioned in your post, Ivy Tree is beautiful and easy to grow. I love Ivy Tree and this is definitely tree we are going to plant. I particularly like your description on Grow an Ivy Tree Using These Tips, which has info for us to take care of the trees.

    It is kind of you sharing this useful information with us.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thank you for your comments, Anthony. Yes, if you plan to add some houseplants to your new home, the Ivy Tree might be a good addition. It is beautiful and easy to care for.

      Thanks for stopping by. Please visit again soon.

      Reply
  3. Nozipho Sibanda

    The Ivy tree is a beautiful popular tree that has been around for many years and will continue to be. This article gives clear information on how to grow and take care of it for optimum results. I have also learnt about other plants within this family and how they are similar or different to the parent. Thank you so much I can tell you really love plants. 

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, it’s true that I love plants and the Ivy Tree is very special to me. I’m glad that you found the information useful and interesting. 

      Thanks for stopping by. Please visit again soon.

      Reply
  4. Imelda

    Another offering of an easy to look after house plant that was very interesting. 

    House plants are so difficult to grow if you do not know which ones are right for your home so this information is really important. Thank you for the tip about sunlight for plants that have green and cream plants which was great news for me as it was something that I did not know about.

    My Mum wants to buy an Ivy so I have sent this across to her.

    I really like the way you have done your pop up too so I have joined.

    Thank you so much

    Imelda

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks for visiting, Imelda. And also for sharing the information with your Mum. Ivy do indeed make great houseplants. I hope she enjoys them as much as I do.

      Reply
  5. Nuttanee

    Thanks for sharing the info and the tips about the Ivy tree with us. This is such an amazing hybrid. I live in an apartment so I cannot really have anything that is in the vine family in my apartment but this hybrid ivy looks perfect and homey for my apartment. This tree will be perfect for my patio and in the winter I can always move it in. Where can I find this Ivy tree?

    Reply
    • Diane

      Yes, the Ivy tree or the English Ivy make good apartment or small home companions.

      The Ivy Tree is usually found at Garden Stores and Nurseries. It’s a bit of a specialty plant, so not easily found at the box stores.

      Thanks for visiting Sr-Parents. Please stop by again soon.

      Reply
  6. charsleethan1

    helllooo Diane, thanks alot for sharing such an amazing content with us all, i was actually doing some research online when i saw these post and i must say seeing something like these was so new so i was really amazed by your work here, first of all i really want to commend your effort in bringing up these website together, i believe i  have learnt alot on the ivy tree and how it can be used as an house plant, thanks alot for these usefull info.

    Reply
    • Diane

      Thanks for your comments about the Ivy Tree plants. I’m glad you found the information useful. Please bookmark the site and visit again soon!

      Reply

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