Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis) is an extremely popular trailing houseplant in Sweden, but is actually a native of Australia. The name may be a little misleading because the plant has long cascading stems like a regular ivy plant; however, it is a member of the mint family.
Its beautiful round, glossy green leaves are scalloped and the stems are square. This stunning houseplant will certainly add interest and life indoors especially during long winter months.
For decorative purposes, a Swedish ivy plant will be the perfect fit in a hanging basket with its lush green foliage gracefully cascading over the edge. A cheerful ivy plant such as this makes a wonderful display of nature anytime of the year. Plus, it also works great as a ground cover or filler to make container displays more attractive.
Start small and
It is a very fast growing, easy care plant that branches easily and can grow as long an 2 feet long in six months.
It's the ideal vining plant for the beginner; however, it can get out of hand if you don't keep it pinched back because it's a creeper that spreads all out in different directions.
Light: Provide medium to high light. Always keep the plant near a bright east or south window but avoid intense sunlight, which may burn your plant. You can shield your plants from the intense sunlight by hanging sheer curtains over the windows to filter in bright light. The plant produces tiny pink, lilac or white flowers when kept in very high light conditions.
Watering: Water thoroughly and let it drain out the holes in the bottom of the container and discard. Allow the top of the soil to dry out before watering again. Be sure to check the container often, as warm air rises and causes potting mix to dry out quickly. Never over-water because this will result in root rot, causing yellowing of the leaves and leaf drop and even death. If the leaves start to look dull green and wilt, it's time to water. During the growing seasons (spring, summer) keep the soil evenly moist to facilitate its rapid growth. In late fall and winter, cut watering back to about once a week or as needed.
Humidity: Average (grows well in regular household humidity).
Temperature: Keep temperatures between 70-75 degrees during most of the year. During the winter, 60-65 degrees are best for the plant. This plant can tolerate lower temperatures of 40 degrees for short periods of time without damage.
Potting Soil: Keep your plant in a mixture of potting soil and peat moss for good drainage. Make sure pot has holes in bottom.
Fertilizer: Fertilize every two weeks in the spring and summer when it is actively growing. Use a water soluble plant food high in nitrogen diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.
Pruning: Prune your vining plant by pinching off tiny flowers and tips to encourage branching and stimulate healthy new growth. This keeps the foliage thick and attractive.
Repotting: Keep plant root bound. Do not re-pot until the roots have filled its current pot.
Propagation: Propagate from tip cuttings or stem segments 4 to 6 inches long. Easily roots in water or soil.
Pests: Plants are susceptible to Mealy Bugs. They appear as cottony bits on stems and the undersides of leaves. Spray with an insecticidal soap to treat the infestation.
The Swedish ivy is wonderful plant to have in any home or office because it is beautiful and extremely easy to care for and share with friends.