Why Your English Ivy Is Dying [6 Reasons & What You Can Do About It]

English ivy, or Hedera helix, is an evergreen woody vine and a lovely houseplant. Many people love decorating the outside of their houses with English ivy, but they also make excellent indoor plants.

English ivy is easy to take care of, looks stunning, dangling from some shelf, or can also be a topiary.

NASA has listed English ivy as one of the most effective indoor plants to clean your surrounding air and remove several toxins like benzene. English ivy grows rapidly and establishes itself more quickly outdoors than indoors.

Even though the plant requires minimum attention, you must be a bit more careful while growing English ivy indoors if you want your plant to thrive and clear of any unanticipated problems.

There can be multiple reasons which can lead to your English ivy dying. Your plant might die from overwatering, overfertilization, underwatering, too little sunlight, pest infestation, or hot temperatures.

English ivy is a fast-growing plant, which makes it highly invasive, but it can also die if you are not keeping the vines in check or underwatering them.

Symptoms of a Dying English Ivy

The beautiful heart-shaped leaves of English ivy are the most telltale feature that indicates the problem with your plant. The leaves can change their colors and shape if the plant is suffering from health issues.

If you notice your English ivy leaves have grown brown or yellow, and are drooping and wilting, consider them the main signs of an English ivy drying out. The leaves will fall off the plant due to inadequate watering, humidity, feeding, or pest infestations.

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Why Is My Indoor English Ivy Dying?

Let us look into every possibility that can lead to your indoor English ivy dying.

1. Not Enough Sunlight

English ivy is adaptable to sunlight as it can flourish in full or partial shade. Most English ivy prefers to live in bright light that is filtered and diffused. They can tolerate medium to low sunlight, but it affects the proper growth of the plant and cause the variegated species to turn all green.

If your English ivy is not getting enough sunlight, it can bring its foliage near death. The plant leaves will start losing their color, and the growth will be retarded. The English ivy leaves appear brown on the edges, wilt, and droop.

Even though English ivy will grow slowly in a dark room, it is best to keep it away from direct sunlight, especially the younger plant, so that the intense light does not scorch the leaves.

If you have English ivy variegation with less green on its leaves, it might love to thrive in low light conditions, as these varieties can get damaged in intense light. If your English ivy has more green leaves, it will need more sunlight.

2. Overwatering

it is better to keep your English ivy healthy to prevent it from developing deadly symptoms like root rot, and only water the plant when you think the soil is dry enough. Watering the English ivy once a week is enough for the plant to grow and prosper.

Overwatering can kill any plant, and English ivy is no exception. English ivy prefers to live in slightly dry soil, which means that overwatering can cause browning and wilt of its leaves in a matter of days. Too much water saturates its leaves and prevents them from getting enough oxygen.

Furthermore, soggy soil at all times will give rise to fungal diseases like root rot, destroying the plant’s roots and causing irreversible damage to your English ivy.

Many people assume that if a plant’s leaves turn brown, it is thirsty and requires more water. Do not make this mistake and check for the soil of your English ivy. If the soil is wet, but the leaves are still browning, it indicates you have overwatered your plant.

Once you detect that your plant has been overwatered, allow it to dry between watering intervals. Be more careful about watering the English ivy only when the top layer of its soil has begun to dry out. If your English ivy pot has drainage holes, allow the water to drain, and do not let your plant stand in the excessive moisture.

3. Underwatering

The major signs associated with an underwatered English ivy are yellow leaves that eventually develop a brown color. This phenomenon indicates that English ivy is dehydrated.

Water has several purposes in a plant, but its primary function is to transport nutrients from roots to leaves, and if the plant is deprived of adequate water, it will suffer from nutrient deficiency.

A scarcity of water will gradually cause leaf discoloration. If you detect that the soil of your English ivy plant is dried out and the leaves appear dry, crispy, and brown, it indicates that the plant is thirsty and needs a good dose of water.

Always check the moisture levels in your plant’s soil before watering it. If the soil is damp, you should not water your English ivy. If the soil is dry, then water it adequately.

4. Hot Temperatures

English ivy cannot survive for long in temperatures above 70°F. English ivy originates from central and northern Europe, so it is evident that these plants prefer moderate to cooler temperatures.

English ivy prefers cool temperatures, but that doesn’t mean you should place them directly in front of air conditioners. Instead, maintain a surrounding temperature between 50°F to 70°F.

Scorching intense sunlight can easily burn the leaves of English ivy, which could be one of the main reasons your English ivy dies after drying out.

The main indication that your plant cannot stand the hot temperature it is living in is the browning of its leaves until they appear dry and fall off the plant.

Besides cooler temperatures, English ivy also prefers humidity. If you cannot keep your plant in an environment with sufficient moisture, try placing a humidifier near your plant.

5. Overfertilization

Overfertilization causes oversaturation of nitrogen in English ivy, leading to a buildup in the plant’s soil. If the plant leaves appear dry and wavy, and your plant isn’t overwatered, you might have burned it by overfeeding.

Too many nutrients in the soil can be fixed by flushing the soil and getting it back to its normal pH levels. An overfertilized English ivy starts to droop and eventually dies, so it is necessary to remove the nitrogen buildup from its soil as soon as possible.

Repotting the English ivy in a different plant is the quickest way to get rid of the overfertilized soil and then restrict fertilizing the plant until it has recovered.

This plant does not need a lot of fertilizers, which means excess feeding can kill an English ivy. Fertilizers should only be applied in growing months like spring and summer and avoided in dormant months like winter since the plant wouldn’t require nutrients in that period.

6. Pest Infestation

Temperature, humidity, and water levels are not the only things that affect the health of your English ivy. Pests, insects, and other diseases can also cause extreme distress for your plant, especially for that English ivy that grows outdoors.

Underwatering your plant and keeping it in a harsh environment outdoors will rapidly succumb the plant to many infections and diseases.

English ivy, like other houseplants, is also a frequent victim of spider mites, which can grow on the underside of its leaves.

The sap-sucking pests can lead to your English ivy drying out, and it is necessary to treat them with neem oil or insecticidal soap to eliminate the infestation.

It is recommended to wash your English ivy regularly to get rid of any dirt residues, which can lead to the accumulation of fungus, insects, or other pests. English ivy roots are also susceptible to fungal root rot or bacterial leaf spot, which can result in the discoloration of leaves and the formation of dark spots.

If any area of your English ivy is diseased, it is better to prune your plant and treat it with an organic bactericide or fungicide.

You can also regularly apply natural pesticides to your English ivy to keep the insects and pests at bay and stop the disease development before it grows to threatening levels.

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How Do I Save a Dying English Ivy?

Dying foliage of English ivy cannot be revived, so it is best if you cut the diseased and damaged areas of your plant so that further healthy growth can be promoted. Do not pot your English ivy in small containers with less capacity for soil, as it doesn’t let the plant retain the moisture it needs.

Intense temperatures and low humidity levels contribute to excessive evaporation, which can dry out your English ivy until it dies.

The key to saving your dying English ivy is to plan a strategy appropriate for the conditions of your plant.

Indoor English ivy can succumb to unacceptable conditions more frequently than outdoor plants, so you should constantly monitor the fluctuations in temperature, humidity levels, and amount of sunlight the plant receives.

Adjust the watering schedule and the plant’s preferred sunlight intensity, and watch as your English ivy fights off its diseases and distress with your help and grows back to its healthier glory.

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