Why Are My English Ivy Leaves Turning Brown? [How to Fix]

If you are looking for an indoor house plant with an undeniable visual appeal, is highly tolerant and easy to maintain, and can offer multiple other health benefits to you and your family, the English Ivy plant is ideal.

Loved for its ability to survive and thrive in varying weather conditions, the English Ivy is a unique plant species that can be grown in baskets, bots, bottles, and indoors and outdoors in the USA.

However, although these lush green plants are loved for their low-maintenance care routines and long lifespans, neglect and incorrect care measures can cause the green leaves of the English Ivy plant to turn brown.

If a conscious intervention is not made on time, the brown leaves of the neglected English Ivy plant will eventually die and fall off.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the English Ivy a popular indoor plant and the most common care tips for this woody vine, especially if you live somewhere in the USA.

Moreover, the article elaborates on what causes the English Ivy plant’s leaves to lose their color and turn brown.

Let’s get started!

What Makes the English Ivy a Popular Indoor Plant in the USA?

One of the common planters that are seen being grown both indoors and outdoors is the English Ivy.

It is an extremely popular purchase among people looking for quick and budget-friendly ways to enhance the outlook and visual aesthetics of their homes, cafés, restaurants, living rooms, and even offices.

However, what makes the English Ivy a fan favorite?

Visual Appeal

The most common reason for someone to invest in an English Ivy plant is its visual appeal. The English Ivy plant has beautifully symmetrical lush green leaves that grow on a vine-line stem.

Moreover, the English Ivy has the unique ability to grow, spread over, and fully cover a wall, a pillar, or a door in very little time.

Once it does that, the appearance of the establishment, room, or building is completely changed and upgraded to have a more organic, natural, raw, and inviting look.

High Tolerance

Apart from the undeniable beauty of the English Ivy plant, people absolutely love this indoor and outdoor planter for its high tolerance.

The English Ivy plant is able to grow and maintain its calming beauty in both well-lit and dimly-lit areas and in regions of varying weather conditions and external temperatures.

Hence, people are quite willing to invest in English Ivy plants as they know that their plants will be able to survive and thrive against all odds.

Low Maintenance

Although the English Ivy plant has a phenomenal tolerance, it barely needs any extra attention or care to grow and retain its immunity and strength.

The plant will live as long as the owner waters their English Ivy properly. Remember, over or underwatering the plant will cause it to die, no matter how well you care for it.

Long Lifespan

Most English Ivy plants are able to survive and grow for almost five to ten years, which is a unique quality for an indoor plant.

Medicinal Qualities

Finally, apart from the beauty and tolerance of the English Ivy plant, many people, doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies grow this beautiful woody wine for its medicinal qualities.

For instance, people tend to directly consume English Ivy leaves in order to treat and cure blockages and swellings in the airway passages.

Moreover, the English Ivy plant is excellent for people suffering from lung diseases such as bronchial swelling and asthma.

Furthermore, the English Ivy plant is also proven to have phenomenal medicinal qualities for people suffering from liver disorders, gallbladder and spleen disorders, joint pain, and scrofulosis.

Basic Care Tips for an English Ivy Plant

As mentioned above, an English Ivy plant is an extremely low-maintenance plant that has the ability to resist and thrive against varying external conditions. Hence, its common care routine is quite simple.

  • Unlike some indoor planters, the English Ivy plant does not need a lot of water to survive. As a matter of fact, it is advised that the woody vine be watered only once a week.
  • Moreover, although the English Ivy can adapt and grow in bright and shady areas, it is better to grow plant where it gets less direct sunlight.
  • This quality makes the English Ivy ideal for renovating the insides of a home or office.
  • Furthermore, when the English Ivy is grown indoors, its potting mix should be well-drained and sufficiently aerated.

Why Are My English Ivy Leaves Turning Brown?

If the leaves of your English Ivy plant are turning brown, a number of different reasons could be contributing to this color change.

Some of these reasons are as follows:


As mentioned above, the English Ivy plant is adapted to survive and thrive on lesser water. Hence, if the owner makes the mistake of watering their English Ivy vines multiple times in a week, the leaves may lose their color.

This is how it happens:

  • Once the English Ivy plant roots have absorbed the water according to their unique capacity, all extra water will get accumulated inside the plant’s pot and soil.
  • If the water is not drained out, the wet and moist conditions of the soil will create a medium that supports and harbors fungal growth.
  • Usually, it will only take a day or two for fungus to grow to the English Ivy’s roots. Once this happens, it will start to ruin the look of the plant as well as its health.
  • Once the growing fungus has fully covered the English Ivy’s roots, the roots will begin to rot and die.
  • Without any healthy and functioning roots, the entire English Ivy wine will be deprived of its necessary water uptake.
  • Since the leaves cannot do photosynthesis due to the water shortage, no more natural green pigment will be created.
  • As a result, the leaves will lose their natural lush green color and turn brown or yellow.


Although underwatering an English Ivy plant is encouraged, there is a limit to how little water you need to provide your plant.

Ideally, the potted English Ivy should be watered at least once in seven days; however, if the owner forgets to water their plant on time, its soil and roots will dry out, and the entire woody wine will get dehydrated.

If these conditions prevail for too long, the leaves will no longer carry out photosynthesis and hence will start to turn brown.

Excessive Sunlight

Although the English Ivy plant is well-adapted to growing in both bright and dark conditions, too much direct sun exposure can increase the plant’s internal temperature.

When this happens, the English Ivy plant will react by transpiring out water from its leaves in an attempt to bring down its internal body temperature.

As the water evaporates off the leaf’s surface, the plant experiences a cooling effect, and its temperature goes down.

However, if the sunlight is too bright or the duration of daylight is too long, too much water might transpire out of the plant.

If this happens, the entire woody vine might get dehydrated, and photosynthesis will stop. As a result, no more pigment will be created, and the leaves of the English Ivy plant will turn brown.

Humid External Environments

When the English Ivy plant is grown indoors, the owner must invest in a proper system to regulate and control the internal environment of their house.

However, if this is not done and the external atmosphere is too humid, the excess moisture in the air will dampen the English Ivy’s soil more than needed.

If the moisture is enough to encourage fungal growth, the fungus may cause the plant’s roots to decay and die, causing the entire plant to get dehydrated.  

Dry External Environments

Apart from humidity, excessive dryness and lack of moisture in the atmosphere can also cause the leaves of an English Ivy plant to lose their color.

When the external air is too dry, water gets diffused out of the English Ivy’s leaves, down a concentration gradient. This will then manifest itself as dehydration symptoms.

The entire woody vine gets dehydrated when too much water is diffused. As a result, the rate of photosynthesis is negatively affected, and the leaves begin to turn brown.

If this continues for too long, the plant will end up drying to the point of no return, at which point it will die.

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Final Thoughts

Anytime a person is looking for a quick and budget-friendly way to give their room, lounge, café, or office a makeover, investing in potted English Ivy plants is the best idea.

Not only are these lush green plants super easy to maintain, but their high tolerance and resistance allow them to retain their beauty, health, and green color for a decade. All that the owner has to do is water their English Ivy plant once a week so that its roots remain healthy and its leaves keep their refreshing green color.

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