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A popular hanging basket houseplant, the Swedish ivy plant (Plectranthus australis), is native to northern Australia and the Pacific Islands and grows well in hanging baskets. The trailing habit is one of the plant’s most appealing characteristics.
Many gardeners use this ivy as an annual in pots or as a ground-cover in the garden. It is also known by the names Swedish begonia and creeping Charlie (which should not be confused with the weed creeping Charlie).
The glossy, scalloped margins of the leaves of a developing Swedish ivy plant distinguish it from other plants. Tubular mauve to white flowers occur in the spring and continue to bloom throughout the summer, although they are not nearly as striking as the contrastingly colored leaves. Swedish ivy houseplants are an excellent choice for even the most inexperienced gardeners because of their ease of maintenance.
The leaves of Swedish ivy are very attractive. It has spherical leaves with scalloped edges that grow from its stems, and many types of the plant have variegated leaves, which are very attractive. When P. australis blooms in the late spring or early summer, it produces flowers that are either white or light lavender in color. It typically grows to a height of a few feet as its leaves fall away. It has a life span of three to five years.
What is the Best Way to Grow Swedish Ivy plant?
It is not difficult to learn how to cultivate a Swedish ivy houseplant after you have purchased one. In fact, cultivating the Swedish ivy plant inside is a great endeavor for new gardeners who are just getting started.
A light and loamy potting mix with some perlite included to aid drainage is the optimum environment for Swedish ivy plant to thrive in. The plant will grow in a position where it gets strong, indirect light throughout the year, regardless of the season.
Because of these circumstances, this plant will develop extremely quickly and will need very little Swedish ivy care or maintenance in the future.
Swedish Ivy Houseplants Care & Treatment
Keep the room temperature between 60 and 75 degrees F (16 and 24 degrees C) all year round for proper Swedish ivy care and maintenance.
Every week, give the ivy a good quality of water, but be sure to let the soil dry out somewhat between applications. It is essential that the ivy has good drainage, so avoid letting it sit in water.
Once every two weeks throughout the spring and summer and once a month during the autumn and winter, feed Swedish ivy plants with liquid fertilizer. Use a complete liquid houseplant fertilizer and be sure to follow the advice on the label carefully.
After blooming, pinch off the tops of the vines to prevent the plant from getting too lanky. Swedish ivy should be replanted every two or three years.
Propagating Swedish Ivy Houseplants
Swedish ivy is best propagated by cuttings, which is the most effective method. Remember to cut a healthy stem part with a crown of leaves at the end of the piece you’re cutting. Removing the bottom ends of the leaves will result in a naked stem being exposed. Place the cutting in a container that has been prepared with potting material after dipping it in rooting hormone.
In order to promote optimum root growth, the cuttings should be placed in indirect sunlight. Spray the cuttings with water on a regular basis, or cover the pot with transparent plastic to keep the moisture and humidity in. Three weeks after planting, roots should begin to grow, with young plants sprouting from the base. Individual plants should be transplanted, with the previous leaf discarded.
Despite the fact that the Swedish ivy is normally free of serious pest or disease concerns, it is sensitive to the mealybug, which causes white material to accumulate on its stems and leaves in the summer. If your plant has been plagued with mealybugs, you may manually remove them with cotton swabs and treat the plant with a pesticide.
Spider mites, on the other hand, may be an issue. Keep an eye out for pale leaves and webby masses on the undersides of the leaves, which indicate a problem.
Swedish ivy grows best in a hanging basket, although it may also be grown in pots if the conditions are right. Re-potter it in new, peat-based soil once a year, or even more often in cases where the soil has been depleted or the plant has started to wilt.