What is Variegated Ivy?

C. Daw

Variegated ivy is a common houseplant that belongs to the family Araliaceae. It grows outwards and spreads just like the basic ivy plants that most people are familiar with. The main difference that the variegated type has, compared to average kinds, is that the leaves are not only green, but they have white markings throughout the leaves. Variegated ivies are popular because they add a distinctive decorative change to the normal hues of green that most ivies have.

Woman with a flower
Woman with a flower

The size of these plants can vary due to age and growing conditions, but the average width of the variegated ivy is 30 to 40 feet (76.2 to 101.6 centimeters). The height of these house plants are usually the same as the width because they grow outward in all directions, depending upon how they are supported within their growing environment. In one year, the variegated ivy can grow between 6 and 8 feet (15.24 - 20.32 cm). This makes this a popular plant to have because it grows extremely fast and can be formed to climb or cover any area within the building.

The variegated ivy is very easy to grow, which makes it even more popular as a traditional house plant. These plants prefer cooler temperatures and do not need a large amount of direct sunlight, which allows them to be placed in darker corners and rooms. Since they do not require a large amount of sunlight, it is best to not place them directly in windows or under skylights because the constant rays from the sun could damage the plant. They do require a fair amount of water and fertilizer, so care must be taken to prevent them from drying out and forming brown, dead leaves and stems.

The one problem that is associated with the variegated ivy, as with all other types of ivies, is that they are highly susceptible to attracting insects if they receive too much direct sunlight. The common pests that can infect this plant are scale insects and spider mites, as well as various others depending upon the specific area, all of which can easily kill the plant if preventative steps are not taken. Common insect sprays can be used to kill the insects off while not damaging the plant, and if it is inside, pesticides can be used that are harmless to the inhabitants.

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