How to grow and care for Tree Ivy Indoors

Houseplant, Tree Ivy

Botanical name: xFatshedera lizei

xFatshedera lizei commonly called Tree Ivy, Ivy Tree, Bush Ivy or Aralia Ivy is an easy to grow and excellent stand alone houseplant that can be grown as a bush or as a climber. The symbol x in front of the name indicates that this is an inter-generic hybrid; a cross between plants from different genera. Tree Ivy was created by crossing Fatsia japonica (Castor Oil Plant, the seed plant) and Hedera helix (English Ivy, the pollen plant) at the Lize Freres tree nursery at Nantes in France in 1912. The generic name is derived from the names of the two parent genera. Tree Ivy combines the shrubby shape of Fatsia with the five-lobed leaves of Hedera. It can grow to a height of 6 ft or more but will require support or can be grown as a bush by pinching the growing tips. The leaves are 7-25 cm long and are borne on a 5-20 cm petiole. The flowers are yellowish-white and the seeds are sterile. Several cultivars of Tree Ivy are available, with dark green to variously white- or yellow-variegated leaves. The variegated types are more difficult to grow than the all green types.

How to Grow Tree Ivy

Light

Tree Ivy prefers bright light or light shade; an east- or west-facing window is ideal. The all green types require less light than the variegated types. Keep them away from direct sunlight as direct sunlight may cause scorching. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants

Water

Water Tree Ivy thoroughly during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry a little between waterings. Reduce watering during the cold period. Avoid waterlogging as it can lead to root-rot. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Tree Ivy prefers a cool to average temperature with a minimum of 100C. Protect it from cold and hot draughts. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Tree Ivy has no need for high humidity. However, for lush growth and to reduce pest infestation, mist the leaves frequently or set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity. Occasionally clean the leaves by damp wiping with a soft cloth.

Feeding

Feed Tree Ivy a balanced water-soluble fertilizer that contains micronutrients every 3-4 weeks during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season. Find out more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Tree Ivy every year during the growing period. Use a pot which is 1 size larger and loose free-draining soil. Ensure the pot has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging which can lead to root-rot.

Pruning

Pruning Tree Ivy involves removal of yellow and dead leaves to maintain the plant neat and tidy. To encourage a bushy and compact growth, pinch off the growing tips. The tips can be used to propagate new plants. Find out more on how to prune houseplants.

How to Propagate Tree Ivy

Tree Ivy can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem-tip cuttings.

Propagating Tree Ivy from stem-tip cuttings in soil
Take stem-tip cuttings of about 4-5 in. length from a healthy Tree Ivy plant. Dip the cut end in a rooting hormone and insert them in moist rooting soil. Place in warm shaded place and maintain the soil moist until new growth emerges and substantial growth has been observed. Transfer to individual pots and begin routine care. For a fuller plant plant several cuttings in one pot.

Common Problems in Growing Tree Ivy

  • Brown leaves and leaf drop
  • There are two reasons for brown leaves and leaf drop in Tree Ivy. One reason is waterlogging; maintain the soil moist but not soggy by ensuring proper drainage of both the soil and the pot. The second reason is high temperatures; Tree Ivy prefers cool to average temperature so it needs protection from hot draughts.

  • Undersized leaves and spindly growth
  • If Tree Ivy receives too little light the leaves will be small and the growth is spindly. Move the plant to a brighter spot; Tree Ivy prefers bright light to light shade away from direct sunlight. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

  • Leaves all green in variegated types
  • Too little light is the reason for loss of variegation in variegated Tree Ivy; move the plant to a brighter spot. Another reason for loss of variegation is inadequate growth space if the plant is pot-bound; repot the plant every year in a pot 1 size larger than the current one.

  • Pests
  • Common pests in Tree Ivy are Aphids, Mealy Bugs and Scale Insects.

  • Diseases
  • Common diseases in Tree Ivy are Leaf Spot and Root-rot which is prevalent in too wet conditions.

Toxicity

Tree Ivy (xFatshedera lizei) is poisonous to both humans and pets. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Keep it away from the reach of children and pets.

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