Swedish Ivy, also known as the Plectranthus australis, is a houseplant that is easy to grow indoors and requires little maintenance. It is also famous for its other name, the “Creeping Charlie”. Swedish Ivy produces thick stems that will grow erect before cascading. It can be an ideal option for plants in hanging baskets or planted as a carpet beneath trees with canopy forms in your garden.
Swedish Ivy is known as one of the easiest ivy plants to grow indoors. It has green foliages, rounded leaves with scallop-shaped edges that grow from their stems, and many varieties of it have variegated leaves. Swedish Ivy usually blooms from the late spring or early summer, producing white or pale lavender flowers. It can live for three years in minimum or five years in maximum. It can produce many beautiful, delicate tubular-shaped flowers when it grows well. Some of the varieties also have a particular aroma when touched.
Swedish Ivy is not native to Sweden and it’s not a true ivy. It belongs to the Labiatae family with mint and originated from Northern Australia, the Pacific Islands. It is a fast-spreading plant when planted in a garden, and it has many varieties, able to grow up to 3 ft (90 cm) tall. Most Swedish Ivy has glossy green leaves, but the Variegata ones usually have white markings along the leaves’ edges, making them look much more attractive. These plants are the ideal choice when you want to decorate your house with more greens without having to spend too much time doing maintenance to grow them successfully. They require easy care and can grow effortlessly for even novice gardeners or those without green thumbs. In this article, we will talk about the tips on how to grow the Swedish Ivy and some troubleshoot for your problems in growing them.
Where to grow the Swedish Ivy?
You might be contemplating where you should place these creeping and beautiful plants. You can plant them in a hanging basket to show off their beautiful trailing branches to drape or place them on decks or balconies to decorate your house with more greens. The Swedish Ivy is great for indoor growing because it can thrive even in average room temperatures and humidity.
Having Swedish Ivy in your house can also help to keep the air around the rooms to be purified. This plant has an air cleaning function and didn’t produce any toxicity if ingested.
Things to note when growing Swedish Ivy
- Prepare the soil with peat moss potting mix or any good soil with light and loamy mix. Make sure that the soil can keep enough slight moisture for the plant. You can also add some perlite to help with the drainage.
- Make sure that you can give them about moderate, indirect light throughout the year. Do not give the plant a direct sun as it might burn the leaves.
- The Swedish Ivy can thrive at average room temperature, about 60 or 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not place them in a room with freezing temperature, because frost will kill the plants.
- The Swedish Ivy needs houseplant fertilizer during its growing season. It is recommended to use a low nitrogen fertilizer. You can opt for a complete liquid houseplant fertilizer.
- When growing a Swedish Ivy, you can propagate it by doing the stem tip cuttings method. Do it in the summer as soon as it bloomed. Pinch the stem tips and place them in damp potting soil.
- When the soil has started to become exhausted, or the leaves start to wilt, repot them in a fresh peat-based soil so the plant will grow healthy again.
- The Swedish Ivy mostly doesn’t suffer from major pest or any plant disease problems, but it is susceptible to mealybug and spider mites.
- Water them once a week and allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering it once again.
- When watering the Swedish Ivy, you need to keep the plant moist and avoid making it becomes too soggy.
- A Swedish Ivy can thrive in an environment with high humidity, but a regular household humidity might also do it just fine.
Troubleshoots for your problematic Swedish Ivy
If you happen to encounter any problems when growing the Swedish Ivy, you can take note of these tips below.
- If the Swedish Ivy’s leaves are dull or droopy, it may indicate that they received too much light. Place them in a shadier location to let them grow healthily once again.
- If the plant isn’t blooming, it might be caused by the fertilizer that contains too much nitrogen or it doesn’t receive enough light. Switch to a high phosphorous and low nitrogen fertilizer during spring and place your Swedish Ivy in an area with more natural light.
- If the plant is wilting, it might be caused by root rot. If overwatered, it might cause the plant’s root to rot and wilt. Notice if you have over-watered or under-watered the plant by looking at the leaves. If the leaves are yellow, it indicates that you have over-watered it. If it happens, take some stem cuttings from the healthiest ones and propagate them. Stop watering too much in the winter when the growth has slowed, but don’t let it dry out completely. If the leaves become soft and dull green, it indicates that it needs water. It is easier to save an under-watered Swedish Ivy rather than saving an over-watered one.
- If your Swedish Ivy starts to have cottony masses or white spots on the stems and leaves, it might be caused by the mealybugs. The mealybug might cause your Swedish Ivy to form white material on its leaves and stems. If it happens, remove the mealybugs using cotton swabs by hand and use insecticide to treat the plant.
- If your Swedish Ivy produces pale leaves and webby on the undersides of its leaves, it might be caused by spider mites. You can treat it by using a bar of insecticidal soap.
- If your Swedish Ivy starts to grow too leggy, pinch off the vine tips after their blooming season.