Thursday, June 4, 2015

House Plants for Beginners - This Plant is Not For You

My New Variegated English Ivy 

Thinking About Getting a New House Plant?

If you are thinking about getting a new house plant, you should consider carefully before you purchase a new one, especially if you are a little new to house plant care.

Pictured here is one of my new plants, a Hedera helix or English Ivy.  Looks nice and healthy, right? 

For the most part, it is. However, before I bought it I made sure to check for spider mites.
I found what I expected to find...Spider mites!

I have been caring for indoor plants for over 20 years and I can't remember any time that I had a new English Ivy that did NOT have spider mites.

English Ivy usually come from the growers looking pretty clean and spider mites are hard to detect at first unless you know what to look for (and where to look). But they reproduce rapidly, especially in hot, dry places and can do quite a lot of damage to your house plants. Before you know it your English Ivy will be looking pretty bad and you will wonder what you did wrong.

List of best indoor plants for just about everyone...

As soon as I got this one home, I put it in my bathtub, turned on the shower and used the hand-held sprayer to give it a good shower, especially on the undersides of the leaves.

A few days later those pesky little bugs were showing up again. (I knew they would) Truthfully, I intended to plant this plant in a clay container and put it out on my patio and leave it there. I got it for the photo with the intention to use it as an outdoor container plant.

My outdoor English Ivy always does so well, it needs minimal care and spider mites never seem to trouble it.

I like trouble free indoor plants and, although some may disagree with me, English Ivy is not my idea of a trouble free indoor plant.

English Ivy can be great indoor plants if you can get one that has no spider mites. Problem is, that is uncommon (but not impossible).

Anyway, this is just some information for people new to indoor plants, to let you know you may want to avoid English Ivy.