En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Friday - May 25, 2007

From: Progreso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: How to produce ivy with large, green leaves
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How can I keep an Ivy green? When it was purchased it was green and had BIG leaves. How can I get the leaves to grow big again and get it green?

ANSWER:

There are any number of different plants that are referred to as ivy. Classically, ivy refers to a plant in the genus Hedera, such as Hedera helix, English Ivy. Among the species in other genera often referred to as ivy are Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Boston Ivy; Plectranthus spp., Swedish Ivy; Toxicodendron spp., Poison Ivy (which we seriously doubt you're asking about), Glechoma spp., Ground Ivy; and Epipremnum spp., Devil's Ivy or Pothos Ivy.

We are guessing that you are referring to Epipremnum pinnatum, Pothos Ivy - a common, non-native ornamental plant. Several factors are involved in the creation of extra-large leaves on plants. Pothos Ivy, more than most, responds to these factors by developing large leaves - sometimes spectacularly large leaves. In general, high temperatures, high humidity, high nutrient uptake, rapid growth and low light are involved in the development of large leaves. When any or all of those conditions are not present, newly developing leaves will be a more normal size. Regarding leaf color, several Pothos Ivy cultivars have been selected for their white or yellow leaf variegation. This coloration becomes more pronounced in high-light growing environments, while they will be more green-colored if grown in heavy shade - the same heavy shade that helps produce large leaves. Providing optimal growing conditions will result in lush growth on Pothos Ivy and most other plants.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Problems with non-native weeping willow in Villanova PA
July 03, 2009 - My weeping willow (6 years old,80+ft tall),up until this year used to be full and healthy. Last year I trimmed the lower portion of the trunk by cutting off the low hanging branches, but this year so ...
view the full question and answer

Sickly non-native plumerias in California
August 26, 2008 - I have 5 plumeria plants in pots, between 2-3 years old. The beginning of the summer they all looked great and now were looking pretty sick, pale/yellowing leaves, burned areas & spots. I have a long ...
view the full question and answer

Lawn Maintenance in Colorado
March 20, 2010 - When do I begin to fertilize and water my grass in Colorado Springs? I am selling my house and want my lawn to look green?
view the full question and answer

Browning of non-native Plectranthus in Dallas
November 28, 2010 - I live in Dallas and planted 'Mona Lavender' which is now brown and limp after overnight temps in the low 30's. Is it dead or will it come back? Do I need to cover these plants during the winter m...
view the full question and answer

Flowering problems with Mexican Plum and Mimosa in Austin, TX
March 18, 2010 - Greetings, My Prunus mexicana (Mexican Plum) did not produce flowers before its leaves. Can you tell me why? I was hoping to have some fruit this year. Also, as of this morning March 13. My...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center