En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Vines Questions

Carolina Jessamine Toxic to Honey Bees?
January 20, 2015 - Is Carolina jessamine toxic to honey bees? I have read conflicting answers.
view the full question and answer

Vines to Cover Brush Pile in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - We have a large brush pile on our property that we'd intended to burn, but it is big enough now that it would require the help of the fire department! I'm thinking I'd like to cover it with native ...
view the full question and answer

Vine for a fence in San Saba County, Texas
October 22, 2012 - I want to plant vines on a deer proof fence close to my house for privacy. Are there any vines that stay green year round? Also what breed of vine would you recommend for several hundred feet of fenc...
view the full question and answer

Native vines for pergola in Denton, Texas
January 28, 2009 - We ve built a pergola under our Post Oaks and Winged Elms. The soil is sandy, as you would expect with post oaks. Are there any native vines, hopefully with a pretty flower, that I might coax into g...
view the full question and answer

Spots on leaves of sevenleaf creeper in Austin
November 14, 2009 - Have 3 seven leaf creepers that are planted in mostly shade. In Sept & Oct 2009 all 3 plants had dried up leaves which fell off; however, all three plants grew new leaves when we got rain and are com...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center