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How to grow devil's ivy

Posted: 9am 01 Nov 2021

With an abundance of trailing leafy growth doused with splashes of colour, devil's ivy is the perfect indoor plant and best of all, you can propagate this trendy vine yourself.

The experts at Bunnings have shared expert tips for planting, growing and propagating golden pothos, epipremnum aureum.

It is a lush and hardy plant that can survive in minimal light and is almost impossible to kill. The evergreen trailing vine will thrive all year round, although variegated varieties may lose their colour in low-light conditions.

Devil's ivy can be grown as a ground cover, in hanging baskets, in containers or along walls. It will grow to around 6m, but up to 20m in the wild.

A word of warning though, the plant is poisonous to cats and dogs, and harmful to humans if ingested. Avoid placing devil's ivy on the floor inside if this is a significant risk. Instead, place it up high within a hanging basket, or on a shelf.

How to plant and grow devil's ivy

Devil's ivy will flourish in a range of soil types from acidic to alkaline. The soil should not be left overly wet, as this encourages root rot. It is best to allow the surface of the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Do not be concerned about underwatering, as epipremnums only require minimal watering, and can withstand dry periods and neglect.

When planted in indoor environments, devil's ivy requires a premium standard potting mix with additional sphagnum moss or cocopeat to maintain health and vigour.

Caring for devil's ivy

When planting, mix in a controlled-release fertiliser to nourish the growth of the vine. You can also use a soluble liquid fertiliser during the warmer seasons of growth but not during the cold and wet winter months.

How and when to prune devil's ivy

Trimming back the trailing stems is essential to control and enhance the plant's shape, otherwise this species, which is invasive in some tropical areas, may take over. To ensure it does not grow too big, regularly trim the stem of the plant, always leaving a healthy piece of foliage at the end. Yellowed leaves are often the result of over-watering and can be easily removed simply by bending them back until they snap.

Diseases and pests

Devil's ivy is mostly resilient to diseases and pests, with most problems related to the soil. Other issues stem from bacterial or fungal infections such as root rot, and leaf spots from excessive over watering throughout the growing season. Limp and curled foliage originate from inconsistent drops in temperature, cold air below 10°C or lack of water.

Spider mites and mealy bugs pose a significant issue, but this is easily solved by simply spraying the foliage with a garden insecticide. Repeat this in two weeks to completely eradicate the problem.

Devil's ivy propagation

Cut a piece of stem or stem tips below a node. Submerge its base in water for up to two weeks to root. Once shoots have become visible, plant the vine into soil to grow.

Long trailing stems with aerial roots can be cut off and placed in a seed and cutting mix or a 50:50 peat and coarse propagating sand. Alternatively, they may be pegged down into pots of seed and cutting mix with wire or hair clips. When they have formed a sufficient root system, they may be cut off from the parent plant and treated individually.

What you need to know about devil’s ivy

Height: height and spread can reach 4 or 6m, however as a trailing species this greatly varies

Foliage: evergreen, glossy, green, marbled or variegated heart-shaped leaves, depending on the species or cultivar.

Climate: originates from tropical and temperate regions but will thrive indoors in most climates.

Soil: a light, porous, aerated and well-drained soil is required to keep the roots moist but not soggy, usually containing peat moss or coco peat.

Position: grows well in full to partial shade outdoors. Indoors, devil's ivy thrives with bright light but will also grow in low-light conditions.

Flowering and fruiting: rarely flowers when placed indoors. Outdoors, flowering of the purple/green spathes only occurs in the mature phase.

Feeding: use a controlled-release fertiliser upon planting. Alternatively, using a liquid fertiliser is beneficial every few times it is watered.

Watering: keep moist but allow the surface of the potting mix or soil to dry out between each watering. Usually once a week for indoor plants.

For more gardening tips, visit bunnings.com.au

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