How to Balance pH for English Ivy: A Comprehensive Guide

English Ivy is a popular houseplant known for its lush, trailing foliage and ability to purify the air. However, to ensure your English Ivy thrives, it’s crucial to maintain the proper soil pH balance. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to test, adjust, and maintain the ideal pH range for your English Ivy plants.

What is the Ideal pH Range for English Ivy?

English Ivy prefers slightly acidic soil, with a pH range between 5.5 and 6.5. This range allows the plant to efficiently absorb nutrients from the soil, promoting healthy growth and vibrant foliage.

How to Test Soil pH for English Ivy

English Ivy

To determine if your soil’s pH is suitable for English Ivy, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase an inexpensive soil pH tester probe from your local garden center or online retailer.
  2. Insert the probe into the soil, ensuring it’s moist but not waterlogged.
  3. Wait for the reading to stabilize, typically 30 seconds to a minute.
  4. Note the pH reading and compare it to the ideal range of 5.5 to 6.5.

Adjusting Soil pH for English Ivy

If your soil pH is outside the desired range, you can modify it using the following methods:

Raising Soil pH (Making it More Alkaline)

To raise the soil pH and make it more alkaline, add pelletized limestone to the soil. The amount of limestone needed depends on your soil’s current pH and the desired level. As a general guide:

  • For sandy soil, use 2 to 3 pounds of limestone per 100 square feet.
  • For loamy soil, use 4 to 5 pounds of limestone per 100 square feet.
  • For clay soil, use 5 to 6 pounds of limestone per 100 square feet.
See also  How to Balance pH for Sensitive Plants

Mix the limestone into the top 6 inches of soil and water thoroughly.

Lowering Soil pH (Making it More Acidic)

To lower the soil pH and make it more acidic, you can use one of the following:

  1. Soil Sulfur: Apply 1 to 2 pounds of soil sulfur per 100 square feet, mixing it into the top 6 inches of soil.
  2. Aluminum Sulfate: Apply 5 to 6 pounds of aluminum sulfate per 100 square feet, mixing it into the top 6 inches of soil.
  3. Chelated Iron: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application rates, as they may vary by product.

Additionally, incorporating organic compost into the soil can help increase acidity and maintain acidic soil conditions.

Caring for English Ivy to Maintain Proper pH

English Ivy 2

To keep your English Ivy healthy and maintain the proper soil pH, follow these care tips:

  1. Ensure your ivy plants are growing in well-drained, moist soil. Avoid constantly soggy or wet soils, as this can lead to root rot and other issues.
  2. Provide the appropriate sunlight exposure for your specific ivy variety. Most English Ivy prefers part shade to shade, but some varieties can tolerate full sun.
  3. Fertilize monthly using a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer for early growth stages. As blooming approaches, switch to a 5-10-10 mix to prioritize phosphorus. Avoid over-fertilizing, as excessive nitrogen can inhibit flowering.
  4. Water your English Ivy when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, typically once a week. Adjust watering frequency based on humidity and temperature. Use lukewarm water and water at the base of the plant to keep leaves dry.
  5. Ensure proper drainage by using pots with drainage holes and saucers. Empty the saucers regularly to prevent water from sitting and causing root rot.
See also  How to Balance pH for Hollyhock Black

How Long Does it Take to Balance Soil pH for English Ivy?

The time required to balance soil pH for English Ivy depends on the current pH level and the chosen adjustment method. Limestone can take several months to fully react with the soil, while sulfur and aluminum sulfate may take a few weeks to a month to lower the pH.

It’s essential to retest the soil pH every 2 to 4 weeks after making adjustments to monitor progress and ensure the pH remains within the ideal range for English Ivy.

Temperature and Watering Requirements for English Ivy

English Ivy thrives in temperatures between 60°F and 75°F (15°C to 24°C). Avoid exposing the plant to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C), as this can stress the plant and hinder growth.

Water your English Ivy when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, typically once a week. Adjust watering frequency based on factors such as humidity, temperature, and pot size. Ensure the soil is evenly moist but not waterlogged, and always use lukewarm water to avoid shocking the plant’s roots.

By following this comprehensive guide on how to balance pH for English Ivy, you can create the ideal growing environment for your plants, ensuring they remain healthy, vibrant, and beautiful for years to come.

References:
1. https://greg.app/english-ivy-flowers/
2. https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1256&title=essential-ph-management-in-greenhouse-crops-ph-and-plant-nutrition
3. https://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/Weeds/Meetings/Documents/English%20Ivy%20Forum%202016/EnglishIvyManagementResourcePacket.pdf
4. https://www.wilsonbrosgardens.com/planting-and-growing-ivy-plants.html