How to Water My Ivy Plants Properly

Last Updated on November 19, 2022 by Stephanie

Water ivy plants with a generous soak once every 7 days during active growth in the Spring and Summer and once every 10 days during Winter. To increase humidity and reduce water loss, mist the leaves once a week with water.

Ivy plants should be planted in well-draining potting soil, ideally amended with perlite for improved drainage to prevent root rot and to emulate the soil conditions and levels of soil moisture of the ivys native environment.

Plant ivy in pots with drainage holes in the base to prevent excess water pooling around the roots, which causes root rot.

The symptoms of under-watered ivy plants are leaves turning brown, dry, and crispy, whereas overwatered ivy causes the leaves to turn yellow. When the soil is dry to the touch, give ivy plants a good soak. Ivy plants outdoors and indoors should be watered once a week.

How to Water Your Ivy Plant Properly (Indoors and Outdoors) 

Ivy plants can be grown in woodland and forests in well-draining, moist soil that is protected from the elements and humidity.

Ivy is adaptable and can grow anywhere. However, they prefer soil rich in organic matter that is evenly moist and dries out between waterings.

If the soil is not properly drained or the humidity drops, the ivy may develop brown margins. This can be a sign that the plant is suffering from drought stress. The ivy leaves will turn yellow if the soil is too wet or saturated.

To water ivy effectively, it is essential to replicate the water cycle and soil moisture levels in their natural environment indoors and outdoors.

Water ivy plants thoroughly and allows them to dry slightly. This means that you should water your ivy plants once per week in the Spring, Summer, and every two weeks in Winter.

Wait for the soils top inch to dry before watering your Ivy indoors or out.

Indoors, it is common to mist the ivy leaf with water because the indoor air can be very dry. This is especially true if there are no heat sources or air conditioning.


A misting once per week reduces water loss and creates a micro-climate that is slightly humid. This mimics the conditions found in the native woodland habitat of the ivy.

It is important to note that there are many factors that can influence how often ivy should watered, including:

  • Climate: The humidity and temperature range of your climate.
  • Pot Size: The size of the pot or container (smaller pots and containers can dry out much quicker than larger pots).
  • Air Circulation: Whether the ivy is in an open, exposed, windy area outdoors or in the air current of air conditioning and near to sources of heat when indoors.
  • Soil: The capacity of the potting soil to retain moisture.

To determine how often you should water your ivy, use your finger to feel the soils top inch. This will allow you to assess the soils moisture. Do not water if the soil is still moist. It is a good time to give the soil a good soak if it feels dry.

Once you have an idea of how long it takes for a top inch of potting soil to dry, you can create a regular watering schedule for your ivy plants.

Method for Watering Your Ivy Plant Properly

While climate, temperature, humidity, and where your ivy plants are located can affect the frequency of watering, the watering method remains the same.

Water your ivy with a good soak so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot.

Watering this way with a good soak ensures that the water has infiltrated all the potting soil so that it is evenly moist and the roots can uptake the moisture they require.

Watering the soil too lightly results in only the top inch or so of the soil is moist, and the water does not reach the roots further down in the soil where it is needed, which can result in ivy leaves that turn brown, crispy, and dry as a result of drought stress.

Watering with a good soak so that all the potting soil is consistently moist recreates the level of soil moisture that ivy plants typically experience in their native woodland habitat.

How to Know if Your Ivy Plant Needs Water

If your Ivy is suffering from drought stress or is under-watered, then the first sign of a symptom that you should look out for is browning leaves.

Ivy leaves may turn brown at their leaf margins from low humidity. Or, the entire leaf can become brown and dry due to a lack of water.

If the Ivy is in soil that has completely dried out, the leaves will eventually fall.

After you have seen the above symptoms, give your ivy a good soak and mist it. Ideally, place the ivys pot in a basin of water for 10 minutes or so to allow water to infiltrate the soil completely so that the roots can uptake the moisture they desperately require.

The ivy can be helped to recover from drought stress by misting the leaves once a week.

Related: How to Revive a Dying Ivy Plant Properly 

Signs Your Ivy Plant is Overwatered 

Ivy plants with too much water around the root ball will turn yellow and have their leaves drop off.

Too much water can build up around the root ball of the ivy. This could be caused by watering too frequently, slow draining soils, or using pots that dont have proper drainage.

Ivy requires well-draining soil, and the roots do not tolerate being in damp or boggy soil. Too much soil water can cause yellowing by preventing root respiration and excluding oxygen.

Saturated soil also encourages root rot, which causes the ivy plants to die back.

Ivy is a tough plant. However, it is easier for ivy to recover from drought than it is from overwatering. Keep the soil slightly dry if you are unsure.

Related: How to Save My Ivy When Its Leaves Are Turning Yellow

Prevent Overwatering and Ivy Dying by Using Well Draining Potting Soil 

Properly watering ivy to ensure it is healthy is possible only if the ivy has been planted in the correct, well-draining potting soil. This will prevent root rot due to too much moisture around root balls or slow draining soils.

For best results, mix 3 parts of regular potting soil with 1 part perlite to ensure drainage.

Ivy is adaptable and hardy, so any good potting soil can be used. However, perlite helps to ensure that the soil remains porous so that water can penetrate properly and oxygen can reach roots for root respiration.

If the soil has a dense structure rather than a loose one, this can cause water to pool around your ivy roots and prevent oxygen from reaching the plants. This can lead to the yellowing of the leaves and can even lead to the plants death.

With the right soil mix, it is much easier to maintain the perfect moisture balance for ivy plants and prevent any effects of overwatering to keep your plant healthy.

Good Drainage Helps Ivy Plants Grow Properly

Ivy plants cannot tolerate roots being in saturated soil for long periods of time. It is important that the container or pot you use has a drainage hole in it to allow water to drain from the roots.

Watering with a good soak, so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot is also the best method for watering ivy plants to ensure the soil is evenly moist and that all the roots have access to the moisture they require.

If your ivy plants are in a pot that does not have drainage, water can pool around the roots and cause root rot.

Water can still pool around the roots in your pot if you check:

  • Drainage: The drainage hole in the base of the pot becomes blocked with roots or compacted soil. It is worth clearing the drainage hole at the base of the pot if you notice that your soil is draining slowly.
  • Water Pooling: Saucers and trays underneath your pots. You can use saucers or trays to cover your pot. However, you need to empty them regularly so that water doesnt collect and the soil isnt too wet for your ivy plants. Decorative outer pots sometimes are missing drainage holes. This prevents water from escaping the soil and causes root rot.


Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)