How to Care for a Swedish Ivy Plant Hanging Basket


Care instructions for Swedish ivy will change depending on whether the plant is kept in the ground or in a hanging basket. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, Swedish ivy, also known as Plectranthus australis, is commonly grown as both an indoor houseplant and an outdoor ornamental within the plant hardiness zones 10 to 11 of the United States Department of Agriculture. Because of its trailing growth habit, Swedish ivy is an excellent candidate for cultivation in hanging baskets. It is not difficult to take care of Swedish ivy when it is grown in a hanging basket; but, in order to keep the circumstances optimal for these delicate foliage plants, continual attention is required.

Watering Swedish Ivy in Hanging Baskets

When growing Swedish ivy in a hanging basket, where the soil volume is minimal, one of the most essential components of caring for the plant is maintaining the correct moisture balance in the soil. This is one of the most critical aspects of caring for Swedish ivy. Water the plant each day during the warm summer months, but cut back to once every two weeks during the colder months, giving it just enough moisture to prevent the leaves from falling off. The Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Vermont issues a warning that Swedish ivy plants that have received an excessive amount of water may take on a yellowish appearance, whereas plants that have received an inadequate amount of water may appear wilted and dull green in colour. You should only water the soil if it seems dry on the surface, but you should do it before the soil totally dries up.

When the soil in a hanging basket dries out and needs to be properly rehydrated, it calls for more care and attention. It is not possible to adequately rehydrate dry soil by pouring water over the surface of the soil: Instead of soaking into the ground, the water will just flow off. The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach advises that the hanging basket be submerged in water and allowed to soak for a period of between one and two hours. The soil will be rehydrated by soaking, which also makes it possible for the liquid to go more deeply into the roots of the plant, something that regular watering cannot do. However, you should not let the basket soak for more than two hours at a time since doing so might cause the roots to get damaged.

Feeding Swedish Ivy in Hanging Baskets

When growing in a hanging basket, Swedish ivy responds best to moderate levels of fertility; hence, providing it with food on a consistent basis is recommended. Although a decent supply of nutrients is provided by a potting mix of excellent quality, these fast-growing plants need a little amount of additional fertilisers throughout their active growing season to sustain their development. The Mississippi State University Extension suggests amending the soil with one to two teaspoons of slow-release fertiliser in the springtime and watering with diluted fertiliser throughout the growth season. These recommendations are from the Mississippi State University. When feeding your plant in the spring, be sure to use balanced fertiliser granules and carefully mix them into the soil to avoid root burn.

To make up for the nutrients that are leached out of the hanging basket, feed Swedish ivy with a fertiliser solution that has been diluted from spring through fall. The 15-15-15 fertiliser is what is recommended for feeding by Logee’s Plants. Mix one half teaspoon of fertiliser with one gallon of water, and then water the plant once a month with the resulting solution. The frequency of feeding should be increased to once every two weeks if the plant is not putting on much development. During the winter, when the Swedish ivy is dormant, you should refrain from feeding it.

Troubleshooting Swedish Ivy Care

Plants of Swedish ivy are seldom plagued by significant issues, however they are sometimes visited by mealybugs. Infestations of mealybugs on Swedish ivy plants are normally not severe, although they can sometimes a source of nuisance. Mealybug infestations should be treated using insecticidal soap diluted in one gallon of water at a concentration of one to two percent, as recommended by the Clemson Cooperative Extension. The recommended dosage is two and a half teaspoons to five tablespoons. Spray the plant affected with the chemical once every four to seven days until the infection is gone. When the temperature is too high, you should refrain from spraying.

Another part of taking care of Swedish ivy that is growing in a hanging basket is cutting back the long tendrils that trail behind it. If you want to keep your Swedish ivy at a manageable size and encourage healthy new growth, the optimum time of year to trim it is in the spring. Applying rubbing alcohol to the blades of your pruning shears will ensure that any germs or fungus that could be present are eliminated. Use the shears to trim the tendrils that are growing along the edge of the basket. Position the cut so that it is directly below a group of leaves. Additionally, the University of Florida IFAS Extension suggests cutting off the blossoms of the plant every two to three weeks in order to channel the plant’s energy into producing more leafy growth.

Fertilizer with a controlled release rate

15-15-15 fertiliser

Insecticidal soap

Shears for cutting back bushes and shrubs Alcohol for rubbings

Rubbing alcohol