My Hedera Helix from IKEA is developing brown spots off late. I am new to plant keeping and do not know how this can be stopped. I've owned this for 2 weeks tops.

Watering: 2x in a week, around 60ml or so. Light: My window is generally closed with blinds but sometimes I might have left the blinds open. Wind: I'm in Europe and we're experiencing a heat-wave so I've often slept with the fan on.







Hedera can develop these symptoms if it's in a situation that's too hot, especially if it's hot at night too. Given the heatwave in Europe, you're obviously not currently in control of air temperature, but because it's been so hot, check the plant thoroughly for spider mite - look under the leaves, at the leaf petioles and all the branches too. Spider mite can be an issue if temperatures are high, so you may need to use a treatment for that if it is present.

In regard to watering, water when the surface of the soil in the pot feels just slightly dry to the touch - water thoroughly and empty out any excess from the outer pot after 30 minutes. These plants should be kept well watered during spring and summer, and misting regularly is a good idea, especially in winter if the room is kept heated.

Lastly, Hedera is resilient; a few blotchy or dried leaves here and there is not really an issue, so long as the roots and most of the plant is okay. Any particularly affected stems can be cut off and the plant will respond by putting out new growth. Hedera kept as houseplants should be trimmed back periodically to keep the plant bushy anyway.

In terms of light, they do appreciate bright daylight during spring and summer particularly, but not sunlight, although sun in the winter through a window is fine.


Re spider mites - they can be difficult to shift, but you can use a homemade remedy made with insecticidal soap or 'eco' dishwashing fluid (not detergent based) and water, mixed together in a spray, see here for instructions https://homeguides.sfgate.com/kill-spiders-houseplants-home-products-92843.html.

Alternatively, you can use a contact insecticide - this link https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=190 is obviously a UK one, but the information is still valid - check what products you have available where you are. Note that biological controls aren't ideal for your circumstances, they work best in glasshouses or conservatories full of plants. Misting regularly will help - spider mites like hot/warm and dry conditions.

  • It's spider mites, good god, how do I get rid of them?
    – ABCD312
    Aug 3 '19 at 17:40
  • 1
    See updated answer
    – Bamboo
    Aug 3 '19 at 18:02

Does your plant pot have any drainage holes? Since it seems to be standing on a shelf with nothing to catch any water that drains out, I guess it doesn't. Move it to a pot that does have drain holes, water about once a week till there is water draining from the holes, then empty the drained water after the flow stops (say half an hour after watering).

Ivy likes damp soil conditions but not if the roots are permanently in water at the bottom of your pot.

This is not the "basic" hedera helix, it looks like a variegated leaf variety. Variegated plants tend to need higher light levels. Ivy is pretty hard to kill and grows well in poor light (e.g. in heavily shaded woodland conditions) but this variegated variety would probably be happier not behind a permanently closed window blind.

The temperature and draught from a fan shouldn't be a problem if the basic conditions are right.

  • The plant is in a pot with drainage holes, which is placed inside the grey pot that you see, which does not have drainage holes.
    – ABCD312
    Aug 3 '19 at 13:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.