How To Grow & Care For Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy, despite its name, is neither Swedish in origin nor a true ivy. This popular houseplant, native to southern Africa, has a trailing habit, boasting lush green leaves that are often variegated with white or yellow. The name “Swedish Ivy” stems from its popularity in Sweden and its ivy-like appearance.

Known for its easy care and beautiful trailing vines, Swedish Ivy is an ideal choice for hanging baskets or cascading displays on shelves. Its bright green leaves are rounded with scalloped edges, and under the right conditions, it may even produce delicate, tubular flowers. An excellent plant for beginners, Swedish Ivy provides visual interest without demanding constant attention.

Not only does Swedish Ivy add aesthetic appeal, but it’s also known to purify the indoor air. It’s a great addition to homes or offices, and it often thrives where other plants might struggle. If you’re looking for an attractive, low-maintenance houseplant, Swedish Ivy might be the perfect option for you.

Common NamesSwedish Ivy, Creeping Charlie
Botanical NamePlectranthus verticillatus
Plant TypePerennial
Mature SizeUp to 2-3 feet in length
Sun ExposureBright indirect light
Soil TypeWell-draining potting mix
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaSouthern Africa

Swedish Ivy Care

Swedish Ivy is appreciated for its simplicity in care. Thriving in a variety of indoor conditions, this plant can grow vigorously with minimal effort.

Positioning the plant in bright, indirect sunlight and keeping the soil evenly moist will lead to the healthiest growth. Although it can tolerate some neglect, providing regular care and attention will help the Swedish Ivy to flourish, possibly even rewarding the owner with its delicate blossoms.

Light Requirement for Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy prefers bright, indirect light. While it can tolerate some direct sunlight, too much can scorch the leaves. Conversely, too little light can cause leggy growth. Finding the right balance of light will lead to lush, vibrant foliage.

Soil Requirements for Swedish Ivy

A well-draining potting mix is ideal for Swedish Ivy. A typical houseplant mix combined with some perlite or sand provides the necessary drainage to prevent root rot. This plant doesn’t like to be waterlogged, so good aeration in the soil is crucial.

Water Requirements for Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy prefers evenly moist soil, but it’s better to err on the side of slight dryness rather than overwatering. Water the plant thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry, and reduce watering in winter when the plant is not actively growing.

Temperature and Humidity

Swedish Ivy enjoys room temperature, ranging from 60-75°F. It can tolerate average indoor humidity but appreciates higher levels. If the air is too dry, consider misting the plant or using a humidity tray.


Feed the Swedish Ivy with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season. Reduce or eliminate feeding during winter months.

Pruning Swedish Ivy

Regular pruning helps maintain the shape and encourages bushier growth. Feel free to trim back any leggy or overgrown stems, especially if you notice any dead or damaged leaves.

Propagating Swedish Ivy

Swedish Ivy is easily propagated through stem cuttings. Simply cut a healthy stem just below a node and place it in water or moist soil. Roots should develop within a few weeks.

How To Grow Swedish Ivy From Seed

Growing Swedish Ivy from seed is uncommon, as the plant is typically propagated through cuttings. However, if seeds are available, they can be sown in moist, well-draining soil and kept in a warm, bright location.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Suck sap from the plant, leading to weak growth. Remove with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.

Spider Mites

Cause fine webbing and speckling on leaves. Increase humidity and wash the leaves.

Common Problems With Swedish Ivy

Leggy Growth

Caused by insufficient light or too much fertilizer. Move to a brighter location or adjust feeding.

Yellow Leaves

Usually a sign of overwatering. Let the soil dry slightly between watering sessions.

Wilted Leaves

Could be a sign of underwatering or root rot. Check soil moisture and ensure proper drainage.

Pro Tips

  1. Keep Swedish Ivy away from drafts or sudden temperature changes.
  2. Rotate the plant occasionally to ensure even growth.
  3. Consider using a pebble tray to increase humidity around the plant.
  4. Pinch off flower buds if you prefer to keep the focus on the foliage, as flowers may be insignificant.
  5. Display Swedish Ivy in a hanging basket to make the most of its trailing growth habit.