Why is my English Ivy drooping?

Last Updated: October 4, 2022

Known and loved for their evergreen trailing vines, one of the most common problems that happen with them is that their vines and leaves start drooping. However, you’ll be happy to know that this tends to be one of the earliest signs of trouble so if there are no other signs of trouble then this hopefully means the problem will be easier to fix. 

Below we will detail each of the main causes of a droopy English Ivy as well as how to treat the problem and prevent it from causing more harm to your plant in future.

A drooping English Ivy can suggest overwatering

English Ivy plants are pretty hardy and won’t die suddenly if you overwater them once in a while or if their environment isn’t exactly how they like it. However, consistent overwatering will mean your English Ivy’s leaves will start to droop as their roots begin to rot and turn mushy. 

If the roots start to turn mushy, the individual leaves will droop and may even eventually fall off completely as your English Ivy will not be able to get nutrients from the soil to maintain healthy leaves or new growth.

If you think that you may have overwatered your English Ivy, check the soil moisture to confirm. It’s also a good idea to check over the root system as rotten roots will be soft to touch and very dark in colour.  

Replace any waterlogged soil straight away rather than just sit and wait for it to dry up over time. This avoids further damage being caused. 

To prevent the issue long-term, make sure to check the moisture in the soil before you water your English Ivy. There are two really easy ways to make sure that it definitely needs water. First check the moisture at the top of the soil, if it is still damp then wait a few days before watering again. You can also lift up your English Ivy to check the weight of the plant before and after watering. You will then start to be able to gauge how heavy the soil is when it is in need of water. Make sure to handle your English Ivy gently when picking it up to prevent any leaves from breaking away from the main stem.

If you want to be 100% sure about how much moisture is in the potting mix, and whether it’s actually time to water your English Ivy, then we recommend using a moisture meter. You simply pop them in the soil and it will tell you how soggy the soil is – it’s really that simple. We use this one from Amazon.

Underwatering can also cause your English Ivy to start drooping

The strange (and often frustrating) thing about drooping leaves on an English Ivy (and a lot of other plant types) is that as well as too much water, the issue can also be caused by not enough moisture in the soil. 

This is a slower issue to take hold of your plant and English Ivys can be forgiving for the odd time when you forget to water. However, if the issue persists for several weeks and months at once, it can lead to a variety of issues if not sorted; the most serious of which is plant death. However, if the leaves have only just begun to droop down on your English Ivy, then it suggests you have caught the problem early. Other signs of underwatering include brown leaf tips and edges, crispy leaves and your plant feeling super light when you lift it so look out for those when diagnosing the problem. 

If the leaves of your English Ivy are quite dry as well as drooping down and may have even started turning brown, then we suspect that a lack of water is the culprit. However, before you start pouring buckets of water over your plant, you need to make sure that this is really the cause of the drooping leaves on your English Ivy. Check the soil moisture and see if the roots have started to crisp up.

How to fix an underwatered English Ivy

  1. Give your plant a soak.

    Fill up a container with fresh temperate water and place your plant in there for about 10 minutes. This will allow the water to soak into the potting mix and your plant will take up only what it needs.

  2. Slowly reintroduce watering.

    Sudden changes in the environment can be quite stressful for plants and if the potting mix goes from really dry to soggy super quickly, it can cause your plant to go into shock. After doing a quick soak, water your plant a little bit every other day for a week.

  3. Adjust your watering schedule.

    To prevent the issue moving forward, make sure that you are increasing either how much water you give your plant each time, or how frequently you water. 

Cold temperatures may also be to blame

A much less common reason why your English Ivy might start to droop is temperature changes. This is normally very easy to diagnose and solve as a digital thermometer can tell you very quickly whether you need to relocate your plant. 

If your English Ivy is too close to a draft door or window or is next to an air conditioning vent, this can cause your plant to become stressed and droop down. Cold temperatures also increase the risk of root rot so something you really want to avoid.

Shock or stress can cause drooping leaves

If you have recently moved house or moved your English Ivy to a new spot, then this change may be causing the leaves to droop. Plants can be a little bit like humans and get quite stressed if their environment changes from one day to another and will show this in a variety of ways. One of which is drooping their leaves and vines.

As long as the new environment meets the needs of your plant, the drooping leaves and vines should be temporary and your English Ivy should return to normal in a few weeks.

Those are the most common reasons why your English Ivy has become droopy. It’s important that once you’ve made any changes to either the care or environment of your English Ivy, then you keep a close eye on it for the next few weeks. This is to make sure that you have successfully diagnosed the issue and that things are progressing in the right way. 

Check out our English Ivy care guide to learn more about how to keep your plant happy!

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