Hedera Helix ‘CONGESTA’
This unusual-looking cultivar of the English Ivy is one of the few non-climbing types; the plant comprises a group of erect stems, closely packed with evergreen leaves in tiers from top to bottom. While hardened-off plants can be used in the, helix ‘Congesta’ is a useful foliage houseplant for either window-boxes or for plant displays in cooler parts of the home. Its upright growth habit makes it an excellent companion plant to the numerous flowing and trailing Ivy cultivars; such a display would be easy to maintain, be very undemanding and be useful, as Ivies thrive where little else will grow.
All Hedera dislike overheated conditions, preferring cool temperatures: 10-18°C (50-65°F) is ideal, although temperatures as low as 5°C (40°F) may be tolerated as long as theis kept on the dry side.
Grow this cultivar in almost any light conditions except direct Summer sun: H. h. ‘Congesta’ grows well in bright, but indirect, light and also in poorly-lit areas.
From Spring through to early Autumn (the growing season), keep the compost moist by regular watering: give less water during Winter, taking care not to allow the compost to dry out at any time. If the temperatures are low, keep Hedera on the dry side: cold moist compost is an ideal environment for rots.
In Summer, humidity levels must be maintained if the room temperatures are high: if the recommended temperatures are adhered to, the plant should only require misting occasionally. Wash any dust off as necessary – a spell outside in a Summer shower will do this plant good.
Feed Hedera helix ‘Con-gesta’ about every 3-4 months with a proprietary feed at half strength.
Repot crowded plants as required – at any time of year and in any type of potting compost.
Softwoodroot easily in Summer; plant several of them together in one container to give a good massed effect.
Red Spider Mite can be a problem in centrally-heated, dry-aired homes: regular misting of the leaf undersides tends to deter this pest. If the plant is badly infested, treat it with proprietary acaricide. Chemicals to treat RSM are not always successful: if the infestation is bad, discard and burn the plant.