X Fatshedera lizei

The Ivy Tree was developed in 1910 in the town of Nantes, in France, by the horticultural firm Lize, hence its specific name. It is a cross between Fatsia japonica ‘Moseri’ and Hedera helix ‘Hibernica’, the Common Ivy. This popular house plant is noted for its evergreen leaves, mostly five-lobed, which are smaller than those of Fatsia but much larger than those of ivy. Only older plants produce flowers and then only rarely.

To grow well, Fatshedera requires cool conditions, about 10°C (50° F) in winter, otherwise the leaves turn yellow. Water freely in summer, but restrict watering in winter. Feed only once a week or once every two weeks during the summer. If you have a garden, transfer the plant outdoors in the summer and plunge it, together with the pot, into the soil. A position in partial shade is best. Propagate by taking tip or lateral stem cuttings in summer. The cuttings should not be woody. Pinch the plants to encourage branching. Cultivation in hydroponic containers has produced very good results. The cultivar ‘Variegata’ is better suited to modern houses, where the room temperature is usually higher in winter.

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