This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
I DO not know a single plant that will stand so much hard usage as Ivy. The only point on which cultivators err, is not keeping the leaves clean. If it be well washed two or three times a week, and the soil well watered, it will grow for weeks, and even years, without danger from change of temperature. A vase, not necessarily costly, will answer well for Ivy; and this reminds me of an excellent plan of growing it in vases. Long shoots of the Ivy were procured, with the young and tender aerial roots very abundant. The lower ends were wrapped in moss, and then some five or six of these were lightly tied together at the bottom, and placed in the vase. The latter was filled within a few inches of the top with water, and the ball of moss suspended therein. Thus managed, the roots soon commence to grow; afterwards the moss need not quite reach the water, as the roots will extend down into it, and prove all - sufficient.
So many very beautiful varieties of Ivy are now in cultivation, that by selecting kinds that will form a decided contrast in shape and color, the effect may be materially heightened. The center of the vase may be filled with cut flowers or grasses, or, indeed, nothing would look better than ferns. The Ivy may be allowed to hang down over the sides of the vase in graceful festoons, or else trained over and around the window, thus making a room appear cheerful and pleasant all the winter through. It is not necessary, and in fact I do not believe that Ivy will grow as well in strong light as when it is in a partially shaded position, as it likes shade and an even, cool temperature. I have known instances where Ivy has been grown in large tubs and trained up a staircase, thus forming a mass of green foliage from the hall below to the floor above. Planted in a box, and run over a low trellis, it makes a lovely window screen even in towns; used in any way, as fancy directs, it is unexcelled as a house plant. - J. H., in The Garden.