Well if you are growing English ivy indoors it will turn brown quickly if it's in a warm, dry atmosphere. These plants like cool, moist conditions, something that's hard to provide in many modern homes. I always grow mine on a glassed in porch that remains cool all the time and they do well. Ivy will often start out very happy, but can go down almost overnight if they dry conditions or have low humidity in your home. As far as the brown on the ivy in those planters, they have probably suffered winter damage. "