ok, it is probably a variety of english ivy. hedera helix. there is a type that has that coloring to the leaves.
now, is the soil dry? have you fertilized it? If you haven't don't.
sounds like at the very least some "cultivating" is in order, and you might need to soak it good to get the compacted soil to loosen.
after you soak it good, then drain it well, take a chopstick or skewer and poke it in the soil, wiggle it, poke another place, wiggle, and keep doing that till you have lots of "holes" "stirred up". this will areate the soil and loosen it.
in the meantime, cut the brown areas off. they aren't helping your plant
and are depressing you! cutting them won't hurt.