Growing Ivy

Ivy looks beautiful covering a wall with a velvety green blanket. But the vines are not always on good terms with the buildings they scale.

About a dozen ivies make up the Hedera genus, including the evergreen H. helix or English ivy, and in their native environments—they hail from Asia, Europe, or Africa—they behave well. But transplants can be invasive pests in North America and Australia where there are fewer ecological checks to keep them in balance. Beware: Ivy’s enthusiastic aerial roots can penetrate the cracks in mortar and gradually pry apart stones and bricks.

Not all friendships are perfect. We like friends to be close, but not necessarily to stick to us like glue. It’s hard to tell whether ivy is on good terms with the buildings that its vines scale and cling to. On the one hand, an ivy-covered brick reminds us of favorite classic novels and The Dead Poets Society, but on the other, we worry that the climber is smothering those very beloved structures.

There are more than a dozen species of ivy and in their native environments—they hail from Asia, Europe, or Africa—they behave well. But transplants can be invasive pests in North America and Australia where there are fewer ecological checks to keep them in balance. Ivy’s enthusiastic aerial roots can penetrate the cracks in mortar and gradually pry apart stones and bricks. If you choose to bring ivy into your circle, you should know and accept its character flaws.



Planting


  • Leaf color may vary: English ivy has white veins and Boston ivy turns a beautiful red color in autumn.
  • Evergreen ivy will provide a green backdrop even beneath snow.
  • Be sure to prevent your ivy from climbing trees. The moment it starts climbing up the trunk, cut it back.

Care


  • Ivy will thrive in ares with partial shade or full sun.
  • Ivy can fill any size hole, sometimes too quickly!
  • Plant ivy in fall or spring.

Let’s not forget that ivy, when properly supervised, can make a lovely companion if you’re willing to get literally attached. Ivy makes for beautiful borders and is reliable as ground cover for unsightly patches in the garden. . With few sun and water needs, ivy is easy to be around, but if you ignore it, friend may turn to foe.

Website: www.gardenista.com

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