English Ivy (Ilex paraguariensis) is one of the most popular houseplants in the world. It’s popularity stems from its beauty and ease of care. English ivy is easy to grow and requires little attention or maintenance. However, it does require regular watering since it doesn’t like being dry or wet conditions at all. You need to keep your English ivy healthy and vigorous so that it will produce new leaves year after year without any problems. If you want to grow English ivy, then you must understand that it needs a certain amount of sunlight each day. If the sun is not shining directly on your English ivy plants, then they won’t get enough light. Also, if the humidity level inside your home is too high, then your English ivy plants will become stressed and die.
How To Grow English Ivy?
Growing English Ivy is very simple and straightforward. First of all, you have to choose a suitable location where English ivy can thrive. English ivy prefers moist soil with some organic matter. You may use sand, pebbles, gravel or even dried leaves to make your garden area look attractive. Then you need to provide your English ivy plants with plenty of water. When growing English ivy plants indoors, you must pay special attention when watering them because they don’t like being watered too much either. The key to growing beautiful English ivy plants indoors is to keep the soil damp, but not wet. You can check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about 2 inches into it. If you feel that the soil is dry then you should water your English ivy. The best time to do this is in the morning hours. Water your English ivy once a week and make sure that the water penetrates down to the roots.
English ivy can also be grown outdoors. First you should find a good location near a fence or wall, which can provide enough sun to your English ivy plants. Then dig a hole where you want to place your English ivy plant and put some organic materials like dried leaves around the base of the plant. After that, put the English ivy plant in the hole and fill in with soil, making sure that there are no air pockets around the roots. Finally, water it thoroughly.
Growing English ivy from cuttings is also relatively simple. First, use a sharp knife or shears to cut off a few tips of the stems that have buds on them. Remove the leaves from the lower portion of the stems. After that soak the cuttings in water for about 12 hours. Now place the cuttings into a shallow container and cover with a wet cloth.
Place this container in a warm area with filtered sunlight. Make sure that the cuttings do not dry out. After about a week or when the roots start growing, you can transfer the cuttings to individual pots and grow them on your own.
When caring for English ivy, you should keep the soil moist at all times. You may need to water your plants every day during hot summer days and every other day during cold winter days. Overwatering is as bad as underwatering so make sure you don’t do that. Feed your English ivy plants every month during the growing season with slow-release fertilizer and decrease the frequency in the winter.
English ivy plants can grow to a height and spread of 10 feet or more, so be sure to have enough room for them when choosing a location for them. They produce flowers that are green in color, which turn into berries that are also green. The berries are poisonous to humans but birds love eating them. English ivy plants are great for covering ugly walls and buildings. Place several cuttings along the wall to create a green curtain of growth.
You can also use English ivy to cover ugly chain-link fences or ugly wooden fences. You can also train them up towards the roof of a pergola or along the gutter of a house. English ivy plants are relatively easy to grow and with a little effort you can have a lush green vine covering an ugly area in your home or garden.
English ivy care is not difficult but does require some attention. You can’t just stick the plant into the ground and leave it. You will need to monitor its water intake and feeding. Keep in mind that it is a very adaptable plant. It can survive in poor soil, but it will look better (and grow faster) if you take good care of it.
You can propagate English ivy from cuttings or seeds. The seeds will take longer to grow and won’t be as hardy as the cuttings, but they are a way to expand your collection of plants.
English ivy is a vine that can be grown outdoors in the garden or indoors in a container. If you live in an area where the winters do not dip below freezing, then you can grow it outside. If you are in an area that does experience freezing temperatures, you will need to grow it in a container and bring it inside somewhere warm over the winter.
English ivy does best in partial shade. It can grow in full sun, but it will be leggier and not as full. It will tend to get thin and leggy when grown in full sun. If you want it to cover a large area, then you need to give it some shade.
You can also grow English ivy in your garden. It is a great ground cover for shady or uneven areas of your yard. It can also be grown on a trellis, fence or wall. It can be grown in a pot as a houseplant or outside in a garden.
English ivy is not native to North America. It is actually a species from Asia. It was first discovered in England and that’s how it got its name. It was brought over to this country by early colonists and spread to the wild. It can now be found in the wild all over the eastern region of the United States.
Invasive species are common in the landscape industry. There are many plants that are non-native to our country and have become naturalized here. Some of these plants are very invasive and will take over an area if they get the chance. English ivy is one such plant. It will choke out other native plants by covering and killing them.
It can also be very harmful to trees as it can cover and kill them as well.
English ivy is a vine and a fast grower. It grows by rooting along its stems wherever there is contact with the ground. It can also grow by sprouting new stems off of old ones. It has strong smooth stems that can easily climb up trees or anything else it comes in contact with.
It’s shiny green leaves are divided into 7 to 11 pointed sections and are about 1 to 3 inches long. The flowers are small and greenish-white in color.
English ivy can grow very large. It can be climbed by people and even bears have been know to climb it! English ivy is a perennial vine that spreads by seeds and also by sending out roots from its stems to new areas. These areas can be far away from the original vine and can lead to new plants.
English ivy climbs by seeking out supports for its vines to grow on. It will wrap around anything it can find. It grows very rapidly and can quickly cover a large support and eventually choke it out. This is why it makes a good natural fence and has been used this way for years.
The wood of English ivy is very weak, but it has many other positive features. It has been used in cupping tools and other medical tools. It was also used in the past to line the inside of coffins before people realized how invasive it was! Now it has many other uses, like the weaving of baskets and items of furniture.
Invasive plants are a problem in this country. I’ve even seen pictures of houses that were nearly taken over by kudzu. The vines would start growing on the roof and eventually grow through the windows. English ivy isn’t quite that bad, but it is a very invasive plant and will take over an area if it is not properly contained. The plant itself is very beautiful and has many uses, but it should only be grown in a pot or in a highly controlled landscape.
~Editor: Jayantanth R. Tatty~
Sources & references used in this article:
Combating the “ivy desert”: the invasion of Hedera helix (English ivy) in the Pacific Northwest United States by A Okerman – 2000 – conservancy.umn.edu
FACT SHEET: ENGLISH IVY by E Ivy – skat.ihmc.us
Naturally occurring nanoparticles from English ivy: an alternative to metal-based nanoparticles for UV protection by L Xia, SC Lenaghan, M Zhang… – Journal of …, 2010 – jnanobiotechnology.biomedcentral …
[PP339] English Ivy (Hedera helix): Identification and Control of Diseases in Commercial Greenhouse Production and in Landscapes by DJ Norman, GS Ali – EDIS, 2018 – journals.flvc.org
Structure and composition of plant cuticle in relation to environmental factors and permeability by JD Skoss – Botanical Gazette, 1955 – journals.uchicago.edu
English Ivy, Hedera helix by AX Niemiera – 2010 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Understory community changes associated with English ivy invasions in Seattle’s urban parks by KM Dlugosch – Northwest science, 2005 – escholarship.org
The ivy book. The growing and care of ivy. by SW Pierot – 1995 – cabdirect.org
English Ivy (Hedera helix) by S Leininger – weedwise.conservationdistrict.org