Fake Ivy Wall?

James HendricksJune 5, 2005

I live in a townhome that has an outdoor second-floor balcony that measures 9 feet by 9 feet. If you walk out the balcony door, you're surrounded by stucco walls. The stucco is ugly and the paint is a terrible color. I hate it & want to cover it with green plants...I dont even want to see any stucco at all. I think it would be amazing to walk out and see the entire set of walls covered with ivy...but I know that Ivy will do all kinds of damage to the stucco-- and possibly structural damage later on. Was wondering if anyone thinks I could cover the walls completely with fake ivy (maybe silk ivy if there's such a thing)? What do you think? Will it look right? Will it look totally fake?

thanks for your help!

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you know, i'm just not a fan of fake plants and i personally think it looks terrible. wheather it does real damage or not, i don't know except that we have ivies covering on the wall at my work and we havn't seen the damage of it. but i have heard people making actual trails ( like a big grid) because of the same concern. i think it's always worth to go with the real thing. making trail is failrly simple if you are handy. you can just put the woods cut into thin strips and build one for yourself which will be much cheaper and grow actual ivy on it. ivies grow anywhere so it'll get covered fast.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 10:23AM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

I don't think I would like that....how about tall trees in big pots?
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 10:23AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

You're talking to a community of gardeners here. If you find some like-minded people, you'll get an entirely difference answer, I promise you. There is obviously a HUGE industry in articificial flowers and foliage, including all kinds of ivy. I suggest you visit a Wal or K mart near you and take a look. Just because you are not likely to find any silk foliage afficionadoes here, doesn't mean that you shouldn't explore the idea. I don't like artificial plants myself, but I sure have seen some in some very glamorous and stylish homes!

Let me suggest this, though. You should try to cover parts of your wall, not all of it. You'll find that the stucco is much less horrid when SOME of it is covered. It can also be 'covered' with wall sculpture, outdoor painted canvases, etc. ALL doesn't usually work with design concepts. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 11:43AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Likes/dislikes aside, there is the issue of how long imitation greenery will last. Because of the tendency to fade in sunlight, if you use it you should be prepared to accept it as a temporary remedy, or at least be prepared to replace it regularly - perhaps as often as every year. Every other year, depending on sun-load, is certainly within what should be reasonably expected.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 1:00PM
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Thanks for the responses so far. Only reason I was saying the silk vines was because I had heard that the ivy will stick to the stucco and eventually break it down. I'm not positive that putting up lattice will stop the ivy from growing into the wall. But maybe this doesn't really matter, since it will be covered?

I really love the Ficus Ivy (ficus pumlia) -- actually a fig and not ivy--- but am worried that it'll be too aggressive for the wall. Anyone have thoughts on this particular vine?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 1:02PM
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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

Boston Ivy does not "go into" a wall....it sticke with little sticky pads....it grows on, not into walls....and really doesn't hurt masonary walls. Think of the "Ivy League"Schools and all the ivy covered walls....many buildings 150 years old.
But I don't know if Boston Ivy will groww here youa re.
Linda C

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 2:28PM
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Creeping fig is an excellent choice - evergreen, hardy for your area and used widely throughout many parts of California for just this purpose. Shouldn't be too agressive, is easily cut back if you need to paint, etc., and will grow back rapidly. The only damage lies in the rootlets by which it attaches leaving marks on the stucco, but these can be scrubbed off or painted over.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2005 at 10:27PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Gosh, in my experience with stucco and ficus pumila is that one might as well consider it a permanent attachment! Those little suction pads seem to really dig into the rather porous surface of stucco, making it virtually impossible to remove without some damage. Boston Ivy and English Ivy presents the same issue.

Perhaps it doesn't act like that in other climates. Maybe the stucco I've been familiar with is cheap stuff or something. Or perhaps the hot and humid climate of coastal SC creates a different growing environment.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 10:27AM
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Can you put window boxes at the top of the ledges and plant things that grow down? Dichondra comes to mind. No damage to the stucco. Link below shows silver, there is also an emerald green.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dichondra

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 11:33AM
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PMC_Nebraska(z5 NE)

You may also be surprised at th cost of a fake ivy wall. Silk plants that don't look like crap are generally expensive.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 1:57PM
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rofl...it's a great idea, but it won't last you the season. the sun will bleach the silk AND the plastic, and your wall will wind up looking like one of those roadside shrines with the old plastic flowers and grieving stuffed animals left out too long.

however- you live in CALI! for the love of Jerry ;)

bouganvilla. lilac vine. passion flower. trumpet vine...not just foliage, but FLOWERS- in some cases, even fruit.

hell- grapes, if you're north of Gilroy!

if there isn't any dirt at the base of the wall, containers can be built- and things like the bougie are totally adapted to lousy conditions, and won't care at all if you stick them in a box.

you can use lattice, or wires in any one of a pattern .

    Bookmark   June 7, 2005 at 9:28AM
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Ivy will destroy the stucco and also wood siding. It is virtually impossible to remove. Unless your lattice is like 12 in. from the wall, the ivy will reach in and grow onto the wall also. I know this from recent experience. I would have considered it permanent and left it, but our home insurance company would not insure us with the ivy growing on the wall! You can't "scape" it off stucco because it secures itself in between the bits that stick out. We will be sandblasting. Does anyone know of a chemical that can remove organic material from Painted stucco and /or wood? Maybe a strong acid? Help!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 3:30PM
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I can sympathize. How about covering the walls with inexpensive tab top curtains, (white romantic flowing or beach cabana type). Although we probable wonÂt have any rain until winter, if you get polyester ones they are pretty water proof and can be laundered. Then you can add greenery you like instead of choosing it for its coverage.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2005 at 2:41PM
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I guess you could cover up the stucco with plastic or something and caulk it really good, maybe then the plants might not stick to the stucco, just a thought

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 10:25AM
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Chris_MI(z5 MI)

how about doing a forest with stencils, or using field stone stencils. get the dented or miscolored paint from Aco/ Lowes. a white can of exterior paint was marked $1.00 and they even tinted it yellow for me.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2005 at 7:27AM
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It is an excellent idea to use fake ivy.
I am considering exactly the same thing- using fake ivy on a large wall. In my case you can not get too close to the wall anyway, and will never know that it is fake ivy. I am still looking for a source! In NYCity the flower market has lots of fake ivy but in small expensive quantities. Those that commented that it will not last and it will fade are not correct- they make it to last. I will let you know if I find a source- please do the same! thanks!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 10:09PM
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My sister was married more than five years ago, and used a fake ivy and flower garland. Not knowing what to do with it afterwards, we stuck it out on an archway in the yard among the real foliage. It is still there, hasn't fallen apart, and the animals don't seem to be bothered by it. I'm sure you can find what you need at Michael's or some similar crafts store. That said, I don't think it would look that great if it weren't disguised among the bougainvillea and constantly washed clean in the rain. I would agree with one of the users and say try ficus ivy. It will tolerate being in a pot and cling easily to the wall. It hasn't damaged any stucco here (although it prefers the bricks). Just keep it away from corners crevices and window sills. Also, hop seed bush in pots will create a screen-like effect. There is a garden solution out there for you.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 3:35PM
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Hang outdoor drapes and tie them back. Tall potted plants and hanging plants should cover the rest and add needed interest. I don't know what your patio looks like but if you have no way to hang the drapes it's easy to install wooden posts at the end of your patio and one across the top if you need it. As far as fake ivy I originally hung it 10yrs ago around a trellis in my yard until the ivy i planted grew high enough to cover the trellis, it's still there and not discolored. I bought it at Michaels.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 3:42PM
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