Question about ivy

LullabyF360January 27, 2013

My sister-in-law has a bunch of ivy. I don't know the species, but she bought it some number of years ago. You can imagine that it has now taken over parts of her garden. She plans to cut back the vines to groom things up. She asked me if I knew if ivy could be started from cuttings, & if they could, she would give me what she cuts off. I told her that I have no clue if ivy could be grown that way. I have never heard of it being propagated this way, but then again I am a newbie gardener. I can google things as much as I want, however I prefer the voice of someone who has experience with what I seek to know or would just plain know if it possible. Thanks.

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When I grew our ivy I went across the street, cut some of my neighbors ivy (with her permission) stuck it in the ground and whammmoooo..look at it now, been about 15 years, I must keep it cut back, otherwise it would take over the neighborhood.
This is January also, ivy's very dormant..
Just cut and stick...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 11:43AM
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You don't suppose this method can be used with just about any kind of ivy? As I said, I don't know what variation of ivy my sister-in-law has.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hi & welcome to Gardenweb!

I would strongly encourage you to do some reading about ivy. It's likely Hedera helix. Hopefully you could describe what you perceive as the virtues of this vine so suitable alternatives could be suggested.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hedera helix article at

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:08PM
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Ok, I just got off the phone with her. She lives on a budget, so she doesn't have internet or a cell phone that can send images. She also lives a bit away from me. She described her ivy to me while I searched for what kind it could be. After relaying descriptives to each other lol we have concluded that it is English ivy that she has.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:20PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Ugh, sorry.

What about this vine did you like? There are many that would be happy in zone 8a (which I can see in your profile but it's not following into your posts.)

P.S. Next time you make a post, type 8a in the little zone box above where you put the subject line. Hopefully it will "stick" and show up next to your name every time you post after that without further action. Wish they'd fix that gremlin!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 3:49PM
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Well, I would like to have some ivy. She just offered me cuttings from hers on the basis that it could be propagated this way, which caused me to ask. I haven't heard of anyone doing this. Plus, I don't know much about ivy as far as being able to identify the varieties. Unless it's poison ivy. But that's off topic....

Anyway, I have seen ivy in little pots for sale in major stores (i.e. Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, etc). They do not end to have the exact name of the plant other than the generic "ivy" & then list the specifications on how to care for it. My mother has some ivy she bought from Lowe's earlier last year. The only thing she knows about any sort of plant is that you stick it in dirt & water it & it makes pretty things. That is the extend of her gardening. Her ivy has small leaves with silver/white centers. I did a google search for the name, but several pages said several things (she won't let me have cuttings of them any way).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:13PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Oh, your post didn't say you wanted it as a potted plant. If you look at the stems, you'll see aerial roots. You can put them in water to transport home, but they'll probably make roots more reliably if put in soil after that, within a few days.

The area where it's turning from soft green growth to harder wood is usually where the "juicy spot" is for making roots. Cut in that area and you should have a piece rarin' to go, hopefully at least 6". The warmer it is when you try, the better it will work. Just don't put the potted cuttings in the sun, keep moist but not soggy. Under a tree where they get a little piece of sun once in a while would be good until you notice they are growing. Then a little more sun would be good.

You may find some helpful discussions and pics at house plant forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: google pics of aerial ivy roots

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 4:40PM
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Sorry to fail to mention what I intend on doing with the ivy. My plan (I am a newbie so bare with me) is to start it off in a pot & indoors. When roots have been established, then move it outdoors. I will be getting an archway (when exactly all depends on my husband ;) hahahaha). I want it to serve as the trellis for the ivy. As well as make the view from my front door a little better.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

A better view is, well, better, agree with that.

Your plan sounds like it should work although I would keep it outside the whole time. Ivy often gets spider mites inside. When "planting" the cuttings, aim for a more sideways placement, barely buried, instead of upright like a tree. It can rot before it takes root more easily if done that way. This will also produce more side-shoots, more quickly.

One issue with ivy is that it will creep in/along the ground away from where you planted it, not just up. After a few years, it will have swallowed the arch and need trimming often so you'll be able to pass through the arch. As the stems/trunks enlarge and turn woody, they can damage smaller, more delicate wooden structures, and the aerial roots will attach, which can ruin paint. In essence, you have to be willing to give the arch to the ivy as a gift, not as a loan, you probably won't get it back.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:21AM
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Thanks for all of your wisdom! Hehe, I saw a metal arch (I don't see many of them) at a local nursery. That was when my artistic nature kicked in, & I started getting inspired. I thought of several other viney plants that I could possibly plant beside it, but eveyone I personally know voted ivy as the top pick. I'm not too worried about it taking over & trimming. I'm a housewife. I have nothing else better to do HAHA

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 11:36AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

A metal arch sounds good for ivy, or any vine really. If you decide that's what you want after looking at some others, I hope it goes well, but would encourage you to shop around a little. There are evergreen vines that also make pretty flowers, some scented, like Jasmine.

Here are some other discussions about evergreen vines for the south, if you'd like to look.

"Evergreen vine" in southern forum.
"Pergola" in LA/MS.
"Good climbing vine/flower" in LA/MS.
"would like to find an evergreen vine" in Georgia forum.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2013 at 12:22PM
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