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English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

Posted by IrishGuy24 LI 7 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 9, 05 at 23:48

I am well aware of the problems with English Ivy, as I have seen from some posts here. However, if watched and pruned, wouldn't be ok to grow? I found a small vine growing in my yard, but wanted to move it because I didn't want it growing on the fence. So I have an old trellis where I used to have roses, but it's now too shady there, so I moved the roses and left the trellis (this is against the side of my shed). If I plant the ivy and train it to grow on and ONLY on the trellis, would it be ok? It's a shady location, and the spot looks bare so I thought this would fill up the empty space and look attractive. Thoughts and opinions?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

I have a lot of English Ivy around here..... and I can tell you from personal experience that although you think you can keep it tamed and in one place.......... somehow, someway you see a piece pop up on the other side of the yard no where near where you had it "trained". I guess just like you found a small vine growing in your yard. Wonder where it came from?

The one I have a time with is in my backyard........ it's choking a tree. Last year, I saw a piece pop up in a small flower bed at the bottom of my mailbox which is way in my front yard!

I guess no matter what you do.......... it's there to stay now. So if I were you and you want to keep it "tamed" in one place then go for it.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

I was brave enough to grow english ivy against my wood sided house. It was well behaved enough. Eventually, it wanted to get out of the bed and into the grass (I mowed it over, pulled the shoots out and tossed them back into their confines etc).
2-3 times per year I yanked them off of the concrete foundation and put them back into place in the bed.
It was not that difficult to keep the stuff in check - as long as you can devote some time to making it behave.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

if you're willing to devote an hour per square yard a month to keeping it in check, it'll be no problem.

it's really not like it's kudzu, or bittersweet vine...not quite.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

Who could say no to those innocent little leaves?
I'm of the opinion that if you want it, you must want it's natures, good or bad. Let it grow how it was intended, I say. Or be ready to invest time in obedience training with a shock collar...
That trellis may require some tying to get the hedera on it.

Has anyone grown H. colchica? I was interested in a cultivar with 10" leaves of white/green. How does the habit compare, as far as branching, rooting, and climbing, to H. helix? Or evergreen capabilities? I thoght that it could make a very bold (Like carpets of hosta) and useful green-mulch for larger shade plants.
I may post this as its own heading.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

Does anyone know if English ivy will grow on a chain link fence? I want to cover up the fence. I have some confederate jasmine planted on part of it, but am afraid it might die in an especially cold winter. This is a place that does not get alot of winter sun. The honeysuckle I planted here died one winter, but lives on the other side of the yard.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

Think about it this way: English Ivy could be your friend, but your neighbor's foe.

English Ivy is one of my absolute favorite plants. I just can't have enough of it. But please, please, please think of your neighbors when you plant invasives! You might be willing to live with the nature of an invasive plant that you love, but think about your neighbors. I wouldn't want my neighbors to plant things that could, in time, take over my carefully planned garden, so I don't plant things in the ground that could take over their garden. I respect that they have their own plans for their yards, because I want them to respect that I have my own, different plans for my garden.

English Ivy is sneaky. It doesn't just jump up and start acting like Napoleon. First year it sleeps, second year it creeps, third year it leaps. It waits until you think it's not so bad and perfectly controllable, then it pounces. Pruning is not enough to control it--it spreads by runners above AND under ground. So you never know where it will pop up (it can pop up several feet or even several yards away from the original plant--which means it can pop up right in a neighbor's yard, and keep popping up there again and again). And it's worse than a mere weed, cause it may not only be unwated, it can also damage property (it can choke trees and other plants, and if left alone because it isn't seen, can latch onto bricks and eventually destroy the bricks and other structures).

But, as I mentioned, I love my English Ivy. I grow it in containers (hanging baskets, up a trellis from a window box, etc) over cement (my porches) so that even if it touches the ground (unlikely, but you never know if part will break off) it can't root. And I grow a TON of it in the house as a houseplant. But never, ever, ever in the ground. : )


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one more thing

Oh, I forgot to mention: go ahead and plant it where you want it to climb, but plant it in a container and check it regularly to make sure it hasn't trailed out of the pot and touched the ground (it will root on contact) and also make sure roots aren't growing out drainage holes (which will also cause the plant to root in the ground). And make sure that whatever it's climbing, isn't something that would be hard to replace (a trellis or chicken wire are good, but houses and structures are bad) in case the ivy is attached long enough to do some damage. If you want to avoid the ivy being there long enough to damage it, cut the ivy down to the soil line once a year, remove the cut off ivy branches (give them a week to die and it'll be easier) and let the ivy start over. And if you ever compost ivy, let it cook FIRST before adding it to the compost pile (to cook it, leave the ivy in a plastic bad without any soil, tie the bag off, and ignore it. When it's totally dead, you can compost it. Otherwise, it will just root in your compost).


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

It's everywhere. Chain-link fence 1/8th of a mile away from original planting site (two years after it was killed), every corner of the lot, now covering the beautiful honey-suckle, choking trees in the thicket nearby.

Previous tenant planted it to grow on the side of the house. She even decorated the interior of the house with english ivy wall-paper, purchased porcelain tea cups with english ivy leaf printing. Oh, it was really cute on this little cottage.

All the siding on the house needs replaced, repairs to the roof (top, edge and inside) need be made, eaves and such need repair from the ivy growing in between the trim moldings and under the side... on and on. The board is warped. The ivy grows through the smallest cracks. It grew into the air conditioning units, windows and existed all in the attic through the air vents AND THE WALLS.

When attempting to "maintain" by cutting back or pruning an english ivy growing on painted wood surface, the sticky legs rip off (in our case, three layers of) paint down to the board. I can see where they just painted over the previous over-growth as it is impossible to remove without serious damage.

Don't ever plant this crap. It can and will go to seed. Birds will distribute.

Trust me. I know.


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RE: English Ivy...Friend or Foe?

if its in your neibourhood just plant it you will get it any way if you have to yank weeds might as well be a pretty weed


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