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Ivy Plants

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Ivy is a genus of Hedera and there are about 12-15 species of this climbing and ground creeping plant.  This woody plant is in the family of Araliaceae and is mostly native to western, central and southern Europe.  Ivy plants belongs to the ginseng family and are evergreen climbing vines.  Their are numerous varieties of ivy, and their leaves range from tiny to huge,  up to 6-8 inches.  When planting ivy, find a location that has partial to full shade in well-drained soil.  Full sun can be deadly and burn the leaves.  The soil should be enriched with peat moss, or compost. 

If the purpose of planting ivy plants is to cover a wall, plant them as close as possible to the base.  As the plants begin to grow, they should be pruned to 6".  Do not fertilize for the first 3-4 months, but once they are established, use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen every other month during the growing season.  If you want to promote fuller growth, prune 2-3 times a year.  Ivy will quickly form a lovely evergreen mass as the tendrils attach themselves to trees, walls or rocks.  Being a very common and popular ground cover, Ivy is an excellent plant that prevents or stops soil erosion.  These plants make a network of roots and binds the soil on slopes and hills.

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