The Complete Guide For Taking Care of Boston Ivy

The Complete Guide For Taking Care of Boston Ivy

Boston Ivy Care

Many people use boston ivy plants to cover walls, fences, pergolas and more. Being a very low maintenance plant, it is easy to care for but some upkeep is still needed for a beautiful looking vine.

Boston Ivy

Plant Highlights:
  • USDA Zone 4-8
  • Fast-growing
  • Grows in any Sun/Shade Condition
Notable characteristics:
  • Beautif Red Fall Folige
  • Attracts Wildlife
  • Hardy

Planting Boston Ivy

Boston Ivy On Brick Wall

When choosing a location it is best to find an area that is sunny and has good soil. These conditions will help get better results with the plant growing faster and healthier. Boston ivy should be planted 18 to 24 inches apart. Plant them closer together if you want faster coverage on a wall or trellis. Boston Ivy should be planted 12 inches away from the wall to allow the roots more room to grow. The best time to plant Boston ivy is spring or fall. This is a hardy plant that will be able to grow even if planted in the summer; however, will need plenty of water and well drained soil.

General Boston Ivy Care

Boston Ivy Growing on Building

Sunlight - Boston ivy can take a wide range of sun exposure, from full sun to partial sun, but it does best in full sun.

Watering - These plants should be well-watered when first planted in order to get established. Once the plants get going, there is no need to worry about watering unless there is a severe drought.

Mulching - Use mulch to help conserve moisture for the plants. This helps prevent weeds from growing around the vines and protects the roots in the winter.

Fertilizing - Fertilizing is not necessary but feel free to use all-purpose granular fertilizer in the spring. Don't overdo it since too much could hurt the plants.

Winter Care- The main thing for caring for Boston Ivy in the winter is pruning. There is more information about this below. It is best to prune in late winter once the leaves have fallen off and the plant has gone dormant.  

Pruning Boston Ivy

Boston Ivy Growing on the Fence

The vines will grow aggressively if given the right soil, water, and sun conditions. Sometimes it is necessary to trim these plants back to a more desirable size, especially around doors and windows. The best time to prune Boston Ivy is in the winter. Even though this is a very tough plant, you can prune anytime during the year if you are careful not to trim too much. If you want to remove Boston Ivy, be careful not to rip the vines off of walls. This could damage the wall, take off the paint, or remove chunks of wood as well. To do this without damaging anything, first cut the vines off at the base of the plant and let the vines die, then the vines should come off the walls easily and without damaging anything. You will also want to kill the roots. To do this naturally, we recommend using white vinegar, but be careful to put the vinegar only on what you want to kill.

Why is Boston Ivy Famous?

Boston Ivy Growing on Wrigley Field Brick Wall
Photo Credit to jimcchou on Flickr

You may have heard about Boston Ivy, but do not know why or in what context. The Ivy League was named after this plant and refers to the vines found on buildings at Harvard, Yale, and Dartmouth colleges in the Boston area. The Chicago Cubs baseball field, Wrigley Field, has also helped make this plant widely known. The outfield brick walls are covered with Boston Ivy for a truly unique stadium.

← Previous Next →