Do you want to grow a beautiful vine in your house or in your garden? English Ivy is a fantastic choice. It looks great and is easy to grow. Best of all, it grows fast, so you can enjoy some coverage soon. Let’s discuss its care and how to grow English Ivy on a Trellis.
English Ivy is a quick-growing perennial vine that can grow on any surface. Commonly grown for ground cover or as a building facade. These climbing plants grow up to 90 feet. The plant originates in Europe and western Asia. It can grow anywhere the climate is similar to the place of its origin, USDA hardiness zones 4 to 13. It will grow really well in zones under 9.
English Ivy is a woody climber with small flowers. The flowers aren’t showy, but they provide a lot of nectar for butterflies and bees. These flowers turn into berries that feed birds. However, we don’t value them for their flowers or berries but for their evergreen leaves.
There are over 30 cultivars of English Ivy with differently colored or shaped leaves. Dark green, pale green, yellow, and variegated varieties can be found. This foliage plant is easy to grow and care for.
There are two types of vines in the same plant. New growth and mature growth. New or juvenile growth has green herbaceous to lightly woody stems and multi-lobed leaves. The leaves can have three to five points making them resemble a star.
Mature growth has thick woody stems and single-lobed leaves. The ovate leaves of the mature growth resemble eggs.
It isn’t uncommon to find mature vines supporting the plant and the new growth matted all over it. The vines continue to grow even in the winter.
How Do They Climb
You don’t need to train English Ivy to grow up a wall. English Ivy will grow up or down any surface due to its adventitious roots. These roots find any space or crevice in walls, fences, trees, or trellises, hook onto them and grow more root hairs. The root hairs fill the anchor point and secrete a plant glue-like substance.
As this plant glue dries, the roots shorten, pulling the vine closer to the joint. These adventitious roots grow all along the length of the vine. This attachment system allows them to grow on any surface available.
Pros and Cons Are English Ivy
Each plant has its advantages and disadvantages. To help you decide if this plant is right for you, we’ve jotted down a list of known pros and cons of English Ivy.
English Ivy can grow up to 9 feet in a year. That’s very fast when it comes to plants. You can cover a large trellis in one or two years.
You can plant this Ivy and forget it exists. The English Ivy needs minimal care to grow. If you plant it correctly and get enough rain, you won’t need to care for it.
You will not need a ladder, thread, or zip ties to train the trellis. English Ivy can climb on their own without any intervention from the gardener.
Save the Bees
Ivies stay in bloom during the autumnal months of the year. During this time, they are the bees’ most important nectar source. Planting an English Ivy would help our buzzy friends immensely.
Clean the Air
According to NASA, Ivy is really good at cleaning the air of carbon dioxide and toxins like benzene. You won’t feel the difference while it’s planted outdoors on a trellis. However, you can always take a cutting to grow it indoors and reap these benefits.
Cons of English Ivy
You probably think there aren’t any cons to planting an English Ivy vine with many benefits. However, English Ivy is considered an invasive species.
English Ivy grows very well without much effort. You could almost say too well. In its native European habitat, it plays an important role as forest foliage and provides food for birds. However, its thick matted growth and adventitious root system snuff out any local plant competition in other ecosystems.
A weed is an undesired plant. What do you call it when it grows everywhere; in the gutters, the flower patch, along the wall, and on the lawn? That’s when you call something invasive.
English Ivy grown in homes easily escapes and starts growing in the wild, where it can spread unchecked. It can cause huge issues for crops nearby.
For this reason, selling or importing them in Oregon is illegal. It is officially considered a noxious weed in Oregon and Washington. Suppose you want to grow English Ivy but live in these states or are worried about it being invasive. You can grow any of these alternative climbing plants:
- Victoria Creeper
- Passionflower Vine
- Devil’s Darning Needles
- Yellow Perilla
- Trumpet Creeper
- Cross vine
What is a Garden Trellis?
A garden trellis is a framework made of any material, such as wood, metal wire, or even thread, used to support climbing plants. You can find a trellis in a gardening shop or online. There’s also the option of making one or customizing it for your garden.
Your trellis could be in any shape you desire. There are infinite possibilities. Whichever option you choose, ensure it is secure before planting your Ivy.
How to Grow English Ivy on a Trellis
Let’s walk you through the process of growing English Ivy on a trellis. Here’s a list of supplies you’ll need.
- Garden gloves
- a towel
- a shovel (optional)
- Aged manure or compost
- one or more potted English Ivy plants
- A watering can
Steps to Grow English Ivy on a Trellis
Here’s what you need to do
1. Chose where to place your Trellis
You will do your English Ivy a favor if you allow it to grow in the shade. If you want the trellis in your backyard, place it somewhere it has the shade of some nearby trees or even your house. The English Ivy will not grow so well if you put the trellis where it gets full sun.
2. Place your Trellis
Secure your trellis to the ground. Once it is fixed, you can only worry about planting anything. The trellis is the support for your English Ivy. With the right support, the Ivy will grow to look very beautiful.
3. Break Up the Soil
It would help if you prepared the ground, so your English Ivy gets the best chance to grow. To do that, break up the soil at the base of the trellis, where you will plant your Ivy. Break up the soil down to half a foot to a foot deep. You can use a towel or a shovel to do it faster.
4. Prepare the Soil
To make the soil most advantageous for your English Ivy, we must ensure it is rich and quick draining. We mix the sand and aged manure into the broken-up soil to do that. The aged manure will make the soil rich in nutrients, and the sand will help drain the water quicker.
5. Make a hole
Now we must decide where the Ivy will go. Plant a single Ivy vine in the center if you have a narrow trellis. If you have a large framework, plant as many as you need five feet apart. Make a hole in the ground where you want to plant the Ivy with a towel.
6. Secure the Ivy
Gently shake the English Ivy out of the pot it came in. Remove a little soil stuck to the roots with your hands. Be careful not to damage the roots. Place the Ivy in the hole you prepared and press the soil around it. Pat the ground around it until the plant is secure. Do this for all the Ivy vines you will plant.
7. Water the Ivy
Whenever you replant plants, you must water them. It helps them establish their roots in the new soil better. Water the Ivies generously. After the first watering, wait until the soil has dried a fair bit before watering it again. You might not need water if you get plenty of rain. They like the soil moist but not soggy.
The only con to English Ivy, as we discussed earlier, is that it can become invasive. Growing English Ivy means you should get ready to trim it back annually. If you keep it under control, it looks lovely.
You must remove any dead or extra vines every winter, and control any branching out. Dry out the clippings before tossing them into the compost bin, or else a new vine might grow in the compost bin.
English Ivy is a lovely quick, growing perennial foliage plant you can grow indoors and outdoors. You will not need to train it to grow up your trellis. Simply plant it at the base, and you’re good to go!
You may also like:
- How to Propagate English Ivy from a Cutting
- How Much Water Does English Ivy Need
- How Do You Transplant English Ivy
- Why Is My English Ivy Drooping?
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.