Common Ivy

Hedera helix

English Ivy, Common English Ivy, Bentwood, Bindwood, Ivory, Ivy Gum Plant, Love United, Ivy

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Ivy is a great ground-cover plant, often used to hide unsightly walls and buildings where it also serves as a natural insulator. It prefers to grow in shade, making it a common sight in woodland, and perfect for winter gardens. The evergreen leaves are often used in decorations - even used in Christmas wreaths. This plant is an important source of food for birds and bees in autumn and winter, it is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Autumn

Fruiting time

Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Propagation

Seed

Seeds can be scattered in moist, shady areas in early spring.

Cuttings

Removing the stem, leaf or root of the ivy and planting in moist soil will allow a new plant to grow. This is the most successful and easiest method of propagation.

Layering

Allow a growing shoot to touch soil - by covering with with a bit of soil or rock, it will send roots from nodes underground. As soon as it is well-rooted, cut from the otherplant and replant.

Special features

Attracts birds

The fruits are an important food source for birds in late Autumn and Winter.

Attracts useful insects

Many insects use the dense foliage as shelter over Winter.

Ground cover

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Europe, Western Asia

Natural climate

Temperate shade areas

Environment

Light

Partial Shade, Full Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Decoration

Popular greening decoration for functions and special events - the leaves are hardy and will not wilt too quickly.

Notes

A low maintenance plant that is an excellent ground cover plant for banks/slopes/under shrubs/trees. It can also be trained through wire fencing or up trellis/wooden fencing to create an attractive living screen. Suits wildlife friendly gardens as well as cottage garden styles.

Personality

Family

Araliaceae

Flower colour

Yellow, White, Green

Scent

Mild

Problems

Generally pest and disease free.