Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Irish Ivy
Hedera hibernica

Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Hedera (HED-er-uh) (Info)
Species: hibernica (hy-BER-nik-uh) (Info)

7 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Vines and Climbers

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Provides winter interest

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By mjolner88
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1 positive
1 neutral
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral ironworker25 On Jan 6, 2012, ironworker25 from Brighton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I just purchased a plant that was just marked "ivy". After doing some research here on DG, I believe it is of the Irish variety. I only intended to keep the plant indoors to add some life and I know that the ivies sprawl out and are attractive plants overall. I am grateful to the members that left posts letting me know how invasive this plant is if I were to put it outdoors. We have enough invasive species in Michigan already and I don't want to add to them. Thanks everyone.

Negative redcamaro350ss On Feb 12, 2011, redcamaro350ss from Statesville, NC wrote:

Please do not plant this in the United States. Especially do not "plant at the edge of dead trees as you walk through the woods." I understand planting things that are not native solely for their ornamental purposes. Planting things, however, in which you intend them to overtake native habitats is criminal. Please remember that with this plant in particular. This particular species is notorious for overtaking understory habitat as well as full grown trees.

Negative nc11657 On Jun 16, 2010, nc11657 from Herndon, VA wrote:

Ivy of any variety is a highly invasive and should only be used in very controlled situations. I have a half-acre of woods behind my house that is covered with ivy, partly because of my naivete years ago in thinking it would look wonderful on the trees, but mostly coming across from a neighbor's plantings. I will never be rid of it. This is a plant to avoid!

Positive mjolner88 On Oct 16, 2008, mjolner88 from Bellingham, WA wrote:

This is just about my all time favorite species of ivy. I make dozens of cuttings a month, and bring them into the woods with me when I walk my dog. If I see a dead tree, I place a cutting at the base of it, and continue on my way, happy with the knowledge that very soon, the the dead will once again resemble the living.

Hibernica turns a wonderful red in the's reminiscent of a dinosaur egg...

This species is actually good down to never keeps growing 24/7and looks great when everything else is barren. Once mature (it has climbed for "x" amount of years), it will offer its fruit to the local bird population, at a time when no other food is available, thus ensuring the consumption of its seeds. The berries offer the birds a nutritious meal...however once the fruit coating of the berry is digested, a powerful laxative within the seed coat begins its magic, and in no time at all, Hedera hibernica has replicated itself like the highly advanced life form that it is.

If you like ivy, and you want it to grow fast (for the species), stay away from the many ridicules cultivars of Hedera helix; pick a winner instead.

Negative cinemike On Sep 8, 2004, cinemike from CREZIERES
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

If there was one plant in the plant kingdom that I would exterminate, this would be it. It is a pernicious parasitic pest that is killing untold thousands of trees in Ireland, and throughout much of Europe, and probably beyond.
Common Ivy, Hedera helix, is bad enough, but it takes quite some time to kill its victim, and is not too difficult to remove, if caught early enough. This one seems to grow at a rate of knots and once it has hold of a tree, it is nearly impossible to remove.
Forget plants that are unpleasant to humans (stinging nettles etc.), this is the absolute pits!
If you find it, kill it!!!


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cleveland, Ohio

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