Hedera Species, Common Ivy, English Ivy

Hedera helix

Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Hedera (HED-er-uh) (Info)
Species: helix (HEE-licks) (Info)
View this plant in a garden


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

12-15 in. (30-38 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


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)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Dutton, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Wetumpka, Alabama

Prescott, Arizona

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Mountain Home, Arkansas

North Little Rock, Arkansas

Chula Vista, California

Clovis, California

Lompoc, California

Oak View, California

Reseda, California

San Francisco, California

Vallejo, California

West Covina, California

Clifton, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

Bartow, Florida

Casselberry, Florida

Deland, Florida

Deltona, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(2 reports)

Tallahassee, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Canton, Georgia

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Jonesboro, Georgia

Lilburn, Georgia

Macon, Georgia

Statesboro, Georgia

Chicago, Illinois

Eldorado, Illinois

Columbia City, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana(2 reports)

Jamestown, Indiana

Macy, Indiana

Newburgh, Indiana

Danville, Iowa

Derby, Kansas

Rolla, Kansas

Hebron, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Pippa Passes, Kentucky

Taylorsville, Kentucky

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Vacherie, Louisiana

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Concord, Massachusetts

Dearborn Heights, Michigan

Eastpointe, Michigan

Ludington, Michigan

Marietta, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Florissant, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

Piedmont, Missouri

Warrenton, Missouri

Riverdale, New Jersey

Roswell, New Mexico

Buffalo, New York

Port Washington, New York

Southold, New York

Cary, North Carolina

Denver, North Carolina

Thomasville, North Carolina

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio(2 reports)

Glouster, Ohio

Portland, Oregon(2 reports)

Salem, Oregon

Winston, Oregon

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Royersford, Pennsylvania

Watsontown, Pennsylvania

Summerville, South Carolina

Clarksville, Tennessee

Madison, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Pocahontas, Tennessee

Westmoreland, Tennessee

Bryan, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Desoto, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Irving, Texas

Nome, Texas

Seminole, Texas

Spicewood, Texas

Spring, Texas

South Jordan, Utah

Big Stone Gap, Virginia

Chantilly, Virginia

Mc Lean, Virginia

Springfield, Virginia

Bellingham, Washington

Kalama, Washington

Kirkland, Washington

Lakewood, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Wallace, West Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 18, 2020, Ard1984 from Abilene, TX wrote:

Was wondering if anyone can please please donate and mail this item to an ill relative. It really needs to be in pot. Relative does not have the resources to pot.


On Dec 7, 2015, janelp_lee from Toronto, ON (Zone 6a) wrote:

I personally will not use this plant unless I don't have other plant option. It also depends on in what zone you are in to decide that it is so invasive or not. In warm climate it can be invasive. In cold climate I think it is not as bad. It is nice to see this as green fence since it is cold tolerant in our zone here and it still doing good job as privacy fence or low maintenance ground cover.


On Apr 19, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

In my area (Boston Z6a), this is as effective an evergreen groundcover as any. It grows rampantly and requires labor to keep it from spreading. It does form monocultures and outcompetes just about anything, including native woodland plants. It makes little contribution to wildlife here, though the autumn flowers attract beneficial insects.

Note that many cultivars are much less hardy than the species. Most florist cultivars aren't hardy north of Z8.

If allowed to climb, the juvenile vine form will eventually develop its adult phase, with unlobed leaves and stronger woody stems lacking holdfasts. The adult phase flowers in the fall and produces fruits whose seeds are spread long distances by birds.

The general consensus is that English ivy does n... read more


On Apr 18, 2015, marlene67 from Indianapolis, IN wrote:

No, It's not even a good ground cover. Dandelions mingle with it and it doesn't choke them out. Ripping it out by hand and am not excited about it. My only hoping is that I can keep up with it. I have my doubts & not sure I can kill it.


On Jan 20, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

It is pretty as a houseplant or keeping it with annuals in a pot and it makes a good groundcover if there is nothing to climb upon, but it is so rampant growing and easily gets under siding on houses and into other spots where it does not belong. It was not such a monster back in zone 5 and north in the Midwest. In the Mid-Atlantic region in zone 6 and south, it reverts to the parent form and the leaves change shape to more spearhead-like rather than maple-like and it bears black fruit. The birds then seed it into woods and around and it climbs way up to the tops of trees. It is an European invasive weed in the USA. I posted some photos of the trouble it causes.


On Aug 28, 2013, foxhead128 from New York, NY wrote:

I have quickly grown a dislike for this plant, but for different reasons than most people here seem to. Many of the problems people seem to be having pertain to growing the plant outdoors. In my case, I bought a potted English ivy recently, and already, it is beginning to collapse from what appears to be a spider mite infestation. I've had spider mites before, but this onset was quite sudden and escalated more quickly than I am used to. I'm currently wiping down the leaves with neem oil, but the plant looks terrible now, and I think it's beyond saving at this point. So while English ivy may do very well outdoors, it certainly hasn't given me a favorable first impression as an indoor houseplant.


On Apr 10, 2011, dbuckets from Beaverton, OR wrote:

This will not necessarily hold your hillside unless allowed to turn into it's mature reproductive bush form (and kharma will get all who do this). I saw a huge patch of Ivy, taking with it the top foot of soil, slide off a hillside into the street a few years back...expensive bill for them!

Get the bush killer (not glyphosphate) and add a "sticker" to keep it from running off the waxy leaves. They sell them relatively cheap, or even a cheap dishsoap will work (don't use petroleum products please). Catch them in Spring when growing fast, weed whack it first to help it further, and nail at least 90% of this stuff. Pull up those seedlings at first sight. Note, this will kill any "dicots" you spray (like Morning Glory & Blackberries). These are good and bad plants that emerg... read more


On May 21, 2010, RxAngel from Stratford, TX (Zone 6b) wrote:

Seems to stay in its place in this area (extreme SW Kansas)...we moved to this old farmhouse in Feb. 2009, and found it planted on the north side of the detached garage, and other than growing into the garage through some of the old boards, it seems to stay put.

Of course, our climate, I'm sure, is what keeps it in check. I'm going to try growing some inside in a pot. It turned this gorgeous, dark, shiny green on the parts that were in the almost complete darkness of the garage (from a light, almost variegated coloring on the outside parts), so I'm thinking it will be a good plant to keep upstairs in the bedroom, which gets zero sun, but I want a plant in there, so I may have found the perfect plant for that situation! I'll post again...this may be great for darker apartm... read more


On Apr 11, 2010, marinda from Cambridge, MA wrote:

For someone in my situation, a city gardener in the northeastern U.S. with dry maple shade and poor soil, nothing is better than ivy. It does spread, so perhaps it is Hedera Hibernium, but I bought it as Hedera helix. It does take some work to keep it off the walls of the house; the trick is not to let it get out of hand rather than letting it do its thing and then trying to undo it. Mockingbirds and robins love the berries.


On Aug 14, 2009, cellistry from Portland, OR wrote:

We inherited English ivy with our yard; it currently covers about half of our yard on three sides of our property. It's a huge task just to keep it from spreading like wildfire. The old vines are incredibly thick and the tangled mess is a pain to cut and try to pull out. It's NOT a good soil stabilizer as it only roots when there is loose, moist soil. If you start to cut it back, it just grows back faster than ever. If you want to plant it, just plan on never having anything else growing in a 10 foot radius of the ivy within a few years.


On May 16, 2009, anelson77 from Seattle, WA wrote:

This is an invasive exotic which is killing trees in our woods and should not be planted. It tolerates almost any condition. It is, however, not as hard as some invasives to remove and control. An annual mowing and yearly removal from shrubs trees and vertical surfaces will keep it in bounds. Provided you keep it from fruiting and dont let it grow on trees, i see no reason why it all has to be removed right now.


On Apr 26, 2009, Wulfsden from Riverdale, NJ (Zone 6a) wrote:

Neighbor planted and did not control. At first, I did not notice it invading my hedges. Then war was declared. Now the hedges are gone, but the ivy remains. Drop back into space and nuke it. It's the only way to be sure!!



On Oct 17, 2008, mjolner88 from Bellingham, WA wrote:

There are enough cultivars of Hedera helix to please everyone. I must say however, that none of them grow fast enough to cause problems unless you are in a coma. The user "Shadyfolks" is correct, in that most of you might be dealing withHedera hibernica.

Hedera helix can be a problem, but only if it has been growing for 10-20 years, and YOU move in on ITS territory, by encountering it in a deep forest, or buying property where it is already established...and by "problem" I mean, "you are angry that it is living", NOT that it is being invasive. Sure it's hard to "dig up", but then again, isn't ANY shrub that's been growing for 10-20 years?

95% of ivies grow SLOWLY. Hedera hibernica and Hedera canariensis grow at a MODERATE rate. STILL...even THEY don't cau... read more


On Aug 16, 2008, JamesPark from Auckland,
New Zealand (Zone 9a) wrote:

Here in its native habitat, Ivy is a valuable plant. It provides butterflies and bees plenty of nectar, the berries are eaten by birds in the winter months and it provides an evergreen retreat for hundreds of animals. It is nowhere near as bad as the Virginia Creeper. It's not exactly hard to kill ivy, simply sever the vine from its roots and it should die within weeks. Ivy is the sort of plant that needs constant attention, or else it can quickly speed out of control.


On Apr 2, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

I have tried this species two time in my yard in the past - before I had more knowledges of plants there were some fuzzy references that said they were zone 4 hardy but they never survived the winter so I will keep it at zone 5 hardy.


On Mar 1, 2008, DMersh from Perth,
United Kingdom (Zone 7b) wrote:

Ivy doesn't seem to like Yew trees, in a wood where most other trees were thickly grown with ivy there were numerous very old Yews that were all completely free of it, maybe it prefers hardwood trees?


On Jan 13, 2008, gallowaydude from North Little Rock, AR wrote:

It is a beautiful plant and a crawler. I have it growing up one side of my house, but I was unaware of the destruction until I found it had "eaten" thru the woodwork and was also growing in my attic! It must be kept under control.
I had thought it was poisoness, but see comments that goats eat it. Is it safe for cattle to graze on?


On Oct 16, 2007, pupilpropogtr from Birmingham, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

Living in Alabama, we are faced with kudzu, trumpet vine, saw briar and ivy. The only one I don't have in my yard is kudzu (crossing fingers it will stay away). We just moved in at the end of May 2007. The ivy is my nightmare. The previous owners failed to control it and it is everywhere in what could be a beautiful back yard. I had some spider lilies pop up, so I went to investigate the area further. I found more spider lilies, which was great, but the cannot bloom. The ivy has become so thick, it is covering the bulbs. I dug down 8" and found runners underground. I have to pull it off my house almost every day. It glues itself to brick and can destroy a home. I feel sorry for the people who have it covering their house. When I first pulled it off, large chunks of mortar fell... read more


On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

We enjoy the ivy even though it does have to be removed from trees when it gets going too much. It provides our hillsides with needed root structure and the variegated variety is so lovely. If we didn't have any ivy, our yard would look pretty desolate. We live in an area where there is a lot of poison oak...I definitely prefer the ivy!


On Apr 26, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

i see this monster every tome i go to my grandmother's house. they have taken over many acres of heavily wooded area. THEY SWEEP AND KILL!!! and once they take over,they look UGLY! IMPOSIBLE TO KILL. they are even taking over her yard


On Apr 21, 2007, 123456789 from Winston, OR wrote:

this plant is a true dr. jeckle and mr. hyde in the northwest. if it stays on the ground it's not offensive; but if it reaches a tree it will scamper up and smother it like a strangler fig, and set fruits like crazy to sprad the pathogen. if your live in the northwest DO NOT even think about planting this!!!


On Mar 20, 2007, grundlecat from Prescott Valley, AZ (Zone 7b) wrote:

When I moved in to my current home five years ago, one of the juniper shrubs had ivy growing around the base and some up the shrub itself. It does grow back quite promptly when pulled out, but I haven't noticed that it spread at all. It's pretty much covering the same area it was five years ago. Likely in a friendlier environment it could get out of control, but in my semi-arid garden it simply maintains itself. Very little else will grow there (especially since the cats like to mark it). I really like it.


On Nov 7, 2006, Veramarie from Jamestown, IN wrote:

We inherited some English Ivy when we purchased our house. I won't argue that in some (maybe many) places it could be very invasive. But in the location it's planted here, I wouldn't call it anything more than "healthy" and "lush."

Ours is planted in a shady area under some maples, in Indiana's standard poor, heavy clay soil. It grows at a slow to moderate rate without any amendments to the soil. In fact, I suspect that less than favorable conditions may be the key to keeping it under control--too much sun or soil that is too rich might very well make it grow rampant. As it is, I have cut back maybe a foot's worth of growth into the surrounding lawn just recently, the first time in the six years we've lived here.


On Oct 1, 2006, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Decided to look up multiple online sources re: Hedera helix and Hedera hibernico... turns out BOTH are considered highly toxic and invasive by just about every single website that discusses them, though admittedly the latter was NEVER discussed in a positive light, while some waxed on about the beauties of potted ivies (H helix). Anyway, my own personal experience with this beast is similar to everyone elses- once you grow it, you have it forever. I purposely planted about 5-6 different 'weird' cultivars of this plant, from the crinkled leaf form to about 4 different varieties of variegated, and regretted them all (I was new to plants and gardening back then). And though I didn't find it nearly as annoying as morning glory, nor as irritating (in an allergic sense), it was still very ha... read more


On Aug 23, 2006, kankan from Eldorado, IL wrote:

I have a very brown thumb. My mother's home has some ivy growing in, around, on, up and down a brick wall which secludes the patio from people walking by, and I brought some cuttings home to see what would happen if I stuck them in the ground. Needless to say, it was a total success!! I sit out there in the evenings and marvel over my profound luck in finally finding something that will grow for me!! LOL

I LOVE MY IVY, and since I'm a senior citizen, I'll leave it for the younger generation to hack it away once I'm gone.

I do have a few questions filtering through my mind after reading all these comments though.....wondering if I dare to peek under those leaves....I'd solve the mystery of our trusty, 17 year old pet dog who has been missing since the adv... read more


On Jun 9, 2006, eurokitty from Seattle, WA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I love the look of this ivy, but it's a nightmare. Our whole front yard is on a slope and covered in very dense, thick bed of ivy. It is wound all around our trees, and is slowly killing them. A large bush that used to flower doesn't anymore -- it's being killed by the ivy. We trim it, we've tried to eliminate the ivy off the trees to save them but it just comes back. The worst part, though, is that we learned that we had RATS living under our ivy. Everytime we do a major trim, what happened? Suddenly the rats freak, scurry out of the ivy and INTO OUR HOUSE. We've had three separate rat professionals confirm this. Now we're also finding that it's creeping under the exterior boards of our house.

We hate the idea of taking out the ivy (my husband loves the look) but this win... read more


On May 24, 2006, sterhill from Atlanta, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Ivy can be removed.

I've been pulling and cutting a backyard with 35 years of ivy growth. You weedeater down to the bare vines and cut and pull. Then you keep an eye out for any brilliant green pop-ups and pull them. It works. It is a tedious job but it does work. I have a friend with a magnificent woodland garden and her yard was full of old ivy. I was so inspired by her garden - and knowing that it could be done - I am now making my own beautiful woodland garden!

I've found that it pulls more easily in the winter - the ground is softer. At least here in Atlanta it is.


On May 23, 2006, TonyMI from Dearborn Heights, MI wrote:

I bought a house with "some" English Ivy. I soon realized that it was spreading rapidly. I've been cutting it back for 3 1/2 years and I've made good progress localizing it. But it's too much work to keep it contained, I'm going to keep attacking hit and maybe someday, I will be able to eliminate it.


On Mar 20, 2006, Larry1940 from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

The State of Oregon Department of Agriculture lists this plant as a noxious weed, and may yet ban it. However the damage has been done to many areas of western Oregon. Highly invasive it slowly will kill most trees by covering them completely, its almost as bad as Kudzu.


On Sep 21, 2005, dodgedame from Columbia City, IN (Zone 5b) wrote:

I love this wonderful invasive plant. This stuff will grow anywhere!


On Jul 7, 2005, Kwanzon from Milford, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

i got a cutting of and english ivy this year and i also bought a varigated ivy at a store. The cutting grew much better and more bushy. i am growing it in a pot because they tend to be as annoying as morning glories "invasive". Mine are growing very good and i haven't had any problems with bugs or other pests.


On Dec 9, 2004, Shadyfolks from Chesterland, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

Hi everyone,
Some folks are confused about Hedera helix 'English ivy' being an invasive weed. I recently joined the American Ivy Society this year and just recently received a very informative booklet on this very topic. I need to see where I put it and find out if I need permission to post some of the information from it. People are getting Hedera helix and another typeof Hedera mixed up. True Hedera helix is not invasive.

Anyway, we have 2 1/2 acres and I would have to say about 3/4 of an acre is covered in ivy. It grows right up to some of our beds. Instead of cutting it and trimming it (which just promotes new growth) I pull it up and fold it back over the ivy so that it continues to grow where I want it and it is thick and lush. I call this 'training the ivy'. T... read more


On Dec 8, 2004, Equilibrium wrote:

This plant epitomizes the term exotic invasive for me here in the Midwest.

I was so attracted to this plant based on all the advertising and rave reviews that I bought about 100 plugs. Those hundred plugs took off is about all I can say. They made a run for my front yard and in doing so, actually heaved my concrete walkways... several sections of which had to be replaced so that people didn't trip.

It has taken me two years to get rid of 90% of this "thing". Some of the vines were as thick as my wrist and we had to attach them to the riding lawn mower to try to yank them out after a few good rains.

There are entire websites out there devoted exclusively to eradicating this "thing". The Ivy Removal Project site comes to mind.

... read more


On Jul 18, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

My neighbor parked his junked cars on the property line. I retaliated with English ivy. They are much improved with a green covering. Grows inside and outside the cars vigously :)


On Jul 17, 2004, bazzoni from Morganville, NJ wrote:

We could use this plant for warfare. I will appreciate any tips on how to get rid of it. Kills everything in it's path including 50' tall trees. Even grows through concrete. What with the acid rain situation, even marble is crumbling. I found burried roots ~10" in diameter on my property. I am reluctant to use Round-Up because it kills the grasses too. I did hear of a product called Garlon or Grazon, [(3,5,6,-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy], an acetic acid, but know little about it. Again, any tips to get rid of this stuff will be appreciated. Ironically, it is still being sold in New Jersey for up to $20. a flat. Go figure. English Ivy out of control in NJ. Please help if you can. Regards, Jane


On Jun 16, 2004, Wingnut from Spicewood, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

It must be our heat or dryness here in Central Texas that keeps this in check. I haven't found it invasive at all. I planted some seven years ago and it's just now spread past ten feet from the original planting. It did grow up andaround a large post it was planted under, but as far as horizontal spread I find it slow.

I love the green color and evergreen quality. In deep winter, it's nice to see SOMETHING green outside besides scrub cedar.


On Jun 2, 2004, Larabee from Houston, TX wrote:

If you're like me and cannot resist the classic beauty of this plant and the attractively low maintanence, just use it as a container plant. It even does well indoors. Please don't plant it in the ground (or let it seed), or it's just a matter of time before your neighbors hate you (see others' comments). I LOVE English Ivy and have 5 pots/containers/baskets of it on my patio, in my house, in my office... and they are all thriving AND staying put!


On May 30, 2004, henryr10 from Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'm sure you've all heard this caution.

The first year it weeps,
the second year it creeps,
the third year it leaps!

This is first attributed to a botanist speaking about Hedra helix.

Be VERY careful w/ it.
Dry Maple shade or an island bed are the only places we allow it.
It took 3 years to get it under control in our garden.
A shrub herbicide is the only thing I know that will seriously touch it.

That said:
If you do have a safe spot for growing, it can get a little dull and ratty looking come mid Summer.
We've found weed whipping or mowing it, almost to the ground, causes a new flush of smaller nice bright leaves in a week or so.
Really perks up the appearance of the be... read more


On May 13, 2004, DaveH from San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

Along with the many other negative qualities noted by others here, this evil plant smothers native plants and can turn huge areas into ivy-deserts.

Ivy's main qualities that people (mostly non-gardeners, I would guess) like is that it is attractve year round and low maintenance. As an alternative, I would suggest wild ginger (asarum caudatum), Canadian wild ginger (asarum canadense), or European wild ginger (asarum europaeum). Asarum makes an excellent groundcover in shade to part shade locations with ample moisture. It's low-maintenance, and its glossy leaves are attractive year round.


On May 5, 2004, ZaksGarden from Winston Salem, NC wrote:

Absolutely the worst plant I think I have ever had the experience of coming in contact with. This thing is so invasive that in the past 7 years it had taken over 4 yards including my own. We have finally gotten it out of my yard, the yard infront of us, behind, and to the right of us. But the on the left the people are in love with it, I hop over the fence and spray it with all kinds of round up but ANY BIT OF ROOT LEFT IN THE GROUND will regrow. If I ever get rid of it I will let you all know!


On Mar 14, 2004, hotlanta from Lilburn, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

This ivy can be invasive! It was here when we bought the house, and was growing up the brick walls. It gets into the trees, wraps itself around shrubs and plants. But it is an excellent groundcover for hills and banks. It stays green all year long, providing interest during the winter months.


On Feb 2, 2004, cri wrote:

Did you know that english ivy can make a good bonsai? And a fast grower also..


On Nov 26, 2003, BethallynB from Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

This invasive exotic is almost impossible to erradicate once established. Vermin habitat and allergenic, it has no place in most residential gardens. Only good side is the goats will eat it.


On Nov 23, 2003, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Ivy is now banned in Oregon and several other states are considering it too as a pesky invasive non-native. My neighbor has it as a ground cover. It has spread to the woods behind and now covers almost 2 acres. I keep battling it from spreading into my yard. If you must plant it, do so in an above ground container and never, never let it mature to produce seed as the birds will spread it.


On Nov 23, 2003, coochic2000 from Chicago, IL wrote:

I bought mine, and it acts like just a normal plant. I don't think it will be invasive, because I still have it in the pot.


On Nov 11, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

In the deep South, this plant is susceptible to fungal rot, especially in periods of heavy rain. Not dependable for the coastal region of the Gulf of Mexico.


On Sep 5, 2003, vagardener from Springfield, VA wrote:

This plant is very invasive and almost impossible to eradicate. My neighbor makes no attempt to control the ivy in his garden and it is a constant struggle to keep it from taking over my flower beds.


On Sep 5, 2003, broozersnooze from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Ooh! I didn't know this plant would do all this stuff. In my present home almost 28 years now & have had some growing at the back of my lot amongst oak trees & privacy fence panels. It only has slight growth on the tree trunks & hasn't threatened to take over or invade my privacy fence. I do not doubt the validity of the notes shared here - especially the pictures which speak for themselves. This plant HAS established some ground cover & a few runners on my above ground pool panels. I'd always found it attractive growing wild with the ferns & I even purchased some variagated ivy to add to my hanging basket collection. Having learned all this today I will definitely be keeping a close eye on this stuff & will immediately remove any growth from my pool panels.


On Sep 4, 2003, Toxicodendron from Piedmont, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

I love the way English Ivy looks, and it is a good thing, because I have about an acre of it now. It has been a wonderful addition to my landscape, which is mostly shady woods, with poor rocky soils that are wet all winter and dry all summer. The ivy is the only plant that stands up to our climate without looking bad. I have to clip the edges twice a year, but that is easier than mowing. No watering, no spraying, very little weeding (once a year), no fertilizing, no raking. The tree leaves that fall into the ivy are allowed to decompose and that is all the sustenance this plant needs. It is impossible to dig out, so be careful where you put it. It also takes over practically any plants you try to grow in it unless you train it away (don't prune it away, that will just make many more growin... read more


On Mar 27, 2003, Bug_Girl from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Once it has deep roots set in it is impossible to eliminate. We had some of this that came as weed around a fence and shed. The roots go in between the broads of the fence slowly ripping the fence apart. Then the roots grow to a huge size becoming a solid mass, that is rock hard. You can hack away at it with a pick axe and not make any progress. The only way to get it out would be a steam shovel.

It produces horrible smelly dark purple berries, and it collects dust. I am allergic to it. Trying to cut it back, made me feel like I could not breathe. If you call up a gardening service and ask them to remove it, they will not even return your call. The solution was to move to another house. The ivy won.


On Mar 1, 2003, Pitch from Port Washington, NY wrote:

English Ivy is an extremely invasive plant and will spread very quickly if not prudently maintained. It is considered a noxious in many states, and in at least 20 states that I know of it is not allowed to be introduced is trying to be eradicated.

The mature form of English Ivy produces flowers and berrys, which look much like European Holly (another invasive species). Its fruit is poisonous to most animals, except for certain invasive birds (such as English Sparrow). English Ivy also serves as a hiding and breeding grond for rats and other vermin.

Once introduced it is hard to get rid, except with many hours or years of hardwork sawing the huge vines off trees and pulling its roots from ground. It is resistant to most herbicides because of its waxy leaves.


On Dec 20, 2002, philomel from Castelnau RB Pyrenes,
France (Zone 8a) wrote:

The flowers and fruit are very attractive to wildlife and both come at a time of year when other food is scarce (autumn and winter/early spring respectively).

Ivy grows in two phases - the juvenile stage is self clinging and climbs any obstacle. It has palmate leaves.
The mature stage (arboreal) grows as a shrub without clinging and has simple leaves. It is this phase that bears the flowers and fruit. Cuttings can be taken from the arboreal stage which will not climb, but remain as a shrub and flower. "Baa's" picture illustrates this mature stage really well, with the simple leaves and balls of flowers.

Many birds, small mammals and insects also find ideal nooks and crannies to nest in amongst its exuberant growth.


On Aug 8, 2002, haighr from Laurel, DE (Zone 7a) wrote:

Just a few foot long cuttings from this have completely covered the bank off my garage which is 18 ft. deep and about 50' long. Granted must trim where it grows over the bottom, but sure make a great and maintenance-free cover.


On Aug 8, 2002, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Wonderful carpet of green in a wooded area where I live, but it has to be kept in check or it will quickly take over.