How to Grow and Care for English Ivy (Branching Ivy) in Containers

English ivy Hedera helix

Intro: You’ve undoubtedly seen the fast-growing invasive English ivy, also known as branching ivy or glacier ivy, as ground cover in landscaping, and it is easy to grow in any balcony garden. It is almost impossible to kill this versatile container plant. It can be trained to grow up a trellis or in a hanging plant container. If grown in an indoor garden, English ivy cleans the air of formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. 


Scientific Name: Hedera helix

Plant Type: This evergreen ivy is a climbing plant.

Light: The English ivy plant can thrive in almost any level of light, from full shade to full sun.

Water: English ivy can withstand periods of drought. When watering, make sure to keep the potting soil moist but never soggy. Also make sure to water your branching ivy before frosts or during extreme periods of hot or dry weather.

Fertilizer: Branching ivy does not need a lot of fertilizer. Either fertilize once in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer or once every two weeks with a half dose with a liquid fertilizer.

Temperature: English ivy can do well in cold temperatures; some varieties do well if overwintered outdoors in freezing temperatures, but not all. Remember that plants in containers do not always survive cold temperatures as well as the same variety planted in the ground. The ground is more insulated than the plant container.

Pests and Diseases: This vine plant is not likely to have many pest or disease problems, but you may see aphids, spider mites, mealybugs or scale insect pests. Fungal diseases may also be a problem with your branching ivy plants.

Propagation: To propagate English ivy, take cuttings from the mother plant.

Misc. Info: The yellow flowers of the English ivy plant will attract bees and other beneficial pollinators, and it produces a black berrylike fruit, which attract wild birds. (The fruit is poisonous to humans.) Never let this plant grow wild in your area – it is already invasive in Australia and North America, creating “ivy deserts,” where they have taken over native plant species so much that only the English ivy is left. The sale or importation of the branching ivy plant is illegal in Oregon. For its invasive nature, keep it away from other container plants if you don’t want the English ivy to take over and kill them.



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English ivy wall

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