(Araliaceae - Ginseng Family)
- semi-woody evergreen groundcover or evergreen vine; mounding to 1' high in dense ground plantings and radiating from 2' to 10' as a groundcover, or climbing to 50' or more on its supportive structure as a vine
- prostrate mat growth habit or climbing vine growth habit
- medium growth rate (in perimeter spread or terminal climb)
- full sun to full shade
- performs best in moist, well-drained soils of average fertility in partial sun, but is adaptable to many adverse conditions, including heat, drought, poor soils, soils of various pH, compacted soils, dry soils, and sun or shade conditions
- propagated primarily by rooted stem cuttings, although transplanting of rooted stem segments from the landscape is also possible
- Ginseng Family, with leaf spot being the primary disease, usually occurring during wet periods of the growing season; exposed leaves (especially at the stem tips) may also winterburn during the dormant season
- abundantly available in flats
- mulch at transplanting to prevent weed establishment and Winter freeze
heaving during the first year of growth
- one may utilize English Ivy to climb a brick or stone wall, but it is
not advisable to allow the vine habit to engulf the base of a tree trunk, as this
can provide shelter for rodents (especially mice and chipmunks) in Winter, and
may lead to bark and cambium gnawing damage of the tree (resulting in tree decline or death, especially for small trees), especially during periods of snow or ice coverage
- emerging kelly green and then changing to glossy dark evergreen
- alternate, about 3" long and wide, with the juvenile form (most common) broadly ovate, three- to five-lobed, with shallow sinuses
- adult leaf form (on old flowering branches, typically in climbing situations and rarely seen) is rhombic to ovate, having an acute base and acute apex with no lobes
- both forms have entire margins, with green-white veins radiating throughout the leaf blade from the upper petiole
- fall color is dark green, becoming green-bronzed or with winterburn-bleached margins by the end of Winter
- green-white inflorescences in October, being inconspicuous, sparse, rare, and only on mature growth
- inconspicuous and rare black fruits mature in April of the following season
- light brown, with either functional roots (groundcover habit) or aerial
roots for clasping (vine habit)
- tan on extremely old vines
- ovate, broadly-lobed, shiny evergreen leaves spiral in alternate fashion around the light green fairly thick stems, usually found in groundcover usage in foundation beds, but also capable of vine habit, often covering tree trunks or brick walls, and adaptable to all sun or shade conditions
- evergreen groundcover for foundations, entranceways, embankments, under shade trees, or in raised planters
- evergreen structural cover for solid walls (usually stone or brick)
- medium texture
- thick density
- broadleaf evergreen foliage
- full sun to full shade adaptable
- some cosmetic leaf problems may occur in wet Summers (leaf spots) or
harsh Winters (winterburn)
- retains some blown leaves in Autumn and Winter
- zones 5 to 9 (landscape cultivars are often selected for cold hardiness
to the warmer portions of zone 4)
- native to the Caucasian Mountains of Europe
- evergreen groundcovers (Euonymus fortunei 'Colorata', Liriope spicata, Vinca minor, etc.)
- Many cultivars of English Ivy have been selected for variegated (white
or yellow), cutleaf, or curly foliage, or for dwarf habit and slow growth rate,
but most of these are usually zone 6 in cold hardiness at best, and are relegated
to Southern habitats or the status of indoor plants.
- Hedera helix 'Thorndale' - slightly larger leaves than normal, a derivative of the standard cultivar 'Baltica' and superior to it and virtually all others in cold hardiness (zone 4).
- Hedera is the classical name of Ivy.
- helix translates as "twining", which is not indicative of its
clasping vine habit, but refers to the spiraling leaf attachment on the stem.
- English Ivy is the most common broadleaf evergreen groundcover or broadleaf evergreen vine.
- Hedera helix is a vigorous and dense evergreen landscape groundcover or vine, hardy to zone 4 (a minimum of -20 degrees Fahrenheit in average Winters) if the cultivar 'Thorndale' is utilized.
Return to Index
Copyright © The Ohio State University
All rights reserved.