English Ivy is an invasive monster in any garden. Not only is this plant invasive, it also kills the trees it climbs on slowly choking them until they die. English Ivy is also very destructive to homes and buildings using its tendrils to cling to the mortar of brick homes loosening and destroying the joints.
English ivy grows just about anywhere- sun or shade- zone 4-9 and in any soil. English Ivy depletes the nutrients out of the soil and there are no other plants except wintercreeper euonymus that can grow with it. The picture above is a photo I took 2 years ago in an area where the ivy and wintercreeper have grown over a concrete drainage ditch to invade and overtake about an acre of wooded area. I could not even walk in this area to take more pictures because 1) I was afraid of the snakes (we have poisonous snakes here in Virginia) that could be lurking in the wet ivy covered area and 2) the ivy and wintercreeper were about a foot thick and it was almost impossible to walk without tripping.
I know you are thinking “the garden centers sell it” but that does NOT mean it should be bought. I would never plant ivy because it cannot be controlled unless you have a gardener who will spend his days trimming the ivy and keeping it in place. I have pulled out ivy by the tons and the ground was so hard and barren that weeds would not grow. I will share with you how I remove ivy showing you tips and tricks later on (I am working on a post and video).
English Ivy can grow up 50′ Oak trees in a couple of summers. Once ivy is established it is only a matter of time before it kills everything in its path. Be warned- do not ever throw this plant in the woods or dispose of it in your compost area because it will grow. Throw it away in plastic garbage bags at the dump because ivy grows simply by touching the ground and rooting.
I know ivy looks cool on an old mansion or even in a garden- but do not be fooled- English Ivy is a monster that must be controlled or removed before it kills any tree or plant in its path. Thank you for stopping by and I hope I have helped you to make an informed decision not to plant ivy. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me.
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2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @The Garden Frog Boutique