Ivy is known for its climbing and trailing habit. When it grows on a tree or wall, ivy can grow up to 100 feet in length in a single growing season. The average height of the plant is 6 inches but the width ranges from 2-5 feet. There are numerous varieties of ivy; they all have the same form of leaves except for glossy, which varies from deep green to shades of yellow, orange and red.
There are several types of ivy, some have been used since the 17th century to decorate homes and churches all over Europe. These ivies have different color variations that make them more appealing to use in decorations. The popularity of the plant has resulted in hybridization between species creating a wide range of colors for us to use.
English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
It is a species native to the Mediterranean region. It grows vigorously and has good aesthetic value as it covers rough surfaces and binds loose rocks together, making them appear neat. The plant contains saponins that are found in other plants serving as an antifungal agent against molds and mildew.
This makes English ivy an effective bio-indicator of air pollution in areas affected by industrial deposition. The ivy can tolerate extreme temperatures and winds, but it cannot tolerate salt. This specific type of ivy is popular for use in decorative horticulture as it is a tough plant that does not need much attention.
English Ivy is a low-maintenance ground cover plant. The only thing you would need to do to maintain it is prune about two or three times in the warmer months and always remove any dead leaves. Also, you have to make sure that there are no insects living on the leaves as they can introduce pests and diseases when they come into contact with other plants.
The English Ivy can reproduce using both seeds and runners. It is important to control the spread of the plant by digging up runners that grow underneath sidewalks or patios so they do not take over your garden.
English Ivy leaves come in different shapes and sizes which may vary depending on how the plant grows. They range from two inches to ten inches long, the smallest leaves are located at the top of a plant and they grow larger as you move down. The color or texture may also differ from one leaf to another due to exposure of sunlight.
Sea Grape Ivy (Cissus rhombifolia)
This ivy is a native to the tropical region of America. It has sharp spines that can cut people, so it is best not be grown indoors. The sea grape ivy produces white flowers with green spots and a sweet fragrance which attracts insects and birds that pollinate it.
It grows very fast and can grow to 5 meters in a year, it is tolerant of different soil conditions and thrives well in U.S Department of agriculture zones 8b through 11. This plant will climb on any surface: walls, trees or even telephone wires.
It is not easy to get rid of Sea Grape Ivy because it is considered an invasive species by most. So it is best to cut the whole plant down and contain all the pieces and roots, then dispose of them in a dumpster or bury them with soil so you do not spread it to other areas. To prevent its spread, make sure to clean up fallen leaves around the plant at least once a month.
Grapes Ivy (Cissus Rhombifolia)
It is a climbing vine and is excellent in the use of identifying an entrance. It is also known as "Climbing Ivy." The leaves are heart-shaped. They have stem hairs for vegetation, so they can cling onto any surface. They need to be pruned and trimmed regularly. If not, it can grow very high or even hang over the wall.
It is native to Southern Africa and has been introduced into Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Florida, Hawaii, The Caribbean and parts of South America.
The leaves of this plant are very useful in controlling erosion on cliffs or rocky areas by holding on to rocks with its stems hairs. This can also be used as an air purifier indoors. It has a great ability to absorb carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen at night. As an indoor plant it can be used in removing formaldehyde, xylene, and ammonia from the air
Curly Leaf Ivy (Hedera Helix 'Crispa')
This variety is also known as Mexican Ivy. It has been used in landscaping since the 17th century, it is easy to grow and can tolerate inhospitable conditions. The plant is useful in providing shelter to birds, squirrels and other small animals; it can be grown as a ground cover to reduce weed growth or on trees for shade. The plant can be pruned to take on different shapes and sizes.
Curly leaf ivy is a climbing vine that can grow as high as 15 feet. It produces white flowers during the spring, they are self-pollinating but require insect for pollination for increased crop yield.
Crispa Pendula Ivy (Hedera Helix 'Crispa Pendula')
Its name alludes to the shape of its leaves, which are not as curly as the previous variety. It is similar to sea grape ivy in terms of growth rate but has a slower growth rate when compared with English ivy. The plant can grow up to 6 meters in a year but it can grow up to 15 feet if you prune the top. Its leaves are dark green and glossy, and its flowers come in white or pink depending on the variant.
American Ivy (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
This ivy is a native to North America and has been recorded in all states except Alaska. It can grow up to 20 feet tall and 15 feet wide, but most plants only grow as high as 12 feet because they can be pruned shorter than that. The plant produces flowers of light pink or white color and it is self-pollinating but needs the help of insects to produce more fruits. The plant grows best in USDA zones 7 through 10 . This plant does not require a lot of sunlight to grow and can thrive well under low light conditions. The American ivy produces berries that are edible but also considered poisonous, you may need to consult your doctor before trying any parts of the plant.
Goldchild Ivy (Anredera cordifolia)
This is one of the ivies that are often used in topiary. It has stiff, pointed leaves with a reddish underside. The young shoots are red and the plant increases in size as it ages. It dies back to hibernate during winter months but comes up again from spring to summer. It needs pruning when it has finished flowering in order to keep it under control.
This vine needs continuous pruning to keep it short and bushy. If it isn't, the growth will become long and straggly. It requires water during dry periods.It is used as a ground cover or for formal topiary hedges in gardens, but it can be invasive if not kept under control with pruning.
It grows easily on walls and trees but can also be trained into unusual shapes as a topiary, growing in spirals or patterns. The leaves are rounded with sharp points at the ends and have serrations along the edges. They are shiny green on top and have a silvery underside. It gives off a sweet scent when brushed against and is often used as a pot plant indoors.
Having the plant outdoors will need less water than having it indoors, but even so, it should be watered regularly during dry periods or the leaves will start to wither and look very bad. The leaves can also melt if left in direct sunlight for long periods of time.
It was first discovered on the Canary Islands where it stretched up trees and rocks in over 10 000 feet of elevation. The stem has a rough surface and is very spiny. This plant needs to be trimmed and shaped regularly because it grows big very quickly. The leaves are dark green with serrated edges. It is also known as "Canary Islands Ivy."
This kind of ivy does well in any environment from below sea level to an alpine habitat, but it can become invasive if not kept under control. It can grow on walls, rocks and trees. It can be used as a ground cover and in topiaried shapes but should be trimmed regularly.
This plant is poisonous to pets because of its spiny leaves. The leaves contain calcium oxalate which causes the mouth to swell up if ingested. This kind of ivy does well indoors but needs a lot of water.
Southern Creeper Ivy
This plant produces berries that are red and fleshy when ripe. It can be used in topiary to make an unusual shape and climbs plants as well as walls. The leaves are large, dark green and have small teeth on the edges. It can be invasive but, if pruned regularly, it can hold its own.
It is also used to make ground cover in gardens and can be grown on walls, rocks or trellises. The plant exudes a sticky latex when it is broken or cut, so pruning gloves should be worn.
The leaves have been used as a form of treatment for warts and blisters because of the presence of salicylic acid in them.
This plant is slow growing but very hardy. It needs a lot of pruning and trimming because it grows quickly, especially in warmer climates. The leaves are broad and heart shaped, with scalloped edges. They can be used as ground cover or planted in topiaried shapes but will need pruning to maintain any shape.
This ivy is a very good climber and can be used to cover walls or trees. It does need pruning but the leaves are sharp so gloves should be worn when doing this to prevent injury.
The heart shaped leaves give off a sweet fragrance when pressed and crushed with your fingers. This plant can cause contact dermatitis in some people.
How do you propagate ivy?
It is best to take stem cuttings from a healthy plant, but this can be difficult. Before taking cuttings, it is important that the leaves and vine have time to heal, so that they will not rot in the ground. Stem cuttings need to be taken when growing season is over. Try to take cuttings from the plants in spring or early summer, before they start growing their leaves again.
Starting with a healthy plant is important but how do you make sure a stem cutting to be healthy? To test for this, remove a piece of leaf that has just fallen off and place it in water. If it floats, there is still sap left in the stem and it will not be a healthy cutting. If it sinks, then the stem should be cut.
The best time of day to take cuttings is early morning when the sun has not yet dried out the leaves. When you have made your cuttings, plant them straight away into pots or trays with a growing medium. Keep the pots out of direct sunlight and don't forget to water them regularly.
How can I stop a plant from going everywhere?
To stop this from happening, tie the plant to a structure with some string. The string should be just tight enough so that it will hold the plant in place. You may have to cut the stems back regularly to keep them in check.
How can you kill ivy?
If ivy has taken over your property and you are having difficulty getting rid of it, there are ways to kill it. To kill ivy you need to get down to the root level. Fungicides can be applied by using a spray or in liquid form. They will kill the roots so your weed problems should decrease over time. The one downside is that they may not be safe for pets or children.
Another method is called solarization. This uses the sun's rays to kill off the plant, but it can be a time-consuming and expensive process. To do this, cover the ground with clear plastic sheeting for around four months in summer or autumn. It is good to layer the plastic sheeting with something that will hold it in place, like rocks or soil. After this time you can remove the plastic and get rid of the now dead ivy.
How do you prune ivy?
Pruning ivy can be done by hand or by machine. It is important to prune it regularly because if you leave the leaves, they will take over and spread further. The best time to do this is in late winter before it begins growing again in spring.
Start by removing any dead leaves that are on the ground or hanging from the vine. This helps it to focus on growing a new set of leaves instead of trying to repair the dead ones. Then you can start cutting everything back by 1/3. When you have done this, remove anything that looks unhealthy or weak. Finally, try and reduce large branches by half. This will give the plant less weight and more energy for growing leaves and flowers. As always, remember to wear gloves as ivy leaves can cause contact dermatitis in some people.
Ivy is a very attractive and useful plant, especially for ground cover. It grows fast and fixes nitrogen in the soil very well. Its growth is rapid if it has enough water and nutrients. As a climber, it can support itself on other plants or structures without the need of using any conventional means to do so, such as ropes or wires. Ivy is truly a "living sculpture in stone". Its popularity and demand will continue to rise due to these characteristics, as well as the attractiveness of its foliage.