Ivy outdoors - care and planting

Ivy is a popular climbing plant to have in your garden. You've probably seen it frame houses, fences, walls and other surfaces in a dense, green and lush way. It's vibrant and spreads its long narrow tendrils that attach to facades and other areas on their own with their adhesive roots and without you having to tie it up.

Here you can read and learn how to take care of ivy in an outdoor environment in the best way.

Caring for ivy outdoors

Ivy is an easy-care plant, but like all plants, it also appreciates the best conditions you can give it to make it thrive in your garden. Here are some tips and advice if you grow or plan to grow ivy outdoors. It's good to know that it can be sluggish in the beginning and that you may become a little impatient just after planting, but after a couple of seasons it picks up speed. Proper speed!

How to take care of your ivy

  • Ivy can be planted on open land and in flower beds, but you can also grow it in pots and in window boxes.

  • This climbing plant thrives in shady or semi-shady locations. A rule of thumb is that the darker the leaf, the more it thrives in the shade and the lighter the leaves, the brighter you can place it in your garden.

  • It prefers calcareous soil and a location where it doesn't risk drying out.

  • To avoid it becoming sparse and the leaves being burned by the spring sun during late winter and early spring, it's good to water the plants during that season so they're better equipped.

  • If you want to limit the spread, you can easily cut the vines at some point during the year. If they have spread on the ground, you can cut them with a sharp shovel, but you can also cut them with a secateurs.

  • When you find ivy vines that have taken root, you can cut the vines and plant them in other areas in your garden and get more plants.

  • This is a climbing plant that does well outdoors even in winter, if you live in a growing zone that allows it for the variety you have chosen. If you have ivy in a pot and live in a colder growing zone, it's good to bring it into a conservatory or similar. In the warmer growing zones, pots can be left outdoors, but it can be a good idea to move them to a slightly more sheltered place, for example closer to the house. You can also choose to dig down the pots and cover them with some leaves and branches for the winter.

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The Ivy can help you hide an old tree trunk

Planting ivy in the garden

Ivy, or Hedera Helix as it's called in Latin, is a climbing plant that's a perfect complement to other vegetation in the garden because it provides a nice green atmosphere but also forms a lush background to the other plants in the garden such as trees, shrubs and flowers.

Hedera Helix is satisfying to grow because once it's established, it largely takes care of itself if you place it in a location where you can let it take over. It's also an excellent solution if you have something in your yard that you want to hide, such as an old tree trunk or a seethrough fence that you'd like to provide more privacy. Plant ivy in front and after a couple of seasons it's started its way up what you want to avoid seeing. The end result is both functional and very beautiful.

When you have ivy in your garden, you always have beautiful green leaves to take indoors year round. It's so easy to cut a sprig and put in a vase. A simple, beautiful, green arrangement to enjoy inside on the coffee table or on the kitchen table. You can also cut longer vines and drape and decorate with them on the table when you set it for a party. The greenery makes the whole table setting come alive and is guaranteed to be a success when you entertain.
In short, this climber is a very versatile and valuable plant to grow in your garden.

Facts about Hedera Helix

  • Ivy is a climbing plant with green leaves in different shades from light green to dark green and with different varieties that are two-colored.

  • It's also effective as a ground cover where it forms a dense, beautiful green base that spreads over the soil.

  • It's evergreen, which means that it doesn't shed its leaves in the winter but constantly livens up and brightens up the garden all year round with its beautiful green color.

  • It thrives in calcareous, moisture-retaining soil, but can manage to grow in drier locations once it's established itself.

  • Ivy is a poisonous plant. The leaves themselves are poisonous to a lesser extent than the blue-black berries that can occur during the summer on established plants.

  • Different varieties do differently depending on which plant zone you live in. The hardiest variety, can grow up to zone 4 in Sweden.

  • This climbing plant can get really old if it thrives in the location where you planted it.

  • Be careful if you let it climb up a house facade as it can do damage with its strong adhesive roots. Removing it can be harder than you think, so plan where you let it spread.

Take cuttings of your ivy and get more plants for your garden

Take cuttings from ivy

The most economical and satisfying way to get more from a plant that you enjoy is to propagate it. You can do this by taking cuttings from a mother plant. So if you have an ivy in your garden and want more specimen for spreading to other areas, you can easily take cuttings from it. Follow the instructions to get more greenery in your garden!

How to take cuttings - step by step

  1. Take cuttings from your ivy during the period February to September.

  2. Snip off 10-15 cm long pieces from the mother plant with clean secateurs.

  3. Your cutting should consist of 3-4 leaves at the top. Remove the rest if there are more so your cutting doesn't waste energy on supplying more leaves and can concentrate on growing strong.

  4. Pour sowing soil into a pot but be careful not to pack it too hard. Then water so the soil is moist but not wet.

  5. Insert the cutting into the pot, but avoid the leaves coming into contact with the soil.

  6. Water your small future plant so that it attaches properly without it becoming too compact. Oxygen needs to get into the soil in order for it to survive and develop into a new plant, so make sure it has a foothold but can still breathe.

  7. Keep the air around the cutting moist. You can create a humid environment by covering the pot with a plastic bag with a few small holes. Use a couple of sticks to help hold up the bag. You'll have a simple little greenhouse while your protégé grows. Remove the bag and let it air at regular intervals so it doesn't get too stuffy in that little greenhouse of yours.

  8. Place your cutting in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight. Suitable temperature is about 20 degrees Centigrade.

  9. Water regularly.

  10. New roots are formed after a few weeks and then it's time to repot in more nutritious soil and in a slightly larger pot. Avoid switching to an oversized pot immediately, but rather replant in larger pots in stages as your cutting grows.

  11. When your cutting is big enough for you to be able to keep track of and take care of outdoors, it's time to plant it in the garden.

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