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How to Grow English Ivy – Hedera

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English ivy is a small-leafed evergreen vine. It is well suited for indoor growing and growing in container and hanging basket. Use English ivy as a border edging or groundcover in partially shady gardens.

Get to know English Ivy

  • Plant type: Evergreen vine
  • Growing Zones and range: 5-9
  • Hardiness:
  • Temperature: 65°F (18°C) during the day, 50°F (10°C) at night; ivy can tolerate lower temperatures
  • Light: Medium to high, indirect light
  • Height and width: 10’- 20’ in all directions
  • Foliage: Dark green or mottled, glossy foliage is oval or heart-shaped; stems climb by clinging roots
  • Uses: Shady beds or slops
  • Botanical name: Hedera helix
  • Common name: English Ivy

Where to plant English Ivy

  • Plant English ivy in full sun or partial shade where summer is cool; plant in partial or dense shade where summers are hot; protect English ivy from hot afternoon sun.
  • Plant English ivy in humus-rich to average garden soil.
  • Plant indoor English ivy in potting soil.

When to plant English Ivy

  • Set outdoors in spring or fall.
English ivy (Hedera helix)
English ivy (Hedera helix)

Planting and spacing English Ivy

  • Space ivy 12 to 18 inches apart outdoors.

How to water and feed English Ivy

  • English ivy needs moderate water once established. All the soil surface to dry somewhat between waterings.
  • Mist English ivy growing indoors.
  • Fertilize English ivy in spring and summer.

English Ivy Care

  • Pinch off the tips of new growth to keep the plant bushy.

English Ivy common problems

  • Spider mites can be a problem in hot, dry conditions. Rinse plants or raise the humidity.

English Ivy propagation

  • Take tip cuttings at any time.

English Ivy varieties to grow

  • There are dozens of cultivars. Cultivars vary by foliage size from tiny-leaved needlepoint ivies to large broad leaves.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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