Questions/Help with Growing Ivy


Old 07-07-06, 02:28 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 9
Questions/Help with Growing Ivy

In the front of my townhouse there is a small (5-6" wide // 4' long) strip of dirt between the brick from the steps and the driveway.

I was thinking about putting in a piece of lattice, to the size of the brick siding, and growing ivy.

Is this possible? I live in Virginia, so I guess there are questions about which ivy would be best (warm/hot summers and cold winters) and how long it would take for the ivy to grow up the lattice? I would say the height of the lattice would be 4 feet high and 4 feet wide.

Any ideas/thoughts are much appreciated!
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Old 07-07-06, 10:30 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: united states
Posts: 98
Sounds like a nice idea

I like your idea for that very compact area. There are a number of ivys that you could use. I would suggest you consider some of the smaller leafed varieties as your planting area and panel size are small. If you can find a varigated variety in your local garden center that would be both attractive and a little out of the ordinairy.

Planting preparation will be very important with such a small root area. I presume that in Va. (I'm in central NC) you have mostly clay soil. I would recommend that you dig out as much of that soil as you can and replace it with a good quality bagged soil. It will be challenging digging in such a narrow space but it will be worth the effort.

When you decide which variety to use, the garden center staff will be a big help, select plants that are full and hopefully ones that have some long runners already. Plant them close together, about 6 inches apart. Using some plant ties (like twist ties but made for plants) attach the runners as far up the lattis as possible.

Water them well after planting and water them every 2 or three days during hot dry weather. Get some good quality plant food and follow the label directions, this will have a very big impact on how quickly your plants will grow. Miracle grow is good choice as it is difficult to over do it.

Personally I like to trim plants that are trained on trellises or lattis panels so that I always see some of the lattis and some of the greenery, the contrast of the white and the green is nice.

I wish you the best of luck with your project, 38 years in the business and still learning....Greensboro_man
Old 07-08-06, 02:41 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Some great advice from Greensboro Man, especially in reference to the small leafed varieties of ivy. The variegated ones are a great idea too.

With no disrespect to Greensboro Man I will have to say that I disagree with the statement, "Miracle grow is good choice as it is difficult to over do it." Miracle Gro is very popular and easy to mix, but it is a synthetic fertilizer and it CAN burn your plants if you overdo it. Perennial vines such as ivy will take time to establish their roots, so don't rush it. It's a small area and you really don't need lots of new lush growth to attract insect pests. If you add an inch or two of compost to the planting area and mix it into the soil, your vines will have better drainage and it will add nutrients and microbes to the soil. After a year or two your ivy will probably take off and you'll find you need to trim it back.

Old 07-08-06, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: grand rapids, michigan
Posts: 61
ivy trellis

hey im in w. mich. and i have a great deal of english ivy but its not very prone to climbing, and definitely prefers limited sun exposure. if you are in a hurry to get some greenery on the trellis/lattice, you could always mix the ivy with clematis or morning glory. however the morning glory can be very ......prolific, and if you dont want even more next year, make sure to carefully take the seed pods off the vine in fall when they are brown and dry , careful not to drop or spread any more than a few seeds for next year.
Old 07-08-06, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 929
Things to think about

Some ivy's will seek out the smallest crevice to travel. Make sure your ivy is planted the farthest possible from the brick. There are weep holes, etc in the brick and some ivy will crawl in them and into the walls. I have seen ivy in the attic of some places...coming from inside the walls!

Some ivy leaves a multitude of trash on the wall if it ever starts crawling on the wall. It wont come off with scrub brushes... trash meaning little broken off feet of the vine when you finally get around to pulling it off the wall.

A very prolific ivy will get to the roof in short order and restrict airflow into the soffit vents leaving your attic with no ventilation. Be prepared to use whatever means necessary to keep it trimmed below the eaves.

Any vegitation growing in proximity to your house puts your home at risk of insects coming in from the vegitation if it gets infested with insects.

Some bees like to nest in ivy on the side of your house.
Old 07-08-06, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: united states
Posts: 98
miracle grow

With respectful reference to Newts' comments regarding Miracle Grow being a synthetic fertilizer and that it could burn the plants... The primary disadvantage of water soluble plant foods such as Miracle grow is that there is so little plant food being delivered to the plant per application. And moreover that small amount of nutrient is dilluted in a large quantity of water. Meaning the tiny amount of fertilizer product is dispersed over a large area of the root zone as the water soaks in. The small amount of fertilizer delivered per application is the reason the label directions call for frequent applications (to give the plant sufficent nutrients during the growing season). If one were to even stay in the ball park of label directions burning would be extraordinarily unlikely.

Newly planted plants grow better and stronger if they have xtra nutrients available to them immediately. The most important thing a new plant needs to do is develop a good root system quickly. If the appropriate nutrients are readily available in the soil surrounding the new plant root growth will be significantly improved. That is a good thing

Key points: Proper plant bed preparation is vital, selecting the right plant for your area is equally important, follow up care (without it all your efforts and expense may be wasted) and with reference to plant food or any garden preparation READ AND FOLLOW label directions. If you do, you and your plants will be safer and healthier.

As I have said in past post there are many perspectives in the gardening world, Best of luck, 38 years in the business and still learning... Greensboro_man

PS I don't own any stock in Miracle Gro

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