The Q&A Archives: Tired Ivy

Question: I have just purchased a townhouse with a very shady garden filled with tired, droopy ivy. I'd like to revive the ivy. Can I buy the fertilizer I need from Burpee's?

Answer: Your yard probably is planted with English ivy, Hedera helix. This evergreen vine tends to look a bit shabby in late winter and early spring before the new spring growth starts. In all likelihood it is quite healthy and will perk up as soon as the weather turns. Ivy is not very demanding in terms of nutrients, and may in fact grow faster than you'd like if you fertilize it. If you feel it needs a boost, you might try a top dressing application of compost or well rotted manure, or perhaps a very light application of a balanced general purpose fertilizer according to the package directions. Burpee offers only specialty fertilizer through the catalog, but you should be able to find what you need at a garden center or large hardware store.

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