Answer: It is usually a good idea to renew the soil in a container every year because the soil structure deteriorates and the soil becomes exhausted over time. This is in part due to the constant watering and in part because it is isolated from the natural processes of renewal. For this reason you might want to reset the ivy plant or replace it with a vigorous new one each spring.
I would expect ivy (Hedera helix) to be hardy in a large sized container, especially if it is not allowed to dry out during the fall or during a warm spell in the winter. (The bulbs on the other hand will suffer if the soil is excessively moist, so you might want to plant them in a separate container.
Your reference to pH is a bit confusing in that average potting soil should not need to be adjusted with lime for bulbs. If you caused a large shift in pH this could have possibly shocked the ivy planting.
Finally, in a windy season you may see ivy showing symptoms of winter burn, where the foliage looks terrible but the plant is not really dead. If this is the case, there should be new growth this spring to conceal the deteriorated foliage.
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