The Q&A Archives: Starting Ivy

Question: I have approx. 2,500 sq. ft. of ground to be covered, (too steep to mow) and I want to plant some English Ivy. How can I start it? Is seed available?

Answer: A ground cover bed planting of English ivy (Hedera helix)is most commonly started using inexpensive small starter pots, often peat pots, of rooted cuttings. These are for sale by the flat in the spring, or can be started from existing plants in late spring to early summer if you have access to some. When you start your planting, remember that this is a long lived and easy care plant but yet it will establish and grow better and faster if the planting area is well prepared and the plants are well cared for. This would mean digging and loosening the soil, adding ample organic matter, watering as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, and mulching between the new plants to help keep the soil moist and also keep down weeds during the interim. An average initial spacing would be anywhere between a foot and two feet apart in all directions using staggered rows, keeping in mind that the closer together you start off the sooner there will be a dense covering. You will need a large quantity of plants to do the entire area at once, so you may want to talk to your local nursery about a quantity order. Good luck with your English ivy.

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