The Q&A Archives: Number of plants for wall ivy

Question: I have a 24 ft. long stucco wall that's 2 stories high (approx. 20 ft.). I want to plant Boston Ivy, but haven't been able to find a calculator for planting for vertical coverage. How many plants should I buy? I'd like the coverage to be dense, so I don't mind buying for closer spacing. Thank you!

Answer: Ivy is considered a vigorous grower, but growth rate really depends upon soil type, plus the amount of water and fertilizer the plants receive. Standard spacing is 18"-24" for 4" nursery pots. You can plant yours closer if you want faster coverage. For best growth, amend the soil with moisture-retaining organic matter (to a depth of 8"-12") prior to planting and after planting keep the area irrigated (water deeply once each week) for the first growing season. Once the roots are established, your ivy should grow well with only occasional watering during the hottest weeks of the year. Based upon the standard spacing rate, you should purchase 12-24 4" pots of ivy. For such a large job, however, it might be more econmical to purchase flats of the groundcover and space the rooted cuttings 12" apart. This formula will provide faster coverage of the area. Ivy will climb, but it may take a few years for it to reach 20' in height, regardless of the number of plants you install. Best wishes with your garden!

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