The Q&A Archives: Yellowing Ivy

Question: I've just planted some Baltic Ivy around the base of my trees (birch). The area gets 4 or less hours of sun Now, after a few weeks, some of it is turning yellow and brown. What can I do to help them-- the soil is top soil that I bought & I added some composted manure.

Answer: Baltic ivy (Hedera helix) usually does best in rich, moist soil in shade. There are several possibilities for why yours is not doing well. If your birch trees are also new, and the area receives hot afternoon sun, it is possible that the ivy is suffering from too much sun. If the trees are well-established, it is possible that the tree roots are robbing the soil of moisture. If either of these is the case, some extra watering will help until the ivy becomes established.

Careful inspection of the leaves both top and bottom might reveal that the ivy is suffering from an insect infestation such as aphids or mites, or possibly some type of foliar disease. If you think this is the case, you might wish to take a sample to your County Extension office for a definite identification of the problem and recommendations for control.

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