How to Start an Ivy Plant

Overview

Ivy adds attractive foliage to a trellis, home or garden. Simple and inexpensive, many ivy varieties are aggressive growers and can cover an unsightly wall in a few weeks. Low-maintenance and drought-resistant, most popular ivy plants produce large green waxy leaves that turn red and purple in the fall. The plant can be purchased at a greenhouse or propagated at home in a variety of ways.

Cuttings

Step 1

Trim the vine from the tips of 6-inch tendrils of Boston ivy by making a cut just below a leaf node, using garden clippers. The new root will begin to form at this juncture. Do this after leafing out has occurred and the vines are adding new growth.

Step 2

Dip the bottom of the vine in the rooting compound (powder or gel).

Step 3

Place the rooting compound-covered cutting in the fiber cup and add potting soil.

Step 4

Add water to thoroughly soak the soil. The loose soil will settle, so soil may need to be added.

Step 5

Place the cuttings in an indoor south-facing exposure and water daily, keeping the soil moist. Roots will form in three to five weeks. When the roots reach 3 inches, the plant is strong enough to plant.

Seed Propagation

Step 1

Collect the seeds from the ivy fruit--depending on the type of ivy, seeds can be found in fruit that often looks like berries.

Step 2

Remove the fleshy pulp and place the seeds in moistened medium sand. If you live in a cold climate, refrigerate the seed and sand mixture until spring.

Step 3

Plant seeds 4 inches deep surrounded by compost or mulch. For quality coverage, plant 2 feet apart.

Tips and Warnings

  • Most ivy is moderatly invasive. Left unchecked, it can infiltrate cracks in walls and cover windows. Boston ivy, a common ivy, has berries that resemble wild grapes but are poisionous.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden clippers
  • Rooting compound
  • Fiber planting cups

References

  • Washington State University: Propagating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees and Vines with Stem Cuttings
  • Doug Green's Geginner-gardening.com: Growing Boston Ivy
  • North Carolina State Univerity: Plant Propagation by Stem Cuttings

Who Can Help

  • Plantcare.com: Boston Ivy, Japanese Creeper
Keywords: Ivy propagation, Ivy cuttings, ivy seed cultivation

About this Author

Tom Nari teaches screenwriting and journalism in Southern California. With a degree in creative writing from Loyola University, Nari has worked as a consultant to the motion picture industry as well as several non-profit organizations dedicated to the betterment of children through aquatics. Nari has written extensively for GolfLink, Trails and eHow.