• All
  • Articles
  • Videos
  • Plants
  • Recipes
  • Members

How to Care for English Ivy in the Winter

Comments ()  |   |  Text size: a A  |  Report Abuse  |  Print
close

Report This Article

How to Care for English Ivy in the Winter

Reason for flagging?

Comments

Submit

Share:    |  Email  |  Bookmark and Share

Overview

English ivy (Hedera helix) is a fast-growing evergreen perennial that will add a lush, rich appearance to the landscape. Most often used as a ground cover, English ivy will soon grow into a thick, green carpet. The plant does especially well in cool, shady areas under tall trees where nothing else will grow. English ivy is a sturdy plant, but will benefit from protection in climates with cold winters.

Step 1

Prune English ivy by 1/3 to 1/2 of its height in autumn, using garden shears, hedge pruners or a lawn mower set on the highest setting. Leave at least 3 inches of the plant intact, as shearing the ivy too short can damage the plants.

Step 2

Water English ivy deeply before the ground freezes in winter, especially if the fall months have been dry. Watering is important, as wet soil will act as an insulator. Don't water the ivy if there is already snow or ice on the ground.

Step 3

Spread 2 to 3 inches of organic mulch such as straw or pine needles around the plants after the ground freezes. Mulch will protect the plants from damage caused by freezing and thawing. If the ivy isn't protected by a snow cover, lay evergreen boughs over the plants. Boughs from a Christmas tree work very well.

Tips and Warnings

  • English ivy can be aggressive, and if not controlled can do serious damage to the natural environment. To prevent the plant from becoming invasive, keep English ivy maintained and within its boundaries. If you haven't yet planted English ivy, consider planting it in containers.

Things You'll Need

  • Hedge pruners or a lawn mower
  • Mulch
  • Evergreen boughs

References

  • Ohio State University: Hedera helix - English Ivy
  • Yardener.com: English Ivy
  • Cornell University: Caring for Perennials
Keywords: prune english ivy, water english ivy, evergreen perennial

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.