Ivy is popular indoors and outdoors, and there are many varieties of it. A common container plant that can be grown in hanging baskets and flower pots, ivy is also frequently seen climbing fences, walls and trellises outdoors. This plant is sometimes used as ground cover.
English ivy is characterized by vines of deep green leaves with white veins. This type of ivy should be planted in the spring to allow it time to fully establish before the cold winter weather arrives. Plant English ivy three to four inches deep in moist, well-drained soil. Water thoroughly and mulch around the plant. Mulch retains soil moisture and helps keep weeds at bay.
When first planted, English ivy requires consistent watering, about one inch per week. Once the plant has become established, watering can be reduced and limited to periods of drought and in the fall, before the ground begins to freeze.
English ivy grows best in shady to partially shady areas, and does not need to be fertilized. Depending on the type of English ivy, the foliage may need to be pruned three or four times each season to maintain the appropriate size.
Swedish ivy is a perennial, evergreen plant. It has dark green foliage with scalloped leaves that measure about 1 ½ inches across. The foliage of this trailing plant can grow to two to three feet high and equally as wide. This type of ivy sometimes produces tubular flowers that are either pink or white. Plant Swedish ivy in loamy soil in a location of partial sun. Water it regularly during warm weather, and keep the soil just moist during winter months. This is a low-maintenance variety.
Algerian ivy is characterized by its shiny, deep green leaves and foliage with red twigs and stems. This plant produces tiny green flowers that leave way for black berries. The berries are poisonous and inedible, but are ornamental and showy. Its tidy, uniform structure makes it a common ground cover and wall climber. It grows well in almost any light, but requires shade when planted in hot climates. In spring, plant Algerian ivy nine to 12 inches deep in a pre-moistened peat moss/bark mixture. Water it regularly, especially if it is planted in hot climates. Fertilize it at planting, and then again in August. For best growth, fertilize the plant every year in spring and then in August.