Ivy plants are in the genus hedera and include evergreen and woody climbing vines that are known for their clinging and trailing tendrils. Leaves on the ivy plant vary from a heart to fan shape, as well as a bird's-foot shape. They can be curly or lobed in form and solid green in color or variegated, with more than one color swirled together. Ivy vines prefer well-drained, moist and humus-rich soils. They also prefer a deep planting site for quick establishment.
Algerian ivy, a type of climbing vine, is an evergreen vine with a moderate growth rate and coarse texture. Algerian ivy grows up to 6 inches tall and has shiny smooth leaves. The leaves are heart-shaped with three to seven lobes. The leaves on the Algerian ivy are wider than the typical English ivy and prefer partial shade to shade to thrive. They also require well-drained, moist soil to thrive. Algerian ivy has a USDA hardiness zone of 7b to 9.
Boston ivy is a rapidly growing deciduous vine with course texture. The bright green leaves grow from 30 to 60 feet making for a very large vine variety. In fall, the leaves change from green to a burgundy color and the berries emerge in a bluish-black color. The adhesive tips on the Boston ivy tendrils are ideal for garden walls or outdoor structures like pergolas and arbors. Boston ivy vines prefer full sun to partial shade and evenly moist soil. These hardy growers can tolerate a wide range of conditions. The USDA hardiness zone is 4 to 8.
Also called Persian ivy, colchis ivy is a moderate growing climbing evergreen vine with course texture. The thick, dark green leaves on the colchis ivy plant are heart-shaped and leather-like. Colchis ivy plants are ideal planted as a groundcover or accenting a rock garden. They prefer partial shade to shade to thrive. The USDA hardiness zone is 5 to 9.
English ivy is an evergreen vine with a moderate to rapid growth rate and medium to coarse texture. English ivy vines grow up to 50 feet wide and are excellent climbers. English ivy vines can be grown along a tree for a green accent or used as a wallcover. English ivy has small leaves that are very hardy. These drought-tolerant vines produce bluish-black berries when mature and prefer partial shade to shade. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 8.