Care of Ivy Plants


Ivy is a versatile plant: it climbs, it creeps and it trails. Among the five species of ivy in the genus Hedera, English ivy is the one most commonly grown in the garden. According to the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, ivy can grow to over 100 feet in length, spreads by runners and easily invades woodlands and fields. Pruning it will keep it under control in the home garden. English ivy is hardy to USDA zones 4 to 7.

Step 1

Plant ivy in a shady spot in the garden. Although it will survive in full shade, it will do much better in dappled sunlight.

Step 2

Enrich the soil in which you grow your ivy plant. Peat moss, compost and well-rotted manure are all items you can add to the soil to provide your ivy with nutrients.

Step 3

Water the ivy plant just enough to keep the soil slightly moist, not soggy.

Step 4

Fertilize the ivy plants bi-monthly with 10-10-10 fertilizer during the spring and summer.

Step 5

Prune the ivy plant by cutting back overly long shoots. You can root the cuttings by sticking them in a pot of soil. After they have rooted, use them to fill in any bare spots in your ground cover.

Step 6

Watch your ivy plant for signs of insect infestation. Common ivy pests include spider mites, aphids and mealy bugs. If you have any questions about any pest found on the ivy plant, put one in a jar and take it to your county cooperative extension agent for identification and recommendations on how to rid it from your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil amendments
  • 10-10-10 fertilizer
  • Pruning shears


  • Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: English Ivy
  • The Garden Helper: Care and Cultivation of Ivy
Keywords: care of ivy plants, how to grow ivy, groundcover plants

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.