How to Grow English Ivy in Alabama

Overview

In parts of Alabama, English Ivy is considered an invasive plant. English ivy vines that have been planted as a part of the landscape can escape through runners or seeds and spread into forests or other yards. Once established, the vine will twine around native vegetation and choke it out. This creates what some horticulturalists call "ivy deserts," where the only thing growing is English ivy. This suggests that English ivy can be easily established in the Alabama landscape and does not require much care.

Step 1

Select a sunny or partially shady location with well-drained soil for your English ivy. Most of Alabama soil is loamy, clayey or sandy. Never plant English ivy plants in areas where water does not drain well. This can cause root rot, which will kill English ivy.

Step 2

Test your soil's pH with a pH test kit before planting English ivy. You can purchase a pH test kit at a garden center. Alabama soils have a pH range between 4.0 and 8.0. English ivy prefers pH neutral soil. You can lower the soil's pH by mixing powdered sulfur into the soil with a rototiller. You can raise the pH by adding powdered limestone.

Step 3

Select a variety of English ivy that is hardy for the temperate zone that you will plant it in. Alabama falls within USDA temperate zones 8 and 7. Most English ivy is hardy to these zones.

Step 4

Propagate English ivy from stem cuttings. Cut the last 6 inches from the end of an existing ivy and dip it in rooting hormone. Place the ivy stem into a 4-inch pot of moist peat moss and place it in a sunny windowsill until the plant develops roots. Harden off the plant by moving it outdoors during daylight hours for several days.

Step 5

Dig a planting hole for your English ivy that is slightly larger than the root ball. Place the ivy's root ball into the planting hole and cover with dirt. Water until the ground is as wet as a wrung-out sponge. Continue to monitor the ground and water as needed for several weeks while the roots of the plant establish.

Step 6

Prune back English Ivy to curb the spread of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • pH tester
  • Rototiller
  • Powdered sulfur
  • Powdered limestone
  • Ivy plant
  • Pruning shears
  • Peat moss
  • 4-inch plastic seedling pot
  • Rooting hormone
  • Watering can
  • Shovel

References

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Non-native Invasive Plants: A Growing Threat to our Environment
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Vines for Alabama Landscapes
  • Plant Conservaton Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted: English Ivy

Who Can Help

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Alabama Smart Yards
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service: Soils of Alabama
Keywords: growing Ivy in Alabama, propagating English Ivy in Alabama, planting English Ivy

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."