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How to Plant Boston Ivy

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017
Boston ivy
Ivy Covered Building image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com

Boston ivy is a vine growing plant that reaches a height of 30 to 50 feet, will spread 5 to 10 feet and is hardy to grow in USDA growing zones 4 to 8, where the winters are not too harsh. Boston ivy will produce flowers in July and August, and seeds will form in October and November. Plant Boston ivy in an area where there is support for the plant to grow on; fences and trellises make the best support, as the plant can cause damage to wood-sided buildings and shingles if it creeps underneath.

Select a planting location that is well draining and has full to partial sun. The plant grows well in most soil types, as long as it is not heavy clay. Boston ivy can also be planted in a container and placed in a sunny location.

Dig a 12-inch diameter hole the same depth as the root ball. Loosen the soil inside the hole to help the roots penetrate the surrounding soil. Space the plants 2 feet apart to allow them to spread.

Water the plant generously after planting. Make sure excess water is able to drain out of a container-grown plant. Continue to water during the growing season so the soil remains moist but not wet.

Fertilize newly planted Boston ivy plants in garden soil with a high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth. Fertilize container-grown plants and established garden plants with a general-purpose fertilizer once a month during the growing season.

Propagate the Boston ivy by taking stem cuttings in the spring. Dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone and stick it into a rooting tray filled with an even mixture of moist peat moss and perlite. Cover the container with clear plastic and place in a warm location with indirect sunlight until the stem forms roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • High-phosphorus fertilizer
  • General-purpose fertilizer
  • Support structure
  • Pruning clipper
  • Growing container


  • Container-grown Boston ivy plants should be planted in a container large enough to provide approximately 2 inches between the root ball and the edge of the container.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.