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How Fast Does English Ivy Grow?

By Rachel Lovejoy
English Ivy spreads quickly and can just as quickly grow out of control.
ivy image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

English Ivy is classified as a fast-growing vine or ground cover. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, "English ivy is an evergreen woody vine that spreads rapidly, can climb to a height of 30 meters (about 98 feet) and when mature, flowers prolifically."

Garden Problem

Gardeners and horticulturalists agree that English Ivy, or hedera helix, is an invasive plant that often becomes a problem. English Ivy is classified as invasive in the Pacific Northwest and many other areas, according to a 2009 report by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Plant Characteristics

The fast-growing English Ivy is characterized by woody vines that produce small-pointed, deep-green leaves. As a ground cover, the plants grow to about 1 foot tall. Grown as a climbing vine, hedera helix can grow to 40 feet, sending out rootlets that attach themselves to walls, fences and tree trunks.

Growing Conditions

English Ivy keeps growing through the winter while other plants are dormant, thrives in poor or soggy soils, and is resistant to herbicides, making more aggressive measures necessary when trying to eliminate the plant.


About the Author


Rachel Lovejoy has been writing professionally since 1990 and currently writes a weekly column entitled "From the Urban Wilderness" for the Journal Tribune in Biddeford, Maine, as well as short novellas for Amazon Kindle. Lovejoy graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in English.