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How to Start Boston Ivy

By Bridget Kelly

Boston ivy gained its popularity for its ability to provide texture, height and color in sun or shade. It quickly grows to 50 to 60 feet when grown within U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 through 8. It gives lovely fall color and presents itself in the spring in shades of dark red and bronze. Although you can find Boston ivy in garden centers, it is easily started from seed.

Soak the Boston ivy seeds in a shallow dish of tap water for 24 hours. This helps soften the outer seed coat.

Remove the seeds from the water and lay them on a paper towel to air dry.

Push the Boston ivy seeds into a handful of moist sand and place them into a plastic sandwich bag. Refrigerate for 60 days. Check the sand periodically and if it starts drying out, dribble a small amount of water on it. It should be just barely moist to the touch.

Loosen the soil in the planting bed to a depth of 6 inches, using a gardening fork. Rake the bed smooth.

Push the Boston ivy seeds into the soil, 3/8 inch deep, 2 feet apart. Lightly pat the soil over each seed.

Water the seed bed with a fine mist to avoid washing the seed away. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. This should occur within one month.


Things You Will Need

  • Shallow dish
  • Paper towel
  • Sand
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Garden fork
  • Rake

About the Author


Based in the American Southwest, Bridget Kelly has been writing about gardening and real estate since 2005. Her articles have appeared at Trulia.com, SFGate.com, GardenGuides.com, RE/MAX.com, MarketLeader.com, RealEstate.com, USAToday.com and in "Chicago Agent" magazine, to name a few. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing.