How to Start Boston Ivy
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.
Close Should I Plant Boston Ivy To A Wall?
Plant Boston ivy about 12 inches from a wall so the roots have room to extend. Set out nursery stock or root cuttings in fall in a location with full sun to partial shade; vines produce more brilliantly colored foliage when grown in full sun. Boston ivy tolerates almost any type of soil but flourishes in a loamy, slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.1 to 7.5. To ensure plants thrive, amend the soil with organic matter to an 8- to 12-inch depth a week before planting. With proper care, vines can grow 3 to 10 feet per year. Boston ivy are deciduous vines, so the best time to prune is during winter; however, these vines tolerate a lot of shearing, so feel free to prune away troublesome vines anytime of the year. Once planted, treat Boston ivy as a permanent fixture.
- Shallow dish
- Paper towel
- Plastic sandwich bag
- Garden fork
- University of Missouri Extension; Selecting Landscape Plants: Ornamental Vines; Ray R. Rothenberger; January 2001
- TreeHelp.com: Boston Ivy Seeds
- The New Sunset Western Garden Book; Kathleen Norris Brenzel, Editor
- Monrovia: Boston Ivy
- Good Housekeeping Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 11; Elvin McDonald, Editor
- The International Gardening Association: Boston Ivy
- The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening Volume 13: T.H Everett, Editor