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How to Fertilize English Ivy

English Ivy, the classic vine that covers cottages and runs along brick walls, is an avid grower that can thrive in almost any condition. However, in certain situations, you may need to spur on growth a bit for your patch of ivy; prudent application of a fertilizer can be just what you need.

Use a liquid fertilizer, such as fish emulsion or crystal pellets that will dissolve in water. Liquid fertilizers will be easier to apply to the spreading and draping ivy than sprinkling dry fertilizers over the vines.

Mix the fertilizer with water according to the proportions indicated on the package. Use a watering can with a long spout.

Apply the fertilizer by gently moving the ivy back and using the spout to pour out the water-fertilizer mix at the base of the plants.

Fertilize at the beginning of the growing season, in early spring, when the weather begins to warm up. Fertilize again once or twice a month during the growing season, as liquid fertilizers tend to last only about 2 weeks. If your plant is healthy and growing well, once a month or once every other month may be adequate.

Facts About English Ivy

English ivy, an evergreen perennial climbing or trailing vine, is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11. This aggressive climber attaches to surfaces via root-like structures that excrete a sticky, gluey substance. Some cultivars display unlobed leaves, while others have leaves with three or five lobes. English ivy fruits are dark blue or black with a fleshy outer layer and stone-like seeds; they can be poisonous to people and pets. An import from Europe, the plant now thrives in much of the Pacific Northwest, the West Coast and most of the eastern United States. The aggressive grower has no natural checks and can climb over anything in its path. Vines climbing up trees can be cut a few feet from the ground, for convenience, to kill upper portions before hand-removing the lower portions.

Tip

You can use slow-release plant fertilizer spikes instead of liquid fertilizer if you're not sure you'll remember to fertilize frequently. These spikes release their nutrients into the soil over a longer period of time, so you don't have to do as much.

Warning

English ivy can easily become invasive and uncontrollable, so keep a close eye on it and prune regularly.

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