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How to Propagate English Ivy

English ivy is beautiful and versatile vine that can be planted as an effective and fast-growing ground cover, where it can control erosion on difficult hillsides, and even climb up vertical surfaces such as walls or fences. It will also grow in a container indoors or outdoors, where it will cascade happily over the sides of the container. English ivy is easily propagated by taking a stem cutting in spring or summer.

Cut a 8 to 10-inch stem tip from a healthy English ivy plant. Pinch off the lower leaves and put the bare stem in a jar or bottle of fresh water. Although clear glass enables you to watch the development of the roots, cuttings will often root more easily in opaque glass.

Put the stem cuttings in a sunny windowsill. The water should be changed two or three times a week, because the Ivy cutting won't root in murky water.

Watch for the stem cutting to develop roots, which can take only a few days, or up to several weeks. Once the roots are at least an inch long, plant them in a pot filled with commercial potting mixture. Be sure the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom.

Put the new English ivy plant where it will get a few hours of bright sunlight every day. Allow the top of the soil to dry out between each watering, then water until the potting mixture is moist, but not soaked.

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.

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