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How to Care for Ivy Ground Cover

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Ivy makes an ideal ground cover, especially in areas that may otherwise present growing challenges to a gardener. Ivy will grow in either sunny or shady locations. It does not require extensive maintenance in order to grow into a lush and green ground cover. After planting ivy ground cover, nurture it carefully for the first month and then give it simple and basic maintenance care.

Prepare the ground cover area in the spring before planting the ivy. Cultivate the area with the garden spade to loosen the soil down to a depth of about 6 inches. Add 2 inches of compost to the top of the soil to improve the soil quality. Rake the soil surface smooth.

Make planting holes for the ivy. Space the holes 1 foot apart. Space the rows 1 foot apart. Make the holes deep enough that about 6 inches of the ivy stem is beneath the soil level. The ivy plants will fill in quickly to create a blanket of ground cover.

Place the ivy plants in the prepared holes at the same depth as they were in the temporary containers.

Water the ivy plants generously immediately after planting them. During the first month after planting the ivy ground cover, water the plants every third day.

Lay down a 3-inch layer of pine needles or hay around the ivy plants to conserve soil moisture.

Mix the fertilizer with water according to package recommendations for the size of your planting area. Fertilize the ivy plants about six weeks after you plant them.

Keep the mulch layer at the same depth throughout the growing season. Fertilize the ivy twice each growing season to keep the ground cover healthy. Water the ivy only during periods of drought once the ivy establishes in the soil.


Things You Will Need

  • Garden spade
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • Ivy plants
  • Water-soluble fertilizer (8-8-8)
  • Pine needles or hay

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.