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How to Mow English Ivy

By Melissa Lewis ; Updated September 21, 2017
English ivy is often grown as ground cover.

English ivy (Hedera helix) grows not just up brick walls, fences and trees, but also along the ground. If you have a low-growing English ivy plant, mow it to control its growth and encourage a fuller and thicker plant. Mowing also allows you a chance to clean out underneath your ivy where debris and leaves often accumulate. Over time, this area can become a breeding area for mosquitoes, slugs and other garden pests. It is best to mow your English ivy in the early spring, before new green growth begins.

Set the mower on the highest setting, which is often done at each wheel by adjusting a lever to the highest setting. Alternately, you may need to unscrew the wheels and put them on the highest setting and then screw them back on.

Mow the ivy in rows in such a way that the ivy shoots outward, away from where you are going to mow next.

Fertilize the freshly mowed English ivy with an all-purpose fertilizer. Follow the directions, including dosing amounts, on the label, but in general use about 2 tbsp. per square foot. Sprinkle the fertilizer evenly on the soil and do not get any on any remaining foliage.

Water your mowed and fertilized ivy with 1 to 2 inches of water and continue to water it weekly until new green growth appears. This usually takes about three weeks.


Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Fertilizer
  • Water


  • Older, more established ivy that has deep roots may not grow back as quickly as newer English ivy plants.

About the Author


Melissa Lewis is a former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist. She has also written for various online publications. Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.