English ivy that sprouts long side branches as opposed to vine shoots often does not require the pruning than vining ivy does. Such ivy requires pruning about three to four times a season for optimal growth and health. Whatever type of English ivy you have, you must maintain it to prevent vines from growing into sides of houses or interfering with other plant growth. An established ivy bed will not require the same amount of pruning new ivy beds need; clipping such beds back a few inches every three to four years is sufficient.
Examine the ivy for dead and dying leaves and vines. Prune English ivy in the springtime for full growth during summer months, although additional pruning may be needed throughout the season (three to four times), depending on the type of vine.
Use hedge clippers to clip away any dead or diseased leaves and branches. Make cuts close to where a dead vine branch meets a healthy vine branch.
Pinch off stem tips to encourage the ivy to fill in any sparse spots. Hand-pull any weeds growing among the ivy. Weeds can interfere with the growth of ivy by damaging the roots.
Sometimes new ivy growth is killed off during winter months. Simply prune any dead leaves and vines to allow new ivy to grow.
Pruning also allows you to harvest new ivy plants. Find a young stem in your ivy bed, and cut it back about 4 to 6 inches from its growing tip. Remove three or four of the lowest leaves. Place one-third of the stem into a pot of damp sand, and allow to stand for four to six weeks. Tug on the cutting after this time. If there is resistance, the cutting has taken root in the sand. Pot the cutting in soil until it can be planted outdoors.
Always use precaution when using hedge clippers or any type of cutting sheers.