Hedera helix, also known as Hedera ivy, English ivy and common ivy, grows and spread rapidly. This vine adds lots of greenery as a ground cover or climbing plant on a trellis, fence, tree or building wall. However, it can become invasive and damage the surfaces to which it attaches. Gardeners can prune Hedera ivy to keep it under control, although it grows back quickly without frequent pruning. This resilience can annoy gardeners, but it also means no worries about over pruning Hedera ivy.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Pruning shears
- Hair pins or floral pins
Cut the plant back to the desired size. Do not worry about overpruning or damaging the ivy, because it recovers easily. Cut the ivy just below the point where a leaf joins the stem.
Cut off any dead or damaged branches.
Thin tangled plants out by separating all the shoots, and cutting off all but several of the healthiest stems.
Pin a remaining healthy shoot down to the soil with a hairpin or floral pin by laying it flat on the soil at the base of the vine. Continue to pin the shoot down in a shape spiralling outward from the centre of the plant. This technique fixes ivy plants that look overly leggy instead of healthy and bushy, especially potted plants. Pin down multiple stems to make the plant appear extra dense.
Tips and warnings
- Prune a Hedera ivy during any time of the year.
- Cut pieces of ivy will grow into new ivy plants if the gardener places the cut ends in a sunny location in water until new roots grow.
- Keep in mind that Hedera ivy can become invasive and damage trees and other native plants. Keep up with trimming it to avoid ecological damage.
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- National Park Service PCA Alien Plant Working Group; English Ivy; Jil M. Swearingen, et al.
- North Dakota State University Extension Service; Questions on Ivy; Ron Smith
- "Seattle PI"; Ivy Plant Won't Mind Your Snippiness; Marianne Binetti; February 2007
- Texas A&M; University Horticulture; Pruning Ivy; Amy Moser