Ivies are not usually grown for their flowers, but some do bloom. The fast-growing vines can overtake buildings and fences. The berries are toxic to humans, but not always toxic to birds, making ivy a wildlife environment within your landscape. Ivy can become invasive and destructive if grown up the side of a building.
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Swedish ivy (Plectranthus australis) normally grows as an indoor houseplant for its simplicity of growing. It thrives with little care. While not all Swedish ivy flowers, when it does, it has white to pale-pink flowers. It needs brighter light to flower, but the vine thrives in full shade conditions. In spring and summer, it likes monthly fertilisation but no fertiliser in winter. In summer, it likes moist soil but prefers drier soil in winter. If grown in a hanging basket, it grows up the sides of the hanger, sometimes up to the ceiling and then trailing the ceiling.
Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is not native to the United States but China and Japan. There are several varieties. The different leaf shapes and colours determine to variety. Robusta has dark-green leaves and is the hardiest variety, making it a good choice for a beginner. Beverly brook has smaller leaves, which turn a reddish colour in fall. The flowers have a green colour making them easily missed amongst the foliage. It blooms in early summer. In most varieties, the leaves change colour in fall. This ivy has a low tolerance for shade and drought and likes well-draining soil.
Native to Australia, ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) is a species of ivy blooms and produces a small, edible gourd. The tips of the vines are sometimes used in Eastern medicine. The plants are either male or female, and both sexes are needed for fruit production. It flower summer through fall with a trumpet-type flower usually white or light pink. Ivy gourd is considered a weed in Australia. It is very intrusive, commonly found growing along creek banks and on the ground in fields where it overtakes other vegetation.
English ivy (Hedera helix) is considered a blooming ivy, even though the blooms are actually berries forming. It is an evergreen vine that is highly invasive. Many places in the United States suggest controlling this vine. The flowers or berries have a dark-purple, almost black colour. Birds, such as some starlings, pigeons and sparrows, eat the berries, depositing seeds in new locations. Only very mature vines produce flowers or berries. They are very hardy in both shade and sunny locations and grow in most soil types.
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