Growing Hedera helix (English Ivy)

Latin Name Pronunciation: head'er-uh hee'lix

Twining English Ivies trail or cling to structures with root-like holdfasts. They are valuable as evergreen screens and ground covers in partial to deep shade. The adult form of Hedera helix 'Congesta' grows upright on strong stems into a rounded shrub with attractive chartreuse flowers.

Light: Green-leaved Ivies prefer shade; the variegated forms need bright light, protected from afternoon sun.

Soil: Moist, well-drained soil.

Watering: Water thoroughly after planting, and keep a close eye on the plant over the following week. Then, give it a good soaking once a week during summer, unless rainfall is plentiful (more than 1in per week). Established plants can generally get by on less water, but most grow best if the soil remains evenly moist. Please note that more is not better. When in doubt, don't water.

Fertilizer: Seldom needs fertilizing. An inch of compost or well- rotted manure each spring is all it needs.

Continuing Care: Protect from winter sun and wind and strong summer sun. Prune to fit space or to renovate; no regular pruning is needed. Spider mites, aphids, scale, mealy bugs, and deer can be problems.

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