Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:32 am
Location: gloucester, ma

is english ivy all that bad??

I have a new garden, small and in the shade, that I planted last year. It is surrounded by ugly chain link fencing (the neighbor's) that I would like to cover if possible, and thought that ivy would be a good way to do it. In the last year, the ivy has grown to about 6' in length and I am thinking of cutting it back and trying to make it branch to cover the fences faster. However, I have been reading about the invasive nature of English ivy and now I am afraid that I have created a monster around my little shade garden. :twisted: Should I rip all the ivy out before it becomes a real problem? My original image of the ivy covered fences framing my garden may have led me astray. :( Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Greener Thumb
Posts: 1416
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:40 pm
Location: US

It is an invasive species. It's not a bad plant. No plant is bad. It's simply a plant that is out of place on the continent of North America.

I was going to link you to the No Ivy League which would have answered all of your questions and then some but I see their account is currently suspended. So sad but here it is in case they re-activate-

English Ivy is best known as Hedera helix. If you want more information to better enable you to make a decision as to whether or not you want to train the English Ivy to your chain link fence or not, google Hedera + helix + invasives. To get an idea of how English Ivy might be able to gobble up and topple your chain link fence over the years to come, google for images using Hedera + helix.

I don't believe your fears are unwarranted. Very encouraging that you did some reading and learned a little bit about this plant to be able to question whether or not you'd really want it trained to your fence or not. If it were me personally, I'd dig it up and replace it with something less damaging to my back and my checkbook.

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Ivy is horribly invasive around where I live, it chokes out local flora and has even decimated entire forests around here. Be very cautious when using it.

I am working on a garden now that is infested with the weed and it is difficult to dig out once infested. If I'd known it was as bad as it is, I would have quoted the guy a much higher price.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: England

Get rid of it!!
Even here in England it is a pain in the proverbial. Why anyone decided to export it is beyond me.
It will work its way up anything, to the very top of the tallest tree then down and around the other side completely smothering it. Along the ground it roots where it touches and ends up with a trunk the size of a small tree in not too many years. If you try to get it out of the ground it snaps as it has so many roots growing along its roots and each of those will grow into another ivy! It can rip mortar from bricks and tiles from roofs. If grown on the side of a house and subsequently ripped off you will be left with the outline of it for years.
Please tell me you have already ripped it out BOUDREAUJAZZ.

Return to “What Doesn't Fit Elsewhere”