Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:40 pm
Location: Michigan

Using English Ivy to Cover Fence?

I have an unsightly wire fence that would look quite pretty covered in English Ivy. Is it possible to start with an ivy plant, and coax it through the fence as it grows? Thanks!

Senior Member
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 11:13 pm
Location: Denver, CO (zone 5)

One of the biggest regrets you may have in your gardening life is planting English Ivy. It is extremely invasive. I'm not talking about just covering fences as it will take over plants, pots, and it may also do structural damage to your home. Even if the fence isn't close to your house, you will have to worry about it getting to your house, and rather too soon it will. If your house is all brick, you may be lucky enough to get just minimal damage. But otherwise, the cost of the repairs from English Ivy damage is high. You will not make any friends of your neighbors, especially if you share the fence or the fence you intend to use is close to their property.

If you want to know more details about how invasive it is, do a google search for "invasive English Ivy".

Depending on how high the fence is and the sun exposure, you would be much better off planting something like grape vines, and you get to eat the rewards.

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

Yes, Ivy is extremely invasive. I always try to detur people from planting it. Around my living area and even a good part of my town Ivy has taken over many of the forests and is choking out thte local vegetation and even the 60 foot tall Pines and Cedars.

It is very hard to get rid of once planted.

Try a passion flower or a clematis (and that note, does anyone know the invasiveness of clematis?) or some other vine. You might even plant a hedge of some sort. I like Helianthus maximillani which is a perennial sunflower with edible protrusions that grow off of the main stem. Apparently it's a deer barrier as well. But, that won't matter for you case.

Green Thumb
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:48 am
Location: VA

Clematis is not invasive. I have to agree with the others, E Ivy is a real "thug". Very invasive and hard to get rid of.

You also might consider some roses, go for the tall rugosa or ramblers. They get huge with little encouragement. Most are tough, hardy and very disease resistant. Very easy to care for.

Newly Registered
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:40 pm
Location: Michigan

Wow, I am a new member here and I really appreciate your informative answers! I will try to find a less invasive climber. Thanks again!

Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:12 am
Location: Fort Langley, B.C.Canada

English Ivy

Hi there, just new to this forum, I have english ivy growing over two archways and just love the look of it. Yes, it can be invasive but is kept under control with a pair of clippers. It is very resilient and evergreen in the winter. It gives some structure to your garden in the winter.

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