kmendoza
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Location: Crown Point, IN

Hydrangeas and ivy

Does anyone know if english ivy can "choke out" hydrangeas? As my ivy has grown in over the last two years my endless summer hydrangeas seem smaller and don't bloom as well. Should I move them away from the ivy?
Krissy Mendoza

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Kisal
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English ivy can kill a fully grown large tree. It could easily make short work of a hydrangea. It's terribly invasive stuff.

Get it away from your shrub as soon as possible, but learn how to do it correctly. You don't want to harm your shrub in the process. ;)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

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rainbowgardener
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Don't move the hydrangeas away from the ivy, which would be really hard on them. Move the ivy away from the hydrangeas, preferably by ripping it all out. It is as Kisal said, really nasty, aggressively invasive stuff that kills forests, swallows buildings whole... you really don't want it around and you will be doing your neighbors a favor too, if you get rid of it.
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kmendoza
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I had no idea ivy was so aggressive.. I guess I will have to pull it out. Thanks for the info!
Krissy Mendoza

Ian Binnie
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Hi from England (the home of English ivy),

As well as physically removing the ivy - a difficult and never ending job - may I suggest a way of keeping new ivy growth down? Once you have removed all the ivy you can by pulling it out watch for new growth and when you see new shoots DON'T pull it out but fill a jam jar or similar container with systemic weed killer and push the shoot into the container ensuring it stays in the liquid systemic weed killer. The shoot the "drinks" the weed killer and takes it back to the roots eliminating it completely.

Best of luck

Ian
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Kisal
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A simpler method ... IMO, anyway ... would be just to use a disposable foam paintbrush and paint the new ivy sprouts with brush killer. That's how I control the wild blackberry that would happily devour my entire yard if I allowed it.

It seems to me that leaving jars of the stuff sitting around risks the chance of some child or animal knocking it over, which would spill it on the ground around your hydrangea. I definitely think stuff like weed killers and brush killers should be carefully applied to the leaves of the plant you want to kill, not broadcast around an area. And you definitely want to keep it off the ground. But, that's all just my opinion. :)
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

Ian Binnie
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Ivy is very tough and the trouble with painting ivy leaves is two fold. First the weed killer may simply just kill the leaf and a few inches of ivy but not the root. Secondly a shower of rain can wash the weed killer off the leaf. I take the point about jars standing around and being knocked over - I sink them into the ground and cover the top with a stone / brick etc to keep the ivy in the jar. The real value of using a jar is that the ivy can suck in the weed killer over a long period.
Ian Binnie

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