GLT's Grow: For The Love Of Ivy

Sep 2, 2016

English ivy is a classic choice for a climbing vine.
Credit Steve p2008

As young folks head off for a new school year, many of them do so in buildings with ivy covered walls.  This most collegiate of plants looks gorgeous against a brick building, but it takes some work to maintain.  If you're willing to put in the effort, it's worth it, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.

  • There's lots of ivy from which to choose from, like the English ivy known as Hedera Helix.  It's very traditional and the kind most often seen climbing university buildings.
  • Perhaps the best known ivy in the world is the ivy that grows on the back wall of Wrigley Field in Chicago.  That's Parthenocissa Tricuspidata a.k.a. Boston Ivy.
  • English Ivy is used quite a lot in landscaping because they hold onto their leaves so long, well into winter, often.  Plus their autumn color is stunning, a kind of wine hue. That would look stunning against a light colored wall.
  • You must manage ivy.  Remove it from your wall now and then, leaving the hoof from which the ivy grows fully intact.
  • Vines can become home for pests, plus ivy can degrade mortar surfaces if you don't pull it down from time to time.