Botanical Name: Hedera helix cultivars
Common Name: English Ivy  
Plant photo of: Hedera helix cultivars
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Water Saving Tip:

Apply a layer of mulch around plants to reduce moisture loss.

Choose organic mulches, such as shredded bark, compost or aged sawdust.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Broadleaf Evergreen, Ground cover, Vine


Height Range

Under 1', 25-40'


Flower Color



Flower Season



Leaf Color

Green, Light Green, White, Yellow, Variegated


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season

Summer, Fall


Full, Half, Shade





Growth Rate

Fast, Moderate


Soil Type

Sandy, Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained, Moist, Dry


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors

Allergenic, Invasive

Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Japanese, Mediterranean, Ranch, Spanish, Tropical, Woodland


Accenting Features

Espalier, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Background, Parking Strip, Raised Planter, Walls / Fences


Special Uses

Cascade, Container, Erosion Control, Mass Planting, Lawn Alternative, Naturalizing, Hanging Baskets


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Modesto Jr. College
  • Description

  • Notes

English Ivy is a self-clinging vine used as a groundcover or climbing vine. Though usually green, with lobed leaves, there are many varieties of ivy with variations in leaf size, shape, and color (some ivies have variegated leaves with margins or splotches of white, yellow, or red). All ivies are evergreen but not all are winter-hardy, so check the plant label. A bit slow to establish in our region, once it gets going it spreads quickly up walls, chain link fences, or over the ground. It is praised for its ability to cover an area quickly but loathed by others for the very same reason.
Ivy will grow in nearly any soil that is well drained. In our climate, they look their best with some mid-day shade, but do remarkable well in full sun. Once established, water demand is low, and withholding water is one means of controlling growth. Avoid planting in riparian corridor areas as it may escape and overwhelm native plants. Don't allow ivy to climb up trees and shrubs - the foliage may keep the bark too wet and the weight of the ivy may cause limbs to break, particularly in the winter.