This English Ivy would take over my condo if I let it. I am not really allowing it to climb anywhere as I do not plan to live in this condo for ever and I would like to take it with me when I leave. So when the vines get to close to touching my Avocado plants just below I trim it back. I have been taking these cutting and placing them in water. They very quickly grow roots and I put them in soil and give them away. Without fail by the time I have to trim again I am potting the previous trimmings. My Ivy is mother to 6 babies already and I’ve only had it for about 2-3 years! At this rate it will be a grandmother in no time. My friends and family will start cursing me for giving them the plant that is devouring their homes.
I basically have a permanent English Ivy Propagating station here on my mantel. The plant grows incredible fast and even continues to produce new leaves while it is in the water. Most plants may slow growth to concentrate on building a good rooting system. Not these nothing stops them from taking over. My problem in the future I can already see, is some of the vines I have trimmed many times are starting to grow two or three vines branching off. Won’t be long before I have to set up a Varage Sale so I can sell all the “babies” I’m producing. My other option, let the ivy take over…
The Ivy itself requires very little care, I mean except for trimming the vines back if your not allowing it to climb. If you do allow it to climb give it a trellis or something so that it won’t damage your walls. The English Ivy does really well in the shade so you can easily stick it in a shady plant-less corner and it will still preform and help bring life to an area that may not be as attractive. The “babies” require a little more care than my established mother plant. The Mother plant will tolerate if I forget to water while the babies do not. It may take a couple years for the Babies to establish themselves.
In parts of British Columbia this plant is very quickly becoming a problem as it is invasive covering buildings and shrubs and deterring seeds from succeeding. The plant is useless for wildlife because of it’s poisonous nature. Below is a photo of The Empress Hotel in British Columbia, the green stuff climbing on it, yeah that’s Ivy.
This photo was found here and is not my own.
You can see it is almost swallowing the entire building and the plant life around it. This isn’t the only building there that has this Ivy covering it in the slightest, in fact many other locations in the south western BC areas are struggling with this invasive plant. So why the heck am I growing it?
Well it’s easy to grow, I can keep it in a shady area, and there has been research to suggest the plant helps to purify the air. The study including using moldy bread as well as dog feces and tested after several hours. After being in separate containers they measured the air quality after twelve hours the “container with moldy bread had a 78% drop in airborne toxins, while the container with dog feces had a whopping 94%” Not that I have moldy bread laying around but this does reassure me my air is little bit healthy even if I do have a dirt box for cats nearby. Owning an air purifying plant should never replace an air purifier for those who may be more at risk.