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Plantidote of the Day 2012-04-02

twig's picture


Hedera colchica

Persian ivy

At least I think that's what this is. Persian ivy has large, heart-shaped leaves and this sort of does, so I'm sticking with that unless someone has a better idea. A very popular plant here in Zone 10 for covering walls and fences. Right now, the new spring growth is so bright and shiny, it's almost a glow-in-the-dark green.

An easy to grow plant, ivy is good for holding soil. It doesn't need much in the way of care, although it does like some water. On the downside, there's not a whole lot of excitement with ivy. The green and white (variegated) varieties are as wild and crazy as ivy gets. Unless, of course, you're one of those people who likes to grow it over a wire shape and clip it to look like a poodle or a horse or a spaceship. In which case, I have a question: Why?

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bungalowkitchens's picture
Submitted by bungalowkitchens on

It harbors snails, rats and raccoons. And it's boring. But I will defend making it into topiary- because topiary is amusing.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

why would you do that? But some are pretty amazing (some refers to topiaries, not dog clothes ;-)

But yes, ivy is boring. One of the garden books even came right out and said that, which is sort of unusual, since they're usually such cheerleaders for all plants.

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

Ivy has a juvenile stage and a mature stage... When it is young and growing horizontally it will keep the distinctive leaf shape and not bloom. If it can find a Vertical wall or fence to climb, it becomes a very different plant.

The leaves change shape and it will bloom creating a huge cluster which the bees adore. It splatters a zillion seeds, but I don't see too much reseeding...I guess the birds come and spread them far and wide. It grows thick woody trunks.
I believe ivy will be one of the few surviving inhabitants after mass earth destruction...

On that happy note, happy spring, Correntians.