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English Ivy- Hedera Helix
The lovely English Ivy is a climbing plant that flowers in the late summer as well as producing berries in late winter. The nectar of the greenish-yellow flowers are rich, and the bees and other nectar-feeding insect love it as it serves as a great food supply before temperatures dip. The berries are a great source of nutrition after a cold winter for some birds that eat the berries containing about five seeds. This is the way the seeds get spread. These berries may not suit humans to consume, so let the wild animals enjoy them.
English Ivy is originally from Europe and Western Asia. It survives well in the USA as it is tolerant to most climate zones except the areas most arid. The ivy can survive temperatures in Zone 6a+ for cooler temps which makes it very hardy. The plant is an evergreen and can provide food for deer during the winter.
This ivy is generally used as an ornamental plant outdoors. With no surfaces available to climb, it makes an excellent grown cover. If using Ivy as a groundcover, once established, weeding should not have to be done. It is low growing while it spreads quickly and quickly establishes its roots. Small animals use it to camouflage their movements. For most landscapes, it is ideal for contained garden areas, borders, and raised spaces. It has a romantic history to bring images of cozy cottages with thatched roofs and ivy-covered walls.
If you like hanging baskets, English Ivy works well indoors or out. It cascades down from the basket, making a waterfall type presentation. The leaves can be solid or variegated in color and some stems have a purple tone. As indoor plants, they enrich the air in a room with oxygen. Be sure to keep the soil dry to lightly moist with a least partial sun.
When planting English Ivy, it's recommended that you plant them 12 to 18 inches apart for adequate room to grow. For even quicker coverage, you can space the English Ivy a foot apart and you'll be amazed at how quickly the plants cover the area. It takes only a few short months of warm weather for your English Ivy to take root and begin climbing the area. First, the ivy will fill the barren spot where it was planted and then it will start climbing walls, trellises and just about anything else it can find. Each vine of English Ivy can grow up to 50 feet, so be prepared for this particular plant to be a garden showoff rather quickly. Depending on the area you live, it can take up to two to three years for the English Ivy to grow to its full potential. If you'd rather grow the plant indoors, be sure to provide the plant with a stake or vertical structure to ensure it looks its best.
Did you know that the Ivy plants are used for cough medicines? The leaves of the plant were used as an expectorant in cough medicines to treat bronchitis. The English Ivy is a flowering plant from the family of Araliaceae. The English Ivy is a plant that is widespread of a clingy evergreen vine. The English Ivy plant is known to be in gardens, house walls, tree trunks or in wild areas. The soil that the English Ivy lives of must have a ph. of 6.5. The English Ivy prefers moist, shady areas that are limited to direct sunlight. The flowers on the ivy can be produced from the summer until late fall. The color of the flower will be green to a yellow color that has nectar to be a food supply for insects. The Ivy can also produce fruits that will ripen in the late winter and are food sources for birds. Gardening and caring for this plant takes a couple of steps. The soil for the Ivy must be fertile if the soil is not rich then mix it with compost before planting. The plants can be space between 18 to 24 inches apart. In the beginning, the plant will take longer to grow, by the second year, the Ivy plant can be seen. The third year the plant will grow very quickly. The English Ivy plan can be grown in a pot on the inside. The plant will grow as if they are climbing steps. Caring for these plants does not require a lot of attention due to the time it grows. Water the plant as much as you can so the soil can be moist. The English Ivy grows best in wet soil, but they can tolerate a dry area. Once the English Ivy has grown, you can cut the tops of the plant. The foliage can regrow, and the English Ivy does not need fertilizer.