Just because they sell it at the garden center, does not mean you should plant it! Ivy has to be controlled or the consequences can be devastating to nature. This tree is covered in ivy which is slowly causing the trees death. Ivy sucks the life out of the plant it attaches itself to and depletes the nutrients from the soil it covers…
and in the background is another invasive plant, Wintercreeper Euonymous which is actually easier to control and can be a great plant if used wisely. However, this section of a ravine has been ravaged by both species of invasive; and all native species of plants are gone.
Ivy and many other invasive plants do not need to be planted to grow. It will take hold just by being thrown down on the ground, put in compost pile, or thrown in the woods with yard waste. Ivy is also detrimental to your home if you have brick and mortar. Ivy can ruin the mortar and even creep itself under siding and cause moisture to penetrate your home’s exterior and cause thousands of dollars in damage. Yes, I know it looks pretty but pretty is not always a good thing.
If you have ivy climbing up a tree, I highly recommend that you cut and pull it off the tree before the ivy strangles the tree. Again this would be an expensive endeavor if the tree dies and you have to pay someone to remove it- or worse yet, the tree falls on your house. Ivy is best left to pots or retaining walls away from other living plants. It is a high maintenance plant because it has to be contained.
As you can see, I am passionate about invasive plants. I have had my share of pulling out truckloads of ivy, vinca, lamium, pachysandria, and so many others. I know from experience that I am too busy to deal with trying to control these ground covers. Ground cover…now that is another name for invasive.
I know the stores sell invasive plants every spring under the name-ground cover-but this does not mean you should fall for the myth that you plant it and leave it. Ground covers have to be controlled or they can wreak death upon any other plant in your garden.
I hope that this makes you ponder if ivy is worth the effort. Happy Gardening
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204-2016 copyrighted material C Renee Fuller @the Garden Frog Boutique