Gardening Questions And Answers
Ivy is an evergreen, perennial climbing vine. Flower and berries will only appear on mature ivy. The flowers are small, greenish-white, and grow in umbrella-shaped clusters. Berries are purplish-black and many birds, especially starlings and robins, will eat them and disperse the seeds widely from the parent plants.
When potted ivy becomes top-heavy, root-bound or dries out more quickly than normal, it needs repotting, notes the American Ivy Society. Ivies should be repotted in containers that are only slightly larger than the root ball and that have several drainage holes. The soil should be moistened before planting.
Where the ivy is growing over another plant, it is best to find where the ivy has its woody stem entering the soil, then cut this and treat the stump with a herbicide such as a fairly concentrated mix of metsulfuron plus water, or triclopyr/picloram plus diesel, or a gel formulation of picloram or glyphosate.
English ivy adapts to almost any amount of light, from full sun to full shade. It grows best, however, in partial to full shade. In its perennial range across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, English ivy forms a groundcover with its long stems covered with evergreen leaves.
Ivy’s flowering period begins in August and continues right through to November, sometimes later, and the flowers produce plentiful quantities of nectar and pollen. Over 70 species of nectar-loving insects feast on the flowers, including wasps and bumblebees, Red admiral, Small tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies.
It flowers in autumn when very little else is in bloom – take a walk around mature ivy in autumn and you’ll hear it before you see it: the buzz of wasps, flies, hoverflies and bumblebees, plus the colourful flutter of the odd late-flying butterfly, are all testament to its popularity with pollinators.