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Old 12-15-2011, 09:27 PM   #1
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


We have a detached garage that is completely white and looks so bare to me. Attached is a photo before it was completed. It is all white now, with vinyl on the front and wood on the sides. The vines have been removed and it is stark white.



I am looking to get English Ivy to grow on the sides (not the front) and to cover most of the wall. I have only seen this done on brick and am curious if I can get it to root to the wood. I am looking for this look:



Any and all recommendations welcome! Thanks!

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Old 12-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #2
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


English Ivy grows awful slow. You might look at what is known as the "Mile-A-Minute-Vine" I think is called "Silver Lace". That stuff will put out shoots twenty feet long in a single season but will require a trellis and some hand placement and weaving the first and second year. After that you won't be able to control it.

In Europe it is considered a noxious vine because of its hardiness and rapid spreading.

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Old 12-16-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


I don't know your zone, but you may want to consider Boston Ivy instead. It is not as invasive and does not cause damage to the building. Boston ivy grows using little suckers instead of setting grabbers into the foundation. It is very hardy, but you will need quite a few plants to get you started if you want a nice full look quickly.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


I would get a good book or two on climbing ivy type things before you go further. The look is cool but the maintenance if you plant the wrong type will get you between bugs, invasive roots and stems that will pry windows open and growth habits that will destroy things like brick mortar.

Some is worse than but as aggressive as Kudzo.

Some ivy types, on the other hand can be quite harmless.

You will find no type that can be snapped on the nose and told to grow only on the sides and not on the front. You will have to stay up nights to watch it.

Generally speaking and as a former landscape designer? Plants should not be encouraged to grow directly on buildings. How about some trellis structures and seasonal perennials that would climb the sides each season and even flower?

Last edited by user1007; 12-16-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:09 AM   #5
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


I agree, because most ivies are very damaging, but the Boston Ivy isn't....which is why I mentioned it.
Trellises are definitly better, and you can do so much more with them, such as clematis, for one idea. ...but it isn't going to give the look you pictured....
read up before you decide, there is a reason why a lot people choose to tear down the ivy on walls like you posted.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:09 PM   #6
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


While I do like the look, I don't think I would recommend it. Not only for all of the above comments, but it allows easy access and cover for mice and other vermin.
We have it, not on the house, but on several trees next to the house. It grew unchecked for several years and it got totally out of control. If you do it, you need to maintain it and keep it under control.

The picture was taken after days of intensive manual labor on my part removing it, and a rock garden after killing three copperheads in the previous month. I'd tear it all out but DH wants to keep it on the trees. (Also not a good idea).

Edited to add: If you are determined, I would suggest doing research on other vines in your growing zone. Perhaps there is something quick growing that you can cut back every few years to maintain the building. Maybe even a climbing rose or something similar.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:42 PM   #7
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


Now THAT is an excellent roofing job. I'll bet that thing is nothing less than perfect in its component placements.
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Old 12-17-2011, 04:13 PM   #8
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


I just spent the first two years at my current house ripping out English ivy that took off on a fence, went over a wall, and about 20 ft into the woods behind my house. Be very careful what you wish for. It will get up under siding and even damage brick (by persistently putting tendrils into small cracks). It is a haven for rodents as it traps leaves and grass clippings used as nesting materials.

Maybe some nice green siding?
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Old 12-18-2011, 12:24 AM   #9
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud Cline View Post
Now THAT is an excellent roofing job. I'll bet that thing is nothing less than perfect in its component placements.
Bud, you talking 'bout my place?

Just my cheap photo editor program doing weird things again.
Check out the bricks too. LOL.

Last edited by Blondesense; 12-18-2011 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:54 PM   #10
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


I'm finally to the point where I'm ready to plant. The plan is to place a black lattice on part of the garage where white block is exposed and to grow the English ivy on this. I don't want the roots to spread so I plan to bury long pots along the foundation so I don't get underground runners. Would this plan cause a problem?
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:45 AM   #11
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How to Plant and get English Ivy to Grow


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Originally Posted by natwlsn View Post
I agree, because most ivies are very damaging, but the Boston Ivy isn't....which is why I mentioned it.
Trellises are definitly better, and you can do so much more with them, such as clematis, for one idea. ...but it isn't going to give the look you pictured....
read up before you decide, there is a reason why a lot people choose to tear down the ivy on walls like you posted.

The op would be long buried before that look was achieved

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