growing and care

Ivy is a wonderful green coverage part for any space in the garden where nothing else seems to grow well, and various wildlife will be very thankful to you for providing this.

preferred soil conditions?

Can tolerate most soils, likes dampish leafy loamy soils best and rarely needs feeding..

preferred light, shade and water conditions?

Ivy is very well adapted to living in woodland. Woodlands are its natural habitat. Ivy survives well where light levels are low, as it spreads on the ground and up trunks of trees.

Ivy’s tolerance of low light is popular in our gardens, where it is well grown for attractive evergreen covering north facing walls and to provide ground cover in dark spaces.


Ivy has incredible wildlife value. A dense mass of Ivy foliage provides very good shelter for birds to build their nests, and a dark place for bats to safely roost through the day.


In Autumn, Ivy flowers provide abundant pollen and nectar popular with bees, wasps, butterflies, and other flying species.

fruit and seeds

Berries ripen from mid March and through April. Though poisonous to us an other mammals, they provide birds with an invaluable nutrition due to their high fat content.

ecosystem effects 

Ivy has a very bad reputation due to a belief that it kills trees.

Actually, ivy is not a parasite and does not directly affect the health of any trees it climbs.

Ivy has its roots anchored in the ground and feeds independetly from the ground. Ivy uses trees as support to get to where it wants to go. Hair-like roots all along the Ivy stems are designed to provide support and allow the plant to climb. These tiny roots do not feed from the tree. The only penetrate the outermost layer of bark on host trees, and usually not even as far as the tree's first ring.

Now, mistletoe, is a plant with roots that tap directly into a host plant, most common being apple trees, where it feeds on the tree's resources.

If Ivy has become well established on a tree, it is more likely to be a sign of a tree ailing than the cause of it. A heavy infestation of ivy is a good warning that a tree is in a natural state of decline.

Over winter, ivy protects woodland soils from full snow cover and frost. This enables ground foraging birds, such as robins, blackbirds and thrushes, to continue feeding through winter as well as a sheltered habitat for small mammals and insects.

for the healing and nourishment qualities of Ivy, please click here