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Has anyone used Ivy as a hedge?

Has anyone used ivy as a hedge? I know ivy can be seen as quite intrusive, but say if it was grown around a metal or willow cube-like structure could it be used as an evergreen hedge to divide my garden into separate 'rooms'?

Or, if someone could suggest a better alternative (in terms of wildlife-friendliness then I'd love to hear your suggestions.

There are some benefits to ivy which is why I'm not too adverse to having it in my garden:

Thanks in advance image


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,138

    I've seen 'arboreal ivy' grown as a hedge .... arboreal ivy is the non climbing form which occurs when the ivy reaches the top of it's support.  The garden where I saw it had taken  cuttings from the arboreal branches and rooted them and grown them as a low formal hedge (about 2 or 3 ft tall if I remember correctly).

    Wish I could remember where I saw it ............ 

    Last edited: 12 January 2018 12:11:16

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,308

    it's a bit inclined to collapse under its own weight but if you have a strong frame it's OK. 

    For full wildlife benefit it needs to flower and for that it needs to get wide. Have you space for that?

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,530

    Dovefromabove has the right idea.  When mature ivy has nowhere else to go, the shape and arrangement of the leaves changes and it flowers and bears fruit.  If you take cuttings from the flowering/fruiting parts of the plant and put them in pots, they'll maintain that form and can be grown into a dense hedge.  You may find it's keener on flowering than getting bigger - if it's a tall hedge you want, choose another plant.

    Last edited: 12 January 2018 16:30:30

  • BiljeBilje Posts: 756

    My neighbour has an accidental ivy hedge. The garden borders onto a playing field and has/ had a six foot high board fence, ivy came from another garden and it grew up and along the said fence rooting as it spread over a period of years. My relatively new neighbours aren't gardeners and like to keep all their plants very tidy.

    as I said the ivy now looks like a hedge probably about 18 inches thick Up to the top of the boards I reckon they shear it every month to clip away all the new growth. It seems a lot of hard work to me.

  • Thanks for your suggestions everyone, especially josusa47. It wouldn't be for a very big hedge - really just used as a divider. I might try and take a cutting anyway and see how it gets on growing in a pot for a few months around a small frame or something

    Nutcutlet I do have space for it to get quite big actually - and there's a couple of examples of mature ivy in my garden already, but they're more free-form and just a blobs of ivy. It would be interesting to see if it could be shaped and treated more like a hedge. But from the other comments (and as I somewhat suspected) it seems like it would need a little more attention than your average box hedge!

    Thanks again for your comments folks! :) 

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