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Mature Ivy

I am looking for wildlife friendly climbers to add to my wildlife garden. I realise that some people can’t stand ivy, and see it as a nuisance, but I know it can be great for native wildlife. The thing is, it’s only really good once it is mature and producing flowers and berries. Does anyone know where I can purchase a mature ivy plant, or can anyone suggest a climber that could fill the same niche, ie late nectar for invertebrates and berries for birds? Thanks.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,875
    I've never seen it for sale. I've heard that if you take cuttings from the mature part of an Ivy that's what you get. I've never tried it though, I have plenty without that :) and I've never seen a bush grown like that, But as you say, many don't like it and growers only grow what they think will sell
  • BiljeBilje Posts: 727
    Hi Gavin I grow a golden hop here in the NE, I initially planted it as I wanted the light colour but also a climber that "disappeared" over winter and regrew in Spring. After a few years I realised Tortoiseshell butterflies laid eggs on it which subsequently went through their life cycle and I had more butterflies. I do also have a fence full of ivy that doesn't seem to help wildlife other than a hideout for snails. It produces very few flowers and berries despite growing to 7-8 feet.
  • RubytooRubytoo On the sofa, Southerly aspect.Posts: 1,287
    edited March 2019
    It is called "arboreal" (growth) when Ivy reaches the top of whatever support it tops and goes Shrubby?
    You can as mentioned take cuttings and get that growth like a shrub, with the flowers and berries.
    We had a section on a wall some years ago, once it reached the top of the six foot wall it went from sticky typical ivy to the different leaf, flower and berry formation.
    But due to a car crashing through it, we lost it.
    I wish I had tried to save it.
    I think it takes a few years to form and mature to that stage.

    Elephant hawk moths caterpillars also like the golden hops :)
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,531
    edited March 2019
    I don't think it would be possible to sell mature ivy as it needs a support so they would have to sell it with a large tree trunk or fence panel or chunk of wall attached to it!

    I'm always singing the praises of a nursery called Fibrex which specialises in ivy and offers dozens of varieties.  Four years ago I bought seven different ivies from them, and they have grown at different rates. I found them very helpful in choosing which to buy, we exchanged numerous emails before I made my final selection.  I think as a general rule, the nearer ivy is to the wild type, the more vigorous.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,270
    I’ve seen arboreal ivy grown as a decorative low hedge without any support ... but I can’t for the life of me remember where it was ... 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • debs64debs64 West Midlands, on the edge of the Black Country Posts: 4,606
    My daughter had this her dad refused to believe it was ivy as it looked so different but as she has a tiny garden and it was growing on the fence by her one small flowerbed she cut it back very hard. I think it is still growing in the original garden it came over from and it’s only about 6 foot tall. The only insects it attracted seemed to be 1000s of tiny black flies but it’s an urban garden maybe get more interesting wildlife in the countryside 
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