Forum home Wildlife gardening

Best ivy plant for wildlife?

I want to plant some ivy to grow up a garden wall and provide ground cover, nectar and cover for wildlife. Which variety would be best for this? 

I believe Hedera helix is the English native plant, but I understand Irish Ivy Hedera hibernica is good too?

Im happy for the wall to get covered in ivy, despite lots of folk not liking this due to risk of damage, but I'm happy with that.
«13

Posts

  • FireFire Posts: 18,946
    I had Hedera hibernica it was excellent for late flowering.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,762
    Any of those are good @LeadFarmer, especially if you let them get to the stage where they're mature enough to flower. That's a real benefit.  :)
    They will spread across the floor though, so you'll have to keep an eye on that if there's other planting nearby. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • In order to reach the 'arborial' stage the ivy has to get to the top of its support ... it then stops clinging and forms bushy growth which bears flowers and fruits ... so it can take a little while to get there.   :)

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





  • Balgay.HillBalgay.Hill Posts: 1,085
    I find cuttings take very easily. Simply take a section with a bit of root and plonk it straight into the soil where you want it to grow.
    Sunny Dundee
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,345
    edited December 2021
    Dan Pearson implies, and the tutor on my last course stated, that if you take and grow cuttings from arboreal ivy, the new plant remains arboreal (ie it flowers). I saw some in DP's plantings at King's Cross (London), so it sounds promising, and I'm experimenting with some at the moment. However, I doubt it clings or climbs like regular ivy. Perhaps a combination of climbing ivy for coverage, and (eg) Hedera helix 'Arborescens' would offer the most to wildlife?
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Yes, I've seen a planting of arboreal ivy ... it was a dense triangular underplanting of some trees (silver birch possibly)  I think it was about 2 ft tall  .... it looked great .... no clinging or climing whatsoever.  I wish I could remember where I saw it ...🤔

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





  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,482
    With Hedera helix 'Arborescens' being non climbing, can it be trained up a wall or does it simply creep along the ground?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852
    edited December 2021
    It doesn't do either ... it's name 'arborescens' relates to it being 'like a tree' ... it self supports on a single stem like a small bush. 

    Ivy has two stages ... the creeping climbing stage, and then, when it's grown up it's support as far as it can it changes its form and becomes bushy and non clinging ... this is the stage when it grows flowers and berries.  

    Lots of pics here

    https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/search?q=hedera+helix+arborescens&page=1&ctype=pictures&geo=gb&locale=en_gb&doi=2019-12-10&cmpgn=nov19&o=APN12175&p2=^ET^nov19^&qo=navTop

    If you cut this top bushy part from the main ivy you can root it in the ground and it will just grow in this form.

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





  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,482
    It doesn't do either ... it's name 'arborescens' relates to it being 'like a tree' ... it self supports on a single stem like a small bush. 

    Ivy has two stages ... the creeping climbing stage, and then, when it's grown up it's support as far as it can it changes its form and becomes bushy and non clinging ... this is the stage when it grows flowers and berries.  

    I dint realise that, thanks.I'll try and remember to take a photo tomorrow of the wall I would like to cover with ivy.
  • LeadFarmerLeadFarmer Posts: 1,482
    Looking at ordering an ivy plant soon, but there are so many varieties of what appear to be Hedera Helix - Glacier, Goldchild, Pro di Bogliasco, White Wonder, Green Ripple etc.

    Would you say they all have the same beneficial qualities to wildlife and its just a matter of choosing which you prefer the look of, as well as maturing size? The wildlife aspect is the main reason I want some.


Sign In or Register to comment.