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Introducing ivy to a hedge?


I was researching general wildlife things and came across the suggestion to introduce ivy into a hedge to make the hedge more windproof and appealing to birds with the addition of the pollen insects and berries to be enjoyed too.

The thing is that I bought the house with a half dead hedge and it was covered in ivy and I've been treating it much like a weed and trying to irradiate it from the hedge and various other dark corners of the garden - with some considerable difficulty I might add!

I had made the assumption that the ivy had killed the hedge by blocking out light so am wary of introducing it into my brand spanking new hedge that I'd been lovingly tending to for a few years.

What do you think?



  • LoganLogan Posts: 2,532
    I don't know if the ivy killed the hedge but it will take over and you have to leave it to grow to get the flowers, you only have to look at the trees in a wood it takes over the tree, I used to have ivy on the back wall but it was the same but it's great for wild life.
  • Flora rosaFlora rosa Posts: 262

    Hi, I wouldn't, my neighbour has ivy (4 gardens all back onto each other), now it looks super fab on his side but all us neighbours have it everywhere !  it's totally taking over everyone's gardens but the others don't care but I do ! And it's the bane of my life ...... All the trees around are totally covered in the stuff and it's now setting into one of my neighbours lawns, so I'm beset from all sides with it ! This winter I had to rebuild a drystone wall as it had totally taken over that .... Sorry will stop ranting there! Agree that the birds love it tho image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    Agree with Logan, ivy is good but you need to control it, don't let it take over the whole hedge. When the hedge dies from lack of light the whole lot collapses into a sprawl. Great for wildlife if you have room. It is good for wildlife and if you have somewhere that you can grow it and allow it to reach flowering, go for it. If not, grow something else for wildlife.

  • WateryWatery Posts: 388

    What about honeysuckle?  Not evergreen but flowers and berries and should be happy climbing through a hedge.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,869

    If I wanted a really neat hedge I wouldn't introduce anything to itimage

    But I have a straggle of this and that round various parts of my garden and ivy, honeysuckle, bryonies and all manner of things run through it. 

  • YviestevieYviestevie Kingswinford, West MidlandsPosts: 6,899

    I have lots of mature Ivy in my garden and the birds and bees absolutely adore it.  For me it involves one good cut back each year.  I haven't got it growing through a hedge but I do have an old rowan tree that was cut back to just the trunk before I moved into the property and that is smothered in Ivy with holly and now a rambling rose and perennial pea running through it.

    I also have Ivy growing over a low wooden fence which has now become a sort of Ivy fence.  I don't allow it to climb the house walls however.

    I suppose it just depends on how much time you have to manage your garden and as Nut says the type of style you are going for.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149

    Honeysuckle is as bad as ivy growing through a hedge. It takes over and the hedging plants don't thrive.

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