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My question is about ivy for growing up a brick wall. What would you recommend? How do Boston ivy and English ivy compare for this purpose? We live in New Jersey.
First of all, it is important to know that clinging plants, such as Boston ivy and English ivy have the potential to "damage old, soft mortar and strip off pebbledash". (Gardening with Climbers by Christopher Grey-Wilson and Victoria Matthews) It is also suggested that these vines have a "structurally sound surface and must be prevented from reaching under house eaves and roof tiles and into window casements." (The New Royal Horticultural Society Dictionary Manual of Climbers and Wall Plants edited by JK Burras and Mark Griffiths)
In addition to taking this information into consideration, it would also be important to identify the amount of sunlight and the extent to which the side of the house will be exposed to harsh winter winds and temperatures. Neither Boston nor English ivy is recommended for full sunlight. Boston ivy will give you more fall color and interest and will withstand cold winters. (Simon & Schuster's Guide to Climbing Plants by Enrico Banfi and Francesca Consolino)
If you want to consider an alternative vining plant, you might want to install a trellis. That way you will not have to rely solely on vines which cling to the brick. You could try Clematis or some the honeysuckle species that are native to the northeastern U.S. There are several listed in this article by William Cullina, "Alternatives to invasive or potentially invasive exotic species," from the New England Wildflower Society:
- Lonicera ciliosa (Orange Honeysuckle)
- Lonicera dioica (Limber Honeysuckle)
- Lonicera flava (Yellow Honeysuckle)
- Lonicera sempervirens (Trumpet Honeysuckle)
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Keywords: Climbing plants
Growing Up: A Gardener's Guide to Climbing Plants for the Pacific Northwest by Christine Allen. (Steller Press, 2001)
Urban gardeners need to maximize every inch of their gardens and growing vertically adds another potential place for more plants. Growing up details vines to plant season by season for a year of vertical interest, plus lists the best plants to use for a particular situation, like covering a chain link fence, or for training up a tree.
Season: All Season
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March 22 2017 13:26:25