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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Hedera, Transplanting

Do you have any information on how to transplant Hedera colchica?


Before you transplant your ivy, be sure to verify that it is not on your county's noxious weed list. Hedera colchica, or Persian ivy, is not listed on King County's site, but it may still share some of the self-perpetuating and plant- and structure-damaging properties of English ivy (Hedera helix).

I searched our books on ivies as well as our periodicals databases, and did not come across anything specifically about moving Hedera colchica. I would assume that what applies to the genus, as far as the procedure for transplanting, should apply to this species also. Below is general information I located.

The American Ivy Society has general information on moving outdoor ivies. Search under "Resources: Q & A."(You may wish to contact them directly for information specific to Hedera colchica). Here is an excerpt:

"You can dig up ivy fall or early spring and move it. If you are in a really cold climate you will best results transplanting in the spring.

"Dig around the base of the ivy stem leaving as much root & soil as possible. Dig the new hole wider and deeper than the root ball. It is good to plant ivy deeper-- as much as 3-4" deeper if possible. That will secure the ivy in the ground and help to prevent drying while it acclimates to the new location. Water regularly making sure the ivy does not dry out but do not keep the soil too wet.

"I would suggest mulching with almost any organic mulch like pine needles, leaves or chipped bark. This also helps to keep the soil moist and the temperature even.

"You will need to give the ivy some TLC for the first few months but once it gets started it should be fine. It is always a good idea to keep newly planted ivy carefully water for the first year or so. After that you can practically ignore it (depending on your climate) and it will survive with the natural rains or normal garden irrigation."

From The Helpful Gardener, an online garden forum:

  • First thoroughly water the plants and cut off a lot of the top growth to prevent dehydration (down to where there is growth evident - don't cut into old wood where there isn't anything growing from it).
  • Then dig the new holes for them - making them large and deep - and dig in some compost. Carefully dig up the ivies, taking all the roots and some soil around them, and put each in a bucket or piece of sacking.
  • Next, making sure the new hole is big enough, replant the ivies in their new homes, shaking the plant gently so that the soil settles around the roots.
  • Heel in gently, water generously, put some shredded bark or shingle on top to keep in the moisture, and keep well watered during dry spells.

Date 2019-09-18
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Plant Answer Line Question

Keywords: Hedera, Invasive plants, Climbing plants

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)

The New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team has a factsheet on both English ivy (Hedera helix)and Boston ivy (Parthenocissus).

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)

Date 2019-05-09
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