English Ivy Plant - Hedera helix
English Ivy is a climbing woody vine that can be grown in USDA zones four through nine. It prefers full to part shade, which makes it a good choice for areas in which other plants may not easily grow. If used as a ground cover, it can thrive in parts of a yard that are shaded by large trees or structures. One plant can reach 100 feet across, staying at a level of approximately six to nine inches off the ground. English Ivy can also climb, often up to 50 feet and even more. It can cling to surfaces like buildings, fences, and trees because it has all roots found all along its stems. These roots will grab hold of anything, allowing the plant to defy gravity. When English Ivy first arrives, it's recommended that the plants be spaces one foot to two feet apart. In the first year, they will grow slowly; in the second year, they will start to spread out significantly; growth after that will be strong and consistent. The dark green leaves can fill out a yard nicely, retaining their color throughout the year. Their heart-shape appearance is also pleasant to look at. This plant prefers moist soil, especially when it's first starting out. In the early years, watering may be needed during dry spells, but this is likely not necessarily once the English ivy is well-established. If the plant is grown in hot climates, mulch can be used to protect it from the heat. The English ivy can be trimmed in the spring to encourage healthy growth. Yearly pruning can be done to keep things more orderly, but pruning can alternatively take place every few years. Since this type of ivy does so well in a variety of conditions, it's an effective way to prevent the growth of weeds.