Invasive Plant

English Ivy

Hedera helix

About This Species

English ivy is commonly planted to provide quick cover for walls and buildings, and as ground cover in commercial landscapes. Unfortunately, it quickly forms a dense mat that suppresses native plants. English ivy grows rapidly and needs very little light or water once it has established, and even grows during the winter.

How to Identify

English ivy plants will often have two different types of waxy, leathery leaves visible on the climbing, mat-forming vines: young leaves have three to five points, almost “star-shaped”, while older leaves will be egg-shaped. Both sets of leaves can range from 5-10 cm long and 6-12 cm wide and can be a range of different colors: dark green, silver-green, yellow, white. Clusters of small white to yellow-green flowers bloom in late summer and early fall and are followed by clusters of black shiny fruit.

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A few non-invasive alternatives to plant instead of English Ivy include:

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