If you've recently invested in climbing ivy for your garden or you're thinking about it, you'll be wondering where on earth to start! Our handy guide below will help you get started.
Climbing ivy is an excellent plant for birds, as they use it for shelter, food and for also creating nests in the foliage. So not only will it look great in your garden, it's a great addition for our feathered friends too.
1) The best place to plant
The ivy grows up on its own, but many climbing plants do not have enough adhesive roots to 'climb' up properly. You can buy climbing plant supports or a climbing trellis frame to help support your plant and give them a boost! Your climbing plant is then best placed at some distance from the wall or fence so that it can do what it does best - climb and grow.
2) Where is the best place to plant your climbing plant?
This varies per plant. The flowering climbing plants in particular like to be in the sun, however, this doesn't apply to all climbing plants. The Clematis, for example, is a real forest plant that must be kept out of full sun with its root neck (where the stem rises). Tying this plant is often necessary because the tendrils don't latch on tightly enough, except on shrubs and trees. Ivy does well in the shade, but an exception to this is the variegated variety (ivy with different coloured leaves such as yellow and green) - it needs a lot of sun.
3) When to plant
Planting can be started early in the autumn from September onwards, and can continue for a long time in the spring until around May.
4) How to plant
Provide a spacious planting hole, this is important for a solid foundation. Fill this hole with good soil or compost and then place the plant at an angle to the wall. Give strong climbers such as ivy and wisteria plenty of room in height and width to grow. Place the root ball in a bucket of water overnight before planting, this helps soften it and give it enough moisture to start a strong growing journey. Then plant the ivy in the same way that you would plant a tree! The only difference is that with climbing plants, the mesh must be unbuttoned and left under the roots. Prevent the plant from drying out and water it often too.