My garden, my pride!

Reproduction Of Garden Ivy

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Trying to be called a garden classic, ivy is rightly at the top of the list of unpretentious garden lianas. Versatile and hardy, fast growing and low maintenance, garden ivy is suitable for a variety of tasks. With the help of ivy mask and decorate, create green walls, greening facades, playfully objects of small architecture. And not the last factor in widespread and evergreen popularity of ivy is the ease of its propagation. Easy in cutting and rooting, ivy allows to get seedlings without special costs and efforts. © WandererCreative

Ivy is one of the garden plants that almost needs no introduction. The hallmark of the genus Ivy (Hedera), the most common plant was and remains Ivy common (Hedera helix) and its numerous decorative varieties, differing in shape, size and color of leaf plates. A stilt-climbing evergreen liana with flexible, long, branching, knot-rooted and air-rooted shoots is a plant whose size is limited only by its application. If given free rein, ivies can grow to more than a dozen meters. But with proper shaping and limiting, they will surprise you with their compact and modest size. The three- to five-lobed leaves, arranged on the shoots alternately on long petioles, captivate with their leathery-glossy texture, dark colors, light veins and heart-shaped base. Ivy's blossoms, which only start at a mature age, are unassuming, with small yellowish flowers in umbrellas. The fruits are round black peas.

Ivy is used in landscape design to create screens and screens, green carpets, facade gardening, decorating small architectural objects, creating figurative accents, masking, filling, emphasizing ... Natural talents, allowing ivy to conquer new heights, lies in the features of plant structure. Ivy easily climbs up, clings to supports, or stalks across the soil. It is as much a groundcover as it is a liana, a plant for open soil and a potted plant, a main or complementary plant. Ivy's remarkable "docility" and versatility is the result of its hardiness and survivability. It not only adapts well to any conditions and any base it has to wrap around, but it also takes root and "fixes" easily. This ability is used for propagation: flexible, easily rooting shoots can just as easily put down roots during propagation.

Self propagation of ivy is a very simple task. When landscaping large areas or objects enough to buy one or two bushes of adult plants, choosing varieties by endurance, color, decorative characteristics for a particular task of design. A large number of ivy seedlings can be grown quickly enough from basic bushes. Of course, you will have to wait a few years until they reach a sufficient size, but the cost of landscaping will be minimal.

For ivy are preferred vegetative methods. Most landscaping today uses varieties that do not retain their characteristics when grown from seed. It is not possible to propagate fancy variegated or original ivy plants by seeds. In addition, unlike growing from seed, any method of vegetative propagation allows times shorter process of achieving the desired goal, maximum decorativeness. The advantages of speed and simplicity are the main arguments in favor of cuttings and related methods of propagation.

Reproduction of garden ivy
Cuttings of ivy. © Mary H. Dyer

There are three methods of propagation used for garden ivy:

  1. Grafting.
  2. Rooting of branches.
  3. Splitting old bushes.

The old, overgrown, colonized ivies, some of whose shoots have rooted and produced shoots, may be separated. It is not necessary to dig out the whole plant for this purpose: it is enough to separate some plants at the perimeter and use them as independent seedlings.

With any method of propagation it is worth adhering to general rules:

  1. For rooting and cuttings and grafts in ivy choose annual, in the extreme - two-year shoots.
  2. Selecting twigs, it is worth to examine them carefully: half-timbered, strong shoots with visible aerial roots or their buds give results faster than very young twigs.
  3. Ivy propagation is better in spring or in the first half of summer.

Young ivy plants obtained independently can be planted in a permanent place both in early autumn and spring. Spring planting is preferable for the middle zone because in this case there is less risk of losing plants in case of extreme weather, more time to adapt before the first wintering.

Reproduction of garden ivy
Rooting ivy cuttings in water. © Jen

Cuttings are the main method of ivy propagation

Ivy twigs are so easy to root that when growing in room culture, cuttings are often rooted simply in water. For garden ivy, more traditional methods are used in most cases, but it is the ease of rooting that makes cuttings the primary method. Liana twigs put down roots within a few weeks, the plants develop quickly.

The best way to cut ivy is to use annual young shoots. Both apical and stem cuttings will do. Older cuttings should not be too small: the heads of 10 to 20 cm long twigs should be cut at an angle (between the leaf nodes). The bottom two pairs of leaves are removed from the cuttings. If stem petioles are used, a whole shoot is separated. Young branches with 8-10 leaves are used for this method of rooting.

Rooting ivy cuttings can be:

  • in water or a solution of rooting stimulants;
  • in a mixture of peat and sand;
  • in light substrate with a high sand content.

And rooting in containers or containers is not the only option. Ivy can also be propagated in a greenhouse or mini greenhouse in open soil.

Canopying, greenhouse conditions for ivy are not necessary at all. If you maintain a stable moisture content of soil, you can root cuttings of this plant and without additional difficulties. Covering the container with a glass or film hood accelerates rooting, but no more than that. The temperature for rooting cuttings will suit any: cuttings are rooted and in the heat, and in the heat, when the indicators exceed 15-16 degrees. To accelerate the process of rooting, you can treat with growth stimulants. But it is not considered a mandatory procedure.

Top cuttings are planted in the soil, burying by 1/3 of the height up to the first node with leaves. On average, rooting in the substrate takes from 2 weeks to 1.5 months, plants after rooting can be planted in a permanent place and without re-growing in containers or on seedbeds.

Stem cuttings are laid horizontally on the substrate surface, pressing shoots to a depth of about 1.5 - 2 cm (or laying them in a groove) and leaving leaves on the surface. It is possible to cut the stem immediately into cuttings with one leaf node (about 10 cm long), but usually the shoot is left intact. Rooting occurs within 1 - 2 weeks, after which the top of the shoot starts to grow. After signs of renewed growth, you should not rush to cut the stem: the separation of plants is carried out only after 2 weeks. The stem is carefully removed from the substrate and cut into individual cuttings or independent plants, separating the rooted leaf nodes.

Rooted cuttings, especially stem ones, are rarely transferred immediately to a permanent place: they can be planted either in a container or in a separate bed for rearing, simplifying the process of maintaining a stable soil moisture. In a permanent place they are planted in late summer or early fall, giving enough time for rooting before the arrival of winter and protecting them with mulch from severe frosts. But it is better to wait until spring and finish ivy as a container crop or cover it on a bed, giving plants more time to build roots before the first wintering.

Reproduction of garden ivy
Ivy multiplication by grafts. © Jen

Rooting ivy grafts

Like other vines, ivy can be easily propagated by grafts. The branches lying on the soil are capable of rooting on their own. But you can stimulate this process and have strong, self-sustaining plants. The rooting method of grafts is most popular when using ivy as a groundcover. It is also good for those who do not want too many new plants. The rooting process is very simple:

  1. Strong, flexible ivy shoots are placed in a small trench at the bottom (for vertical-growing ones) and around the perimeter (for horizontal-growing ones). Long, strong shoots are usually selected for rooting. Small cuts on the underside of twigs accelerate rooting.
  2. The twigs are fixed in the soil with a staple and covered with nutrient substrate from above.
  3. Have abundant watering and further regularly water the soil to maintain a stable humidity.

There is no hurry to set off the branches after the shoots are rooted. In early autumn or the following spring, young ivies are separated as independent bushes and planted in a permanent place.

If ivy branches are long enough, they can be fixed in the soil in waves, rooting several branches from one twig at once.

Reproduction of garden ivy
Ivy planting in a permanent place. © Plants & Trees

Care for Young Ivy

You will have to be patient to achieve maximum ornamental value with ivy. This plant does not start to vigorously grow at once, and several years before the decorative task entrusted to the liana will have to wait. But with the right care, providing optimal conditions, the waiting period can be shortened.

Conditions for ivy plants should be selected carefully. They are hardy and adapt well. But if the task is to plant quickly, it is worth choosing places protected from draughts and wind. Breathable, fertile, deeply worked, organic and moisture containing soil is one of the conditions for the fast growth of ivy.

For ivy to quickly reach the desired size first you need to take care of a stable moisture content in the soil. Regular watering during droughts and sprinkling of leaves during particularly hot periods will help young plants not to suffer from extreme summer conditions and quickly build up both roots and vegetative mass. During the season, loosen the soil gently to keep it from crusting over, but do not disturb the roots and shoots of the ivy. Protective covering in the first winter in the form of a simple layer of mulch will reduce problems during thaws and temperature changes. Ivy will also not refuse a permanent mulch layer, which will protect the root system from overheating and stabilize their development conditions.