Ivy – Rooting

Q: I have a small decorative area of English ivy. A couple of years back I expanded the area and purchased several ivy plants at a big box store. The label said “English ivy” but I noticed the leaves were smaller, with a purple cast to them, in contrast to my original ivy, which has large leaves that stay green all winter.

A: At least one variety of ivy is known to have a purple hue: Hedera helix ‘Atropurpurea’. It seems to me that you could rip out the ‘purple’ variety and simply plant cuttings of the ivy leaf shape that matches what you already have. I’ll bet you have friends that have ivy vines they would like to get rid of. It’s simple to root ivy from cuttings. Use pruners to cut lots of twelve inch segments of vine. Then use a shovel to chop vertically into the earth, making slits six inches long and a couple of inches deep. Strip the leaves from the lower six inches of each ivy cutting and slide individually into the slits. Use a firm press of your shoe to close the slit around the stem. Repeat until the area you want to cover has lots of leafy six inch cuttings showing aboveground, about twelve inches apart. Keep the soil moist in summer and they will be growing by fall.