English Ivy – Okay Use As Ground Cover Sometimes

Q: Is it okay to use English ivy as a ground cover so long as I keep it off trees and structures?

A: Many will disagree with the following but I’ll say it anyway: there are situations where English is the only plant I can think of that would be useful, such as covering a steep incline that’s in deep shade.

Few plants can hold the soil so well in a sunless spot. Liriope is a possibility but it spreads more slowly than ivy.

That said, you have to promise to diligently keep the vine out of your trees. This can be done by mowing around the base of each tree to keep the vine at bay.

Another concern about English ivy is the the low leaf growth makes an ideal habitat for mosquitoes to roost during the day. In my experience there are more mosquitoes near English ivy patches than in places where there is none. It’s easy to spray  the ivy with outdoor insecticide to fix this problem.

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