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Common Name:

English Ivy

Scientific Name:

Hedera helix

Family Name:



English Ivy is one of the three or four most popular vines for temperate gardens. Valued for its dark green or variegated foliage with variously lobed leaves. English Ivy makes an excellent groundcover or clinging vine (aerial rootlets) on masonry structures. Consult your local certified professional nursery person or local extension agent to choose a cultivar suited to your regional climate. Mature forms become shrubby and have sometimes been propagated as interiorscape potted plants.

Plant Habit or Use:

Groundcover, small shrub, topiary, vine


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Green to white-green, not ornamental, only on mature clones

Blooming Period:


Fruit Characteristics:

Small black berry-like drupe on sexually mature clones only


6 inch to 10 inch as a groundcover, indefinite as a vine



Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Low Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: Medium Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Good adaptable vine with proper cultivar selection; cold tolerance varies from USDA zone 4 to 8 by genotype. Some salt tolerance; requires some shade and irrigation in most of Texas. Fungal infections, bacterial blight, scale insects, aphids, and spider mites can be problems.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.