English ivy (Hedera helix) is one of the world’s most popular ivy plants, though it is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world. Ivy is an evergreen shrub that is best known for crawling on-to other surfaces, such as the bark of trees, to optimize its growth.
It is also one of mother nature’s most aggressive growers, and ivy plants can grow almost completely out of control in the hands of an inexperienced gardener.
Still, ivy is one of the most popular features in gardens and homes all over the world. There were also different types of Ivy plants.
Ivy does not require a vast amount of sunlight or water to grow well. The plant is highly adaptable to its circumstances and grows just as well in various conditions – including extreme hot or cold ones, where ivy might still be able to flourish.
The ivy plant can climb. Gardeners can take the full ability of their plant by directing its growth along whatever they might want.
Ivy is often used as a covering or crawling plant for this reason. If you like, you can also grow ivy plants quite happily in pots.
English ivy might be one of the most common species, but it’s not the only one.
There are approximately 15 species of pure ivy plants, and several other ivy-like plants that share some of their characteristics though belong to other plant families.
It’s not as simple just to, “Plant an ivy.”
Table of Contents
- Ivy facts, uses, problems, and dangers
- Which ones of these ivy plants will you pick?
- Most Popular Different Types of Ivy Plants
- 1. Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
- 2. Cape ivy Senecio angulatus and Senecio tamoides
- 3. Kenilworth, Cymbalaria muralis
- 4. Devil’s ivy Epipremnum aureum
- 5. Fig ivy (or creeping fig or climbing fig) Ficus pumila
- 6. Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
- 7. Ivy of Uruguay Cissus striata
- 8. Ivy tree Schefflera heptaphylla
- 9. Parlour ivy Senecio mikanioides
- 10. Poison ivy Toxicodendron radicans
- 11. Purple ivy Rhododendron catawbiense
- 12. Russian Ivy, Hedera pastuchovii
- 13. Algerian Ivy
- Ivy Plant FAQ
- What is an ivy plant?
- How many types of ivy plants exist?
- What conditions do ivy plants prefer to grow in?
- Is ivy difficult to grow?
- Can you move an ivy plant?
- What do ivy plants need?
- Why are my ivy plant’s leaves turning brown or yellow?
- Can ivy plants grow from seeds?
- Can ivy plants grow indoors?
- Can ivy plants carry pests?
- How do you treat ivy plants against pests?
- How many different types of ivy plants are there?
- Is ivy poisonous to people or pets?
Ivy facts, uses, problems, and dangers
There are many types of ivy plants, including the English ivy (Hedera helix). Ivy is a popular evergreen shrub that is known for its aggressive growth and ability to crawl on other surfaces. It is also one of the most adaptable plants, thriving in a variety of conditions.
Gardeners can take advantage of ivy’s versatility by directing its growth along whatever surface they choose. Ivy is often used as a covering plant because it can climb. There are approximately 15 types of pure ivy plants, as well as several other ivy-like plants.
It’s not as simple just to “plant an ivy.” Gardeners should be aware of the potential problems and dangers associated with growing ivy plants before getting started.
English ivy (Hedera helix) is one of the world’s most popular types of ivy plants, though it is considered an invasive species in some parts of the world.
This ivy is famous because its leaves are glossy, green, and thick with yellow or white veins. Usually confined to cold, low-light environments, it grows in North Africa, West Asia, North America, Canada, and Europe.
Which ones of these ivy plants will you pick?
Devil’s ivy, Fig ivy, and German ivy are just three more ivy types you can find spread throughout the world’s biomes. Each of these ivy varieties has its own special traits that set them apart – or make them perfect for what you might want to grow.
A lot of sites say that ivy plants are hard to grow, impossible to transplant, and tedious to take care of: you’ll be glad to know that all of this is false! Ivy plants are easy to grow and maintain…
But only if you have chosen the best plant for your environment!
Let’s move to 11 different types of ivy plants.
Most Popular Different Types of Ivy Plants
1. Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
Boston ivy is a type of flowering plant that’s part of the grape family, which makes it one of the plants that is technically not part of the true ivy family.
It is also known as Grape or Japanese ivy, thanks to the creeping plant characteristics it shares with true ivy plants.
Boston ivy prefers to grow in full sun with partial shade. When grown under the best conditions for it, the Boston ivy becomes a vibrant, bright, and lush green trailing foliage.
Plants go dormant in winter but flourish in the spring and summer months.
Like most ivy plants, the Boston ivy prefers to anchor itself to its surroundings and can be trained alongside a wall or trellis.
See Related: Habitat vs Ecosystems vs Biome
2. Cape ivy Senecio angulatus and Senecio tamoides
The Cape ivy plant is native to Southern Africa and is another type of plant not considered a true ivy though often grown as a general ivy variety in many gardens across the world.
Technically, the Cape ivy is a type of vine plant.
The leaves of the Cape ivy are often described as tough and leather-like. This helps it to survive the extremes of its climate, which includes harsh winds and cold temperatures during some parts of the year.
Cape ivy can be grown anywhere conditions are favorable and close to its natural habitat.
Areas like California have plenty of Cape ivy, where it was first brought to the area in the 1800s.
It can, in some areas, be considered an invasive species like being known as California ivy.
See Related: Best Clothing Companies That Plant Trees
3. Kenilworth, Cymbalaria muralis
The Kenilworth ivy is a hugely popular type of plant that does not fall under the small blanket of 15 true ivy plants, but still can be found cultivated as a general ivy type all over the world.
The Kenilworth ivy plant is known by many names that include the Ivy-Leafed Toadflux, the Coliseum ivy and the Oxford Ivy.
It’s also called the Mother of Thousands, Ivywort and Kentucky ivy – and that’s not even all the names for the very same plant.
The Kenilworth “ivy” shares enough traits with the regular family of ivy plants. They can grow happily according to the same rules. Don’t overwater, don’t underwater, watch for pests, and guide your plant with something to grow against. The same rules count.
Originally, the Kenilworth ivy plant was transported to other parts of the world as accidental growth found on marble statues. Today, it can be found in parts everywhere in the world.
See Related: Do Deer Eat Petunias?
4. Devil’s ivy Epipremnum aureum
Devil’s ivy is a type of vine plant native to French Polynesia, though spread throughout the world and commonly grown as a non-true ivy variety.
It can thrive under harsh conditions, and it’s one of the easiest plants for gardeners to grow – some resources call this the plant that “thrives” on being ignored.
The devil’s ivy plant is also called the golden pothos, the pothos and the ivy arum plant.
The devil’s ivy plant is often also called a type of plant that’s “impossible” to kill. Even in experiments where gardeners have tried to produce an unhappy devil’s ivy, it doesn’t work! They thrive.
The devil’s ivy needs almost no sunlight or water and can remain greener than grass even when it’s grown in utter darkness.
See Related: Fascinating Facts About Conservation
5. Fig ivy (or creeping fig or climbing fig) Ficus pumila
Another popular plant that is mistaken for ivy is the Fig ivy, which is actually a kind of general vine plant that isn’t part of the close-knit ivy family. It’s also known as the creeping fig plant or lurking ficus and it’s usually cultivated as an indoor ivy plant.
The leaves of fig ivy plants are sometimes referred to as leathery and tough. This is due to the conditions that these plants prefer to grow in.
Creeping fig plants are not hard to grow, and stick to most of the traits you would expect from any other vine or ivy plant. Guide them, make sure they have enough water, and keep a close watch on the nutrient level.
See Related: Different Types of Habitats Around the World
6. Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
Ground ivy is a common type of flowering plant can grow under very harsh conditions, and prefers to stay close to the ground to protect itself against evironmental danger – hence the name.
This type of “ivy” is not a true ivy at all, but a type of flower – and for humans, considered edible and sometimes used as a medicinal plant.
Sometimes it’s also called by other names, like gill-over-the-ground, creeping-charlie, alehoof and catsfoot.
Ground ivy plants grow happily in the same conditions you can expect a true ivy plant to flourish. The ground ivy plant, however, can handle much more extreme winds and temperatures. That’s why it stays close to the ground when it grows – traditionally, it is not used as a climber, but ground creeper .
Ground ivy doesn’t have the same toxicity level for animals, and most small mammals should be kept away from ground ivy.
See Related: Ways to Help the Environment in Everyday Life
7. Ivy of Uruguay Cissus striata
The Ivy of Uruguay is native to South America but can be found as a popular type of crawling ivy houseplants that’s found throughout the world.
This type of non-true ivy plant likes to grow in hanging baskets, alongside structures, or directly in pots – anywhere it has something to anchor to or grow against, preferably with some elevation.
Sometimes it is also called the Miniature Grape Ivy.
It is known as a fast-growing plant that can handle harsh conditions but does not necessarily prefer them. Leaves are hard and leathery, made to protect them from the elements it would find in their natural habitat.
The miniature grape ivy plant is one of the easiest plants to grow as a first indoor ivy houseplant. With just enough sun and shade, it will absolutely thrive.
See Related: Do Deer Eat Hydrageas?
8. Ivy tree Schefflera heptaphylla
The Schefflera heptaphylla is perhaps better known as the ivy tree, though is not a type of creeping or crawling plant at all – instead, it is a type of tree that is considered a type of climbing plant. Native to Asia, the tree is also sometimes called Fukanoki.
Many of these plants can be found in the large park such as the Hong Kong Wetland Park, but ivy trees also flourish almost anywhere the world under the right conditions.
This type of plant requires more full sun when it’s grown indoors than the average traditional ivy. The ivy tree does not like harsh conditions, and when grown outdoors it should be protected against wind and weather as much as possible.
It is a type of evergreen with a climbing vine and can provide you with a great sight to look at throughout the whole year.
See Related: Energy Conservation Techniques
9. Parlour ivy Senecio mikanioides
The Parlor ivy is a type of plant, technically a vine, and not part of the 15 true ivy types you’ll find in the ivy family. It is an evergreen plant, best cultivated as a type of indoor plant that prefers to hang or anchor – though it can also be grown just as happily on the outside.
The parlor ivy prefers to have access to partial sun, though will not prefer either r too much or too little. An indoor parlor ivy should be moved to its most ideal spot – and you will notice quickly if the plant is not happy with its current conditions.
When indoors, the parlor ivy can stay green and vibrant throughout the year with just a few minutes of care per day., It’s one of the best ivy varieties that you can choose to grow indoors.
It’s also sometimes called the Sweetheart plant or the Heart-leaf philodendron plant.
See Related: Fascinating Facts About Wetlands
10. Poison ivy Toxicodendron radicans
Poison ivy is a type of heavily poisonous plant you can find spread throughout any area where growth for vine-like plants is considered ideal.
While native to Asia and Northern America, the poison ivy plant is extremely common in gardens and forests.
You’ll find poison ivy in most places where common ivy grows, though it’s you must never mistake them for the other.
Poison ivy causes an immediate rash when touched, and can trigger an even severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction. A low-growing ivy, it’s a common plant for people to accidentally step on or brush against.
Remove poison ivy anywhere it has been identified. Handle any cuttings with extreme care, and contact a trusted third-party removal company familiar with poison ivy.
Always, that’s always, make sure you can identify the type of ivy plant you are looking at.
Western poison ivy, or toxicodendron rydbergii, is another type of poisonous ivy plant to learn how to identify (and avoid).
See Related: Best States for Sustainable Living
11. Purple ivy Rhododendron catawbiense
The Purple Ivy is one of the most gorgeous and unusual types of ivy-like flowering plants you can grow, known for its purple-shaded leaves that cluster together and can be guided just like any other regular ivy plant.
Purple ivy plants are also called the red flame ivy or purple waffle plant and flourish in most parts of the world without a lot of effort to grow it.
The purple ivy is best known as a type of hanging plant and is preferred by many household gardeners who allow it to grow in a hanging pot or basket.
Allow the purple ivy access to enough sun, but also mix this with an area where it will get access to ample amounts of shade.
While some believe that the purple ivy is one of the most difficult plants to get going, it can be easy to keep satisfied – and even grows happily from seeds.
12. Russian Ivy, Hedera pastuchovii
Russian ivy is a type of ivy plant that has green leaves and grows in two opposing groups on bright red petioles. Its leaves are frequently set, sometimes in arching stems, an unusual habit for ivy. Russian ivy ends up in tiny blackberries in the middle.
Even though are a lot of plants with leaf sizes within the golden ratio of proportions and a similar hue (Kelly green), Russian ivy is a very popular cultivar with short rounded and dark green leaves to slightly contrasting.
13. Algerian Ivy
Algerian ivy is a type of ivy that is one of the most well-known climbing ivy plants. It has large lobed leaves and is invasive. It is dark green with a wide variety of leaves. Algerian ivy can reach walls very rapidly, and its vines can exceed 30 meters in height.
Algerian ivy grows in a sunny environment and needs moisture to avoid slowed growth.
Algerian ivy is found in North Africa and is the most well-known North African ivy.
Ivy Plant FAQ
The ivy plant is a popular sight in garden features, and can even grow in pots (or be made to grow along a trellis, wall or other construction). There are a lot of resources that will tell you how difficult ivy is to grow – but the facts say ivy is one of the easiest and best plants, even for new gardeners.
Here’s what you should know about the ivy plant and how it grows.
What is an ivy plant?
Ivy plants are evergreen, crawling or creeping shrubs.
They can be identified by their shape, growing much like a plant-like snake – and often clinging to its environment with “feet” located alongside its woody spine.
Some plants of ivy are poisonous to humans and animals, though many others are not. This is why it’s very important to know the type of ivy you will plant before you plan anything.
How many types of ivy plants exist?
There are approximately 15 official ivy plant types, though there are many other plants that are ivy-like and share some of the characteristics (and commonly, also the appearance) of ivy plants.
Ivy-like plants are not part of the ivy family, but their shared traits mean that many of these species can be grown in the same conditions as true ivy plants.
What conditions do ivy plants prefer to grow in?
Ivy is a versatile plant, and can grow just as happily in many different climates. The average ivy plant prefers a mixture of sunlight and water, although won’t like to get too much of either. A balance between shade-and-light is one of the most important things to grow a happy, flourishing ivy plant.
An ivy likes to get a fair amount of shade, and is best grown with a guide or anchor – especially if you want your ivy plant to grow upwards.
Is ivy difficult to grow?
Ivy plants are not as hard to grow as some gardeners would let you believe. An ivy doesn’t need effort, but just the right conditions and ideally, a guide.
Can you move an ivy plant?
It’s a very common gardener’s rumor that ivy plants are impossible to move, and will inevitably die with attempts to transplant them. The good news is that this is false, but the slightly bad news is that it can be difficult when done in a rush.
Ivy plants are easy to move from one place to the next, but require patience and care as to not harm the delicate feet of the plant. Conditions to the transplanted area have to be right: the plant should not find it a sudden shock to find itself in new soil.
What do ivy plants need?
Ivy plants need the same things as any other flower or shrub a gardener might want to plant. Access to enough water and sunlight is important, but always remember that it’s possible to over-water an ivy plant – and this, in most cases, is how new gardeners kill theirs.
Most ivy plants enjoy sun, but also require at least partial shade in order to be fully happy plants.
This is a location thing for any gardener. Choose the ideal spot in your garden based on where your ivy plant can enjoy the perfect balance of these factors.
Why are my ivy plant’s leaves turning brown or yellow?
There are several reasons why an ivy plant’s leaves could turn brown or yellow.
A lack of nutrients is the first reason: an imbalance in nutrients within the soil is another. Sometimes, there is a lack of one component (e.g. nitrates) combined with overwatering.
Test your conditions if you would like to know exactly why your ivy plant is unhappy. Adjust conditions, slowly, and see what can make a difference.
Can ivy plants grow from seeds?
Even though it is not one of the first choices for most gardeners, ivy plants grow quite happily from seeds – and they have the ability to germinate fast, too. Once the ivy has achieved enough growth to anchor, it can be planted just where you like.
Can ivy plants grow indoors?
Ivy plants are adaptable, and one of the things that this means for the plant is that it can be made to grow happily indoors too.
As long as your ivy isn’t being over (or under) watered and gets access to enough sunlight to spark its continual growth, they are the perfect choice for indoor plant features.
Can ivy plants carry pests?
Ivy plants are not immune to pests and plant diseases. Though ivy plants are not difficult to grow and keep happy throughout their life cycle. they can be struck down by pests and diseases if you don’t keep a careful watch.
Mites are one of the biggest problems for ivy growth, usually visible on the leaves by the time they have become a problem for it. Plants can be treated against mites easily, though not if you’ve missed the problem for too long.
Watch especially indoor ivy plants for pests: if your ivy population has pests, this might track through to your other plants.
How do you treat ivy plants against pests?
Spider mites are one of the most common pests you might see flocking to your ivy plants. If they do, the good news is that mite problems are not difficult to get under control. A simple daily spray with cold water can make sure that spider mites are far less likely to make a nest in your plants.
Don’t use chemical pesticides. Instead, natural mixtures can do exactly the same job.
How many different types of ivy plants are there?
There are officially about 15 types of different ivy plants: these are true ivy plants, and all part of the ivy family.
Other plants might also be called ivy plants, but aren’t part of the ivy family. They share enough characteristics with the ivy plant to be perfect for the same conditions (and often, with the same results).
While there are only 15 true ivy species, many others are still referred to by the ivy name.
Is ivy poisonous to people or pets?
Three species of the ivy plant are officially considered to be poisonous to humans and animals. Any physical contact with these ivy varieties can be fatal – and if not fatal, can still be extremely painful. Avoid types of ivy that you cannot identify, and make sure you can tell exactly which types of ivy you are growing in your own garden.
Let’s move to 11 different types of ivy plants.