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The untamed ivy that is growing in our back garden and up into the trees is developing seed heads (I think that's what they are?). I've seen this happen other years so not surprised. I am wondering if the seed heads are what is causing the ivy to grow so uncontrollably? Is it a case of digging out roots or trimming the ivy down to a manageable size? Ta guys.



They're flowers first, Whistonlass, and seedheads later, and no, its not the seedheads causing it to grow, the flowers and seedheads are there because you haven't cut it back, lol! Get out there and cut it back to wherever you want it to be. And then do it a couple of times a year.

29 Sep, 2010


Okey dokey....I'll call in the cherry picker!'s way up high. A feel another challenge coming on... first, seedheads it! Ta, Bamboo.

29 Sep, 2010


If you want to get rid of it altogether
buy roundup neat the one you are supposed to water down. Paint it on as many of the the leaves you can neat. Be very very carefull gloves and a mask. my husband used a pure bristle brush and it melted the bristles to nothing! We have an abandoned garden that no one will claim or do anything with over our wall so we painted the Ivy to stop it invading our garden. I wouldn't have been able to grow veg this year if we had not done this last year. It has worked but i noticed this year it's creeping back but thats because we obviously can't go over the wall and paint it all! Hope this helps.

29 Sep, 2010


The leaf shape of the plant we think of as ivy is actually the immature form of the shrub. Once it gets big enough ivy (hedera helix) completely changes its leaf shape and becomes more like a shrub than a climber. The little black berries on the mature form are loved by birds because they stay on so long into the winter

so something that looks like this and has this leaf shape

will, once it is mature enough, turn into this with a completely different leaf shape.

If you take cuttings of the mature form it will retain the mature leaf shape.

29 Sep, 2010


and the flowers at this time of year and into winter are an invaluable source of nectar for insects too.

29 Sep, 2010're giving me reasons to leave the ivy alone....I'm going too slow with getting this patch of land under control as it I have noticed in previous years there were a lot of bees/wasps around the flowerheads but not this year it would seem.

I'll see if I can get out in the garden tomorrow and take a close-up of the ivy. There is one photo on my blog that shows the ivy but it's not a close-up...and it was taken before the flowerheads developed.

There seems to be a couple of different varieties of ivy...we're now seeing large, curly leaves appearing as well as the more common sized ivy and flowerheads.

Thanks AM for your advice...I haven't seen berries on the ivy previously but will look out for them later on in the season. The brushwood killer we have put down is killing off nettles and general weeds but seems to have no effect on brambles, ivy or elderberry. Hmmmm It's gonna be a big dig me thinks!

29 Sep, 2010


I posted a photo of the developing flowers recently. see if it matches. I keep one patch lightly trimmed but am ruthless with all the other wild ivy.

29 Sep, 2010


Sea....I've just looked at your photo. It looks similar to our ivy but I think the flowerheads are more "airy" looking. I'll try and get a photo sorted out and maybe you will be better able to tell me.

It is my plan to trim it back severely, as you've done and have it trained over some old fencing which we are not replacing. There are very thick branches (roots above ground or almost small tree thick) so I'm sure I won't kill it off by taking a real whack at it.

Do you get the berries on your ivy, Sea?

29 Sep, 2010


If you want to get rid of the ivy that's growing into the trees you'll need to cut the stems where they start climbing the tree trunks. Just cut a section at least an inch wide out of any stems that go upwards and the growth in the tree will die off over time. Some varieties of ivy have aerial roots growing out of the stems that can absorb rain, so it takes longer to die, but it will eventually succumb.

I wonder if the flower heads look "airy" as they're probably not very developed yet. I associate ivy flowers with November - they're really important "feeding stations" for bees and other beneficial insects. And the berries are useful to birds too.

29 Sep, 2010


And if you want to read even more - when the flowers open, they're perfect green stars, and so laden with nectar they taste sweet (not poisonous, don't worry, just eating the plant and berries will give you tummy ache). Try it, join the late flying insects, and add a new dimension to your life. Phil J

29 Sep, 2010


Oh yes we get lots of black berries , the birds love them. They do form a very thick stem too.

29 Sep, 2010


can i make another suggestion,pull off long lenghts of ivy near christmas time and make your own garland for the door,you only need to wind the ivy round and around and weave it in on itself.strip the leaves off first,you can make it as big as you want.i went to flower class last year and they showed us how to do it,hang bows and baubles,cones and anything else you want,its uses guite alot so two jobs done in one go.hope that makes sense.

29 Sep, 2010


Plantmaiden...the Christmas wreath sounds a great idea and I pretty much understand from your explanation how to go about it. Thanks for the suggestion.

Beattie, the stems I mention are actually those climbing up the fencing and then the ivy weaves its way up through the hawthorn tree. I did think the ivy was choking out the hawthorn but everything I've read online says it does not bother a tree to have ivy amongst its branches....but the suggestion is made that it's ok to trim the ivy back to keep it under control as AM mentioned earlier.

Thanks very much for all your replies and suggestions. :)

29 Sep, 2010

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