What is Ivy Ground Cover?

Ivy ground cover, also known as Hedera helix, is a type of evergreen vine that is commonly used to cover the ground in gardens and landscapes. It is a versatile plant that can be grown in various conditions and is known for its ability to quickly spread and provide a lush, green carpet-like covering. Ivy ground cover is popular for its aesthetic appeal and its ability to control erosion, suppress weeds, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Benefits of Ivy Ground Cover

There are several benefits to using ivy ground cover in your garden or landscape. Firstly, it is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care once established. It is drought-tolerant and can thrive in both sun and shade, making it a versatile choice for different areas of your garden. Ivy ground cover also has the ability to control erosion, as its dense growth helps to stabilize the soil and prevent it from washing away during heavy rainfall.

Additionally, ivy ground cover is an excellent choice for suppressing weeds. Its dense growth and ability to spread quickly helps to smother and outcompete weeds, reducing the need for herbicides or manual weeding. This can save both time and money in garden maintenance.

How to Grow Ivy Ground Cover

Growing ivy ground cover is relatively easy, but it does require some initial care and attention. Here are the steps to successfully grow ivy ground cover:

1. Site Selection

Choose a site that receives partial to full shade for optimal growth. Ivy ground cover can tolerate some sun, but too much direct sunlight can cause leaf burn. The soil should be well-draining and rich in organic matter.

2. Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil by removing any weeds or grass from the area. Loosen the soil with a garden fork or tiller and amend it with compost or well-rotted manure to improve drainage and fertility.

3. Planting

Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the ivy plant. Place the plant in the hole, making sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole with soil and gently firm it around the plant.

4. Watering

Water the newly planted ivy ground cover thoroughly to settle the soil and encourage root establishment. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged, during the first growing season. Once established, ivy ground cover is drought-tolerant and requires less frequent watering.

5. Maintenance

Regularly monitor the ivy ground cover for any signs of pests or diseases. Prune back any dead or damaged foliage to maintain a neat appearance. Fertilize the plant annually in early spring with a balanced slow-release fertilizer to promote healthy growth.

Common Varieties of Ivy Ground Cover

There are several common varieties of ivy ground cover that you can choose from, depending on your specific needs and preferences. Some popular varieties include:

1. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English ivy is the most common variety of ivy ground cover. It has dark green, glossy leaves and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. English ivy is known for its ability to quickly spread and cover large areas.

2. Algerian Ivy (Hedera canariensis)

Algerian ivy has larger leaves than English ivy and is known for its ability to tolerate hot and dry conditions. It is a fast-growing variety that can quickly cover walls, fences, and other structures.

3. Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Baltica’)

Baltic ivy is a cold-hardy variety that can withstand harsh winter conditions. It has smaller leaves than English ivy and is often used as a ground cover in northern regions.


Ivy ground cover is a versatile and low-maintenance plant that can add beauty and functionality to your garden or landscape. Its ability to control erosion, suppress weeds, and provide habitat for wildlife makes it a popular choice among gardeners. By following the steps outlined above, you can successfully grow ivy ground cover and enjoy its many benefits.