Hedera helix | Also known as: Common English ivy | Rating: 3 votes | Print / Pdf

Ivy will grow well up the side of your house, into your window, to strangle you in your sleep. Beware of ivy.

Hedera helix is a common type of ivy, native to Europe and Western Asia. It's an evergreen climbing plant that can grow up to 30ft high. It has lobed leaves and small insignificant looking flowers that are greenish yellow in colour. These flowers aren't particularly attractive to us, but they're rich in nectar so bees and insects love them. It grows small berry fruit that birds like to eat. It produces aerial rootlets that cling to walls or trees, or just about anything, to enable it to climb. It's very fast growing and can become a problem if it isn't kept well trimmed. The leaves and berries have been used in traditional medicine as a cold cure.

Rate it:
Known dangers?
  • no
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating this plant, or you may have severe stomach upset. Its sap may irritate your skin.
Height [m]
  • 15
Spread [m]
  • 5
Dominant flower colour
  • Inconspicuous or absent
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Early autumn
  • Mid autumn
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Foliage in Autumn
  • Green
Foliage in winter
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • semi-ripe cuttings
Growth habit
  • Climbing
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z5-11
Heat zone
  • H12-6
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -29 - 4
Heat days
  • 45 - 210
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Full shade
  • Exposed
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Climbers
Grown for
  • Ornamental Foliage
Creative category
  • For Beginners
  • We love the dark
  • Bonsai
  • For every season
Garden type
  • Bonsai
  • Cottage garden
  • Coastal
  • City
  • Topiary
Garden spaces
  • Banks and slopes
  • Walls, trellises and pergolas
  • Shade
  • Camouflage
  • Ground cover
  • Borders
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 10 years
18 Related plants

Ivy 'Baltica'

PLANTS Hedera helix 'Baltica'

Hedera helix 'Baltica' is commonly known as Baltic Ivy. An easy to grow evergreen climbing plant, this variety has variegated green leaves that turn a bronze red colour in the winter. It can be used for ground cover or trained to climb up a wall or a trellis. It will grow in sun or shade, and will tolerate some drought, however you'll get the best coloured leaves in a damp soil. It's fast growing and can be invasive so you'll need to keep it in check. It's not particularly prone to pests or disease, however if you're growing it up the wall of your house or outbuilding keep an eye on it as it can cause damage to your guttering and creep in where it's not wanted!