Monday, September 24, 2012

the garden: propagating ivy

In early spring, Tony tore out some dying bushes in our front yard, and I got some big ideas for how I wanted to re-landscape it. My plan included ripping out large swaths of ivy and planting a flowing carpet of sweet alyssum flowers. It was going to be gorgeous. But the alyssum was a bust. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was my forgetfulness in watering. But, the bottom line is, the alyssum didn't make it, and I was left with a large swath of dirt in my front yard. 

The ivy grows with great speed in unwanted directions, like up the tree and into the sidewalk. So I figured, hey, just give the ivy a month or two, and it'll grow and cover that large swath of dirt. No dice. It's late September, and I've still got that unsightly spot in my front yard.

So I decided to try propagating my own ivy. We all know how miserably I failed at a similar experiment with celery. So I'm hedging my bet and approaching this experiment in two ways: half of the ivy stems went right in the ground Sunday. The other half are sitting in vases, and I'm hoping they sprout roots before I transplant them.

Sunday afternoon, I got the clippers out and cut off a couple dozen stems, mostly new growth. 

Then I cut off most of the leaves. The idea is that those stubs where the leaves were will sprout roots to support a whole new plant.

For the stems that I planted right in the ground, Tony dug little trenches and set the ivy inside. 

Then I covered them up, except for a few leaves at the top. 

Now, I hope that does the trick, but if it doesn't, I'm working on the backup plan. The other half of the stems are sitting in water by a sunny window. The stems should sprout roots in the water, and once they have roots, they may have a better shot of surviving once they're transplanted into the ground.

I'll keep you updated on this experiment!

1 comment:

  1. So how did it turn out? I've been dying to propagate some ivy to grow up the house and fence line.