KC Gardens

Why isn’t English ivy coming back?

I planted a number of English ivy’s in some shady parts of my gardens last year because some English ivy from the neighbor’s yard has invaded an empty corner and is doing very well. Mine grew last year but a lot of it looks like it’s not coming back. Is there a trick to it? - Cindy

It is difficult to answer your question without more information, especially about when you planted the ivy, and what was done thereafter (water, mulch.). English ivy generally follows the rule of thumb that "the first year it sleeps, then creeps the second year, then leaps". You might see some die back on the tendrils if they did not harden off before our early hard freeze last year. It sounds as if some is still alive, so cut off any dead tendrils, and apply a light application of fine mulch in the bare areas, which will help keep the area evenly moist. No need to fertilizer. My best advice is to be patient.

- Carole-Johnson County Extension Master Gardener