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How to Propagate and Transplant English Ivy Vines

Hedera helix

This plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringA photograph of Hedera helix is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper March 22, 1998 Steve Klett wrote:

Please tell me what I need to know about transplanting Ivy. The patch that I want to transplant from is a thick tangle. Do I need to get a root ball or will the plant survive if planted bare root?

Ivy climbing a wall

English Ivy, Hedera helix, is generally very durable, and can take a lot of abuse.
It would be better for the plant to include as much of a root ball as possible, but ivy is easy to divide, layer, or propagate from softwood cuttings. If you are able to include even a few roots with each segment, the new plant will rapidly get over the shock and produce new growth.

Dividing Perennial Plants

As with most perennials, you can divide the ivy clump by cutting through the mass using a sharp knife or your shovel or just pull the root ball apart with your hands. Remove any dead or sickly portions and then simply replant.

Softwood Cuttings

If time is not a consideration you can take softwood cuttings about 6 to 8 inches in length, remove the lower 2-3 leaves and insert the cutting into some damp sand or vermiculite. Keep it in a warm spot, and the roots should develop fairly rapidly (anywhere from 10-20 days) giving you a new small plant.

Tip Layering

If you intend to keep the plant in the same general area, you might want to layer the stems by just pinning the stem to the soil. The new roots will develop soon, and you can clip the stem between the old and new plant, after which you can remove the parent plant.

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