Gardening Articles

Ivies Growing And Training

"A dainty plant is the Ivy green, That creepeth o'er ruins old."--Boz. The Ivy is one of the oldest and most venerable of all climbing shrubs, and is preeminently the poet's vine. In some of the older countries, especially in England, where

the climate is particularly favorable to its growth, the Ivy is very attractive, and is said to reach the greatest perfection there. Travellers who have journeyed through that country, describe the old Ivy as clinging closely to, and completely covering the walls of ancient castles, and churches, and often it runs rampant over the fields, mounting stone walls, clinging to trees, etc. The Ivy in our climate is entirely hardy, enduring the severest winters without any protection. If the vine is allowed to grow over the walls of a dwelling, either on the inside, in a living-room, or on the outer walls of the building, is not only beautiful as an ornament of the home, but beneficial; in a sanitary point of view it is regarded as useful. Some plants of Ivy growing in the living and sleeping rooms, will do more to keep the atmosphere of the apartments pure and wholesome, than anything we can possibly imagine, and I recommend their more extensive cultivation in malarial localities. The Ivy may be easily cultivated from slips or layers. In soil, sand, or even in pure water, cuttings will root, and they will take up with almost any kind of soil, but that which can be easily kept loose, is preferable. The Ivy is partial to shade, and if it never saw the sun it would make no difference, as it would grow and flourish just the same. There is no sight more attractive in a window-garden than a fine Ivy vine trained up the casement, over the wall and ceiling; its dark, rich, glossy leaves, and thrifty look, make it an object to be admired. If grown in pots in the house, the soil will soon become exhausted, if the plant is growing rapidly, and it should be changed or enriched with decayed manure at least once each year, care being taken not to disturb the roots to a great extent. It is a mistake to allow Ivies too much pot-room, they will do better if the roots are considerably confined. Soap-suds or liquid manure if applied once a mouth when the plants are growing, will promote a luxuriant growth. When dust accumulates on the leaves, as it will, if grown in-doors, wash it off with a damp cloth or sponge; if this is long neglected, you need not be surprised if you soon discover the leaves to be covered with red-spider or scale-lice. Cold water is the best wash, when washing be sure and treat the underside of the leaves as well as the upper surface. I would recommend the "English Ivy" as being the best sort for general cultivation.

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