Gardening

22 Most Common Types of Ivy Plants Found In Nature

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Ivies, belonging to the Hedera genus in the Ginseng family, are beautiful plants known for their variegated leaves and aerial roots. The English Ivy is the most common type of ivy, often seen on brick walls, with wide stems and lobed leaves.

As these plants climb, they start growing horizontally or hanging down. English Ivies are popular among home gardeners because they're easy to grow and maintain. Some types of ivy even do well in low light. In this article, we'll explore 22 different types of Ivy plants that you can easily find in nature.

1. Azores Ivy (Hedera azorica)

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Azores ivy is a climbing ivy with medium to lime green leaves shaped like rugged hearts. Like all Hedera genus plants, it grows small yellow flowers and toxic berries. Even though these berries aren't the same as poison ivy, they're still harmful if eaten.

While Azores ivy might be attractive in its native Portugal, it's best avoided in other places. It can be hard to find, but its invasive nature makes it unwanted. If you have pets, be cautious, as the plant can be poisonous to them if ingested.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 9-11
  • Size: Can grow up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens in mild climates

2. Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea)

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Some ivy plants, like creeping Charlie or ground ivy, can be a hassle outdoors, taking over lawns through seeds or stems. But if you grow it indoors in hanging baskets, you might see it differently.

It has lovely round, heart-shaped green leaves with wavy edges and pretty purple flowers. When it's not causing trouble in a neat lawn, it's a beautiful plant. It likes shaded areas with plenty of moisture, making it easy to grow indoors or around trees and shrubs outside.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
  • Size: 2-8 inches tall
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Indoor, Outdoor ground cover, can be invasive

3. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

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English ivy is the biggest group of ivies we have and it comes from Europe. These indoor plants are suitable for every room and are also popularly used in outdoor spaces, so now there are lots of different types, including three subspecies.

The leaves of English ivy have the usual five parts, and it stays green all year. This plant is a classic and popular choice for gardens because it climbs and covers things. So, if you want a timeless and easy-to-grow plant, English ivy is a great option for your garden.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
  • Size: Varies; can be ground cover or climbing up structures
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Both outdoor and indoor

4. Nepalese Ivy (Hedera nepalensis)

Source : inaturalist

Nepalese ivy, also known as Himalayan ivy, is an Asian plant appreciated for its beautiful leaves. These leaves are dark and shiny, with pretty light green veins, making each leaf like a work of art.

The overall look is lighter than English ivy, giving a dappled effect when it covers the ground or surfaces. It's great for growing on rocks, allowing some of them to still show, making it perfect for climbing on statues and fountains. With its unique qualities, Nepalese ivy adds a touch of beauty to your surroundings.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 6-9
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

5. Japanese Ivy (Hedera rhombea)

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Japanese ivy is another example of the elegance that often comes from East Asia. This ivy grows naturally on tree trunks and rocky slopes in laurel forests. It has glossy leaves of different shapes and eye-catching purple-black berries at the ends of its branches.

While its leaves are not as packed together as some other types, this makes each leaf stand out more against things like brick walls or wooden fences. Varieties like 'Crème de Menthe' have green leaves with touches of cream, giving you a light and graceful choice for your garden.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7-10
  • Size: Up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

6. Glacier Ivy (Hedera helix 'Glacier')

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Glacier ivy is a special kind of variegated English ivy designed for indoor use. However, it can also be planted outside to cover the ground, creating a nice backdrop for colorful plants and flowers.

When growing this indoor ivy plants, use well-draining soil and let it completely dry between waterings. Be cautious with pets, as the leaves can be harmful if eaten by cats or dogs. With its pretty trailing leaves, Glacier ivy is perfect for hanging baskets and high shelves.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: 6-8 inches tall
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Indoor and outdoor gardens, containers

7. Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

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Most ivies stay green all year, but Boston ivy is special. It changes colors as the seasons go by, starting with deep green and then turning to yellow, orange, red, and finally deep maroon in the fall.

People love planting it in yards and public spaces, like college campuses, because it's so pretty. Boston ivy likes a lot of sunlight, and it's not picky about water, handling drought well. In winter, trim back any vines that are getting too wild, but be gentle to avoid harming the walls they might be climbing on.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-8
  • Size: Can reach up to 60 feet
  • Sunlight: Full sun to part shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor walls and structures

8. Needlepoint Ivy (Hedera helix 'Needlepoint')

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This special kind of English ivy gets its name from its leaves. This ivy plant leaf has three to five lobes that are designed to taper into long, thin points. This unique leaf shape gives the plant a nice open and angular texture, making it stand out among other plants.

It's great for hanging baskets or as a trailing plant. This tough and not-too-picky plant can handle dry conditions and can be grown outdoors to cover the ground or climb up walls, fences, or trellises.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: 6-8 inches tall
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, containers

9. Algerian Ivy (Hedera canariensis)

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Algerian ivy is a stunning plant with large, heart-shaped roughly triangular dark green leaves edged in cream. These leaves hang on purple branches, giving it a classy and eye-catching appearance.

The Sacramento shade it brings makes it suitable for grand settings, and it has even won an award for its garden merits. Just protect it from cold winds, and it will resist drought while adding a dramatic yet elegant touch to your arbors and pergolas.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7-11
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

10. Moroccan Ivy (Hedera maroccana)

Source : davenportgarden

Originally from Morocco, North Africa, this ivy likes areas with a moderate climate. It stands out with reddish stems and shiny leaves that are hard to miss. Each leaf has 3-5 distinct points, giving it a sharp appearance compared to its more subtle relatives.

 If you keep the soil moist and give it moderate sunlight, this ivy will thrive, producing green flowers and berries, just like the other Hedera ivies we've discussed.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7-8
  • Size: Up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

11. German Ivy (Delairea odorata)

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German ivy is present in California along the coast and in the San Gabriel Mountains. It creates thick mats that can harm other plants it covers and develops woody vines.

This ivy can spread through seeds or by growing roots along its underground stems. Once it settles in, it's tough to get rid of, and it's not safe to eat. Allowing it to take over your yard is not recommended.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 9-11
  • Size: Varies; can be ground cover or climbing
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, ground cover, containers

12. Cyprus Ivy (Hedera cypria)

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Cyprus ivy is a bit tricky to find because it only grows naturally in Cyprus, an island near Syria. What makes this ivy special is its distinct color. The leaves have more greyish-white veins than green, making green seem like a highlight.

The leaves are also long and slim, ending in a unique point. If you manage to get this ivy for your collection, it will likely become one of your favorites because of its special features.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 8-11
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

13. Canary Island Ivy (Hedera canariensis)

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Also known as canary ivy, and Coney Island ivy, this plant originally comes from places with mild weather. It keeps its green leaves all year and looks great on the ground or climbing outdoors.

Just like other Hedera plants, Algerian ivy grows fast and can take over, so it's important to manage it. Be careful, though; it can cause strong irritation if you touch it. Wearing gloves is a good idea, and it's best to keep them away from kids and pets.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7-9
  • Size: Up to 40 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

14. Irish Ivy (Hedera hibernica)

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Irish Ivy is a type of ivy that comes from countries in Europe near the Atlantic. It has a simple and warm beauty. The leaves of Irish ivy are shiny emerald green, and their shape is soft, with artistic and smooth lines.

It's a bit like a modern art version of an ivy leaf, but overall, it looks classic and traditional. This plant is great if you want a lively green covering for walls or big fences. Whether your garden is modern or traditional, Irish Ivy is a perfect choice for a familiar and green touch.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: Can reach up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

15. Bettina Ivy (Hedera helix 'Bettina')

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Hedera helix Bettina is a special kind of English ivy made to be a houseplant. It's a small, upright version with green leaves that have a touch of cream or white around the edges. While it can be planted outside to cover the ground, Bettina ivy is perfect for small spaces like desks or counters indoors.

Trimming it regularly will keep it neat. Water the plant when the top part of the soil dries out, and make sure it gets bright but not direct sunlight.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: 6-8 inches tall
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Indoor and outdoor gardens, containers

16. Golden Curl (Hedera helix ‘Golden Curl’)

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Golden curl is one of the most energetic English ivy varieties. Its leaves are curly at the edges, coming in different shapes, from almost pentagonal to clearly defined lobes, but not too long.

What makes it special is the vibrant blonde, almost lemon-yellow color of its leaves, with rich dark green patches at the edges. Picture the lively effect it can bring to a wall; large, bright yellow, and wavy foliage. To make the most of its eye-catching color, consider placing it on a fence at the end of a long view.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: Varies, depending on the specific cultivar
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Indoor and Outdoor gardens, containers

17. Madeiran Ivy (Hedera maderensis)

Source : inaturalist

Madeiran ivy is found in the Madeira islands, close to Portugal. It's like neighbors with Iberian ivy, and it's no surprise they're similar. This ivy has broad green leaves with yellow veins, getting as wide as eight inches.

Unlike some other ivies, the leaves feel leathery, and the points on them aren't very noticeable, so they end up looking like hearts. This type of ivy grows naturally in a specific place, and its leaves have a unique texture and shape.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 9-11
  • Size: Up to 40 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

18. Stardust Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Stardust’)

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Stardust Ivy is a distinctive variety of English ivy. Its unique features make it stand out among ivy plants. The leaves of Stardust Ivy have a charming appearance, with a mix of green and cream-colored speckles, giving them a sparkling or stardust-like quality.

This decorative ivy can be grown both indoors and outdoors, adding a touch of elegance to gardens, hanging baskets, or containers. Like other ivy species, it requires proper care, including well-draining soil, moderate sunlight, and regular pruning.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-11
  • Size: Typically grows to a height of 6-8 inches, with a spreading habit.
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Both outdoors and indoors, containers, ground cover

19. Gloire de Marengo Ivy (Hedera algeriensis)

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Gloire de Marengo Ivy is a notable variety of ivy. Originating from Algeria, this ivy has distinctive features that make it appealing for ornamental use. The leaves of Gloire de Marengo Ivy are large and heart-shaped, with a striking blend of dark green and creamy white edges.

This variegated pattern adds an elegant touch to gardens, walls, or containers where it's planted. Similar to other ivies, it requires proper care, including well-drained soil, moderate sunlight, and periodic pruning.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 7-11
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

20. Iberian Ivy (Hedera iberica)

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This indoor ivy comes from the mild climates of Portugal, southern Spain, and northern Morocco. It's special among Hedera types because its leaves have three rounded points. The sides of this North African ivy look kind of round, while the middle point is sharper.

In the US, it's perfect for places with warm weather, but it doesn't like the cold. So, it's likely better as an indoor plant because many parts of the US get cold weather in winter.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 8-10
  • Size: Up to 12 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Both Indoor and Outdoor gardens, climbing

21. Russian Ivy (Hedera pastuchovii)

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Russian ivy brings a unique touch with its lanceolate green leaves that grow in pairs opposite each other on bright red stems. The leaves are neatly arranged, sometimes on curving branches, unlike typical ivy. 

The main Russian ivy species has leaves in a Golden Ratio shape, mostly one color (Kelly green). But a popular kind called Hedera pastuchovii ‘Ann Ala’ has long, hanging leaves with dark green to purple edges and bright green centers and veins. Remember, though, all parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9
  • Size: Up to 20 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial to full shade
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing

22. Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica)

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Persian ivy is often used to cover the ground because it can create a thick carpet in the right conditions. This ivy prefers partial or full shade and is suitable for zones 5-9, so it's good to plant it under trees.

However, be careful, as Hedera colchica can climb trees and crowd them out, so regular pruning is important. If you let it spread on the ground, you can trim it with a lawn mower to control its height. The leaves are dark green with white veins, but sometimes they can attract pests, making them a bit tricky to take care of.

  • Hardiness: USDA zones 5-9
  • Size: Up to 40 feet
  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full sun
  • Suitable for: Outdoor gardens, climbing