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Ivy as Groundcover

Q. I would like some advice on types of ivy to plant as ground cover.

A. Two popular types of ivy are Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) and Boxton ivy (P. tricuspidata). Both these woody vines are vigorous growers that attach their rootlets to vertical surfaces. They perform well in Chicago soils, are winter-hardy and color up a rich red in the fall. For a more traditional ground cover ivy, consider a cultivar of English ivy (Hedera helix). English ivy remains green all year as a ground cover but is susceptible to winter burn on an exposed wall and may die to the ground in a severe winter. Some of the hardiest recommended cultivars are 'Thorndale', 'Bulgaria' and 'Baltica'.