Ivy can look fantastic climbing up the side of a house but it is also very easy to let it grow wildly out of control.
While climbing plants such as ivy are a popular choice to bring character and interest to house and garden walls they do need to be carefully managed.
This may be more difficult than it at first sounds. Growing at an impressive pace, ivy will need regular attention to keep it looking at its best – and to stop it becoming a problem.
Why can ivy be a problem?
Left untended ivy will not only grow out of control, it could also damage the exterior or your home.
Laying down its roots across walls – and anything in its way – ivy has been known to dislodge drain pipes, block and loosen drains, force its way into the home through windows and even damage brickwork.
The secret to avoiding this sort of climbing chaos is by regular maintenance.
The place to start is by trimming new shoots that arrive at the start of spring to stop the ivy growing beyond the area it was intended to cover.
However, with the growth of ivy being so prolific it may be necessary to repeat this again later in the summer. Keep an eye on growth throughout the year to see if extra pruning will be needed.
When cutting back ivy it can be cut right back to the wall, growth is quick and this will help to tackle areas where the ivy has become particularly dense or it has started to flower.
It is important to watch the growth of ivy on old walls as it can work its ways into cracks, allowing water to get in, which will ultimately damage the stability of the wall.
Ivy can be a great asset to a garden though, and provides an ideal home for insects as well as a nesting place for birds.
While maintaining ivy that has grown to the height of your roof may not be easy this is essential to protect drainage and pipe work.
If you find controlling ivy growing on your home difficult seek the help of a professional gardener rather than leave it too late.
For help on all aspects of garden maintenance contact the Garden Busters team and take action quickly.