Growing English Ivy As A Groundcover Plant

Note that this ivy can escape from warm area gardens and become quite invasive.

But having said that, English ivy or Hedera helix has been used as a ground cover quite successfully throughout gardening history.


Generally hardy into USDA zone 5, this plant will survive under snow cover in USDA zone 4.
It will generally winterkill if it sticks its head up in colder climates.

Caution: In warmer climates (zone 7) it can become an invasive pest.


  • By rooted cuttings.
  • It will also propagate itself by layering, throwing roots wherever the stems hit bare, damp soil.

How Far Apart To Plant For Groundcover Use

  • Plant rooted cuttings 12-18 inches apart to establish a ground cover.
  • It will take the first year or two to establish itself and then quickly cover the area.


As long as this plant isn’t in standing water or heavy blue clay, it seems to grow. Naturally, the better the soil, the better/faster it will grow.

Landscape Value

In milder areas, it is a semi-evergreen plant, holding onto its leaves and giving a good dark green look to the ground cover area.

It will also compete quite successfully with many of the weeds that often invade ground cover planting.

It will not stand serious foot traffic although walking across it once or twice will not kill it.


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