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Hedera colchica (Persian Ivy)

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Hedera colchica, Persian ivy

Hedera colchica, commonly known as Persian Ivy or Colchis Ivy, is a species of evergreen climbing plant. It is prized for its large, heart-shaped, glossy leaves and vigorous growing habit.

Hedera colchica: An In-depth Look

Native: This ivy is native to the Near East, including Iran, Turkey, and the Caucasus region.

Plant Type and Habit: Persian Ivy is a woody, evergreen vine. It is a climbing plant that can also spread across the ground if it has no vertical structures to cling to.

Size: It can reach up to 30-50 feet in height (9-15 meters) when climbing and spread out over 10-20 feet (3-6 meters) if allowed to grow unrestricted.

Flowers: Persian Ivy produces small, inconspicuous greenish-yellow flowers. After flowering, it produces small, blackish-blue berries that are not edible.

Bloom Time: The flowers typically bloom in late summer to early fall.

Foliage: Its evergreen leaves are its most distinguishing feature – large, leathery, glossy, and heart-shaped, ranging from dark green to variegated forms.

Uses: Persian Ivy is used as an ornamental plant, for covering walls, trellises, or as a ground cover. It’s also utilized for erosion control.

Hardiness: It is hardy in USDA zones 6-9.

Pollinators: The flowers provide nectar for bees and other insects, and the berries are a food source for birds. and other pollinating insects, benefiting the garden ecosystem.

Toxicity: Like other ivies, Persian is toxic if ingested and can cause skin irritation. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling

Deer and Rabbit: It is generally resistant to deer and rabbits.

Drought: Once established, Persian Ivy is fairly tolerant of drought.

Invasiveness: Persian Ivy can be invasive in certain conditions. It is known for its vigorous growth and ability to spread quickly, which can become problematic in some regions. It’s essential to manage and control its growth by regular pruning and monitoring its spread to prevent its invasive tendencies.

Benefits: Besides its ornamental value, it helps cool buildings when used as wall coverings and improves air quality.

Persian Ivy Growing Tips

Light: Adaptable to a range of light conditions, from full sun to deep shade. Thrives in partial shade, especially in hot climates.

Soil: Prefers well-drained, fertile, humus-rich soil. Tolerant of a variety of soil types, including clay, loam, and sandy soils.

Water: Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, especially during dry spells. Once established, it is relatively drought-tolerant.

Fertilizer: Feed with a balanced fertilizer in the spring to support growth. Avoid over-fertilizing to prevent excessive growth.

Pruning: Prune to control size and shape or to encourage denser growth. Best pruned in late winter or early spring.

Propagation: Easily propagated by semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.

Pests and Diseases: Watch for common pests like slugs, snails, or spider mites. Susceptible to leaf spot and root rot in overly wet conditions.

Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 12
Climate Zones 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Araliaceae
Genus Hedera
Common names Ivy, Persian Ivy
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' - 50'
(9.1m - 15.2m)
Spread 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Spacing 72" - 144"
(180cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Full Shade
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Hedera algeriensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’ (Algerian Ivy)
Hedera helix ‘Ivalace’ (English Ivy)
Hedera helix ‘Goldchild’ (English Ivy)
Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’ (English Ivy)
Hedera helix (English Ivy)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Native Plant Alternatives to Hedera helix (English Ivy)
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 1 - 12
Climate Zones 3B, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Climbers, Perennials
Plant Family Araliaceae
Genus Hedera
Common names Ivy, Persian Ivy
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 30' - 50'
(9.1m - 15.2m)
Spread 10' - 20'
(3m - 6.1m)
Spacing 72" - 144"
(180cm - 3.7m)
Maintenance Average
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained, Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Full Shade
Attracts Bees, Birds
Garden Uses Banks And Slopes, Beds And Borders, Ground Covers, Patio And Containers, Wall-Side Borders, Walls And Fences
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, City and Courtyard
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Hedera (Ivy)
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