Ivy (Hedera helix)
When we talk about the genus "hedera", we must emphasize how numerous the species that belong to it are particularly numerous, including climbing plants, evergreen plants and other shrubs, which come mainly from those typically temperate areas found in the northern hemisphere.
The helix ivy is a particularly widespread species in the European continent, but also in various areas that fall within the northernmost part of the Asian continent.
It is a climber that has extremely thin stems, with the particular characteristic of being very flexible and semi-woody, acquiring woody character only with the passing of the years.
The small roots that are produced by the stem act as an "anchor" to support the plant when it develops both on a tree and on a wall.
The leaves of the Ivy have a particularly extended petiole and, in relation to the variety that is being considered, they can boast colors ranging from various shades of green.
During the period between September and October, the ivy plant blooms and produces flowers with a typically spherical shape and a green color.
Subsequently, fruits are also produced, that is dark berries of rather small size.
In the event that they are ingested, both the leaves and the fruits of the ivy can be remarkably toxic, even if they are widely used in herbal medicine.
Hedera helix has a typical creeping habit and is part of the large Arialiacee family.
These climbing plants have a good predisposition to face harsh winters and are also able to withstand particularly low minimum temperatures.
On the other hand, however, ivy is a plant that cannot stand the heat and certainly should not be planted in an area bathed in direct sunlight.
Precisely for this reason, it is advisable to cultivate this plant in areas characterized by partial shade or total shade, to ensure that the ivy is adequately sheltered during the hottest hours of the day.
Different varieties, which are characterized by having a particularly slow development or in any case leaves with reduced dimensions, can also be used as house plants.
It is important to try to irrigate this climber always with good consistency and frequently: the advice is to try to keep the substrate moist enough, without it becoming a soup of water.
Ivies are climbing plants that have, in any case, the great peculiarity of being able to withstand even long periods of drought.
In most cases, ivy can be grown optimally in any type of soil, even if they do not tolerate water stagnation: this explains why they must be planted within an optimally drained substratum, which can avert the danger deriving from the formation of water stagnation.
This operation can occur both by seed (and, in this case, it must be carried out during the spring season), but also by cutting.
To ensure that the roots take root more quickly, it is advisable to also take advantage of the parts of the stem, inserting all those branches that have already developed with their respective aerial parts inside a container.
This climbing plant has the particular characteristic of denoting a particularly vigorous development and, for this reason, it is necessary to cultivate them in a fairly large place.
In the event that we do not have such abundant space available, or if we do not intend that the pita begins to be a weed, the advice is to provide, with frequent pruning, to the cutting of the stems that have a greater length.
This is an operation, the latter, which certainly makes the growth of a well-branched creeper better.
Ivy (Hedera helix): pests and diseases
We are talking about plants which, generally, are characterized by having a high level of resistance against any type of danger represented by parasites.
In reality, however, even these climbing plants have weaknesses: we are referring above all to the attacks brought by mites and cochineal.
In particular, all those ivies that are grown inside closed spaces (such as in apartments) are more subject to the attack of these parasites.
As we have already said previously, it is necessary to pay a high level of attention also with regard to watering: in the event that, in fact, you proceed with excessive irrigation, there is a real danger that dangerous water stagnation.
Water stagnation, in turn, is the main cause that promotes the spread of root rot, which can seriously endanger the health of the ivy plant.