Ivy is an incredibly hardy climbing plant that takes to pretty much any growing conditions. As such, it’s a great addition to a balcony because it adds interest and can be used as a privacy shield.
Even though it’s easy to care for, it’s worth going over some tips on how to grow ivy on a balcony. Read on to find out more.
The type of ivy you’ll most likely find in stores is English ivy (Hedera helix). It grows in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8, but you could most likely keep it in warmer or cooler conditions too.
If left alone, there’s no real limit to how big an ivy plant will grow. But keeping it in a pot will limit its growth, allowing you better control over shape and coverage.
Be aware that English ivy is considered an invasive species in some areas for this exact reason. However, keeping it in a pot on a balcony should be fine, but make sure you check this first.
Important Things to Know
Sunlight: Full sun to full shade
Grow in pots: Yes – as big as you want
Grow indoors: Yes – ivy looks great hanging near a window
Soil type: Well-draining
When to plant: Winter or spring
Growing English Ivy
To grow ivy on your balcony, you’ll need:
- Pots (hanging or normal). Make sure the pot is at least 2” bigger than the pot you buy the plant in
- Standard potting soil
- Watering can
Buy ivy as an established plant. It can be grown from seed, but all plants you buy in a store will be propagations.
- Mix together the soil and perlite at a ratio of 5:1. Fill your pot with about an inch of the mixture.
- Remove the ivy from its pot, shaking the soil from the roots. Carefully tease out the roots before potting up.
- Rest on the soil and hold the foliage out of the way while you fill the pot up. Pat down on the soil every so often.
- Leave for a few days and then water thoroughly.
Maintenance and Care
Ivy needs regular watering for the first year or so (up to once a week), but you can reduce watering once the plant is established. It doesn’t like to sit in wet soil, so let it dry out between waterings.
You can leave ivy to hang or train it up something. Ideally, let it grow up a wooden trellis, as the vines have tiny roots that can damage buildings if left unchecked. You won’t need to tie or support ivy vines; they’re pretty hardy.
Fertilize your ivy twice a year in spring and midsummer. Prune vines twice a year to keep the shape. You can drastically cut the plant back every few years to encourage new growth too.
Final Thoughts on Ivy
Ivy is easy-going but requires attention if you want a full and happy plant. While it’ll do its own thing, this isn’t always good. Ivy can be a good balcony plant for newbies for this reason – it’s quite forgiving!