Hedera for Halloween

Hedera-mainYou know it as ivy—a clinging vine of attractive evergreen foliage that’s often grown as a houseplant. Tough and vigorous, hedera helix is a smart choice for the autumn landscape as well—its dense growth is an effective weed-blocker and when planted on a slope it serves to control soil erosion. 

Since it’s short, ivy is commonly used as a shade groundcover in areas where it has room to spread. We all know it’s a climber as well, which leads to a number of creative design uses: covering an old fence, wrapping around a trellis, spilling out of a window box or hanging basket…ho hum.

Scratch that. Halloween is around the corner and that means it’s time for a helix remix.


Look around—spooky cobwebs drape many a storefront and porch this time of year. Why not replace them with climbing ivy? Fill a couple of big black urns with some, or let it cover a wrought iron railing. Use an ivy-wrapped trellis to erect a creepy archway that brave trick-or-treaters will have to pass under to collect their sweet reward. Sure, ivy is green but that won’t be an issue in the dark; however, just to be sure, add a string of purple holiday lights to heighten the suspense. 


Now…if only we had a Hershey bar for every ivy vine we’ve seen spilling out of a hanging basket. Put a Bohemian twist on the same concept by finding an old chandelier to hold some ivy plants. Pointy leaves will cascade down as that antique fixture dangles from a tree branch or porch ceiling, accompanied by a bone-chilling creak or groan. 


A string of lights would work here as well—and if you can’t find an old chandelier, try a Hula-Hoop. Cover it with some burlap first and let the ivy cling to the curves, with some spilling down. Hang the hoop from above to mimic a chandelier or mount it wreath-style—for a giant spiderweb effect.


We’ve also seen ivy used to create a maze in the landscape, cornstalk-style—though at only 8 inches high it’s less of a challenge to navigate.


Our hedera helix selections
are shipping in the 4.5-inch pot:

  • ‘Glacier’—medium-sized leaves are variegated in silvery cream and green
  • ‘Patricia’— medium-sized green leaves
  • ‘Ritterkreuz’— dark green leaves resemble a Maltese cross

‘Patricia’ is also available in the 1801 deep flat.