Description: English ivy is an evergreen climbing vine with glossy, angular leaves. When English ivy predominates, other plants tend to disappear. Why English Ivy is Harmful. These beds are often under trees. Nothing grows among the ivy on the right of the dirt path, but various species grow on the left where any invading ivy was removed before it became established. After decades of growth the root layers of English ivy are so dense that water rarely makes it down to where tree roots might be. Botanical Name: Hedera helix. I had been noticing a horrible smell in my kitchen and finally discovered it was the ivy It smells like sewer. Photo taken June 2003. Yes, English ivy can be quite destructive. Ivy can’t be that bad..can it? As mentioned above, Ivy is a very invasive plant, capable of displacing other, native plants in your garden in just about no time. Ivy's nectar and pollen can be important for bees and butterflies. Birds and mammals are forced to move on to find food and appropriate cover. When English ivy makes its way in to the canopy of a tree, lower branches of the tree get shaded die, leading eventually to the dreaded, “broccoli head” look. Is this a bad thing? English ivy, especially the leaves, can cause gastrointestinal distress, vomiting, and diarrhea when eaten, and the sap can induce a contact rash when exposed to the skin. Habitat: English Ivy is a common garden plant that is native to Europe and temperate Asia. English ivy (Hedera helix) perfectly illustrates the dangers of too much of a good thing. A: I think it’s a bad idea to let ivy climb a wall. It’s best to stay away and not produce any more of the English ivy. Will it hurt the house? We assume you have what is known as English ivy? But I have ivy growing up my house and I rather like the way it looks. In fact, they are labeled as an invasive species that will crawl all over the place. Although intoxication from English ivy is generally not life threatening, it is still best to contact your veterinarian or a pet poison hotline as soon as possible. English ivy use tendrils which will go into and damage mortar especially on older homes. Boston Ivy uses little suction cups to adhere. English Ivy is a common favorite among gardeners and homeowners due to its beauty. Steals water from trees. Why is English ivy bad? Q: Last week you discussed controlling English ivy. Look closely at it to see whether it has leaf spotting, stem spotting or dead areas. English Ivy Today. Not only that, ivy can weaken trees as it … Damage From English Ivy. The reason why English ivies are bad is that the roots of this plant will burrow under certain things which can cause fungus. Other Common Names: Common ivy, true ivy, gum ivy, woodbine, winter-green, winter-grunt, kissos, bergflétta. Some people value ivy as an ornamental plant or as a part of nature. It gives me shade and privacy. 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