34 Types of Ivy for Outdoors to Consider

Adam ivy growing outdoors

By Erin Marissa Russell

Looking for a list of the best vining, twining ivies to grow outdoors? You’re in the right place, whether you’re looking for ivy to use as a groundcover or you need something to clamber up the side of a slope or structure.

Make sure to choose an ivy that you can grow outdoors in your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. (Not sure what your zone is? Check out our article A Guide to Planting Zones.

Toxicity Warning: All the parts of each of the plants on this list, from stems to seeds to roots and leaves, are toxic if ingested by people or animals. They can also cause skin irritation if they come into contact with skin.

Adam Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Adam’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

As with all ivy varieties, do not plant this variety of English ivy in a place where it will grow up trees or on wood. It has the traditional English ivy shape, with dark green leaves edged in paler green. The interior veining of the leaf brings in tones of silver and white. Adam ivy will grow well in shade or sun, so plant it wherever you wish. It does best in partial sunlight. This ivy needs moist soil that offers plenty of drainage to really thrive, in soil with a pH balance between 4.5 and 7.5. (Not sure what your garden’s pH balance is? Check out our article How to Test pH in Your Soil.) Soil type is versatile, from sandy soil to clay soil. Adam ivy is easily propagated if you place a small cutting in water.

Algerian Ivy landscaping outdoors

Algerian Ivy (Hedera canariensis)

Growing Zone(s): 7 through 11

Algerian ivy is known through its habitat in California as an invasive plant that thrives in moist soil. Though you can grow Algerian ivy in drier soil, it will never achieve the growth it would in a moist area. Algerian ivy is not especially picky about the other characteristics of the soil it is grown in. This strain of ivy makes a great ground cover, especially over walls, slopes, or other uneven surfaces. Leaves are usually dark green, though variegated types do exist. Algerian ivy can grow its vines to reach up to 40 feet long. Although Algerian ivy does flower, the small yellowish green blossoms are not really noticeable. Algerian ivy also goes by the names Canarian ivy, Canary ivy, Canary Island ivy, North African ivy, and Hedera algeriensis.

Amber Waves Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Amber Waves’)

Growing Zone(s): 7 through 10

The newest leaves of amber waves ivy vary from pale chartreuse to yellow, and leaves turn greener as they mature. The five-lobed leaves of this specific ivy are known for keeping their yellow color even in shade when other yellow ivies start to turn green. It prefers moist soil but is not particular as to type and will even tolerate poor soil. Soil pH can vary from moderately acidic to slightly alkaline (5.6 to 7.8). Amber waves ivy is also not particular about sun requirements and can be grown in conditions from full shade to full sun.

Anne Marie Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Anne Marie’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

Anne Marie ivy is a pretty dusty green with the outer edges of the leaves outlined in pale yellow or white. With proper care, Anne Marie ivy can reach three or four feet tall with the same spread. The plant can be grown in full sun, partial sun, or even full shade. Anne Marie ivy does best in moderately moist, rich soil that offers plenty of drainage. Soil type is not important, so you can grow Anne Marie ivy in acidic, alkaline, or neutral chalky soil, clay soil, loam, or sandy soil.

Asterisk Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Asterisk’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

The leaves of asterisk ivy have wider-slung lobes than English ivy and are a medium green color. The foliage is glossy and leaves have five lobes. Grow asterisk ivy in full sun to partial shade. Plant in soil that is moderately acidic to slightly alkaline (5.6 to 7.8). Asterisk ivy flowers in yellow green blossoms that give way to black fruits.

Azores Ivy (Hedera azorica)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

Azores ivy will grow in full sun but performs at its best in partial shade. It enjoys growing in slightly sandy soil or heavy clay, whether the earth is slightly acidic, neutral, or moderately alkaline. It blossoms in summer and fall with inconspicuous white and yellow green blooms.

Baltic Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Baltica’)

Growing Zone(s): 4 through 10

Baltic ivy also goes by the names of Algerian ivy, California ivy, needlepoint ivy, and sweetheart ivy. This versatile plant isn’t fussy about soil type, growing well in neutral, alkaline, or acidic normal soil, clay, or sandy soil. This is a deep green ivy with light-colored markings on its veins that looks similar to English ivy. You can grow Baltic ivy in full sun, partial shade, or full shade.

Bettina Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Bettina’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

Bettina is an attractive ivy with a medium green color that has cream-colored or white margins at the edges of the leaves. It is often grown indoors, but it’s also suitable for growing outdoors as a ground cover. Bettina ivy also does well growing in small containers. You can plant Bettina ivy just about anywhere, from full sun to full shade. It’s also at home in a variety of pH levels, thriving from moderately acidic to slightly alkaline (5.6 to 7.8).

Bush Ivy (Fatshedera lizei)

Growing Zone(s): 8 through 11

Bush ivy was created as a hybrid between Japanese fatsia (Fatsia japonica) and English ivy, also called common ivy (Hedera helix). What makes this ivy special is that it’s a cross between a shrub and a vine. Bush ivy is also called tree ivy, or simply Fatshedera. Its leaves have five lobes in a dark green with outer edging in very pale yellow or white. Bush ivy prefers to grow in partial shade. This versatile plant can even be grown in areas that experience pollution or coastal sea spray.

Buttercup Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

Buttercup gets its name from the golden yellow color of its leaves when the plant is grown in sunshine. If the plant does not get enough sun to turn yellow, its leaves will be pale green. You can grow the plant in partial shade if you do not mind the green color. Buttercup ivy is amenable to different soil types, growing well in sand, chalk, clay, or loam that is acidic, alkaline, or neutral, though it likes neutral soil the best. It grows best when it gets plenty of drainage paired with moist soil.

Cyprus Ivy (Hedera cypria)

Growing Zone(s): 9b to 11a

Cyprus ivy is one of the rarest kinds of ivy. It is slow growing and does well either as a ground cover or with something to climb on. It grows best in full sun to partial shade and can grow in clay, sandy soil, or loamy soil that is moderately acidic, slightly alkaline, or neutral. The springtime blooms are inconspicuous in white and lilac. Leaves are dark green and triangular with gray veins and red stems.

Duckfoot Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Duckfoot’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 11

Duckfoot ivy is often recommended for growing indoors, but it makes a nice outdoor plant in zones 5 through 11 as well. It’s also called ivy duckfoot or duckfoot English ivy. The small fan-shaped leaves with their rounded edges look similar to a duck’s foot. It does well in chalky soil or loam, whether it’s acidic, alkaline, or neutral. Plant in full sun to full shade. Duckfoot ivy works well as a groundcover or on banks and slopes.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Growing Zone(s): 4 through 13

Many of the ivies on this list are subspecies of English ivy, Hedera helix. With the proper care, English ivies can climb up to 100 feet tall. The dark green leaves can reach up to four inches long. English ivy performs best in shady areas where it does not come into contact with sunshine. The flowers that appear from late summer to late fall make English ivy a good bet for gardens that are looking to attract pollinators.

German Ivy (Delairea odorata)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 9

German ivy is also known by the name Cape Ivy. The bright green leaves are joined by purplish stems. It flourishes in its habitat on the California coast, growing prolifically in wetlands and forests. Keep German ivy happy in your garden by keeping the plants consistently moist or planting them near a water feature like a pond.

Glacier Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Glacier’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 9

Glacier ivy is a variegated type of English ivy that is a medium green with edges outlined in a pale, pale yellow. This strain of ivy was especially bred to be grown indoors, but you can grow Glacier ivy outside, where it performs well as a ground cover. You may see instructions for growing it in shady spaces indoors, but Glacier ivy will be happiest if you can give it at least six hours of sunshine each day.

Gloire de Marengo Ivy (Hedera canariensis ‘Gloire de Marengo’)

Growing Zone(s): 6 through 11

Gloire de Marengo ivy has large, dark green, heart-shaped leaves outlined in cream and marbled with a mottled grayish green color. With proper care, Gloire de Marengo ivy can reach up to 20 feet tall, with a three-foot spread. This ivy grows well in full sun to partial shade, as long as the soil it grows in is fertile and moderately moist, offering plenty of drainage. Although the plant does have some drought tolerance, the foliage is prettiest when it gets consistent moisture and partial shade.

Goldchild Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Goldchild’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 9

What sets goldchild ivy apart is the bright gold margins on the foliage, which is otherwise a green to grayish green color. This gold margin will vary in color depending on the temperature. In cooler weather, the brightness of the gold margin will shine, but when the weather is warmer, the gold will fade to a pale yellow color. The plant also needs some sunshine to keep the gold parts of the foliage bright. This plant is sometimes known as gold baby ivy. Grow in full sun, partial sun, or shade in just about any soil type. The plant needs consistent moisture to really thrive.

Golden Curl Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Golden Curl’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 9

You may see golden curl ivy called Richard John ivy. Golden curl ivy has a wider yellow margin than most variegated ivies, and the yellow has a brushstroke appearance. The shape of the ivy is also unique, with a curled edge. Plant in partial shade to full sun, and golden curl ivy can grow up to heights of 40 feet tall.

Himalayan Ivy (Hedera nepalensis)

Growing Zone(s): 7 through 10

Himalayan ivy also goes by the name Nepalese ivy. It is dark green with grayish green veins. The leaves of Himalayan ivy can grow up to six inches long, though there are smaller varieties of the plant that have miniature leaves that top out around an inch long. With proper care, Himalayan ivy can have vines up to 100 feet long. However, the plant isn’t as dense and thick as English ivy and Irish ivy.

Iberian Ivy (Hedera iberica)

Growing Zone(s): 7b through 9a

Iberian ivy has three-lobed dark green leaves traced with paler veins that appear along green, red, and purple stems. This plant is at its best as a ground cover. Vines can grow up to 100 feet long. Plant in partial shade to full shade. Iberian ivy is adaptable to a range of soil conditions: sand, loam, or chalky soil, whether it’s moderately acidic, neutral, or alkaline.

Irish Ivy (Hedera hibernica)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 11

Irish ivy is also called Atlantic ivy, and it’s commonly mixed up with English ivy. But if you know what you’re looking for, it’s easy to tell these two apart. Irish ivy leaves are wider than they are long, and whereas English ivy has white veins, Irish ivy has pale green veins. They also differ in scent. While Irish ivy smells sweet, English ivy smells musty. This ivy is known for being invasive, so you need to check with your local extension office or do some research to see if there are laws in your area preventing its cultivation.

Ivalace Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Ivalace’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 11

Ivalace ivy is known for its curly, glossy green leaves that set it apart from other ivies, which tend to have dull or matte foliage. When the weather gets colder, the leaves darken while stems and petioles turn dark red. For best results, plant Ivalace ivy in partial shade to full shade. It will do best in fertile, moderately moist soil that offers plenty of drainage. With these needs met, the plant isn’t fussy about soil type or pH levels.

Madeiran Ivy (Hedera maderensis)

Growing Zone(s): 7 through 9

Madeiran ivy started out as a variety of Iberian ivy, but is now its own entity. But it looks similar to Iberian ivy, with its large dark green leaves that can reach up to nine inches wide. This ivy does well in partial shade or full shade when planted in sand, loam, or chalky soil. Madeiran ivy can tolerate pH levels that range from moderately acidic to alkaline.

Manda’s Crested (Hedera helix ‘Manda’s Crested’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 11

Manda’s crested ivy is prized for its dark green five-lobed leaves with wavy edges. Foliage turns a silver gray color in the autumn and, if plants are sheltered in winter, they turn a bronze color. It does well planted in full sun to partial shade, in soil with pH levels from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline. Manda’s crested prefers to grow in loamy or chalky soil.

Needlepoint Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Needlepoint’)

Growing Zone(s): 6 through 10

Needlepoint ivy gets its name from the needle-like shape of its leaves, which come to a sharp point. Grow in full shade or partial shade, in soil types ranging from sandy loam to clay loam. It stays under one foot tall and is especially common for topiary projects because of its unique shape.

Pastukhov’s Ivy (Hedera pastuchovii)

Growing Zone(s): 5

Lots of things make Patsukhov’s ivy unique. Its foliage is glossy, the color is a green so deep it’s almost black, and it has wavy edges. You may hear Patsukhov’s ivy referred to as Ann Ala ivy. Grow anywhere on the spectrum from full sun to full shade. It is easygoing about soil type or pH level.

Parsley Crested Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Parsley Crested’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

The leaves of parsley crested ivy are crimped much like the parsley for which it is named. The leaves are dark green with the veins marked in paler green. This pretty ivy comes along with a warning not to allow the plant to climb up tree trunks. Parsley crested ivy can be grown in pretty much any soil type or pH level, though it prefers alkaline soil. Plant in full shade or partial shade.

Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica)

Growing Zone(s): 6 through 9

Persian ivy is sometimes called bullock’s heart ivy, my heart, or colchica ivy. It has unique heart-shaped leaves and is one of the quickest growing ivies. The leaves are glossy and large, reaching six to 10 inches long. The leaves make a dense groundcover good for planting in shady spots where grasses do not thrive. Foliage is dark green with veins outlined in paler green. It has spherical flowers in green and white that appear in the fall, with berries emerging later. Notable varieties include Dentata Variegata, a variegated form, and Sulphur Heart, which has yellow-centered heart-shaped leaves.

Russian Ivy (Fallopia baldschuanica)

Growing Zone(s): 4 through 7b

Russian ivy is distinct for the thinner silhouette of its light green teardrop-shaped leaves, with their wavy edges. In summertime, Russian ivy will blossom into small white flowers followed by fruit. It really thrives when it has something to climb and is known for being a fast-growing plant. Commonly, Russian ivy is known as Mile-a-Minute vine for how quickly it can take over. In fact, Russian ivy is known for being invasive, so you should consider carefully before planting it.

Saint Agnes Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Saint Agnes’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 10

Saint Agnes ivy also goes by the name golden ingot ivy. The leaves have a yellow outline that looks brushed onto the leaves. This plant isn’t choosy about soil type or pH level, but it does require a moderate amount of water and plenty of drainage to thrive. Established plants bloom with small yellow-green flowers in fall, after which the fruit emerges.

Shamrock Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Shamrock’)

Growing Zone(s): 5 through 9b

You may sometimes hear shamrock ivy called by its old name, cloverleaf ivy. The three-lobed leaves have an elongated middle section. The foliage is bright green with pale green veining. Shamrock ivy can thrive in pretty much any soil type and in soil from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. It also grows well in full sun, partial sun, or full shade, giving you lots of options.

False Ivies

These are plants that are not actually classified as ivies, though they are commonly known as ivy and will even be sold as ivy in some nurseries and garden centers. They can even climb or cover ground the way that real ivies do, so we wanted to include them here, too.

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Growing Zone(s): 4 through 8

Boston ivy is also known as Japanese Ivy. It will not continue to cover in winter, because it is a deciduous plant that will lose its leaves with the cold weather. But in spring and summer, Boston ivy can cover a building or structure with gorgeous yellow and green foliage. Leaves are glossy and emerald green, made up of three pointed lobes. Planted in full sun or partial shade, Boston ivy can reach heights of up to 50 feet tall.

Devil’s Ivy (Pothos)

Growing Zone(s): 10 through 12

Although the common name of the Pothos plant includes the word “ivy,” this plant doesn’t have a lot in common with real ivies. It is usually grown indoors because it can only thrive in an environment with a temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant doesn’t really climb without being trained, and the leaf shape is different from other ivies. However, with the right care in the right environment, Pothos plants can become bushy and lush, like ivies tend to do.

Swedish Ivy (Plectranthus australis)

Growing Zone(s): 10 through 11

The leaf shape of Swedish ivy is completely different from other ivies, but the way the accent color is swiped onto the edges of the leaves is similar to the coloring of some variegated ivies. (Only some varieties have this variegated coloring.) Plant in dappled to partial shade, and with proper care, Swedish ivy will produce tubular purple or white flowers.

Now you know all the different kinds of ivy (and even false ivy) that you can grow outdoors. Bear in mind that these plants are poisonous to people and animals, so you shouldn’t plant them where children or animals will play unsupervised.

Learn More About Types of Ivy for Outdoors to Grow








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