Although many gardeners opt to plant Boston ivy directly in the ground, starting these vines out in pots is a great option too. However, there are several crucial tips that should be followed for the best possible outcome. Make sure your potted plant receives full sunlight and extra water. The soil in pots dries out quicker than outdoor soil. Additionally, issues such as overcrowding and drainage are a bit different when growing vines this way, so use wide-barrel pots with plenty of drainage holes.
3 Tips to Grow Boston Ivy in a Container
If you’re planning to grow Boston ivy but want to start your plants out in containers, the tips below will help make your project successful:
Use Wide Containers
Start by acquiring large containers for your Boston ivy. A wide, half-barrel pot is ideal. Fill it with multipurpose soil, and make sure there are plenty of drainage holes. If there are no drainage holes, use a drill with a 1-inch bit (25 mm) to make holes in the bottom of the pot.
- Use wide, half-barrel pots.
- Do not plant more than one vine per container.
- If you are transplanting vines, make sure the roots are at the same depth in the new container.
As a general rule, always make sure you plant Boston ivy at the same level it was in its original container. Pack the garden soil firmly around your vine. Don’t be tempted to plant more than one vine per container, as this will lead to overcrowding.
Provide Adequate Water and Sun
When Boston ivy is planted in a container, it dries out quicker than if it’s planted in the ground. For this reason, your vines will need plenty of water, especially in warm climates where the weather gets excessively hot. Consider using an irrigation system if you are not able to water your vines on a daily basis by hand.
- Water your Boston ivy daily.
- Place containers in direct sunlight.
- Provide partial shade in very hot climates.
Boston ivy vines prefer to be grown in direct sunlight. So, as long as the vine is not drying out due to extreme heat, position your container where it will receive all-day sun. If temperatures are very high and you start to notice dry soil around your vine, move the pot to a location that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.
Prune your container-grown Boston ivy on a regular basis. A full pruning should be done at least twice a year. These vines are vigorous climbers, and pruning them is the best way to ensure they do not grow out of control for their container size. It’s best to control growth by pruning 2–3 times per year.
- Prune Boston ivy regularly.
- Lack of pruning leads to Boston ivy growing too big for its container.
- Use fertilizer sparingly to prevent excess growth.
Avoid the use of an all-purpose fertilizer unless absolutely necessary. Boston ivy vines have a tendency to “overeat,” which is a concern, since overgrowth is already a potential problem. Your Boston ivy will actually be healthier in the long run, while keeping growth in check, if you keep fertilizer use to a minimum.
How to Control Boston Ivy in a Pot
Pruning Boston ivy vines is the best way to control their growth, but this can be tricky. If not done correctly, the leaves on container-grown ivy plants will develop ragged edges. To keep your plant looking beautiful, cut, pinch, or snap trailers as they develop. Eliminating these unruly shoots keeps your vines at the preferred size. If you are planning to grow more ivy, you’ll be interested to know that ivy root cuttings are easy to root into a new pot.
- Control Boston ivy through regular pruning.
- Snap, pinch, and cut trailers as they develop.
- Pin down shoots to stop them from climbing.
- Remove dead leaves to avoid root rot.
You can also pin down healthy shoots with floral or hairpins to lock them into place. This prevents them from climbing and creating trailers. This is a great method to use with potted ivy. Be sure to clear away any dead or damaged leaves from the container. Otherwise, the vine may develop root rot.
Is Boston Ivy Hard to Grow in a Container?
It is not hard to grow Boston ivy anywhere, and that includes in a container. Nevertheless, there are certain things you should avoid. For example, if you don’t provide proper drainage, the roots of the vine may become weak or, in extreme cases, diseased. This means that, ultimately, your Boston ivy won’t thrive the way it would if adequate drainage was provided.
- Boston ivy can be grown easily in containers.
- Make sure you have proper drainage at the bottom of the pots.
- Avoid growing more than one plant in each container.
- Replant or cut back the vine if it outgrows the container.
Don’t grow multiple Boston ivy plants in the same container. This is because, while not considered an invasive plant, Boston ivy will quickly begin growing into each other, leading to a tangled mess that you don’t want to deal with. Another potential issue is the vine spilling out over the sides of the container once it starts experiencing rapid growth. Fortunately, that’s easily dealt with by replanting it outside when it reaches this point, or continuously cutting it back to keep it manageable.
Can You Grow Boston Ivy in Containers?
Some gardeners prefer to plant Boston ivy vines outside, but don’t hesitate to start them out in containers if you want to. This is not a difficult task to complete. To do this:
- Use large, half-barrel containers with several drainage holes.
- Plant one Boston ivy vine per pot.
- Water your Boston ivy vines more frequently than you would if they were planted outside.
- Give your Boston ivy full sunlight in moderate temperatures.
- In extreme heat, provide potted Boston ivy with afternoon shade.
- Prune your Boston ivy vines regularly.
- Avoid fertilizing potted Boston ivy.
By following these tips, you can easily grow Boston ivy in a container. By keeping the soil moist and providing plenty of sun, you will be rewarded with beautiful potted ivy.