Boston ivy is regarded as an invasive vine, but has the unusual distinction of being one that will typically “give up” when being squeezed out by another climbing botanical. In most cases, invasive plants will fight to the death, so to speak. Meaning, eventually you will notice that they are just hopelessly entangled in each other. So, Boston ivy is invasive, but it will quickly get completely choked out and die if another vine or climbing plant is planted near it. It is also not as destructive as other vines, such as English ivy or Virginia creeper.
Will Boston Ivy Choke Out Other Plants?
Boston ivy has the potential to choke out other plants, depending on what they are. Interestingly, Boston ivy excels at choking out weeds. However, it can also easily overpower flowers, herbs, and other good vegetation. It has the potential to choke out the grass in your yard and damage trees as well.
- Boston ivy may choke out other vegetation.
- Boston ivy can quickly cover the ground and choke out grass.
- Trees may be harmed if Boston ivy wraps around their trunks.
This vine will quickly grow around a tree trunk, which ultimately interferes with the tree being able to absorb sunlight and complete other natural processes to stay healthy. Pruning Boston ivy is the best way to avoid these issues.
Is Boston Ivy Destructive?
Boston ivy is considered a destructive plant in certain scenarios. Because it is a very fast-growing vine, as well as an opportunistic one, it sometimes makes its way to areas in which it is not welcome. For example, if your Boston ivy is growing on a wooden fence or other structure that separates your property from someone else’s, the vines may grow through the cracks and begin overtaking your neighbor’s yard.
- Boston ivy can kill or damage other plants or trees.
- Boston ivy is opportunistic and will attempt to overtake areas where it isn’t welcome.
- When up against English ivy or other clinging plants, the Boston ivy becomes the victim.
However, when Boston ivy encounters other clinging botanicals or vines, such as English ivy or Virginia creeper, the Boston ivy is more likely to be destroyed. This is because, unlike most vines, Boston ivy does not fight tenaciously when a similar plant is attempting to overcome it.
Will Boston Ivy Damage Wood?
Wood may be damaged over time by Boston ivy. This is primarily due to issues with moisture. One of the characteristics of Boston ivy is that it uses sticky suction to climb a structure. Unlike some vines, it does not have to use tendrils to cling to a surface. This sticky, adhesive-like substance, however, creates a moisture problem.
- Boston ivy can damage wood.
- Moisture is at the heart of the damage.
- Rotting and discoloration are common when Boston ivy has damaged wood.
- Control such damage by treating the wood or keeping the vine away from wooden structures.
Not surprisingly, in areas where the climate is dry, there is less chance that Boston ivy will damage wood. This is also true if the wooden structure is facing the sun for the majority of the day. Otherwise, though, it is best to treat the wood. Alternatively, you can make sure you keep your Boston ivy away from any structure it might damage.
Can You Control Boston Ivy?
Controlling Boston ivy outdoors can be very difficult. If it starts doing its own thing, it can quickly become unmanageable. Roughly ripping it off surfaces once it has overgrown can damage both the plant and the structure. Preventative measures are the best course of action.
- It’s difficult to control Boston ivy outside.
- Prune this vine twice a year to keep it manageable.
- Create a border to control vine growth.
To control Boston ivy, prune this deciduous vine twice per year. Cut, snap, or pinch trailers as they develop. This keeps your vine at the desired size and prevents unchecked growth. Creating a border around the area in which you want to grow the vine is also a good idea. It’s easy to do, and it keeps the ivy confined to the desired space.
Is Boston Ivy as Invasive as English Ivy?
Boston ivy is not as invasive as English ivy. Even though it will cover the ground just as quickly and climb up tree trunks or through fences, Boston ivy is easier to control than English ivy. It is not nearly as destructive either, although both types of vines are considered harmful to native plants.
- Boston ivy is not as invasive as English ivy.
- Both vines have similar characteristics, but Boston ivy is less destructive.
- English ivy can destroy walls.
- Boston ivy is a gentle climber in most cases and will not damage walls.
For instance, English ivy has aerial roots, which can severely damage or destroy walls. This is because the roots dig into the surface of the structure. Boston ivy, on the other hand, grows on walls by using its suckers, which are tiny spots of an adhesive-like substance that helps it cling to the walls. Both vines have the potential to kill other vegetation. However, English ivy is an invasive plant species that will destroy anything in its path. Boston ivy often gives up if it runs into a more aggressive plant.
Is Boston Ivy Considered Invasive?
Boston ivy is considered an invasive species in the United States. However, if it is being choked out by another type of climbing plant, it typically gives up first. This makes it far less dangerous than other invasive plants.
- Boston ivy is an invasive vine.
- In most cases, Boston Ivy quickly gives up if being choked out by another climbing plant.
- English ivy and Virginia creeper are more destructive than Boston ivy.
If you enjoy the heart-shaped leaves of Boston ivy you can control this plant through regular pruning. Although it may choke out some native vines, Boston ivy is much easier to control than other vine species. So, you can add it to your garden without too many worries.