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Hedera helix 'Melanie'

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© RHS

Characteristics

Plant type

Climber/Wall Shrub or Conservatory/Greenhouse

Habit

Climbing

Toxicity

Ingestion may cause severe discomfort; contact may irritate the skin

Resilience

Hardiness

old H4 (hardy)

Colour

Foliage

Green and Purple in Autumn, Spring, Summer and Winter

Size

Ultimate height

0.1-0.5 metres

Ultimate spread

0.1-0.5 metres

Time to ultimate height

2-5 years


Preferred common name

ivy 'Melanie'

Family

Araliaceae


Hedera are evergreen climbing shrubs clinging by aerial roots. Clusters of small yellow-green flowers are followed by usually black berries. Foliage of flowering shoots is often less deeply lobed than that of the sterile, climbing shoots

'Melanie' is a compact ivy with dark green leaves, the margins purple and crested; makes a good houseplant

How to grow

Sunlight

  • Full sun
  • Part shade

Aspect

  • South-facing, North-facing, West-facing or East-facing
  • Sheltered

Cultivation

Under glass grow in loam-based potting compost (JI No3) in bright indirect light. Water freely in growth, apply a liquid fertiliser monthly and keep just moist in winter. Outdoors grow in moist but well-drained soil in sun or part shade with shelter from cold winds

Soil

  • Well-drained or Moist but well-drained
  • Acid, Alkaline or Neutral
  • Sand, Clay, Chalk or Loam

Propagation

Propagate by softwood cuttings or layering at any time. Root semi-ripe or hardwood cuttings from summer to winter

Suggested planting locations and garden types

City/Courtyard Gardens, Coastal, Cottage/Informal Garden, Flower borders and beds or Patio/Container Plants


How to care

Pruning

Pruning group 11 at any time

Pests

May be damaged by scale insects and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

May be affected by fungal leaf spot; frost damage may be a problem in severe winters but will usually recover in spring