Hedera helix

Hedera helix is primarily sought as a trailing ground cover lawn alternative that quickly creeps to cover areas (especially beneath large trees, to cover bald spots where grass won’t grow) with a maintenance-free carpet of beautiful foliage.

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This site explains the differences between the similar (and often confused) Algerian Ivy (Hedera algeriensis), Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica) and English Ivy (Hedera helix).

These three types of ivies share these characteristics:

Below are the differences between these three types of ivies.

Algerian Ivy (Hedera algeriensis)

Algerian Ivy features glossy green 4-6" leaves with 3-7 lobes and has the largest leaves of the three. Only hardy in zones 7-10 (the others are hardy in more northern zones).

Tolerant of more drought and heat than English, nearly as drought tolerant as Persian. A lovely variegated version is available.

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Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica)

Persian Ivy features large, dark green, 3-5" long leaves are unlobed, slightly puckered and leathery with prominent veining.

Tolerates full sun through zone 10, most drought tolerant of the three.

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English Ivy (Hedera helix)

The 'Baltic' and 'English' varieties of English Ivy grow the fastest of all these ivies, but only by 10-20%.

Several variegated varieties are available, as well as several unusual varieties (crinkled edges, glossy leaves, etc.).

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Ornamental ivies come in a variety of tones and textures and most of them persist year round no matter what the weather. These plants are a wonderful addition to any backyard and are ideal for filling in spaces where nothing else seems to grow. They are extremely important for controlling soil erosion and to help reduce soil evaporation. They also provide a lush canvas that allow your brightly colored plants and flowers to truly shine.

Comparison of Algerian, Persian and English Ivies

NameHardiness ZonesCommentsOrdering Information
Algerian Ivy (Hedera algeriensis) 7-10 Largest leaves, tolerant of more drought and heat than English. More info
Persian Ivy (Hedera colchica) 5-10 Tolerates full sun through sone 10 (the others do not), most drought tolerant. More info
English Ivy Hedera helix) 5/6-10 The 'Baltic' and 'English' varieties of English Ivy grow the fastest of all these ivies. Large number of foliage varieties to choose from. More info


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