Should you really be afraid of poison ivy?
Poison ivy that nestles around walls, terraces or tree trunks boasts green leaves, even when deciduous trees have long since lost the brightness of their leaves.
Poison ivy: plant description
Evergreen ivy is an unpretentious plant. Usually grown in cemeteries, parks and gardens. It is often found when creating sound-suppressing walls, as well as when landscaping the facades of houses and buildings. Poison ivy can cope with such a wide variety of conditions that it is not necessary to take care of it. Grows in the sun and shade. It can also handle completely shaded areas. The quality of the soil is not so important either. It can be either alkaline or slightly acidic soil.
If there is a desire to provide poison ivy with suitable and favorable conditions for its growth and development, then it is enough to remember what conditions the forest environment will provide. With a lot of moisture, ivy can easily resist the sun, as well as humus and sand. After planting, poison ivy should be well protected from frost. At least for the first two years. Older poison ivy plants can withstand both frost and prolonged drought.
Two species are successfully grown in our climate: HEDERA HELIX (climbing ivy) and HEDERA COLCHICA (Colchis ivy). They are divided into several varieties with different patterns and shapes of leaves. In addition, different species differ in color. They can be dark green, dull green to yellow-green or whitish. Ivy has short, dense, root-like formations, often called aerial roots. They easily hold plants on a coarse base such as tree bark or gypsum.
Poison ivy is said to destroy the masonry of the buildings it grows and retains moisture inside. However, many years of experience refutes these speculations. This is evidenced by houses that are covered with poison ivy for even a hundred years and remain intact. In summer, gypsum is dry and cool.
Nature lovers will also appreciate the ecological element in the cultivation of poison ivy. It often serves as a wintering place for various birds, butterflies and other insects, and also provides support for the construction of nests for small birds.
The plant does not need support to grow. It itself clings to the substrate and rises up. Ivy can also hang from rooftop gardens and balconies, covering some unsightly areas.
This beautiful plant can be successfully formed by cutting. The incision can be made at almost any time. Ivy also reflects well on older trees, hiding their imperfections. It can be used in the garden as an undergrowth under heavily shaded trees. Plants at the roots of poison ivy often grow vigorously, so grasses and ferns can easily overgrow. Ivy can easily outlast the trees that it captures.
The varieties differ not only in the shape and color of the leaves, but also in the degree of resistance to low temperatures. Some ivy varieties can only be grown at room temperature in containers, while others can be grown outdoors all year round.
Poison ivy and spider mites
As a rule, the leaves of poison ivy fall off due to fluctuations in the humidity in the room. However, pests such as spider mites can easily cause thinning of foliage.
Spider mites are found on plants overwintering in too warm environments.You can get rid of parasites by washing the infected leaves under running water. Then you need to scrape off the plaque with a knife, and then treat the affected areas with a solution of alcohol and soap. Upon completion of the procedure, you need to thoroughly rinse the plant with water again.
It's nice to know that poison ivy leaves can turn beautifully green on almost every living plant. It can be impressively combined with, for example, a green anthurium or a greenish hydrangea flower.
Fruits and all plants in contact with ivy are poisonous. It irritates sensitive skin. Poison ivy contains saponin, which is used in the cosmetics industry to make shampoos. Saponin also reduces cramps and coughs.