Climbing ivy is best propagated from stem cuttings.

How to Propagate Climbing Ivy

by Jaimie Zinski

An ivy vine climbing and encompassing the side of a building adds a distinctive look to your home. English ivy (Hedera helix) was first introduced to the U.S. by English settlers in 1727 and grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 7. It does so well it's considered an invasive plant in many areas. English ivy grows best in full sun and features dark green, waxy leaves with prominent white veins. Continue the spread of a climbing ivy vine to the other structures on your property by propagating through stem cuttings.

Fill a plastic pot with coarse sand or perlite. Water the medium until it's evenly moist but not soaking wet. Set the plastic pot aside while you harvest the climbing vine's cutting. Use a pot that has drainage holes.

Cut away a 4- to 5-inch-long stem of the English ivy with a sharp knife or pruning shears. Choose a section of new, green growth that has three to four nodes. The node is the swollen section where a leaf meets the stem. Remove any leaves growing from the two nodes at the base of the cutting. Wear gloves while working with the plant because it can cause dermatitis.

Dip the bottom of the cutting into a liquid or powdered rooting hormone. Rooting hormone helps stimulate root growth while protecting the fragile cutting from rotting.

Dig a 1- to 1 1/2-inch-deep hole into the perlite or coarse sand. Lower the bottom of the cutting into the hole and fill back around it with the surrounding sand or perlite. Tamp the medium with your fingers to ensure the cutting stays upright.

Lower the pot into a clear plastic bag. Gather the bag around the cutting and secure the ends shut with a rubber band. The plastic bag helps trap moisture around the cutting while it roots.

Place pot in a warm, shaded spot. Avoid anywhere that is exposed to direct sun. If condensation forms on the inside of the bag, open it slightly to allow air to circulate inside and reduce the humidity.

Tug gently on the cuttings after two weeks. If you feel resistance, the cutting is beginning to take root. Once this happens, remove the plastic bag and allow the cuttings to grow for another three to four weeks. Check the medium periodically and if it feels dry, water it enough to evenly moisten the perlite or sand. Don't water so much the medium is soggy.

Transplant the cutting to a pot after three to four weeks. Gently lift the climbing ivy seedling from the medium and transfer it into a 4-inch pot filled with an all-purpose potting soil.

Items you will need

  • Plastic pot
  • Coarse sand or perlite
  • Sharp knife or pruning shears
  • Gloves
  • Rooting hormone
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Rubber bands
  • 4-inch pot
  • Potting soil


  • All parts of English ivy are poisonous, so don't allow children or pets to eat it.
  • English ivy can also cause dermatitis and blisters when touched.
  • English ivy can damage masonry and plaster when it climbs walls and other structures. Plant with care.
  • Don't allow English ivy to climb trees as it can weaken them when it blocks their ability to photosynthesize.

About the Author

Residing in Chippewa Falls, Wis., Jaimie Zinski has been writing since 2009. Specializing in pop culture, film and television, her work appears on Star Reviews and various other websites. Zinski is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

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