Almost everyone has it in the garden and almost everyone finds it beautiful. I am talking about ivy. It cuts a fine figure, especially on a facade. But is it a good idea to green a facade with it?Ivy grows well almost everywhere Ivy is a popular and very fast growing vine that is often used for greening facades. In principle, there is nothing to contradict this, at least if you observe a few notes. Although ivy does not form roots that can cause great damage to the facade, in some cases it can be better if you decide against greening the facade with ivy.
Benefits of greening with ivy
✔ Ivy grows in the shade and also on poor soils:
Shady locations, barren soils - these facts that kill other plants don't bother ivy. Originally known as a forest plant, the tendril copes extremely well with poor lighting conditions and has a root system that absorbs nutrients even from poor soils.
✔ Ivy is very easy to care for:
In addition, ivy is very easy to care for and only requires a pruning. The plant forms individual shoots with adhesive roots that adhere firmly to the house wall and do not lose their hold. You do not need to water the plant, do not fertilize it, just shorten it.
Disadvantages of greening with ivy
✘ regular pruning is necessary:
Basically, you can use ivy and give your house wall a fresh green. However, you should note that you need to do an annual pruning. Otherwise the plant hides windows and prevents daylight from shining into the house.
✘ Cracks in the plaster can become a problem:
Older house facades, however, pose a bigger problem. If cracks form in the plaster or if the plaster comes loose in some places, moisture will tend to settle here. If ivy now grows over the areas, there is not enough air on the plaster to allow it to dry. As a result, mold forms. It is even more dangerous if the adhesive roots search for a way through the cracks and settle in defects. They do not blow up the facade, but they lead to greater damage if they are removed by force. Before you start greening, you should always check the facade for cracks and repair them.
✘ Ivy can get heavy and lift roof tiles:
The climbing plant is also problematic in the roof area. The shoots find their way and tend along rain gutters. If adhesive roots loosen in the lower area of the facade, the weight of the tendril can damage the gutter. In addition, individual shoots definitely grow under the roof tiles. The removal of the ivy is particularly important here, because the shoots become thicker and more extensive, they lift the bricks and damage the roof.
✘ Spiders feel comfortable between the ivy:
Other problems can arise from insects. Spiders feel very comfortable between the dark tendrils of the ivy. What is a disadvantage on one hand, however, is also an advantage. The spiders give you excellent insect protection and you are plagued by fewer mosquitoes. Nevertheless, the spiders like to come into the house through the windows, which not everyone likes.
Ivy does not grow on every facade
Even if ivy is very easy to care for and thrives even on poor floors, it does not grow on every facade:
- fresh concrete masonry is unsuitable
- bright facades are avoided
- Older facades with cracks should not be greened
Light facades in particular are often rejected by ivy. Although the plant grows on the ground, it cannot adhere to the facade. This is mainly due to the fact that the light color reflects the sunlight in such a way that the adhesive roots detach from the masonry.
If you want to cover the facade of your house with ivy, think carefully. You have to be a bit behind here and be able to easily reach the roof and all windows to keep them free of ivy. The facade must also be in perfect condition. Greening the facade with ivy is only a good idea if you can guarantee all of this.
➩ Recommended reading: Facade greening with hops - this is how you give your house that certain something