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Cover Up With Boston Ivy

GARDENERS ARE ALL SEARCHING for the perfect vine to climb and ramble. I suspect there are as many vines purchased to cover up something as there are to make something look more beautiful. Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata, is beautiful and definitely the vine to use if you want a vine to cover up something or you simply have a large space to cover.

BOSTON IVY IS INCREDIBLY VIGOROUS and can climb two stories high with ease. It is very efficient, climbing by tendrils that attach themselves to nearly any surface. If it climbs on any smooth surface and you remove it, the surface will require a power washing or light sanding to remove the remnants of the tendrils. Keep it pruned off doors, windows, window wells, and wooden structures to keep it from damaging caulk or seals or to keep it from holding moisture.

THE LEAVES HAVE THREE LOBES and can be large, 4 to 8 inches in diameter, depending on variety and location. Leaves are glossy green in summer and a beautiful dark red in the fall, as shown above. A small flower is produced but is not showy and often goes unnoticed. Tiny bluish-black fruits are produced and persist throughout the winter.

BOSTON IVY IS A VERY FORGIVING VINE and can be planted in a variety of soils. It grows equally well in shade or sun. More varieties of Boston ivy are available in Europe than America, but we are catching up as it becomes more commonly found in local garden centers.


ASK THE GARDENER

by Angie McManus

I have some resurrection lilies I’d like to take with me when I move. Is there a way to dig them and save them out of the ground for up to a year before replanting? What about ditch lilies?

When moving plants, we would ideally want to dig just before they are transplanted to their new home. If this is not an option and you don’t have another holding space in the ground, you can dig them up and keep them in containers. Make sure the containers are large enough and have drainage holes. These containers do not have to be decorative; they can be common nursery pots.

During this transition phase, you will want to reduce as much stress as possible until you can get them back in the ground. Moisture levels are harder to maintain in a container, and cold hardiness becomes a factor when the plants do not have the surrounding soil to help insulate in the colder months and help retain moisture during the warmer months.

Both resurrection lilies (Lycoris squamigera) and ditch lilies (Hemerocallis fulva) can be saved in this manner. When you dig them up, keep as much of the bulb/root system and the soil ball intact as possible. Replant them in the containers at the same depth as they were in the ground.


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