Ivy Gone Wild


We live in the Beaches and have an old brick house. We have a lovely ivy climbing our front of the house but, due to our negligence re: trimming, it’s gone a little too far and is into the eavestroughs. It’s beautiful and I want to keep it,  but I’m wondering if there is way to train it to grow along the house, not over it, i.e. into window screens or eaves. Do other people manage it by constantly trimming? We are in our 60s and don’t like using ladders. Is there a service that could build a wire trellis or something? I don’t know if this is a garden question or a building question yet there are some many fine old homes in Toronto with ivy that surely someone else has addressed this challenge. Any thoughts?


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners about the ivy growing up your house. You didn’t mention the type, but it is most likely Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata), which is a common ivy that can be found growing on many older houses in Toronto. This ivy is a fairly fast grower and can cover an entire wall in a short number of few years. As a result, it requires regular pruning and training if you wish to keep it confined to certain parts of your house and prevent it from growing into eaves, windows, etc.

Regarding your question as to whether there is a service that could build a wire trellis, Toronto Master Gardeners cannot recommend specific companies or individuals. Please visit the Landscape Ontario website, where you can search for companies that can provide direct consultation, suggest the best approach to training/containing your ivy, and carry out the work required.