Hello, back in June I planted two Boston ivy plants in their respective planters (see photo — I added a few Begonias for colour, and they’ve grown a lot). I want to make sure the Boston ivy survives the winter, so I would like to know what to do to prepare them – I have heard I should wrap them when the temperatures drop, but when would that be, 5 degrees at night or so? Should I remove the Begonias when I do that? And what do I use to wrap them? Should I trim the branches on the floor and/or around the planter? Thanks
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.
Your Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspitata, has done well since you planted it in June. It is winter hardy in our climate but can use some protection since it is growing in a planter and it is very young. Ivy clings to a surface such as your fence or patio stones via tendrils. Once you remove these from the surface, they will not adhere again. You should leave them in place for the winter. You will want to remove your begonias from the planters. They are not hardy and the frost will kill them.
Boston Ivy loses its leaves and goes dormant in the winter. If you wish to prune it, this can be done in late winter.
You should protect the roots during the winter. Mulch, construction styrofoam or bales of straw are good insulators. The soil should be moist before it freezes. Add the insulation after the first hard frost.
A previous post on our web site provides good information about insulating ivy in large planters.