“How did you make that ivy tower?” That’s the question I hear each time a new visitor walks out my back door.
Building this tower is your next project for your spring, summer, and fall!
Start with that neglected pot of ivy you rescued out of your office, or the one that drinks cold coffee in your church foyer, or even a new little nursery-bought pot. Plant in a medium container and place in a bright spot in your home or on your patio. The key is light but not direct sun. Water once a week and watch it thrive.
In a few weeks, it’ll have grown by putting out tendrils with unfurling fresh leaves. Using sharp clippers, clip cuttings of the ivy at the tendril joints. Root in a clear glass container of water. As soon as you see tiny white roots, plant the clipping into your already existing pot of ivy.
Eventually, by the end of the summer, as you’ve continued the process of cutting clips of new ivy growth, rooting, and planting, you will have a full verdant pot of ivy with tendrils almost touching the ground.
In the fall, repot the ivy in a larger pot that sits on the ground. Poke a wire tomato cage deeply into the dirt of the repotted ivy. Weave the tendrils through the wire mesh. As the fall temperatures drop, bring the pot from the patio back indoors. Continue to train the ivy up and around the tomato cage. When next spring arrives, you will be astounded at your ivy tower grown from those first few fledgeling plants.
This is a fun and easy project to do together with children. Not only does it teach basic plant propagation skills, but it also teaches the art of perseverance through a long term project, anticipating a rewarding conclusion.
How does your ivy grow?
Whole ages have fled and their works decayed,
And nations have scattered been;
But the stout old ivy shall never fade,
From its hale and hearty green.
The brave old plant, in its lonely days,
Shall fatten upon the past:
For the stateliest building man can raise,
Is the ivy’s food at last.
Creeping on, where time has been,
A rare old plant is the ivy green.