Question: We grew Algerian ivy in California. I’d like to use it here, but the nurseryman told us it wouldn’t survive our winters. How winter-hardy is it?

Answer: For South Texas it’s perfectly suited, but north of San Antonio to Bryan you’ll probably want to use a very hardy look-alike called Persian ivy (Hedera colchica). It’s much harder to find, but it’s extremely durable in the cold. For the record, however, none of the Hederas, including English, Algerian and Persian ivies, hold up very well in prolonged waterlogged soils. They are especially vulnerable to a root-rotting disease, and they must have perfect drainage to succeed during such periods. All require almost total shade (no afternoon sun in summer).

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