Question: I’ve tried to start new English ivy plants by putting runners from my old planting into a new bed. They don’t do very well. Why would that be?

Answer: We all have tried that at one time or another, and it never does work. There simply aren’t enough roots on the runners to sustain all the leaf and stem tissues of the old vine. If you want to start new English ivy plants you’ll want to take those same runners and cut them into pieces so that each piece will have one leaf, one leaf stem (petiole) and a part of the real stem, the runner. Plant several of those into a 4-inch flower pot filled with loose potting soil. Keep them moist and in a shady location until they root. At that point you can either pot them up and let them get larger before you plant them, or you can try setting them directly into really well-prepared garden soil.

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