4 Popular Types of Ivy to Grow in Australia 

Ivy is a fuss-free climber that can be used to cover fences and other unattractive structures. Just keep it off the walls of your house to avoid possible damage.

Ivy has always been popular in Australia as it’s extremely hardy and is excellent for covering fences and shed walls.

However, if you plan to grow this aggressively spreading plant, make sure that you have the time to keep it in check as it grows quickly and can take over your garden.

It’s particularly important not to let ivy grow up the trunks of trees. The thick aerial roots will cling to the bark and damage it. In severe cases, the plant will smother your trees and they will die.

However, ivy is a fuss-free climbing plant that can be used to cover fences and other unattractive structures. Just keep it off the walls of your house to avoid possible damage.

You also want to check with your local council to see whether this plant is regarded as an invasive species in your region.

Which areas of Australia regard ivy as an invasive species?

In Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania, English ivy (Hedera helix) is regarded as a significant environmental pest. This is because it can easily take root when prunings are dumped in bushland.

Hedera | Plant varieties
English ivy (Hedera helix)

Plus, ivy that’s allowed to flower and set seed can be spread by birds into neighbouring bushland areas. However, I’ve had this species of ivy growing both in my last garden and in the current one and I’ve never seen it flower.

Ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) is regarded as a pest species in Western Australia. However, it’s not regarded as a restricted or prohibited plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. 

Types of Ivy to grow in Australia

Apart from the more invasive English ivy, there are other varieties that you might like to consider.

Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

Boston Ivy Parthenocissus tricuspidata | Plant varieties
Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata)

This attractive climber is not a true ivy. However, it has similar foliage, is an excellent climber and is not likely to become invasive. It’s a deciduous plant and new leaves will emerge in spring.

These are pretty coppery-red in colour and turn bright green as they age. You’ll get another amazing display of colour from Boston ivy when autumn comes around.

The leaves will turn all shades of red and orange before eventually dropping off the vine.

Glacier Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Glacier’)

Glacier Ivy Hedera helix ‘Glacier | Plant varieties
Glacier Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Glacier’)

This is a variegated form of the common English ivy. It prefers to grow in bright, indirect light and has leaves in variegations of deep green and cream.

It can be grown similarly to English ivy over fences and other structures. It has the same aerial roots that will attach themselves naturally.

It’s also an attractive plant to grow in a hanging basket.

Gold Heart Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Gold Heart’)

This is another very attractive variegated form of English ivy. However, this cultivar has leaves that are golden yellow in the centre and dark green around the edges.

It’s also perfect for growing over fences and other surfaces as it has aerial roots that will attach themselves to the structure. 

Parsley Crested Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Parsley Crested’)

Parsley Crested Ivy Hedera helix ‘Parsley Crested | Plant varieties
Parsley Crested Ivy (Hedera helix ‘Parsley Crested’) / Photo by Agnieszka Kwiecień / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

This is an interesting cultivar that has leaves with ruffled edges. It’s particularly easy to grow and prefers partial shade in hotter regions.

Parsley crested ivy can be grown on fences or over pergolas. It can also be used as an interesting ground cover under trees and even grows well as an indoor plant.

Devils Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Devils Ivy Epipremnum aureum | Plant varieties
Devils Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Once again, this is not a true ivy but has a similar growth habit. It has oblong-shaped leaves in variegations of dark green and gold. 

This makes quite an attractive houseplant but it can be used to grow over fences and other structures as it also has aerial roots.

However, if you plan to grow this outdoors in the garden, be sure to check with your local council to ensure that it’s not regarded as an invasive species.


What is the most aggressive ivy?

English ivy (Hedera helix) is likely to be the most aggressive species and grows quickly to spread over fences and other structures. It can also grow as a ground cover under trees.

Does ivy like sun or shade?

Ivy can be grown in both sun and shade as it is very hardy.

Is it OK to let ivy grow on your house?

You really shouldn’t let ivy grow on your house because the tough aerial roots can damage the mortar in brick walls. Also, keep ivy off your trees because it will damage the bark and smother the tree.

Photo of author

Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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