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The majority of ivy - Hedera, species and cultivars are vigorous, large growing evergreen climbing plants and so when ivy is planted alongside garden walls or trellis it can easily become overgrown. Once it has become unwieldy or has covered the space required, begin cutting it back close to its support during February or March each year. Cut stems back to leave at least 18 inches on each healthy vine.

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Ivy can be pruned again over the summer to remove excessively long runners or any other unwanted growth.

When grown against houses, garages or other substantial garden building, prevent the top growth from venturing into the gutters or onto the roof. If left unchecked, gutters can be blocked and even pulled away from the wall while roof tiles can be lifted allowing rain to enter the roof space.

Even in situations where unlimited growth is not considered a problem, you should periodically prune out sections that become too matted and heavy as the plant may break away from its support.

Tired, old specimens can be rejuvenated by removing the older vines. New growth can be stimulated by pruning the tips back to about 1/2 inch above a leaf or bud.

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