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How Fast Does Ivy Grow on a Fence? (Growth Factors to Know)

How Fast Does Ivy Grow on a Fence? (Growth Factors to Know)

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Are you looking to transform a boring fence into a lush, verdant oasis that not only improves your property’s privacy but also protects your garden from the elements and improves visual appeal? 

The process is easier than you think! 

Ivy plants, with their rapid growth and impressive coverage, can help you do that. Just how fast does ivy grow on a fence, though? Read on to learn about the key factors that influence the growth of ivy plants. 

About the Ivy’s Growth Rate

English ivy has a variable growth rate. Compared to other vines and plants, this one grows much faster, but like all other living things, the growth rate depends on a host of factors.

The plant tends to grow slowly in its first year, though you will notice a marked increase in the rate of growth by the second year. By the time the plant enters its third year, it will fully reach its rate of hitting nine feet per year. 

Needless to say, you will want to take appropriate steps to care for the plant. If you don’t, the rate of growth is going to slow down again. With the right care, the ivy should take over your entire fence within a few years.

Ivy Growing On A Fence

4 Key Factors That Influence Ivy Growth

Like all other plants, the conditions in which the English ivy is grown will play an important role. Make sure you tick all the right boxes and that all of the needs of the plant are met so that it can grow quickly.

There are several important requirements that you need to think about, so let’s talk about them one by one.


Wet Ivy Leaves

If you want the ivy to grow properly, it is recommended that you water it on a regular basis. Note, however, that your watering routine will vary based on the growth of the plant.

While the ivy is still relatively young, make sure the soil remains moist at all times. This means you have to regularly check the soil and make sure that it doesn’t go dry. If the soil remains dry for long periods, you should know that it’s going to have a dire impact on the growth rate of the plant.

Once the plant has been established, you might want to wait it out until the soil dries out completely before watering the plant again. This is important because the soil is going to turn marshy very quickly, and it won’t be long before the plant succumbs to root rot.

While the ivy is generally hardy and resilient, constantly being in marshy soil could have a negative impact.

Potting Soil

As mentioned above, ivy plants do not do well in compacted or marshy soil. That is one of the main reasons why you have to consider using well-draining soil.

Organic matter such as compost is a fantastic choice and the plant is going to do really well in this kind of soil. It’s also going to prevent root rot in the plant because excessive moisture will be allowed to escape.

Additionally, you should make it a habit to aerate the soil at least once a month to make sure that all excess moisture can be released. This is also going to improve the rate of growth of the ivy.


Ivy Wall In Sunlight

The plant also requires adequate amounts of light. However, you should know that the ivy does not do well in excessive sunlight.

Ideally, you should give the plant moderate to full shade because that is what the plant requires to grow at its own pace. These plants are not really demanding and will do just as well in standard sunlight.

Ideally, if the plant gets around 2-3 hours of sunlight in a day, it’s going to grow normally. Excessive sunlight could cause sunburns to the plant and also restrict its growth, so you have to consider that as well.


The ivy plant is quite hardy and can easily survive in all kinds of temperatures. However, the ideal temperature for the plant is between 15°C and 25°C. 

You will notice an effect on the growth of the plant based on the differences in temperature. For instance, when the weather is cold, you will notice a significant reduction in the overall growth speed of the plant.

Preparing the Fence for Ivy Growth

Before introducing ivy to your fence, you must ensure the structure is ready to support its rapid growth and climbing nature. Start by inspecting the fence for loose or unstable components and make necessary repairs. This will create a sturdy foundation for the ivy to latch onto and climb. 

Next, consider the material for your fence. Chain-link or wire fences provide an excellent framework for ivy, allowing the vines to easily weave through the openings. 

Wooden fences may need a little more preparation, like installing vertical slats or trellis panels to give the ivy plants more purchase points. For brick or stone walls, you can attach a trellis or install eye hooks to give the ivy something to grab onto. 

Once the structural foundation is secure, it’s time to encourage ivy’s growth. 

Plant ivy at the base of the fence, making sure the soil is rich and well-draining. As the vines emerge, gently guide them towards the fence, using soft ties or clips to train them upwards. 

Remember, this plant grows very quickly, meaning you need to learn a thing or two about pruning and gardening, because they are incredibly important for appropriate care. 

If you don’t, it won’t be long before the vine spreads all over the garden.

Final Thoughts

With the right conditions and care, ivy can transform a plain fence into a captivating botanical display. Knowing the factors that influence the ivy plant’s growth rate will help you cultivate a lush barrier that boosts aesthetics, privacy, and protection. It also helps purify the air around. 

Whether you’re starting with a chain-link fence or a wooden barrier, ivy’s adaptability and rapid growth make it the ideal choice for adding natural charm and privacy to your outdoor space.

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Tuesday 27th of June 2023

My nursery person suggested English ivy to cover a new wooden fence. He said it wouldn’t take long to cover, but you say it could be years. We plan to be in this house for only 5 years, so this is discouraging news! Any other suggestions for a quick fix? There is full sun!


Sunday 8th of January 2023

I live in Salem, OR. and we have well established English Ivy around our house. I was wanting to get it to grow over an 8 foot by 20 foot trailer that is about 10 feet tall. The ivy is already within a foot of the trailer. It is doing very well in this area but I want it to climb up the walls of the trailer and eventually cover it. I would appreciate any tips. Thank you.


Friday 13th of January 2023

Hi John, I love that idea! I would provide something for the ivy to grab onto, like a trellis or some wiring. If needed, you can use garden tape to lead them in the right direction. Once they are trained to climb, they should keep going up!

Happy Planting, Lisa