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How to Get Ivy to Grow Over a Pergola

Nannie Kate

A pergola is an ideal structure for training vining plants because its open design offers a network of climbing opportunities. Ivy is an ideal vining plant to train to climb a pergola because, as ivy grows, it sends out tendrils or aerial roots, depending on the variety, that seek a place to latch onto. From each place the ivy attaches itself on the pergola it grows beyond, developing more tendrils or aerial roots and attaches again. Because ivy naturally wants to climb, it is an easy task to get it to grow over a pergola.

Ivy naturally wants to climb.

Step 1

Plant ivy around the base of a shaded pergola in soil that is rich with organic material. The healthier the ivy plant, the more optimally it will perform when vining.

Step 2

Keep the soil moist but not flooded. Ivy needs constant moisture for proper growth.

Step 3

Allow the ivy to grow until the vine is long enough to reach the nearest upright pergola post.

Step 4

Wrap the ivy tendrils or aerial roots around the upright pergola post as they form and become long enough to do so. Ivy is a natural climber and should take willingly to gentle wrapping.

Step 5

Tie errant vines to the upright post of the pergola if the plant does not seek the upright to attach itself. Use old stockings or a strip of cloth to tie around the post, gently capturing the vine in place.

Step 6

Trim the climbing ivy in the spring with pruning shears if growth has gone beyond the parameters you prefer. Shape the ivy however you like to make it conform to the shape of the pergola.