Sunday, July 8, 2018

How to Bring English Ivy Back to Life - A Review of What Worked

How to Repair English Ivy
Let me start by saying, I'm not a gardening expert.

What you'll find here is something I tried from an online search on how to bring English Ivy back to life … and it sounded too simple, but it freaking worked!

I can't guarantee you'll have as much luck as I did, but considering how easy it was, perhaps you'll be able to restore your Ivy as well? It's worth a try.

I've included a couple of videos, both taken just recently in 2018: One shows the disaster that our Ivy became this year, along with patchy, blotchy lawn.

The other video shows the results of new lawn growth and Ivy growth after using the two products indicated below.

BEFORE: Take a Look at the Disaster of our Ivy this Year. You'll also see the Lawn before the Repairs. What a Mess!

What Killed the Ivy You Ask?

The Ivy that surrounds our back patio has been there, without ever dying, since we had the patio installed in the early 1990s. I've NEVER had to repair it. The Ivy has always been a reliable patio ground-cover support.

We chose Ivy because it's maintenance free and has been so until this year, 2018.

So what took the life out of our Ivy? It could have been the harsh winter we just had, but I doubt that as we've had many harsh winters over the past twenty plus years. Or it could have been dog urine. We recently had a lovely dog visitor over the winter and he enjoyed choosing the Ivy to do his business on. Quite frankly, we suspect it was the doggie urine.

What Did We Do to Repair the Ivy?

The big secret was Miracle Grow. Honestly our Ivy was so bad that I really didn't expect it to work. After searching online for what to use to revive the Ivy, the most consistent response Google kept kicking back was 'Miracle Grow'. So I gave in, and tried it.

AFTER: Take a Look at the Ivy and Lawn After the Repair was Done this Year!

There's a Few HOWEVERS Though

1. However, as mentioned above, each year I repair our lawn with Scotts EZseed Patch and Repair. Scotts EZ is a combination of Mulch, Seed and Fertilizer.
Here's the Ivy fully Repaired - The Lawn Growing Nicely

I highly recommend Scotts EZSeed!

Every year I buy several large bags and spread it along the perimeter of our cedar trees and on the dry dead patches of our lawn.

The cedar trees suck the life out of our lawn, so after replacing our lawn three times over the past several decades, I decided to consistently repair it year after year instead. Best decision.

Also, I  did try another brand of Lawn Repair and Scotts was far superior.

The reason I mention the Lawn repair is because who knows whether the fertilizer in it somehow enhanced the Miracle Grow on the Ivy. Not being a gardener, I have no idea, but thought you should know.

2. That's not the only fertilizer in our yard. Each year I also put 36 Tree Fertilizer Spikes in the ground around the cedars. You can read about how awesome that works for the trees here.

So in summary, our annual routine is normally tree fertilizer spikes and Scotts EZSeed Repair for the lawn, but this year's disaster with the Ivy called for Miracle Grow to repair it, and it worked!

Here's What the Ivy Looked Liked Last Year and Every Year Before that - Before the 'Dead Ivy' Crisis of 2018.

We've restored the Ivy again and it's Well on it's Way to Looking Like it has for over 20 Years

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Looks like the Miracle Grow did the trick for you. I'm not sure yet which direction I'm taking my yard. We aren't keeping our lawn because of the water shortage. It's brown now and I'm letting any flowers sprouting in it stay until I decide what to do next. I don't have any ivy at this house.

    1. Barbara that would be so tricky to try and figure out what to do with lawn that is subject to water restrictions. We've had a few years where that happened, but not too many. It's a real issue if it happens all the time. I'd have to do a lot of research on rock gardens. But our front yard doesn't have lawn, it's all stones and bushes and trees. There is lawn on the curb though. Because of our trees the grass never looked good in the front so I ended up going to Home Depot and buying a lot of large stepping stones and did the entire front yard with them around the trees. Stepping stones may be something to consider as well in your case?

  2. Barbara, I work part time at Ace Hardware and our gardening section highly recommends Miracle Grow for problems such as yours. We also have a part time expert - a retired 30-year veteran of the County Agriculture Office - working there. What Ed doesn't know about plants, trees, flowers, lawns, etc. would fit on the head of a pin and Miracle Grow is his go'to for situations like yours. Great job for finding a solution to your ivy problem!

    1. Pat, the gentleman at Ace Hardware sounds like he knows his stuff for sure. Great to have a go-to person like for gardening. So many employees at other hardware stores tend to know very little re gardening. Miracle Grow is fantastic for sure.

  3. Miracle Gro has in fact worked miracles with our plants in the past too. Sometimes we don't know what happened to a particular bush or plant, but urine definitely kills. We do love our doggies, but having them does take a toll on anything planted in our fenced backyard. My pretty plants either have to go in pots or on the other side of the fence. Your backyard is lovely and the patio is gorgeous!

    1. Cynthia, thank you :) - and Miracle Grow is amazing isn't it! It seems to work for everything

  4. I agree with both ! Miracle and Scotts EZ ( a must in the spring for harsh winters!) or where the snow plow veered off the driveway and pushed the "lawn" north :) )

    1. snow plowing can do a number on some lawns for sure

  5. Great job and great repair hints and tips. I would add one more suggestion that might help the lawn to need less repair and that is to invest in a root irrigation tube to water the cedars at the roots instead of surface watering. Great review Barbara!

    1. Great idea Grammie, I'll have to investigate that :)

  6. Wow...that's a HUGE difference! Great review.


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