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Cape Ivy

Senecio mikanioides

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Cape Ivy (Senecio mikanioides) at Roger's Gardens

Cape Ivy foliage

Cape Ivy foliage

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  20 feet

Spread:  24 inches

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  10a

Other Names:  syn. Delairea odorata, German Ivy, Parlor Ivy

Description:

A non-woody vine producing fleshy, glossy green leaves with angular lobes; creates a dense groundcover or screen, and is great for hanging baskets; will spread and seed vigorously in warmer climates where it is considered invasive

Ornamental Features

Cape Ivy has attractive green foliage which emerges light green in spring. The glossy lobed leaves are highly ornamental and remain green throughout the winter. It features dainty clusters of lightly-scented yellow flowers held atop the branches from late winter to early spring. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Cape Ivy is a multi-stemmed evergreen woody vine with a twining and trailing habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance woody vine that will require regular care and upkeep, and can be pruned at anytime. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Invasive
  • Self-Seeding

Cape Ivy is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use
  • Groundcover
  • Hanging Baskets

Planting & Growing

Cape Ivy will grow to be about 20 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 24 inches. As a climbing vine, it tends to be leggy near the base and should be underplanted with low-growing facer plants. It should be planted near a fence, trellis or other landscape structure where it can be trained to grow upwards on it, or allowed to trail off a retaining wall or slope. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years.

This woody vine does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by cuttings.

Cape Ivy makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in hanging baskets. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Characteristics
Screening  Garden  Groundcover  Basket 
Applications
Flowers  Foliage Color 
Ornamental Features