RHS research into preventing ivy attachment
Ivy, with its strong attachment to walls, can be a worry to homeowners, concerned about whether it might damage wall surfaces or block gutters. Growing ivy or other climbers up a building wall can, however, have many benefits; vegetative cover can insulate and cool the building, trap pollutants and attenuate noise.
Options to control or prevent ivy attachment were therefore investigated within a part RHS-funded PhD project, based at the University of Reading. A series of experiments with two ivy species (Hedera hibernica and H. helix) was conducted using both a laboratory model system, but also mature H. helix growing up a wall.
Copper and zinc sheets, as well as dense copper mesh, completely prevented ivy attachment, while otherwise not compromising healthy plant growth.
- Application of two coats of ‘Easy-On’, a clear anti-graffiti, silane-based, nanoparticle paint, was as efficient in preventing attachment
- Application of another, petrochemical-based paint, while not completely preventing ivy attachment, significantly weakened it, thus easing ivy management
Read the full paper with details on chosen deterrents and possible mechanisms which make them effective.