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Greening the facade with ivy - advantages and disadvantages at a glance

Almost everyone has it in the garden and almost everyone thinks it is beautiful. We're talking about ivy. It cuts a particularly good figure on a facade. But is it even a good idea to green a facade with it?

Ivy is a popular and very fast growing climbing plant that is often used for greening facades. There is basically nothing to prevent this, at least if you follow a few instructions. Although ivy does not form roots that can cause great damage to the facade, in some cases it can be better if you decide against greening the facade with ivy.

Advantages of greening with ivy

✔ Ivy grows in the shade and also on poor soil:

Shady locations, barren soils - ivy does not care about these facts that kill other plants. Originally known as a forest plant, the tendril can cope with poor lighting conditions and has roots that absorb nutrients even from poor soil.

✔ Ivy is very easy to care for:

In addition, ivy is very easy to care for and only needs pruning. The plant forms individual shoots with adhesive roots that adhere firmly to the house wall and do not lose their hold. You don't need to water or fertilize the plant, just shorten it.

Disadvantages of greening with ivy

✘ regular pruning is necessary:

Basically, you can use ivy and give your house wall a fresh green. However, you should note that you need to do an annual pruning. Otherwise, the plant will cover windows and prevent daylight from shining into the house.

✘ Cracks in the plaster can become a problem:

However, older house facades pose a bigger problem. If cracks form in the plaster or if the plaster comes off in some places, moisture tends to settle here. If ivy now grows over the areas, there is not enough air to get to the plaster so that it can dry off. As a result, mold forms. It is even more dangerous if the adherent roots find their way through the cracks and get stuck in the flaws. They do not blow up the facade, but if they are forcibly removed they lead to greater damage. Before you start with the greening, you should therefore always check the facade for cracks and repair them.

✘ Ivy can get heavy and lift roof tiles:

The climbing plant is also problematic in the roof area. The shoots find their way and entwine themselves along gutters. If roots loosen in the lower area of ​​the facade, the weight of the tendril can damage the gutter. In addition, individual shoots grow under the roof tiles. Here, the removal of the ivy is particularly important, because if the shoots become thicker and larger, they lift the tiles and damage the roof.

✘ Spiders feel good between the ivy:

Other problems can arise from insects. Spiders feel very comfortable among the dark tendrils of the ivy. What is a disadvantage on the one hand is also an advantage. The spiders provide excellent protection against insects and from now on you will be plagued by fewer mosquitoes. Nevertheless, the spiders like to come into the house through the windows, which not everyone likes.

Ivy doesn't grow on every facade

Even if ivy is very easy to care for and thrives well even on poor soil, it does not grow on every facade:

  • fresh concrete masonry is unsuitable
  • bright facades are avoided
  • older facades with cracks should not be greened

Ivy in particular often rejects light-colored facades. Although the plant grows on the ground, it cannot be attached to the facade. This is mainly due to the fact that the light color reflects the sunlight in such a way that the adhesive roots detach from the masonry.


If you want to green the facade of your home with ivy, then think twice. You have to be a bit behind here and have easy access to the roof and all windows to keep them free from ivy. In addition, the facade must be in perfect condition. Greening the facade with ivy is only a good idea if you can guarantee all of this.

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