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x Fatshedera - Growing Guide

Growing x Fatshedera

Ivy tree

x Fatshedera are bigeneric evergreen shrubs derived from a garden cross between Fatsia and Hedera (ivy) in around 1910. They are popular houseplants but, as you would expect, they are also perfectly hardy garden plants which grow well in shade and are very tolerant of polluted atmospheres in cities or near industrial estates. In pots they have an upright appearance and can therefore be used to train up walls or fences. However they also make excellent self-rooting groundcover plants if left to their own devices in a shady spot where little else will thrive.

x Fatshedera lizei is a cross between Fatsia japonica and Hedera hibernica (Irish ivy). It is commonly known as the ‘tree ivy’ and has a spreading loosely branched appearance. The palmate leathery leaves are dark green with five or seven lobes. In autumn it produces sterile greenish white flowers in panicles or umbels. It will grow eventually to about 10ft in height with a spread of 4-6ft. If you want to cover a wall, fence or pergola with something rather less invasive and slower growing than just ivy then this may well be the evergreen for you.

F. ‘Annemieke’ (syn. ‘Lemon and Lime’) has yellow variegated leaves and F. ‘Variegata’ has leaves which are narrowly margined creamy white. These two variegated forms make attractive house or garden plants but can be subject to scorching in full sunlight.

x Fatshedera are easily pruned by pinching out the growing tips or stems to encourage bushiness. Propagation from greenwood cuttings with bottom heat is as straightforward as you would expect from something so closely related to ivy. As a bigeneric hybrid there are no seeds and the plant is sterile.

This is a popular and easy plant to grow with a variety of uses. If you do grow it in the greenhouse or as a house plant watch out for mealy bug infestations in summer and hand pick the offenders at once if possible.

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