Fatshedera lizei

The trick with this plant is training and clipping. It’s ridiculously accommodating and obliging but keep clipping it (shears or secateurs) and the leaves become slightly smaller and the whole thing becomes denser and tighter. As long as it’s not exposed to too much sun, it ALWAYS looks good. Vigorous and shiny and very unsusceptible to pests and diseases. Being a hybrid between a climber and a shrub, it has something of an identity crisis. If you want it to cover something, it will, but you must tie it on to what ever you’re trying to cover. Left to its own devices it will cover the ground and, to some extent, pile itself up upon itself. Does that make sense?

The flowers are a collection of white balls on a spike with a rather pleasant smell. They’re familiar – smaller than on a Fatsia and bigger than on an Ivy. Of course.

On a botanic note : this is called a bi-generic hybrid. This is an uncommon arrangement – a cross between two genera – Ivy (Hedera helix) and Fatsia. They’re related but not as closely related as is usual with hybrids. Usually they’re a cross between different species but they’re the same genus. If one of your parents is a climber (Ivy) and the other’s a shrub, how does it feel? Like a rolling stone?

Severe frost (-4°c or below) will give the leaves a glazed, pendulous look. It can look terminal but it’s not. They recover wonderfully well as soon as the temperature rises.

Can get to around 2.5m by 2.5m spread. Propagated by us from cuttings.

N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.

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