Hedera helix 'Goldheart' is possibly one of the most attractive of the variegated ivies. It has lovely foliage being dark green with bright yellow centres and, although vigorous, can be easily kept under control.
It prefers an alkaline soil in sun or partial shade and protection from harsh winds. It is slow to get established but, once settled, will grow quickly to 4m. To contain this climber in a small space it should be pruned regularly, primarily in spring but pruning at any time of year will do no harm. If allowed to grow to maturity it will produce insignificant flowers in summer followed by black berries much loved by birds.
Hedera helix 'Goldheart' is the perfect wall climber but is also useful to cover fences, tree stumps, sheds and unsightly garden features. It can easily be trained into complex topiary shapes with the aid of wire and moss. The lovely tapering dark green leaves are lit by a gorgeous yellow centre and need sun to retain the variegation.
The flowers attract bees and other insects and the berries provide a useful food source for birds in winter. As with all ivies it produces adventitious roots wherever the stems touch the wall and only needs support initially. It is also best grown on its own as a specimen without competition.
Hedera helix 'Goldheart' is generally healthy and easy to grow although aphids, scale insects, vine weevil and leafspot can very occasionally cause a problem. Use gloves when pruning the climber as the sap can prove an irritant and ingesting any part of the plant will cause severe discomfort.
Ivy has played its part in pagan religions throughout the ages. In classical times it was sacred to Bacchus and, as an evergreen, played an important part in Druid ceremonies. Decorating our homes with holly, ivy and mistletoe at Christmas dates back to those pagan days when their evergreen properties were considered magical.