Ivy can provide groundcover to your lawn or garden outside, or thrive as a potted plant inside your home. When it stays where you want it to be, ivy can provide visual stimulation to your yard and a habitat for a variety of birds and insects. If left unchecked, however, ivy can easily spread so far that it takes over your lawn, and eventually your neighbor’s lawn too. Keeping your ivy trimmed will provide the groundcover you want without the excess you don’t want.
Trim an indoor ivy plant. If you have an indoor ivy plant in a pot, it may start to creep out of its pot and take over your living room if you do not take proper care of it. Use your pruning shears to cut off any rogue ivy vines, keeping it close to the pot you planted it in. If you do not have pruning shears, you can pinch off the stems with your fingers. You can also take your cuttings and re-pot them to make new plants, or just dispose of them.
Prune an outdoor plant. You should prune your outdoor ivy plant two or three times a year to promote healthy growth. However, you can trim your ivy plant any other time it starts to get unruly. Cut the plant back with your pruning shears, and be sure to dispose of any cuttings; if you leave them in your yard, they may take root and re-create the problem you had in the first place.
Prevent future excess growth. If you have an ivy plant that isn't climbing anything, you can give it something to climb so that it will start to grow up instead of out. Plant a stake in the ground or provide a garden wall or even a trellis or gazebo for the ivy to climb outdoors. Inside, you can use a wire topiary frame or a smaller wooden stake. You can also take a section of ivy that is growing too far outward and pull it back toward the center of your garden. Pin it down to the ground and it will root; then you can cut off the new growth from the parent plant and let it grow on its own. You can also fence in your ivy plant using a stone garden wall or a set of garden stones placed around the area where you want the plant to stay. This should slow or stop the excess growth of the plant into unwanted territory.