September 9th 2020
New research from a joint study by the RHS and the University of Reading has found that the common ivy plant (Hedera helix) is the most effective plant cover for cooling buildings and reducing humidity.
As the vertical gardening trend is only set to increase, this research has arrived at the perfect time.
There have been concerns that these green walls may increase relative humidity and cause damp issues on the walls, but as the research demonstrates - this is not the case.
The research paper compared ivy (Hedera helix) against boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) and climbing hydrangea (Pileostegia viburnoides).
The evidence showed that common ivy was the best plant for summer cooling as it was able to reduce the internal and external wall temperatures by 7.2c and 5.7c respectively.
Dr Tijana Blanusa (RHS Principal Horticultural Scientist) worked on this new paper alongside Dr Faye Thomsit-Ireland, Dr Emmanuel A. Essah and Paul Hadley of the University of Reading.