Several inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis and action, as well as an atmospheric ethylene scrubber, were used to investigate the role of ethylene in adventitious root initiation in de-bladed petioles from the juvenile and mature phase of English ivy (Hedera helix L.). Induction of root primordia required NAA regardless of the inhibitor treatment. Difficult-to-root mature petioles have been shown to produce higher amounts of ethylene than easy-to-root juvenile petioles. However, mature petioles failed to root under any combination of NAA and inhibitor treatment, indicating that the continued evolution of ethylene in NAA-treated mature petioles was not responsible for the absence of a rooting response. Root initiation in juvenile petioles was not affected by treatment with the ethylene action inhibitors STS and NDE, nor by removal of atmospheric ethylene with KMnO. Inhibition of ethylene biosynthesis using AVG or AOA reduced root initiation in juvenile petioles, but this response was not well-correlated to the observed reduction in ethylene evolution. The inhibitory action of AVG could not be reversed by the addition of ethylene gas or ACC, which indicated that AVG could be acting through a mechanism other than the inhibition of ethylene biosynthesis. Chemical names used: 1-naphthalene acetic acid (NAA); l-aminocyclopropane-l-carboxylic acid (ACC); silver thiosulfate (STS); 2,5-norbornadiene (NDE); aminoethyoxyvinyl-glycine (AVG); aminooxyacetic acid (AOA).