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Lawn & Garden

How to Kill English Ivy


It is no wonder why English Ivy has landed itself on my list of most invasive plants and on many states list of plants that are considered to be an ecological threat. That’s right, it’s on the same list as kudzu.


English Ivy is a groundcover and vine that will literally grow where no other plant will. It is for this reason that people feel so inclined to plant it. I can say that it seems like a good idea at the time, when all other plants have failed you. You will not discover your mistake for a good 5 or 6 years after you planted it. It comes when you try to put it back in check with herbicides like Round-Up or Brush killers and it yields you no results.


English Ivy forms an impenetrable waxy layer over the leaf that herbicides cannot penetrate. That’s why the fight is best fought in the early spring when your Ivy is covered in new growth. The new, light green foliage has not yet established that waxy layer, therefore making herbicides containing Glyphosate or Triclopyr more effective than they will ever be. It will take multiple applications to get the upper-hand on this project. Herbicides are most effective when applied once temperatures are consistently above 60 degrees.

 Roundup 32 oz. Concentrate Weed and Grass KillerBayer Advanced 32 oz. Brush Killer Plus Quart Concentrate

If we find ourselves having to fight this fight in the summer, then it is time to change strategies. The new growth is less abundant therefore wounding the plant with a weed-eater or lawn mower is required. Severely cutting off the leaves and scarring up the vines is necessary. Doing this will open up the plants cambium layers, giving the herbicides an access point. Spray the Ivy immediately afterwards. This way also requires multiple applications about 2 weeks apart.

Ivy Removal

If your ivy has started climbing the trees then you will need to cut the vine at the base of the tree, removing it 3 to 5 foot up. After round 2 or 3 with the herbicides, start tearing out the Ivy by hand and you will win this battle. Be sure to read and follow the Herbicides directions and mixing rates.

If the Ivy has climbed onto the side of the house or onto the shingles then it is best to wait until the ivy is completely dead and dried out before you try to remove it. English ivy forms suckers that will hold it firmly to whatever it is growing on. Don't just hastily pull it off the side of the house, as this could pull off the paint. A scraper blade like a putty knife is a good idea, as it can help lessen damage in the removal process. Same goes with ivy removal on the roof. Once it has dried out completely, gently remove it with a putty knife or scraper. 

Wal-Board Tools 6 in. Hammer-End Joint Knife

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Posted 2016-07-24T16:04:11+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL