The Q&A Archives: Poison Ivy


Answer: First off, when working
the property, be aware that poison ivy can grow as a ground
cover, as a vine, or in a bush form which can make it hard
to recognize; in my (sad) experience, the hairy vine all by
itself in addition to the foliage can cause a reaction in
sensitized individuals.

To kill it you can either hand-pull it (wearing adequate
protective gear) or very carefully use an herbicide such as
glyphosate according to the label instructions. (Glyphosate is
an indiscriminate herbicide and will damage all green plants,
not just the poison ivy, so read the instructions and be
if you are working around desirable plants. Use the
appropriate formulation listed for poison ivy -- sometimes it
is called "brush killer" or similar strength.) You can also
"smother" it by cutting it off close to the ground and then
covering it with several layers of newspaper or cardboard
followed by a thick layer of mulch. Any one of these
approaches may need to be repeated at least once.
Unfortunately, this is one persistent plant.

If you rip out the plant, never burn the debris as the smoke
carry the irritant. Also, the plant is deciduous and loses its
leaves in the winter, but sensitized individuals may still react
the leafless vine.

I hope this helps!

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "sunset on summer"