The Q&A Archives: Poison Ivy in the Iris

Question: My fiance and I have just purchased a new home and the previous owners did nothing with the yard. There is a ring of lilies and iris in the yard, but there is also quite a bit of poison ivy there as well. What is the best way to get rid of it without hurting the bulbs?

Answer: The least disruptive would be to cut the poison ivy off at ground level, then paint the cut ends with an herbicide containing glyphosate. You will probably have to repeat the treatment, poison ivy is very persistent and has strong root reserves. Do not allow the herbicide to contact the flowers as it will damage them. Carefully untwine the vining portion of the poison ivy from around the flowers. Dispose of it in the trash; do not burn it. You might be able to use plastic bags as temporary long gloves to protect your arms while you work.

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