The Q&A Archives: get rid of ivy

Question: I have ivy that has taken over an area of my yard where I would like to put a flower bed. What's the best way to get rid of the ivy.

Answer: Removing ivy by hand is usually the most effective method for a working in relatively small area. If the area covered with ivy is large, you may want to treat the ivy with a herbicide (with the active ingredient glyphosate or active ingredient triclopyr) using a backpack sprayer. Triclopyr is specific for treating woody plants. Glyphosate is slightly less toxic to animals and people and is a non-specific herbicide meaning it will damage all plants. Again, read the label for application concentrations, warnings and instructions. The waxy coating on ivy can prevent herbicides from penetrating properly. Adding a surfactant to your herbicide application will increase the effectiveness. It may take several weeks for the ivy leaves to lose their green color after a herbicide application, however the leaves should appear wilted within a week. When the ivy is dead, pull it out, roots and all.

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