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Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
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SCurtis
Oct 21, 2014 1:22 PM CST
Hey guys I bought my house and thought the ground cover was pretty, but then found out rather quickly that I did not like the ground cover the previous owners or whoever planted bad smelling ivy. I mean I am not kidding when I say it's bad smelling. Also, by the end of the summer it was growing absolutely everywhere. So for an anniversary present last fall my husband hired landscapers to redo a big part of my front yard which included taking out the ivy and planting pretty rosemary bushes, bulbs, and tulips. It was very pretty for a few weeks come spring but then the ivy was back in a fury. (Duh the landscapers refused it was their fault and wouldn't come back out and redo their work) This stuff is so invasive it grew under my concrete walkway and to the other side. It also is growing in the little cracks in the driveway. So I dug up all the tulips and rosemary and put in pots and dug up all the mulch and dirt to where the ivy was at. I dug it out as much as i could and have hit it all summer with roundup I found at Lowes for kudzu and other invasive ivys. It seems to go away for a few weeks then it pops up again and again and again. Any advice on what to do next? I'm starting to get frustrated with having all my dirt on the walkway (alot of pots strewn everywhere with rosemary bushes and tulip bulbs in it lol) and my front yard looking so horrible all summer little less would I want it to continue being this bad into the winter. I'd love to get it back to a somewhat decent spot so come spring I get my pretty tulips blooming again. Thanks so much!
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Oct 21, 2014 1:32 PM CST
Sounds like Chameleon plant, Houttuynia cordata. Do you have a picture of it?

There are a few of us here who have had the misfortune of battling this plant. If that is indeed what you have, topical sprays will not get rid of it. It regrows from a mother deep in the ground. You have to get out ALL the roots. And I mean ALL of the roots. When this plant finds a situation where it is happy it is uncontrollable I'm sorry to say.


Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 21, 2014 2:55 PM CST
The landscapers worked to quickly to plant new items and did not wait until the old vegetation had time to die. They are irresponsible (in my mind) and should have known better if they had not been too quick to take your money.

Watering the new plants like the bulbs and rosemary only helped the old vegetation to continue growing. You must dig up ALL the old stuff as jvdubb said - every bit of it - it may be necessary to use some type of systemic herbicide and wait (that's the hardest part) to be sure that the old plants are very dead before planting and watering.

Yes, please, upload some detailed photos of the plants and the entire area involved. And please, what is your location generally speaking as it may have some bearing on the answers you receive. Thank You!

My 'joke' answer would be: Get a goat!
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 21, 2014 4:16 PM CST
My simpleton's answer is, any plant that you keep cutting the tops off, the roots will eventually starve and it will die. I think keeping a sharp pruning shears by the door, and going out as often as possible to 'patrol' the area for new sprouts of the ivy, cutting off every single leaf you see will get you results without weed killer. Not quickly, but a lot less work than trying to dig up every root and having the whole yard a mess for months.

You definitely need to get your bulbs planted back in where they were right away, and before the weather warms up in spring, plant the rosemary back where it was, too. Keep after it, and have faith that you will win eventually.

Reason I know this is because we did eventually control the perennial morning glory in my daughter's garden in Salt Lake this way. I say 'control' rather than kill because it kept creeping in from the neighbors' but there really wasn't much we could do except keep vigilant.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 22, 2014 9:23 AM CST
It is a chameleon plant jvdubb I'm so glad you knew what I was talking about! (Although now I'm more nervous if it's so notorious that you knew what i was talking about that easily.) I'd take a picture of it but I keep on pulling it up and spraying every time I see a sprig.

Dyzzy I've tried the pick it when it comes up method but it doesn't work too well sadly it's just wayyyy too much. I'd probably be pulling all the time. I guess eventually it'd start to thin but I guess I'm a tad bit more impatient. I am doing that method with my neighbors crappy grass that is constantly vining into my side garden but that's an impossible project for another day.

I've tried my best on multiple occasions to dig it all up. I can't dig up what's underneath the walkway though and I'm afraid that's where the remnants of roots are, and the roots are VERY DEEP I spent a few hours on just a few square feet of area then a few months later that area had some already growing back into it. I would say that the area is about a 20 sq foot area about? Before I really started battling the ivy it was taking on the yard and winning. I'll take a picture of it when I get back from work so you guys can experience my misery.

My thought for this fall to at least get it looking presentable for every single child and parent to see for halloween. I was thinking of doing one more really good dig then spraying it then putting in some landscaping fabric then some pine needles? The pine needles would be easier to move than the mulch next spring if any try to grow through the fabric. I guess i'm pretty nervous that yet again next spring the ivy will come out with vengeance.

As far as the rosemary and bulbs go, I was thinking about winterizing the rosemary inside and planting the bulbs somewhere else then when I know for sure that the ivy is gone I'll just get some more bulbs to plant in there. Thanks guys for giving me some good ideas.
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
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jvdubb
Oct 22, 2014 10:29 AM CST
@SCurtis , at first I tried the poison the tops and keep picking it out method. It got me no where.

Here is what I did. I had this beast in two areas (from the former home owner). The second area came from the first area because like yours it rooted under the sidewalk and spread to the next bed. It was so bad in the original bed that the roots strangled one tree and three shrubs. I ripped all of that out. Then I dug out THE WHOLE BED, 18 inches deep. I sifted all the soil. Yes it was a pain! And it looked like hell for the whole summer (I could only do bits at a time). I then let the bed sit over the winter. In the spring I waited to see how much would come up. Only a few pieces did. They were easy enough to dig out. Then I planted the bed. I still have to keep an eye out though. Because apparently it reseeds too. So occasionally I have little babies starting. Luckily they have shallow roots and are easy to pull. I just have to be vigilant because I don't want any to get established and go through that hell again!

Now the second area where it spread I could not dig out because I have a lovely Japanese Maple there. So all I could do there was carefully dig out what I could and then every week of the growing season I would monitor new shoots and paint them with undiluted weed killer. I'm still doing this two years later. I don't think I will ever win. But at least it has not harmed the tree.

As for it in the grass...I had to resort to spraying the grass with a product that has 2,4d in it. It kills the tops of the of the chamelon plant but does not harm the grass. Thankfully it had not invaded the grass too much.

So that is my Chameleon Plant horror story. You can win the battle but it takes extreme measures.
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 22, 2014 12:33 PM CST
Oh my!!!!! Man this stuff sounds like a major horror story, at least I'm not the only one! Do you guys think landscaping fabric will kill them? or should I dig up more and leave it alone till next year?
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Oct 22, 2014 12:55 PM CST
No I do not think landscape fabric will help at all. It will just follow along until it finds a place to pop up.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Oct 22, 2014 1:14 PM CST
If you just want the area to look good for the folks at Halloween, sure, go ahead and cover the area with landscape fabric and pine straw, but that's if only for appearance.

Getting rid of this plant is a long-term project.

You will need to be vigilant and dig, dig, dig.

My alternative -
I had suggested the systemic herbicide but perhaps I should explain in more detail what I meant - this is about a different plant but the results will be the same:

We were hired to eliminate a stand of poison ivy that was growing among desirable plants. We could not pull every bit of poison ivy without damaging the existing plantings. We could not spray for the same reason. A local landscaper had told me his trick. Fill a small container with liquid systemic herbicide, dig a small hole and bury the container. Place the end of the plant into the container so it is in contact with the chemical and use a clip clothes pin to secure the plant in that position. Cover the container to keep out rain, children and animals. Do this at the growing end of as many 'bad' plants as you can. Then wait. And wait some more. The systemic herbicide will enter the plant and will eventually kill the entire plant down to the roots. Definitely NOT a quick fix but it gets the job done.

Good luck and hope you find a way that works for you.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
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NJBob
Oct 22, 2014 10:30 PM CST
The only thing that ever worked for me is putting on poison ivy concentrate full strength.
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 23, 2014 7:53 AM CST
I promise you, there is no way landscape fabric is going to solve this problem. Fortunately I've never had the misfortune to battle this weed, one of the most notoriously difficult ones to eradicate. But I think you are on the right track with smothering since you've removed the desirable plants.

There are weeds, and then there are weeds!. A weed like this is an all-or-nothing affair. Leaving any tiny bit is unacceptable since it will never stop taking over until you win the battle. Gardening around it isn't an option. However, once you gain control of your garden, unless you hardly ever go look at it, you should be able to keep 'normal' weeds under control by simply pulling anything whenever you are taking a minute to look at your pretty garden, hopefully often. That way, there's never 'weeding to do,' a horrible situation to let happen, and much more time consuming overall.

Smothering blocks the light, and physically prevents plants from being able to push up out of the ground. When a plant is as determined as chameleon, you have to bring out the big guns. It's going to take something strong, that is left alone long enough that you know it can't possibly still be alive - definitely not newspaper.

I would use sheet metal for this, if at all possible. Nothing can grow through sheet metal, but it has the drawback of not being able to secure the seams well, sheets are only a couple feet wide. You can't cover it with straw because the straw will just blow away. It could be covered with mulch though, or raked leaves.

A less strong option would be *thick* plastic, like a tarp. Plastic has the drawback of being ugly, but you would need to put at least 6" of mulch (heavy, shredded hardwood - not something light-weight, like bark chips or pine straw) over it anyway for it to have any hope of working. Plastic has the advantage of being large, easy to work with, fewer seams for plants to possibly exploit.

Cardboard would be my 3rd choice, but even large, flattened boxes from furniture or appliances also have seams that plants can exploit if not overlapping well - like at least a foot, and a single layer may decompose before the plant dies under it. I've never failed to kill anything I smothered with cardboard, even English ivy, berry vines, but would use 2, maybe 3 layers of it, from reading so many anecdotes about this plant' tenacity, and knowing it may take longer than the time required for 1 layer to decompose. Cardboard would also need a thick layer of heavy mulch to complete the light-blocking aspect, keep cardboard from blowing away, and make it heavy enough to physically prevent the plants from being able to break up through it. However, if done well, overlapping the seams so nothing can escape and keep going, the cardboard doesn't need to be removed later. Just add desirable plants again after you've determined, for sure, the chameleon plant is dead.

If you think you have a problem now, this is what landscape fabric looks like after a few years. About 4-5 years after being laid, there are tons of weeds, it looks hideous, and although I pleaded with Mom not to do this, *I'm* the one who will have to tear it out - and all of the weeds and baby trees. You can't spray failed landscape fabric with anything to get rid of it.
Thumb of 2014-10-23/purpleinopp/9a069f

P.S. For future reference regarding less hard-to-kill wayward plants... Herbicides that go on foliage won't do anything if used after pulling, that's kind of backwards. The leaves absorb the chemical and it is delivered to the roots. Spraying anything but healthy leaves is ineffective. I don't think glyphosate (Roundup) kills chameleon plant at all, if it even makes it ill - or it wouldn't be such a notorious weed. Folks would just spray it and move on, not writing articles, blogs and journals about how it won't die! For any plant that it *is* possible to kill with RU, it works best when it's a warm, sunny day, sprayed on happily growing plant material. Except for the possible, unusually warm day, it's way past RU-spraying season (if one expects it to work.)

Whatever you decide will be best for you - best of luck!
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 23, 2014 8:30 AM CST
I agree on the landscape fabric. It's never been anything but a pain in the patootie for me.

How about clear plastic? Is the area in the sun at all at this time of year? Clear plastic burns everything that puts a leaf above ground, if the sun shines through it. It also prevents the rain from getting to the area to encourage new growth.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
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SCurtis
Oct 23, 2014 11:58 AM CST
Yes I know landscaping fabric is horrible! The previous owners also put that stuff everywhere, I'm still having a hard time getting it up!! If I ever move, I'm going to move to a house that the previous owners were conscious with what they did with their landscape. It's so hard to get around the horrible stuff. I think I'll try cardboard because I always hoard it for this very purpose and have a lot stored up in my garage. I'm not sure if the clear plastic would work dyzzy because it only gets a bit of morning sun.

It's weird you mention that Tiffany, the directions on the ivy roundup told me to pick all the tops off and then soak the ground with the roundup? I have a bottle of the undiluted stuff, I think I'll dig up whatever I can then hit it one more time with the undiluted bottle. Then cardboard it very very thickly (maybe midnight run to the cardboard recycler when no one is looking to get more? Blinking THEN tons O mulch? Any suggestions on what kind? The rest of my house is the black stuff but I don't mind using a different type I was even thinking of using the red rubber mulch just to see if that'd heat it up and *cook* everything more, but I don't want a pain something similar to landscaping fabric to deal with.

I'll be doing most of this this weekend, already pre warned the hubby of our weekend plans! lol
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Oct 23, 2014 12:19 PM CST
I'm also not a fan of rubber mulch, although it may work differently where you are. Down here, it gets hot, (and smells!) so it doesn't regulate soil temperature well at all, then also (unless it's on top of landscape fabric) it will sink into the soil and haunt you forever.

A good organic mulch (wood chip, bark, pine straw, even leaves) is a good insulator, prevents erosion, regulates moisture well and breaks down to enrich the soil. True you do have to keep adding to it every few years, but in the long run you are improving the soil.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." โ€“Winston Churchill
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Oct 23, 2014 12:33 PM CST
No rubber mulch, they're starting to tenuously link to that to causing cancer. Also think it would move around too much to be helpful for this purpose at all, and probably not heavy enough.

Shredded wood mulch would be the heaviest, best able to block light and add weight, least expensive. Overlap the seams of the cardboard well. Don't try to stretch it, wait until you can find/get more if necessary. If you call a mom'n'pop furniture or appliance store, they should be able to help you get some large cardboard. Just remove any tape or staples before using.

If there are other types of roundup besides glyphosate, it's not something I know about, have never read anything about that name of product having other active ingredients. Sorry, I don't have an answer for that, except that your story of it not working, whatever it is or says to do, would probably make me give up trying it.

Elaine, agreed - I didn't even get into the beneficial microbiology of using cardboard and organic mulch for the smother! It's lovely when killing weeds and building 'good dirt' are accomplished from the same action.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
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โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Sue
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sooby
Oct 23, 2014 12:53 PM CST
SCurtis said:
It's weird you mention that Tiffany, the directions on the ivy roundup told me to pick all the tops off and then soak the ground with the roundup? I have a bottle of the undiluted stuff, I think I'll dig up whatever I can then hit it one more time with the undiluted bottle.


Are you sure the product is RoundUp? You spray RoundUp (glyphosate) on the leaves of the plant and then leave the plant alone for at least seven days for the herbicide to move into the roots and start to kill the plant. Stubborn plants can take 3 weeks or so to die. If you take the tops off too early you stop the herbicide from getting to the roots. It's not intended for soaking the ground, it doesn't work that way.

Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 23, 2014 1:02 PM CST
I was afraid of that, but was curious if the rubber stuff would heat it up well enough to cook it. I'll go with the black stuff, I think it looks nicer anyway, maybe put a layer of leaves on top of the cardboard before putting down the mulch. I agree with the cardboard making it good soil again, sadly I'm afraid it'll take a long time till it's probably 'good' again. With how much roundup I've used on the ivy I'm afraid I've probably made it a toxic waste area! lol

By the way this is the product I've been using:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_416896-24182-704701_4294612876__?pro...

It's the Bayer Adv brush killer large tub with the built in sprayer. I've gone through 2 cans already but have another. You guys think it'll work or should I switch?
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
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RickCorey
Oct 23, 2014 1:11 PM CST
I think that jugs of herbicide will sometimes say "ROUNDUP" in large letters, but when you look at the fine print, it's actually a cocktail of several herbicides and RoundUp is just the least toxic and most "green" of them.

Like a pet food can that says "with real meat". It's not the same as "all meat".

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 23, 2014 1:30 PM CST
(cross-posted)

I don't know how effective it will be against your weed-from-Heck, but I saw this:
"Products that contain triclopyr often contain other herbicide active ingredients such as 2,4-D and clopyralid."

That kind of hints that the nastier chemicals like 2,4-D may be more effective. Of course, they are also much longer-lasting in the soil and water, so they are more likely to be in fine print on the label.

http://www.kellysolutions.com/wi/showproductinfo.asp?Product...

Active Ingredients in Bayer Advanced Brush Killer Plus Ready-to-use [ 72155-22 ]
Chemical Name Triethylamine triclopyr 0.8 %


http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/triclotech.pdf

"Triclopyr is a selective systemic herbicide that mimics the effects of plant hormones (auxins) (2)."
A World Compendium: The Pesticide Manual, 12th ed.; Tomlin, C. D. S., Ed.; British Crop Protection Council: Farnham, UK, 2000; pp 933-934.

It looks like it has has very low toxicity to mammals, fish, bees and insects (for an herbicide) and breaks down in soil or water with a half-life around 45 days depeneding on many factors. One metabolite is moderately toxic, but it also breaks down at around the same speed in soil and water. The animal testing they've done looks to me like it's not very toxic at all, especially for an herbicide.

Synonyms for Active Ingredient: Triethylamine triclopyr:
3,5,6-Trichloro-2-pyridinyloxyacetic acid, TEA salt
Acetic acid, ((3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl)oxy)-, compd. with ,N-diethylethanamine (1:1)
Triclopyr, triethylamine salt
Triethylammonium triclopyr
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Oct 23, 2014 1:52 PM CST
OK so not RoundUp. I downloaded the Bayer Advanced Brush Killer Plus (active ingredient triclopyr as Rick mentioned) label and I can't see anywhere that it says "...the directions on the ivy roundup told me to pick all the tops off and then soak the ground with the roundup?" The nearest thing to that would be the cut stump treatment where you cut the top off a plant and treat the cut end of the stump. I think with Houttuynia it would be better to spray the plant intact as instructed on the label, and then give it time to work, because there isn't going to be much of a "stump". It says symptoms may take 1-6 weeks. This assumes that it works for Houttuynia.
[Last edited by sooby - Oct 23, 2014 1:54 PM (+)]
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