Poison Ivy Tip: Thanks for the tip

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Poison Ivy Tip

By SongofJoy
May 10, 2012

Need to eradicate poison ivy in your yard this spring? If the leaves are still young and shiny, spray the plant with a solution of 4 tablespoons pure liquid soap (not detergent) mixed in a quart of water. This can kill surrounding vegetation as well so be careful when spraying. And don't handle any parts of the dead plants without gloves and skin protection since the toxic oil (urushiol) can remain active for years in a dead poison ivy plant.

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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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eclayne
May 9, 2012 7:30 PM CST

Plants Admin

This has me excited. No herbicide or hoping the vinegar works (which it often doesn't)! Do you know if this works on poison oak as well?
Evan
Name: Jean
Hot Springs Vlg, AR, DeLand, F
Region: Florida Daylilies Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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rocklady
May 10, 2012 6:00 AM CST
Thanks for the tip. All I have to do is get close to this and I'm itching. What brand of soap do you recommend?
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
May 10, 2012 10:57 AM CST
This is wonderful!

I'm very allergic to poison ivy. I don't know if it's because of our mild winter or what, but our poison ivy is HUGE this year. Looks like it's on steroids. Crying It doesn't affect DH so he's yanking as much as he can but It's terrible in the wooded areas.

I would like your soap recommendation too.

Thank you! Thumbs up

itching just reading this Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
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flaflwrgrl
May 11, 2012 5:41 PM CST
I never knew the urishol could stay active that long in a dead plant. Thanks for the info.! I DO know that you certainly shouldn't burn the plants as the urishol will get released in the air & people like Jean & Vic can get the toxin on their skin that way.

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
May 12, 2012 6:00 AM CST
Sorry to be ill and absent for awhile. I use Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castille soap.

If you use vinegar, Evan, be very careful of the overspray.

If the poison ivy is no longer young and green you can mix the soap and the water with some vinegar an salt but I'll have to locate the proportions. This, however, will kill everything and remain in the soil as well. Don't use it near wells and creeks.
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Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Aroids Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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eclayne
May 12, 2012 7:26 AM CST

Plants Admin

Good old DB. You mention it and I can smell it. Green Grin!
Evan
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
May 12, 2012 8:43 AM CST
Wow, that's a whole lot cheaper than the Ortho Tough Brush and Poison Ivy Killer that I've been using, and safer if it gets on me, too--thanks so much!

This morning I couldn't find my little paintbrush that I use to paint it on so I avoid good plants, so I got brave and donned knee-high rubber boots, long rubber gloves, long sleeves and long pants and pulled a big bag full of the stuff. It was choking out the milkweed plants that the monarchs love.
But I didn't get it all, 'cause I should've brought more bags. Also, at 9 am it was already too warm, so I had to wipe sweat off my face with my sleeve--NOT a good idea. I went back in the house, put my clothes (and gloves) to wash immediately, then washed ME.

Anyone have a good haz-mat suit they use for poison ivy?
Name: Jan
Hustisford, WI
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philljm
May 13, 2012 8:24 AM CST
We have a problem with poison ivy under the ancient (100+ years old) lilacs at our family cottage in western PA. We finally have MOST of it eradicated. I never knew the soap thing instead of the harsher chemicals I have used. Will try that this year.

A gardening friend essentially told me to not even bother to try to kill the plant if it is not actively growing. So late summer/ fall is not the best time to do this, spring is.

Thank you for letting me know about the urushiol being active years after the plant has died - I have been known to (carefully) saw a 1 inch gap in poison ivy vines (the woody ones growing up the lilacs) to try to kill them. I just leave them alone after that, but know i KNOW to leave them alone. Those big vines are nasty to kill. ~Jan
Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
May 13, 2012 9:07 AM CST
Last time I was in that poison ivy patch, I was using a weed whip to whack it, and I didn't realize until it was too late that the stuff was raining down on me.
NEVER do that! Sad

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