Getting Rid of Ivy - Knowledgebase Question

Carmel, CA
Question by ahshoats
June 24, 2006
How do I get rid of ivy in my garden? It is taking over fences, plants and trees. I pull it out and it comes back.

Answer from NGA
June 24, 2006


English Ivy is tough to eradicate (as you have probably figured out). Its waxy leaves render most herbicides ineffective, yet hand pulling can be impractical if you're covering a large area. Make sure you wear gloves when you're cutting and hand pulling. Some people develop a contact rash on their skin from touching ivy sap. If you continue to cut and remove the ivy by hand, the good news is you can expect the second year to require only 10% the amount of effort as the first year and the third year to require only 10% the effort of the second year.

If you're considering a two-pronged approach (hand pulling plus chemicals), you're going to need to apply an herbicide containing glyphosate (like Round Up). It's best to mow the ivy down first and then paint the herbicide on to fresh cuts in the plant stems. Be very careful to only apply it to the ivy.

Unfortunately, Round Up is believed to be most effective if applied to English Ivy in the spring (during new leaf growth). You can expect to repeat your efforts several times no matter what approach you take, so you may want to apply it now, and wait until spring to evaluate your success.

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