Ask a Question forum: Poison ivy in the garden?

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Simcoe, ON
Hillaryh
May 14, 2018 6:08 AM CST
Thumb of 2018-05-14/Hillaryh/9125e2

Some family recently brought it to my attention that I may have poison ivy in my garden growing up the side of my house.

I'm skeptical because I thought poison ivy had a rounder base on the leaves, but honestly I'm not sure.

Any ideas? It's been there since I bought the house and I've let that garden run wild, so I've never actually touched the plant, but with a toddler running around now I feel like I should get rid of this if it is in fact poison ivy.

Thanks!
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
May 14, 2018 6:37 AM CST
Looks like poison ivy to me.
If you're not allergic, chances are that the toddler isn't either.

I grew up in the woods where nobody got concerned about native plants.
There's like 30 species of birds that eat poison ivy berries...

If you are determined to be rid of that attractive vine, I find that simply pulling it is enough.

A very easy vine to kill.
Unlike japanese honeysuckle and Chinese wisteria.... Which can be really bad.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
May 14, 2018 6:58 AM CST
Hmmm, if I may insert some caution here. I would get rid of it as soon as possible, but I would certainly wear gloves and make sure it doesn't touch me in any way. Just because one is not allergic now, doesn't mean it will stay this way. I walked through Poison Ivy all my life and didn't have a problem, until in my early sixties I once stumbled and fell into a nice patch of the stuff. I got a good rash then and from there on always react to it.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 14, 2018 7:19 AM CST
Yes, looks like poison ivy to me too.

http://www.carolinanature.com/...

I would remove it because your toddler will eventually have other kids visiting, presumably, and other visitors may not recognize what it is, not expecting it to be growing in a garden. It will only continue to get bigger.

Although Ontario has a pesticide ban, an exception is allowed for poison ivy if you want to use glyphosate (e.g. Roundup). You may need to explain what it's for in the store if you go to buy some.
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
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Shadegardener
May 14, 2018 8:01 AM CST
If going the "Roundup" route, I would cut the stems and apply the weedkiller to the cut ends. In my experience, the only thing that worked was a brush and PI killer put out by Ortho but not sure about availability in CA. I live in a PI "forest" and most of it was only temporarily set back by Roundup. The only exception I have to not using herbicides.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 14, 2018 8:28 AM CST
I think in Ontario glyphosate is the only allowed product for poison ivy but trying to find the information on what is and what is not allowed is nowhere near as easy as it used to be when the provncial cosmetic pesticide ban was first introduced several years ago. It may be that the "Poison Ivy" Roundup sold here is a different strength. I too would go with the "cut stump" method, at least the top of the plant above the cut will die for sure! Re-cutting and applying RoundUp may actually work better in the fall. One thing to add is that it needs to be applied to the cut right away as soon as it is cut.
Simcoe, ON
Hillaryh
May 14, 2018 9:20 AM CST
I actually am not sure if I have ever come into contact with poison ivy and do not know if I react.

Is roundup required or should I be able to cut it and pull the roots out of the ground?
Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 14, 2018 9:41 AM CST
Yes - you can pull up the roots. But you need to soak the soil really well with water, all the way down to the roots. Saturate it. Wear gloves and plastic bags on your hands and long sleeves. Don't pull on the long vines - cut those off so they don't whip around - but leave enough to get a really good two-handed grip close to the base of the plant. Then pull slowly but firmly. If it seems like the roots are hard to dislodge, soak with more water until there's less resistance. If you have room, you could also use a long narrow shovel - like those used to dig narrow trenches. This plant can come back from the roots. When you get the plant pulled, put it in a plastic bag and dispose of in the garbage (don't compost it!).
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
May 14, 2018 11:41 AM CST
I pull poison ivy... Nothing to it.
It's not near the big deal that some people try to make it...

Here's a patch I took out with a mattock.
Thumb of 2018-05-14/stone/8e4b09

I've had poison ivy, any number of times, the best solution is soap and water immediately after handling, to prevent dermatitis.

If don't wash quick enough, just don't scratch, to avoid making worse.

1 more thing....
I can just hear people thinking that if I had a severe enough case of poison ivy....

I assure you, I've had it pretty bad.

When I was a kid, I cut a path through raspberry canes and poison ivy and who knows what else.... I was using a hand scythe or something... And it was a pretty long path... Like a half mile or something...

Anyway, where all those raspberry canes scratched me... got all infected with poison ivy oil... Eventually, enough scratching with dirty fingernails... All those open sores turned into staph infections.

This was before MRSA, but... I shoulda learned a thing or two about proper hygiene from that experience...

But I didn't.

One year.... I had fairly severe poison ivy three times.... I had poison ivy more months of that year than not....

Eventually.... I did learn to bathe after exposure...

So.... If you are handling poison ivy.... Probably best to avoid contact with the sap from the vine.... Especially if you have any recent scratches!
[Last edited by stone - May 14, 2018 12:19 PM (+)]
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Name: Cindy
Hobart, IN zone 5
aka CindyMzone5
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Shadegardener
May 14, 2018 3:48 PM CST
Hillary - do keep in mind that poison ivy sap/oil is easily transferred to other objects. Don't let your toddler come in contact with anything - shirt, gloves, pets - that may have come into contact. If you aren't reactive to PI (I'm jealous!), that doesn't mean other folks or kids are so lucky.
Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realize that we can't eat money. Cree proverb
Name: Kat
Magnolia, Tx (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Herbs
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kittriana
May 14, 2018 7:51 PM CST
I get PI bad- but not all year long. I can pull vines in early Spring until it gets ready to bloom about 1rst May here. After that I cant get near it, and the cats can bring it in to me as well. If you burn PI the urshiol oil? I think is the name of the poison, will travel with the smoke, so avoid the smoke. I usually burn the gloves I use, or wrap and throw them away since I have swiped sweat off my brow and had the blisters pop up. I too, have had issues with that nasty stuff, and advise caution, since it takes a prednisolone shot to help me fight the poisons.
Should you go first, and I remain, to walk the road alone- I'll live in Memory's garden, dear, with happy days we've known.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Jun 8, 2018 10:08 PM CST
Interesting article on poison ivy.

https://www.npr.org/616595496
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
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Frenchy21
Jun 8, 2018 11:25 PM CST
Thanks for posting the poison ivy article link Rj. It is very informative. I'm very lucky that I have not had any reactions to PI yet but my DH is highly reactive to the oil. So for his sake I try to be very aware of PI whenever I'm cleaning up brush.

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