How To Kill Ivy In Your Garden

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The ivy is a common plant native to Europe, northwestern Africa, and central-southern Asia and has the ability as an indoor air purifier. This plant is extremely adaptable and has a strong vitality, so people can easily find the ivy infested anywhere in the garden.

However, some types of ivy on the ground or on the stone walls can damage the paint or the foundation. In addition, some poison ivies can cause skin irritation. Fortunately, with just a little determination, you can get rid of them. Let’s continue with our gardening guides on how to kill ivy for more useful pieces of information!

Several Effective Ways to Kill Ivy

In fact, there are many ways to deal with these invasive plants, depending on where they grow. Here are several locations where they tend to habitat most.

How to Kill Ivy on Brick House

Ivies require light, water, and air to survive and thrive. Therefore, the mulching will make the ivies unable to receive enough light and air.

All you need to do is to apply a thick layer of any material you can use to cover the ivies.

It is advised to use biodegradable materials like tree barks, grass cuttings, old newspapers, or fallen leaves for easy decomposition after killing the ivy.

You can also use a plastic sheet or duct tape to cover them. These materials will remove all the oxygen and create enough heat that can kill ivies after a few weeks.

How to Kill Ivy under a Hedge

Sometimes, ivy grows under the hedge, which is really annoying and difficult to remove. They develop a deep-seated root system under the ground and attach firmly to the hedge. Hence, boiling water or white vinegar is the most effective way to deal with them.

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Ivy under the hedge

Boiling Water

  • Step 1: Boil a pot of water and pour it over the roots. You can also add some table salt to make salt water, which can help to stunt the ivy growth.
  • Step 2: Use gardening pruners to cut and remove bigger and heavier ivies from the ground.
  • Step 3: Dig the soil with a shovel or a spade until you reach the roots.
  • Step 4: Pour about 3 – 4 cups of boiling water directly onto the ivy roots.
  • Step 5: Put all the removed ivies into plastic bags and throw them away to prevent them from sprouting again.

White Vinegar

(You can also watch more about how to kill ivy with white vinegar here)

  • Step 1: Make the vinegar mixture. It consists of 20% white vinegar and 80% water.
  • Step 2: Pour the mixture into a garden sprayer or a spray bottle.
  • Step 3: Spray the vinegar mixture onto the ivies. If there are any plants nearby, be careful not to spray on them.
  • Step 4: Check the situation after 2 – 3 days.
  • Step 5: Eliminate dead ivies.
  • Step 6 (Optional): You can repeat this process if necessary.

How to Kill Ivy on the House Wall

Usually, there are almost no plants growing on the brick wall, except for some vines, especially English ivies, a completely stubborn species. Therefore, you can use the pest control methods like weed killers or brush killers to handle them.

You can choose Glyphosate herbicide to handle the ivy.

Spray the herbicide into the leaves so that the herbicide can penetrate into the vascular system and gradually kill them.

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Side note: You should try other methods first before choosing to apply herbicides. Although it is an effective method, it can do harm to human health and the environment.

How to Kill Ivy Without Harming Trees

For the ivies on the trees, it is important to bear in mind that you should not use the 3 above ways in order not to harm your trees. Suffocation, white vinegar, boiling water, and herbicides will have negative impacts on the base of the trees. Thus, home gardeners should get rid of ivy manually.

Ivy growing on the tree

Step 1: Wear protective gear to prevent your skin from getting in contact with the ivy. Some types of ivy can cause rashes or itches. You need to protect your skin by wearing pants, long-sleeve shirts, rubber garden gloves, and shoes when working on them.

The right clothes can help you avoid scratches and insect bites while working.

Step 2: Separate the ivy from the trees with sturdy, flat tools to avoid damage.

Place a crowbar, a screwdriver, or similar tools between the ivy and the surface it attaches to.

Slowly pull them off from the surfaces.

Step 3: Cut out vines with gardening shears or pruners at a height of 90 cm – 1.5 m.

You can use either a tree shear or a pruner, depending on the thickness of the ivies. This step will make it easier to remove the roots.

Step 4: Throw away all cleared ivies, as new ivy plants will easily grow from the newly cut ones.

Step 5: Pluck up or dig up the roots.

You can accomplish this by hand, or with a spade or a shovel for the entire root system removal. However, pulling the ivy roots may be a little tiring when it comes to killing English ivy as it is absolutely stubborn.

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And remember to completely remove roots and tubers underground to effectively eliminate the ivy.

For best results, you should do this in the spring, when the soil is moist and soft, and thus, you can dig more soil to reach the root system more easily.

Also, you may need to regularly dig up young ivy every several months or years to keep everything under control.

Step 6: Use a lawnmower to remove them easily.

You can use a gasoline lawnmower to provide enough power to cut tough and stubborn ivies at least 3-4 times a year to gradually eliminate them.

It is known that electric mowers or rotary mowers often run through without cutting the ivies.

If you want to save the efforts in eradicating ivies, this is the best option you can try, although it requires regular lawn care to be most effective.

How Long does Ivy Take to Die?

The answer to this question depends largely on the method you are using. If you remove it by hand, it will be immediately wiped away. Otherwise, when it comes to suffocation, boiling water, vinegar, or herbicides, it usually takes a few weeks for the ivy to die.


How to kill ivy around your home and garden can be a quite challenging question, but you have many ways to cope with it! You can cut them down and remove the roots, or ground covers them to suffocate them. Boiling water and white vinegar are also effective and non-toxic options to kill ivy. With stubborn ivy, you can use garden pests to eliminate the roots and eradicate them forever!

Here are some of our effective ways to kill ivy. Good luck!

Source: Gardening101 com

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