Asked on May 3, 2017

How do I get rid of English ivy?

512181Caseyem11Janet Pizaro


This stuff is an aggressive predatory plant that is killing trees like crazy here in the Seattle area. It is a noxious weed really, but because it looks rather pleasant it grows with impunity. No government at any level seems to care this is happening, so what is a homeowner to do. I have had some success at weed eating it then spreading herbicide on it since it leaves are waxy and shed liquids but am seeking a more environmentally friendly solution that can kill vast expanses of this miserable stuff. Please help.
5 answers
  • Cindy Hagemann
    on May 3, 2017

    We had to burn it to get rid of it.
  • C.B.
    on May 3, 2017

    My Suggestion: cut the vines that are getting into the trees; when they have wilted, pull them down. In the meanwhile...take a hypodermic syringe & needle & fill it with you herbicide solution & inject the vines with the solution [a little goes a long way], the solution will be absorbed by the plant & will take it to the roots & the plants will begin to wilt; don't remove the 'base plants' until the have dried all the way into the ground or they will return. If you want the 'slow process' some Stick Bugs...they consume the leaves only though.
  • Janet Pizaro
    on May 3, 2017

    Try smothering it out with heavy black plastic.
    • Ronald Bowman
      on May 3, 2017

      This ivy problem encompasses dozen of square mile in the south Seattle/county area and has been ignored for decades. Our marine climate is ideal for the spread of this noxious stuff. You can't chop a hillside tree down in our town w/o a permit but this stuff causes trees to die all around us here as it grows up the tree and virtually chokes the life out if it in less than a dozen years. It even grew up a utility pole and furled out in the shape of an evergreen tree and had different looking leaves and had dark colored berries. I have dug up rhizomes more than an inch and a quarter in diameter. It travels underground under streets, driveways, and lawns. If left unchecked it will grow into attics, sheds and virtually anything in its way. It can co-exist with other predatory plants like wild blackberry, morning glory, thistle or other vines, and still prosper. I honestly thought of a flame thrower remedy, but the authorities here would lock me up. I even planted a variegated prettier ivy in our front yard but it cannot compete with this stuff. Because it is a very effective ground cover on hillsides that prevents slides and land creep, it gets a pass form most people who live by it but don't have to contend with it on virtually a daily basis. Its the Hydra of plants. You can cut a four inch piece, put in a pot with soil in it and it will root in 2-3 weeks. I cannot express how thoroughly I loathe this plant.

  • Caseyem11
    on May 3, 2017

    Smothering with black plastic works well particularly in a sunny spot. Leave it on for a good month. Then rake or dig up as much of the roots as you can, cover with landscaping cloth and mulch.

  • 512181
    on May 3, 2017

    We pulled out as much as we could--a big job. We then sprayed with round up when ever we say a small piece coming up again. It took awhile, but it did work. I tell everyone I know--Never Plant Ivy!
Your comment...