Asked on May 22, 2014

How do I get ivy suckers off my siding?

We cut the root of a huge ivy growth on the side of our house. It died over the winter and we have been removing the dead vines off the siding. The suckers are on there like glue and we cannot get them off. Any suggestions?
  31 answers
  • You could take a scraper/paint scraper or even a widget/sharp razor and try to lightly scrape them off (if you have not tried this already). The older they get the easier it will get. I would also think about a small variable speed sanding tool. It is going to be 'stained' but at least if you can most of it off then you can prime and paint and hopefully not have to replace siding. Good luck
  • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on May 22, 2014
    if you google this question there are a ton of answers for you xx
    • Chris aka monkey Chris aka monkey on May 22, 2014
      @Chris aka monkey i just read a lot of them all of them require much elbow grease bristle brushes sander and repainting sounds like u have a tough job so sorry xx and sorry frog all of them state the longer you leave them them harder it is to remove...i won't be planting any vines lol xx
  • I did and they all said the same thing! Scrape without ruining your siding and good luck! I was hoping there was some kind of spray solution I could use....maybe a homemade remedy?
  • Michelle Ennis Michelle Ennis on May 24, 2014
    What I done to a rental house was cut the ivy root apart midway...leaving 2ft in so it couldn't attach and regrow. Itself and comes off close.
  • Carmen Carmen on May 24, 2014
    In a home we rented there was bit and pieces of an ivy that had been recently was removed. We left it as it because we were afraid of damaging the siding. It's true that as they dry out it's easier to remove. Next summer we were able to pull a great deal of it off because it was dry. We very carefully cut some long twigs and then pull them. The following year we removed what was left.
  • Holly R Holly R on May 24, 2014
    I too was going to suggest pressure washing. The home improvement stores sell a soap mixture that you can add/attach to the washer to help clean the house of general mildew. Prob. wouldn't hurt here either.
  • Janette Brown Janette Brown on May 24, 2014
    You could not let them get up the house in the first place. Be always on the look out for climbing vines and pull them off as soon as they start creeping up the house or anything else including trees right away.
  • they were here 18 years ago when we bought the house.....
  • Mine is right in the front by the front door and on the second story right above that! I hope I don't have to wait till next year to get it all off! Thanks for the heads up!
  • Thej Thej on May 24, 2014
    I wet mine down and then the next day sprayed it with the hose at the strongest setting. Did this a few times and 99% is gone. In the past pulled it off when dry and got some paint also. I did not like that!!!
  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on May 24, 2014
    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suggest dishwashing detergent - like you would on a tick. Try it, it can't hurt, let me know. It just came to me.
  • Okay! I'll try it! Thanks!
  • Jacque H Jacque H on May 24, 2014
    Pour straight vinegar on the Ivy roots they will die in days be sure to haul away all the leafs and branches because those will actually replant and grow that stuff is crazy if you see more coming back elsewhere then give it a shot. Don't get the vinegar on other plants or grass because it will kill them as well. (Great for using on sidewalk & driveway weeds too) Also too, if Ivy is vining up a tree or house then just cut it away at the base of the tree or house in about a week you will see it dying off the tree or house so, when it's completely dead just give it a good yank and down it comes. We had pine trees that were getting the life sucked out of them by these awful things I read somewhere to cut them away at the base and bingo bango it worked. Now this climbed all the way to the top of the tree where I couldn't reach but it all came down later on it's own by wind and rain looks great now.
    • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on May 27, 2014
      @Jacque H That's why I didn't suggest the vinegar. But she could lay a 1 mil piece of plastic around anything it might splash on to protect it or plants.
  • Regina Regina on May 24, 2014
    The next time, pull the ivy off while it is still green. It's much easier. And, yes, keep an eye on it. It will re-grow no matter how hard you try to kill it.
  • Diane S Diane S on May 24, 2014
    Try a mixture of fabric softener and works for wallpaper removal.
  • Thanks Jacque! A home remedy..... that is what I was looking for!
  • Sherrie Sherrie on May 25, 2014
    Brush killer...and pull them off.
  • Pamela Pamela on May 25, 2014
    AnnMarie.....I am having the same problem on my house. I want to keep the ivy but the hubby says it has to go. Will you post what you try and what actually works? That would be great!!!
    • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on May 27, 2014
      @Pamela Your husband's right. Take it off. You really DON'T want the insects getting into your roof, sheaves and other structure from that ivy. Best to pull it off. NOW, IF you are still "bent" on having some ivy, just do what I do and go to Dollar Tree and get lots of those $1.00 strands of Ivy and "push pin" them wherever you want! A cheap easy non-buggy fix for décor! Works for me!
  • Sure, still trying to figure it out but I will post what works.
  • Mikell Paulson Mikell Paulson on May 26, 2014
    You can pressure wash it off!
  • Leena Milligan-Lanteigne Leena Milligan-Lanteigne on May 26, 2014
    I would call a local painting company and see if they have a method they use. I'm sure that they've run into this problem when painting houses and there may be a solution they use to release their hold. A former owner of our house planted ivy all over the place. I've spent years pulling, digging, cutting, killing - it just won't go away! I do yank it off the house if I see it trying to climb up there.
    • Kelly S Kelly S on Jun 08, 2014
      @Leena Milligan-Lanteigne , they also know tricks of the trade for yellow jacket nest removals too. I'm not going up on an extension ladder with a spray can of wasp killer just to be chased back down again.
  • Debra Debra on May 26, 2014
    Box of baking soda mixed with a gallon of water in a sprinkler can, and sprinkle/water the root area. The baking soda changes the ph balance of the soil. Thus NOTHING will grow in that area for awhile. Good for cracks and other areas of weeds.
    • Kelly S Kelly S on Jun 08, 2014
      @Debra , I've been using vinegar with a touch of dawn dish soap in a sprayer for the dandelions. I'll have to try the baking soda trick on the driveway and walk ways.
  • Pamela Pamela on May 27, 2014
    HaHa!!! I do have some other ivy out front growing on a tree....Actually we have had a squirrel get in this ivy on our house and nest in it. He has done a real good job of killing it and we now have to pull it all down. I liked it because the birds would nest in it and I could look out of one the windows from inside the house and watch the nest. Oh well....on to something else.....:0)
  • LMSmith LMSmith on Jul 28, 2015
    Wall paper stripper/remover and a soft bristle brush!! I'm so happy this works because I had a ton of it!!!
  • Thank you LMSmith! Your solution seems to be the most doable! We tried a lot of others.
  • Ivymansolution Ivymansolution on Mar 03, 2018

    I tried a lot of approaches including power washing, bleach and manual wire brush, trisodiumphosphate and manual wire brush, circular wire brush on power drill, etc. Either these did not work at all or were too abrasive to the surface. I have found that using an orbital sander with about 120 grit sanding disc will quickly and easily smooth the surface of wood or hardy board so it is ready for painting without the bumps and lumps from the ivy. This will not remove the wood colored spots from the surface because these spots are actually wood that has embedded itself into the surface. It will however give a smooth surface which is ready for painting. It is not laborious. A couple of passes of the orbital sander will give acceptable results. Don't judge the results of the sanding by eye because some wood colored spots will still be there. Use your hand to feel for smoothness.

  • Nancy Nancy on May 26, 2018

    We had boston ivy growing on white vinyl siding and metal trim of garage- The little black sucker marks were impossible to remove. I tried scraping them off and used a wire brush to remove them but didn't put a dent in the problem. Decided to try Magic Eraser and while it takes elbow grease it completely removed the sucker marks. Used it on both the siding and the metal trim. It's a slow process but it works.

  • Rick Rick on Aug 05, 2019

    Have you considered burning the house to the ground and rebuilding?

  • Catherine Wyland Catherine Wyland on Oct 20, 2019

    This seems to be an ongoing problem for many so I decided to post my trial and error processes of elimination techniques so everyone can get an idea of what worked for me, what failed, and what essentially worked, albeit with residual damages to the siding.

    First off, for brick, the answer may be obvious for some but I’ll delineate anyway: use either a low grit sander for fastest results because the brick is impermeable to the rapidity of the abrasive motions, and to make the job much easier, first soak the areas to be cleaned, allow it to somewhat “dry” overnight (6-8 hours), but make sure its still slightly damp before starting and this cut your efforts by half.

    Second, as for the more easily damaged surfaces, such as siding, you’re going to want to dilute the soaking process with vinegar, dish soap or fabric softener (approximately 2 cups/galleon h2o), allow it to set for 4-8 hours (timeframe pending your climate as dry climates will need less time while moist or humid climates will need a bit more time), make sure the residuals are softened but not wet before starting, then test a small area that isn’t very noticeable to find a good setting for your power washer. Once you’ve adjusted the setting accordingly (taking extra care to ensure that your angle, position and stance works with your setting, or that you adjust your setting as you maneuver yourself around the house; this'll prevent against discrepancies in your overall results, ensuring that the outcome is evenly distributed with likened results generally speaking), then you can either mix in a siding cleaned additive or dish soap, and start spraying! If you have a two story house, you may need a ladder depending on the variability of your pressure settings and the height of your home, but this’ll essentially remove all visible residuals from your siding without removing/damaging it. If you really want to go all out, when finished, you can follow up with a generic siding cleaner (I personally prefer the Krud Kutter®️ brand) that you can attach to your water hose, and/or then you can do minor paint touch ups here and there as needed to improve the overall outcome and curb appeal of your home. The next thing you’d want to do (if it’s feasible for your landscaping desires) is to pour kerosene, lighter fluid, gasoline etc on the roots of the vine (carefully so as not to splash it anywhere it doesn’t need to be and to minimize environmental effect, and of course fire hazards that may otherwise arise.) Once the rooting has died and you’ve removed it, we placed lava rocks (or any decorative product) down over the area from where it originally grew (note that weedkiller, nor weed netting will prevent them from growing back but you can use either or in adjunct to the rocks) to prevent it from growing back again. Hope this’ll save some people massive trial and error time, and please note that results won’t likely be typical for everyone as I’ve only had one home to which I had to do this at least twice in the past five years, but for me, it’s worked every time! Or I should say that removing it worked both times but the rock tip is a resultant of our attempt to rely on netting alone to prevent it from returning, thus my advisement to lay 2” of rock decor atop the netting or long term weed killer is what I learned the second time around and now we’ve been vine and vine pod free since 2016! Ok, hope this helps and good luck to all future readers!

  • Greg Greg on May 12, 2020

    I just removed ivy from painted aluminum siding. First I wet it with a sponge using a warm water and dish soap solution. Then, I scraped it off with a plastic putty knife until there was very little material left. Finally, I used a magic eraser to remove the stains from the siding. You can't even tell I had Ivy on it. Hope this helps someone.