Ivy is a serious and invasive evergreen vine that quickly grows into a dense mat that suppresses other plants. These climbing vines could remind you of the tranquil English countryside. However, they can seriously harm your trees and garden. Ivy grows rapidly and requires very little water or light once established. It even grows during winter.
If left unmanaged, a single ivy plant can grow into large patches that cover many acres of land. These plants can creep along the ground or climb nearby trees, walls, rocks, and anything they can set their stems on. So, it is important to get rid of ivy before it kills everything else.
Here is a complete guide on how to get rid of ivy for good.
Choose the Best Time to Remove Ivy
February and the day after a rain is perfect to remove English ivy. Late winter is also better because it is one of the green things that will make its leaves easy to find. You can wear gardening gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, and long boots to protect yourself from the chemicals and weather. Choose a day following a good rain so that the roots of ivy will be easier to pull out of the ground. Avoid cold days when the ground is frozen because roots will not pull out easily.
Tools Needed to Remove Ivy
Before you start the process, make sure to have the required tools at hand. You do not need many supplies to remove ivy. Just a few simple gardening tools are enough.
- Good gardening gloves
- Garden hand shears or pruners
- Spray bottle
- Weed killer
If it has rained the day before, it is ideal to wear long rubber boots.
Got all the tools? Let's move on to the process of killing ivy.
Ways to Get Rid of Ivy
Here are the different ways to kill these invasive plants.
Cut the Vines attached to the Tree
Cut off the vines near the base of the tree right where they emerge from the ground. Smaller vines can be cut using hand clippers, but larger vines will require a hand saw or loppers. Once the vines are cut, slowly peel them off the trunk. It is advised to peel one vine at a time carefully, so you do not damage the bark of the tree.
Peel Like a Carpet
If you have a large mat of ivy on the ground, peeling it like a carpet is the best way to remove it. If there is a slope, start from the top point and roll it downhill. Ivy creates a tangled mess on the ground by growing over and through everything.
If there are branches, sticks, lumber, logs, or any trash mixed in ivy plants, peeling them would be impossible. Also, it might prevent you from removing their roots. So, the first thing you must do is remove all those sticks and other materials. You should work in small patches to remove English ivy because they grow densely and create a lot of biomass.
Dig Out the Roots
Use a shovel to remove the roots of vines. Firmly grab the roots from where they are rooted to the ground and pull upward. However, if the vine resists, wrap the vines around your hand and pull stronger. Mostly, all the roots pop out of the ground with this method. Make sure you're wearing a good pair of gardening gloves.
Use Apple Vinegar Based Solution
If you want an ivy-free garden wall, this is an effective and natural way to achieve it. The combination of apple cider vinegar, salt, and dish soap has been proven to be the best solution to kill ivy. Mix one gallon of vinegar, one tablespoon of salt, and one ounce of dish soap. Now, fill the spray bottle with this solution. It is crucial to wear gardening gloves, long sleeves, and boots.
Spray the solution generously on ivy plants. According to experts, this vinegar-based solution should remain on ivy plants for a minimum of five days before checking the progress. After 5-6 days, use garden shears and a pruning saw to remove dead ivy that is clinging firmly to the building. If some leaves survive, you should repeat the same process until the English ivy is completely dead.
Spray Herbicides or Weed Killers
Another option to remove ivy is using herbicides or weed killers that contain active ingredients glyphosate and triclopyr. However, you must be careful because this can kill any plant it comes into contact with.
Spray glyphosate weed killer lightly on ivy, so the solution doesn't drip off. In addition, it is also better to crush and damage the ivy leaves before spraying so they can absorb more weed killer.
Once the leaves turn yellow, cut the vines carefully without harming the siding.
Why is it Important to Remove Ivy
- Ivy can kill shrubs and trees.
- Its dense leaves provide a haven for pests like insects and rodents.
- Ivy prevents the regrowth of the forest.
- It can attach to the property and damage it.
- Having ivy can lower property value.
- It competes with plants for vital resources like water, sunlight, and nutrients.
- When climbing trees, ivy's density and weight can weaken the branches and increase their risk of structural damage and diseases.
The Bottom Line
English ivy plants are undesirable invasive species. This vine grows quickly, climbing up trees and creeping along the ground. Sometimes, birds use ivy berries as a food source and spread them, but remember they are poisonous to humans. You have known why it is important to get rid of it and ways to get rid of it for good. It's best to kill ivy manually or using natural methods without herbicides to avoid adding poison to your yard. However, some things work, and some do not. Whatever method you want to try from above, try it now and remove this plant from your yard.
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