Gardenseeker

How to kill Ivy. 

Ivy growing up trees, ivy up walls, ivy in and around the shrubs, coming in from the neighbour's garden etc etc! Most of us will have experienced this problem weed at some time in our gardening lives. Yet it can be killed - dead and gone!

There are two basic ways to kill Ivy. (Forget about digging it out unless it is just a mite of a plant). The best time to tackle ivy is in the late winter - just before spring starts.

Method 1

Cut the ivy down to ground level, getting rid of all of the foliage - every bit of it. This can probably best be done with a heavy duty strimmer, or a pair of garden shears. Take extreme care if using the strimmer. As the Ivy starts to re-grow in the spring, just keep cutting all of the new leaves and growth off. Don't even leave one leaf to grow. Eventually this will starve the roots of the nutrient it gains from the leaves, and they will die out.

Variegated Ivy - whilst an ornamental plant - can also be invasive, so steps are sometimes necessary to eradicate it.

Method 2

If you decide to use a chemical for killing the ivy - be patient. It will take a few applications. It is best to cut back as much growth as you can - late winter is a good time again. Then, as the new foliage starts to grow, treat it with a weedkiller containing Glyphosate. (This is totally harmless to the soil - however it will damage or kill any other plant that you spill it on!). I find that the older leathery leaves do not seem to absorb the chemical like the new growth does.

It will take a couple of weeks before you see any 'progress'. This is because the Glyphosate is working its way through the plant - having been absorbed by the spray on the leaves.

Each individual case will call for a certain method of application. Either spray, apply with watering can with fine rose, or even brush it on if the ivy is in amongst plants you wish to save. It may take a couple of applications to finally get rid of the ivy - but it works!

By David Hughes - info@gardenseeker.com 


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