‘Effective’ and ‘safe’ method to get rid of aggressive English ivy

‘Effective’ and ‘safe’ method to get rid of aggressive English ivy


Gardening: How to remove ivy from brickwork and trees

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Due to their aggressive and fast-growing nature, English ivy should be killed if it is causing problems to a property. Despite looking pretty, if left, it can strangle trees in the garden as well as compete with other plants for water and nutrients. On a property, it can also work its way into a home and cling onto the outside.

Although this plant is easily identified, many homeowners make the mistake of leaving it in their garden for too long.

It has three to five-lobed glossy leaves and attaches itself to supports by producing aerial roots along the stems.

When the stems are pulled away from the support, such as a wall or fence, they often leave behind roots.

However, a gardening expert has shared a variety of different ways Britons can remove ivy from their gardens.

Gena Lorraine, gardener at Fantastic Services, explained: “The best way to remove ivy from a wall is to cut through the stem with a sharp saw and then dig out the root.

“Once the foliage has died, you can carefully remove the stuck-on stems with a wire brush.

“If it covers the ground, dig it up with a mattock or fork and dispose of it elsewhere. 

“Alternatively, if the ground does not need to be planted, remove all the top growth, cover it with weed-control fabric, and add some bark mulch 10cm to 15cm deep.

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“It can also be sprayed with a tough weed killer containing glyphosate, but be careful, as it will kill any plant it touches. 

“Spray lightly so the weedkiller does not drip off the leaves, or, even better, crush and damage the leaves before spraying so they can absorb more weedkiller. There may be a need for several applications.”

If Britons want to opt for something other than a weed killer, the expert recommended making a homemade solution of water and vinegar.

This involves using 80 percent water and 20 percent white vinegar and mixing it up into a container.

Gena added: “Ensure that you don’t harm any other plants while spraying the ivy plants. Observe the results after a few days. Remove any dead ivy and reapply the same solution as needed.”

Gardeners should be able to spot any dead ivy very easily, using the vinegar and water mixture again if needed.

Gardening experts at Home Guides also said white vinegar was “effective” in getting rid of ivy.

They explained: “White vinegar is a safe, nontoxic method to kill the plant, as the vinegar’s acid content makes it an ideal weed killer among its many other home uses.

“Take care when spraying the vinegar not to get the spray on wanted vegetation, as vinegar is nonselective and will kill grasses and plants in addition to the ivy.”

The pros also suggested using salt and soap to control the aggressive plant. They said: “Combine three pounds of salt with a quarter cup of liquid soap in one gallon of water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle or garden sprayer. 

“Apply boiling water to plant roots daily to kill ivy. Note that poison ivy will still retain its skin-irritating oils if you employ this method, so use tongs to remove the ivy.”

White vinegar is also strong enough to kill weeds in the garden too, ideal for weeds on patios or driveways.

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