How to kill ivy: ‘Number one option’ to ‘defeat’ ivy with a single ingredient

Your garden should not only look gorgeous but also be a safe place for humans, pets, and plants. Unfortunately, certain plants are poisonous and invasive. It means they can harm anyone who comes in contact with them and grow by invading and taking over the surrounding area. One of these plants is English ivy, or other ivy types, such as devil’s ivy, according to gardening experts at BackyardBoss. They said: “When you touch them, you can get a painful skin rash, and its vines can climb up the sides of your house, damaging its structure or trees and hurting their health.”

English ivy vines, which can reach 90 feet long and one foot wide, are either trailing or climbing. Ivy leaves are covered with a waxy substance that makes it difficult for herbicides to penetrate properly. This plant grows best in moist, rich, well-drained soil in partial or full shade. The ivy tends to grow slowly the first year but, after that, can grow up to nine feet every year.

Gardening expert Susan McCullah said: “Sure, English ivy covering the side of your home can make it look like you live in a storybook cottage, but that plant is actually trying to take over. This invasive plant can cause serious damage to your house and be a home for uninvited rodents.”

Therefore, it is best to remove it when it appears. Backyard Boss pros said: “The number one option in the fight against it is white vinegar.

“Compared to other methods, white vinegar is nontoxic since it contains acid, which is a perfect weed killer to defeat this plant.

READ MORE: ‘Permanently kill weeds’ using three ‘everyday household items’

“White vinegar is an effective herbicide since it contains acetic acid that can fight weeds and invasive plants.

“Its concentration of acetic acid is just five percent, which means it can not be high enough to have a significant impact on strong plants such as ivy.”

Instead the gardening pros advised using horticultural vinegar which has a higher percentage of acetic acid.

They said: “If your garden is invaded by a stubborn ivy that has already taken it over, you might want to find a more powerful product that contains a minimum of 20 percent of acetic acid.

“However, if you are dealing with less stubborn plants that have just appeared in your garden, white vinegar should be good enough to help you get rid of them.”

According to the experts, when the vinegar is being applied to the plant it “destroys its cell membrane”. Since it is called a “contact” herbicide, it will only get rid of the part of the plant that it actually comes in contact with.

DON’T MISS
Eliminate ‘yellow’ pillow stains ‘easily’ using ‘effective recipe’ [EXPERT]
Best method to remove rust from shower using popular sauce [COMMENT]
Inside Carole Middleton’s £4.7m home where Pippa had her wedding reception [INSIGHT]

So if gardeners want to get rid of the whole ivy plant, spraying just leaves might not be sufficient. Make sure to also spray its roots and other parts to be certain that the entire plant is dead.

To kill English ivy, gardeners will need a spray bottle, garden gloves, protective clothing, a bin and white vinegar or horticultural vinegar.

Step one – prepare the spray bottle

Depending on the size of the ivy gardeners want to get rid of, choosing a proper container for the white vinegar is the first thing to do.

The experts said: “If the plant you fight against is rather small, a simple spray bottle will be sufficient. However, if you are about to deal with a large plant that has already established strong roots and has multiple long vines, you will have to use a garden sprayer.

“If you have used the sprayer recently for fertilising or killing insects, you have to make sure it is clean and doesn’t contain any other substances.

READ MORE: ‘Inexpensive’ tip to ‘add new life’ to a winter garden – job to do now

“Wash it in warm water and flush it at least two to three times.” Once the sprayer is perfectly clean, gardeners can pour the vinegar into it.

Step two – wear protective clothing

Even though white vinegar is non-toxic, it still contains acetic acid that can be harmful to the human body. Before spraying it in the garden, wear proper clothing to be protected.

The gardening pros advised: “The most crucial pieces of clothing are, of course, gardening gloves. If you don’t have them at hand you can buy them at your local store or on the internet and wear them at all times while spraying white vinegar.

“It’s best that the clothes you are wearing cover the rest of your body to keep it out of contact with the white vinegar. We also recommend wearing protective goggles.”

Step three – spray the ivy

When you are prepared and protected, it is time to get rid of the ivy. As mentioned previously, white vinegar has a concentration of acetic acid at five percent, so it needs to be applied thoroughly. The experts instructed: “To successfully remove it from your garden, you have to spray the plant thoroughly for the best results.

“While spraying, make sure that only the ivy comes in contact with the white vinegar. Also, be careful while spraying, because if you accidentally spray other plants, it can kill them too.”

Step four – pick up the dead plant

After one week the gardening pro claimed that the ivy should be “completely dead”. They said: “Any parts of the plants that turned brown are dead, and you can now pick them up and throw them away. Remember to wear gloves since these parts can still contain some white vinegar.

“If any parts of the plant are green, you have to repeat the process. Spray them and wait another week to see if they turn brown. If they do, again, pick them up and throw them away.”