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Beginner Gardening Questions: Help get rid of destructive ivy

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Laurie19
Caledonia, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2008
7:13 AM

Post #5654118

We have what I think is like sub-zero ivy we tried everything to kill it any suggestions. Its pulling down the gutters, it is rapped so tight around the tree, and its pulling siding off the side of the house. Any help would help
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
7:19 AM

Post #5654123

It will be a job, but the most direct way is to cut through the stems at ground level. All of them. The vines will then wither and die, and after they get brittle enough they can be more easily removed.
Laurie19
Caledonia, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 10, 2008
8:00 AM

Post #5654140

we actually did that aroud the tree the main concern is around the porch it it pulling the porch apart is there any way to kill the roots we tried almost everything is there any chemical that you think will work?
duckmother
North Little Rock, AR
(Zone 7b)

October 10, 2008
12:14 PM

Post #5654440

Yes, ivy can be very destructive! You can try Round-up, however, you will have to be very careful that it does not get on anything that you want to keep alive. That being said, our ivy still grew after many applications...I swear that stuff could live through a nuclear blast! We finally got rid of ours by pulling and digging...took about 2 summers. Good luck.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
12:47 PM

Post #5654541

Roundup, or glyphosate, does migrate to the roots and kills them. You might check the label of 2,4-D and see if it is effective on ivy. If anyone suggests vinegar, you can disregard that. However, as I said before, if you cut the stems near ground level, it will cut off the supply of water and nutrients to the vines and they will die. I know it's going to be a big job and I sympathize with you. Gasoline or salt would pollute the soil and aren't as effective as an herbicide.
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 10, 2008
2:40 PM

Post #5654937

Unfortunately, if your ivy has gotten to the point of doing the damage it's done, cutting the vines off at the base will only kill the top growth. The roots will continue to send up new growth unless you do it the old fashioned way by digging up as much of it as you possibly can, and keeping up with removing every tiny bit you see trying to re-sprout.

It CAN be done, but it takes time and diligence.

Using chemicals to try and kill the roots, will only result in poisoning your soil and making it difficult to grow things in it in the future.

Maybe digging up as much as possible NOW, before your winter cold hits, will give you an edge on erradicating it, so that the freezing temps will kill the roots. Without the top growth to insulate it during winter, your chances of getting a head start will be better.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
3:32 PM

Post #5655173

Roundup (glyphosate) does NOT "poison the soil." It migrates from the top of the plant down to the roots and kills the roots. Read the label. The manufacturer spent millions of dollars doing research to determine how it is to be used and what it does and doesn't do. Salt, kerosene, and many other agents "poison the soil." Roundup does not. Those roots are extensive. Many cubic feet of soil would have to be excavated to remove all of them. If this person will use Roundup (on a day when the temps are within the range on the label), and then 2 weeks later, after the Roundup has had time to kill the vine, cut it all off at ground level, and let the top growth wither and become brittle, then it can be removed.
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 10, 2008
3:56 PM

Post #5655265

I wasn't referring to RoundUp, but rather things like gas, kerosene etc. which a lot of people use to kill weeds etc.
peony01
Prattville, AL
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
6:05 PM

Post #5655679

RoundUp has one that is marketed to kill vines and hard to kill native plants such as blackberry. I use it on a regular basis to kill poison oak, summac and ivy on a 5 acre wooded property I putz around on propagating woody plants. I must make multiple applications on all of the vines, but it does eventually kill them, over a period of time. Local foresters recommended I cut the plants back that I wanted to kill - this stress on the plant creates growth, and according to studies being conducted by them, results in the plant attempting to ingest the moisture provided by the RoundUp applications. I have found that it works in my area on my property. I know that large land managers in our area use this procedure prior to replanting clear cut timber property. I wish you courage, commitment and discipline - you will need it.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2008
7:05 PM

Post #5655874

If you mix your own, it's recommended that you add a very small amount of surfactant such as detergent to help make it stick to the leaves. Some ivies are pretty slick.
Laurie19
Caledonia, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
5:59 AM

Post #5657798

The crazy thing is we tried round up it looked like it worked they wilted and appeared dead but about a month later it did come back I was thinking this plant being so big and powerful it must be rooted very deep and if thats the case do you think it could be dug up? I would hate to see how big the rots are.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2008
6:31 AM

Post #5657820

You've got a mess on your hands, don't you? Did you use the Roundup when the temps were at least 75 degrees? Did it rain right after you made the application? Maybe your application wasn't heavy enough.

If the roots have grown so big they are trunk-like, here's a technique that will kill even tree roots. The roots would have to be at least an inch, preferably more, in diameter. Cut the tops off at ground level. Take a drill and drill holes down into the cross section of the roots. Make them at least an inch and a half or two inches deep. The more holes the better. Then pour FULL STRENGTH Roundup, the concentrated solution, into the holes you drilled. The Roundup will go straight to the roots.

There used to be stump and brush killer on the market, but the EPA has cracked down on such products, and they may all be off the market. A feed store would be much more likely to have it than a box store. You might call around. This product would contaminate the soil for several years- that's the downside.
tessstearns64
Alexandria, MN

October 11, 2008
11:54 AM

Post #5658087

I think the key here is persistence and reapplication. I had a project for a client that was in a rock mulched area. I used Roundup applications two weeks apart, then stripped the rocks and the old ground cloth. I turned the soil and removed as many roots as I could, repplied new ground cloth, cleaned the dirt out of the old rock mulch and put it back. If the ivy makes it after that I should be able to repply Roundup as new shoots appear @ the edges. WHAT A PROJECT!! Don't envy you!! (Yes someone actually PAID me to do all that) tess
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 11, 2008
3:06 PM

Post #5658576

Next to the runner type of Bamboo, Ivy has to be the worst thing to try to erradicate once it's really established. Just when you think it's gone, it comes back...with a vengeance.

As a last resort, M80's strategically placed, might be the answer.

There is a Canary Island Date Palm near where I live which at one time was engulfed in ivy...all the way up to the crown of the palm. The city came in and got rid of the ivy from the ground up, and removed all the dead growth.

Evidently, pieces of it rooted in the decaying matter deep inside the crown of the palm, and it now has this huge cascade of ivy dangling down from it...and it's about 50 feet up in the air.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
6:41 PM

Post #5659085

Wish me luck... I planted some with the miniature leaf down by my wood line this spring and am going to try to get it all out today. I had not thought anything negative about it when I saw that DH had put sprigs of it into the pots of baby bushes that I had in the house over the winter. I forgot that it can go so wrong so fast.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2008
6:41 PM

Post #5659087

The ironic thing is that, at least in my part of the country, it's kind of hard to get it started. The old saying "sleeps, creeps, leaps" was first used to describe the growth habit of ivy over its first 3 years. Once it gets established, it does well with no supplemental water, etc., but it is not as aggressive as it appears to be in some areas. We ARE talking about hedera helix, aren't we?
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
6:45 PM

Post #5659101

I am. And I want to kill it before it becomes a problem in the shrubs and trees.
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2008
6:54 PM

Post #5659116

It won't hurt trees as long as it doesn't cover the canopy and shade the leaves. It definitely will not hurt the trunk. If you want to keep it trimmed back to where the limbs start to come out of the trunk, it's very pretty, and it's not a big job, because how long can it take to trim around a tree trunk, even a large, old tree trunk?
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 11, 2008
7:08 PM

Post #5659148

As far as the small leafed ivy is concerned, I have loads of it in my beds as a ground cover. (The variegated type). It is infinitely easier to control and nowhere near as agressive as Algerian ivy.

Twice a year I trim it back from desirables and it behaves fine.
Luckily, with twice a year application of Sluggo, there is no snail and slug issue, either. The cats are great mousers,so I think they have that aspect under control.

The other thing I like about having it, is that it's a great cover for bulbs which stay protected and can multiply as they wish, and it does well in sun or shade here.
JasperDale
Long Beach, CA
(Zone 10a)

October 11, 2008
7:11 PM

Post #5659155

LOL dp72...I know people who think anything that takes 5 minutes to trim is TOO MUCH time !
dp72
Woodway, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 11, 2008
7:36 PM

Post #5659199

JasperDale, glad to read your comments! I was beginning to think that people had the idea that English Ivy was worse than kudzu, or the vine that threatens to smother America. I think it's gorgeous.
You're lucky it can grow in the sun there. Here it might take some morning sun, but that's about it.
The Algerian type does well here, and is aggressive, as you say, unless you don't let it get out of control as was the case with whoever started this thread. Every 12 or 15 years we have a freeze that kills it. Persian ivy is better behaved, and can take very cold temperatures, much lower than we would EVER have, but it's almost impossible to find (here) in the trade.
JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

October 11, 2008
7:54 PM

Post #5659234

I have over an acre of heavily landscaped yard that backs up to the Mark Twain National Forest. I don't need any more headaches or a plant that can escape into the forest. I have enough of that with the former owners plantings of invasives and poor choices for the variable weather here. Vinca will work better there and it is already throughout the forest.
kitten0115
La Vergne, TN

October 12, 2008
8:22 PM

Post #5662858

What I have done is cut the ivy to the ground and take full strenght roundup (glyphosate) and with a brush dip it in and paint the stems. After a couple of times, if that , the ivy will die. I soak the stems and they take the chemical down to the roots i find tis works gret with all kinds of vines even kudzu but I like it more when people pay me to do it!

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