Wildflower dreams w/poison ivy nightmares

Kirksville, MO(Zone 5a)

We're going to build a house on 13 acres that has lots of trees and an open field with lovely wildflowers ... and lots of poison ivy, multi-flora rose, Russian olive, grape vine, wild raspberries, etc. I'd really like to turn this open area into a lovely wildflower 'prairie'. Does anyone know how I can get rid of the poison ivy without having to kill the coneflowers, new england asters, goldenrod, blazing stars, coreopsis, etc.? I'm assuming that I will have to 'paint' each plant individually (and there are hundreds) but was hoping there might be an easier way. I don't mind cutting and digging up the multi-flora rose, Russian olive, etc., but the poison ivy is such a pain. Any ideas about getting rid of any of these 'pests' would be really appreciated.

Thanks, Audrey

Compton, AR(Zone 6a)

I sure hope someone can give you a good answer. We have that accursed stuff in our flowerbeds! Our woods are full of it. So far I have escaped getting poisoned by it, but I imagine my time is coming. :-(

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I bought some Bonide B2 Poison Ivy and brush killer last year. Mixed in about as much kerosene or diesel fuel as the brush killer into the sprayer. I think something like 1 cup of each to a 2 gallon sprayer. I know we had to spray some big climbing vines twice to kill them, and maybe 1/3 of the older ivy had to be sprayed twice, but they have not come back yet. We use a low pressure sprayer, don't pump up much pressure and dripple the stuff right on the vines.. Don't do this on a windy day or you may still have some windborne damage.

Columbia, MO(Zone 5b)

Whatever you do, don't post a picture of either the poison ivy or poison oak!! I am so allergic to it I would probably get it just for looking........ LOL I have a bad case of poison oak (I think) right now. All I did was dig up some starts from a bayberry..... I could have sworn there wasn't any there :( Thank you leaflady for the idea on killing it. I will definately be trying that the next time I go out in the flowerbeds.

Kirksville, MO(Zone 5a)

Marian, I will let you know if anyone has any 'easier than usual' ideas. Our woods and fields are full of it too.

Leaflady, thank you for the recipe. It sounds quite potent! Where is Hughesville?


Fulton, MO

Nellie, you might contact the Missouri Prairie Foundation, they do good work.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Hughesville is 13 miles NW of Sedalia. You have to get tough with some of these plants. They have had so much weak stuff sprayed onto them that they are nearly immune to most herbicides.

Are any of you coming to the RoundUp in Sedalia on May 27th? We would love to have you. There will be a pot luck lunch, plant swap/giveaway, door prizes, etc. All member & subscribers from MO and surrounding states are welcome. Contact me personally if you need to or post on this forum for more information.

Kirksville, MO(Zone 5a)

Thank you Stressbaby, that's a good idea. My stepfather and his family are from Fulton. Hebert is their name. I don't think any of them live there any more though. I go back to Jeff City usually once a month to visit my Mom and Stepfather. Perhaps we will meet one day.

Leaflady, I took my border collie to your neck of the woods to have her bred a few years ago in Polo, MO. Is that near you?

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I feel your pain with that poison ivy. We have poison Sumac in our yard. I've never had "poison anything" before last year. I had is on my face, arms and abdomen. My face swelled so bad and it oozed horribly. Steroids were my best friends. So, what do I do this spring. I go right back out and into. So, guess what I have? Yep, got it again.

I did find something called "Poison Ivy Block". I put it on before I go out now, and hopefully I won't get it. No new outbreaks, so crossing my fingers, as I itch them.

So, get some of the block before you go out there.

Take care,


Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I think the recipe I gave will kill the p. sumac also. It's worth a try. I take Prednisone daily anyway & up the dosage a bit if I get into something that cause a skin reaction among other issues.

Kirksville, MO(Zone 5a)


Why do you take Prenisone? Do you have M.S.? I only ask because I do and have had to take Prednisone off and on for years.


Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Audrey, I have Interstitial Lung Disease with resulting Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis. I know that is a mouthful, but it means that the tissues in my lungs are constantly inflammed & fill with fluid so that I always have pnuemonia without the Prednisone to control the inflammation. Cause is considered to be environmental and allergy related. The Prednisone also helps with the Fibromyalgia.

Yukon, OK(Zone 7b)

leaflady that is interesting. My Mom had a lung biopsy on March 6th and was hospitalized for a week. After returning home for a week, her lung collapsed and she was hospitalized for almost 3 weeks. Her diagnosis was Pulmonary Fibrosis and Usual Intersistial Pneumonia and something else I can't recall right now. She is also on prednizone and I expect her doctor to increase her dosage as she has started that constant cough. Ugh....I do feel for her.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Hey Poision Ivy watchers! I was told (and proven it true) that if you wash all exposed areas (or possible exposed areas) with a rinse of rubbing alchohol, then wash with soap, then rinse again with RA, as soon as you can after exposure (or come in from the yard) - YOU DON'T BREAK OUT!!!!!!!

One other thing - I found that Roundup for Poision Ivy was effective on a big vine my neighbor had. Hope this helps!

Thea Rasins
Shawnee, KS

(Zone 5a)

You could try the "Hand of Death" method. Especially, if you've got a windy day or location. Basically, you purchase a cheap white cotton gloves & rubber/latex gloves (you will throw these away, so you may want to keep price in mind). First put on the rubber/latex glove, then put the cotton glove over it. Next soak the cotton glove in the poison of choice (moist not dripping wet) and then run the Hand of Death over the stems of the plants you want to kill. When you are done, without touching the cotton glove pull off the latex/rubber glove by turning it inside out & trapping the cotton glove inside.

Definitely follow label directions & I think it will need to be a systemic poison, especially if it's an older poison ivy plant. I have, however, spoken to someone who swore they were able to kill the poison ivy plant by just cutting its trunk. They did say it was a VERY old plant, almost a tree-like trunk.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

The Glove or Hand of Death is a very good method of treatment in a close area. I've used it a lot of times. Especially on a windy day.

Yes, you can kill of all kinds of vines by just cutting off the stem, providing you treat the remaining portion and therefore the root portion of the plant with a good herbicide Once again, diesel fuel or kerosene does a lot to make it more effective. I use Tordon RTU mixed.with equal parts of the petro product. And you may have to do it more than once. I have had to treat trumpet vine several times because they send out underground runners that will sprout 6 inches away or 3 foot a way. You will have to treat each little sprout. The smaller the sprout the easier it is to kill it.

You can't play games with weak solutions on these plants. That is the problem now. They have been treated lightly for so long that they have become almost immune to most herbicides. You are going to have to fight fire with fire. Speaking of fire, some petro product poured onto the stump and some of the ground around it, then setting it on fire will usually kill out most plants. You need it to burn quite a while so some oil in the petro product will help keep it smoldering for the time needed to kill the stump and root system completely. We keep old motor oil around just for that purpose.

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