How to Eradicate English Ivy in Texas

Overview

Throughout the south, kudzu is known as "the plant that ate the south," but in large portions of the south, including Texas, English Ivy could give kudzu a run for its money. English Ivy is frequently grown in many parts of the country as a groundcover. But the plant can escape its carefully tended lawns through seeds and runners and take over, wrapping around vegetation, killing it and creating "ivy deserts" anywhere it becomes established. Eliminating English ivy can be difficult. The only way to kill the plant is to remove it at the roots.

Step 1

Time your eradication for early spring when new leaves begin to emerge on an English ivy plant. When using a broad-spectrum herbicide, this is the best time to ensure the poison will be pulled down to the roots and kill them.

Step 2

Cut a section out of an ivy stem every 2 feet along the stem using pruning shears or a pruning saw.

Step 3

Paint the cut stems with a broad-spectrum herbicide.

Step 4

Wait for the ivy to die. Dead ivy will turn brown with brittle leaves.

Step 5

Pull up ivy stems once the ivy is dead. Dead ivy will release its anchoring roots and will not cause damage to vegetation such as tress or structures such as siding that it has climbed.

Step 6

Dig into the ground at the point where ivy emerges from the soil using a shovel, hoe or mattock. Comb through loose soil with a garden rake to remove roots.

Step 7

Watch the area where you have removed your ivy for new stems to emerge. Dig new stems out by the roots. This process is known as grubbing.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Pruning saw
  • Broad-spectrum herbicide
  • Sponge applicator
  • Mattock
  • Shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Garden hoe

References

  • NC State University Extension: English Ivy
  • University of Kentucky Extension: One of Kentucky's Least Wanted Weeds: Winter Creeper
  • Oregon State University Extension: English ivy can be contained
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Questions on: Ivy

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University Extension: English Ivy
Keywords: killing invasive vines, eradicating noxious plants, removing English Ivy

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."