How to Kill English Ivy in Texas


Depending on whom you ask, English ivy is either a refined -ooking groundcover, or an invasive, noxious weed. These opinions often vary right along property lines where one neighbor plants the ivy and the other neighbor fights to keep it from encroaching on their lawn. In some parts of the country English ivy can so thoroughly take over that it chokes out all other life forms and creates "ivy deserts." Thanks to the clay soil and summer heat found in Texas, English ivy is a little easier to control.

Step 1

Time your ivy removal for early spring when English ivy can be most effectively treated with an herbicide. In spring, the ivy wakes from winter dormancy, and is more likely to pull the herbicide through the plant and into the roots.

Step 2

Trace ivy vines to the base of the vine where it emerges from the ground.

Step 3

Cut a 2-inch section from the base of the ivy using a pruning saw or branch loppers.

Step 4

Remove a 2-inch section from the ivy vine every 2 feet along its length. Use a ladder to reach climbing vines.

Step 5

Paint the cut section of each vine with a broad-spectrum herbicide such as glysophate.

Step 6

Wait for the herbicide to kill the plant. Dead plants will become brittle and brown.

Step 7

Pull the vines up and dispose of them.

Step 8

Dig up ivy roots with a shovel. Rake any roots that you may have missed up with a garden rake.

Step 9

Watch the ground to see if any more ivy plants emerge. Dig these plants up, pulling all roots from the ground, and dispose of them. Ivy is less likely to grow back when weakened and killed thanks to the stresses put on it by summer heat in Texas, as well as the region's predominately clay soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • If it is possible to burn ivy vines, you should do so. Where burning is not possible, discard the vines in a public landfill. Never compost vines, because this can spread herbicide into your compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Branch loppers
  • Ladder
  • Broad spectrum herbicide (glysophate)
  • Shovel
  • Garden rake


  • North Carolina State University: Postemergence, Non-Selective Herbicides for Landscapes and Nurseries
  • Grow It: Texas USDA Hardiness Zone Map
  • Gardens Alive!: For the Love---Or lack Thereof---Of IVY!
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: NOAA: Summer Temperature Below Average for U.S.

Who Can Help

  • Oregon State University Extension: Invasive Weeds in Forest Land (PDF)
Keywords: killing invasive plants, Texas gardening, 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."