How to Remove English Ivy From a Wall

Overview

Although beautiful and popular in many landscapes, English Ivy can sometimes be considered an invasive plant. It can easily take over the area where it is planted and cause damage to plants, trees and buildings. It is especially damaging to wood and stucco walls and should be removed as soon as possible. The younger the ivy plant, the easier it is to remove. Older plants can be removed, but will take some additional time and work since the vines adhere tightly to the wall surface and are next to impossible to pull off while still alive.

Step 1

Cut vines six to 12 inches from the base. For young vines with thin stems, a lawn trimmer may do the job. For older vines with thick stems, tree loppers or a saw might be necessary.

Step 2

Pull up as many roots by hand as possible. Ivy typically has shallow roots and is easy to pull out.

Step 3

Dig out any remaining roots. It is not necessary to remove every part of every root, but eliminate as many as possible to prevent the ivy from returning.

Step 4

Mulch heavily over the area where the roots were removed.

Step 5

Wait for the ivy attached to the wall to begin to die back.

Step 6

Pull the ivy away from the wall as it dies. This can take several months depending on the size and health of the plant, aswell as the weather conditions. Hot, dry conditions will speed up the process, making removal somewhat easier in summer months.

Step 7

Remove any new growth that appears from remaining roots. If it's caught quickly, removal should be simple, and fewer vines will re-grow after each removal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't damage the wall trying to remove the ivy before it dies. It can be extremely difficult to remove the ivy while it's still healthy.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears or weed trimmer
  • Tree loppers or hand saw
  • Shovel

References

  • King County: English Ivy
  • Ecovisions: English Ivy
Keywords: remove ivy, kill ivy, English Ivy removal

About this Author

Carlye Jones is a journalist, freelance writer, photographer and novelist, with more than 15 years of experience. She enjoys sharing her expertise on home improvements, interior decorating, photography, gardening and traveling. Her work has appeared both in print and on numerous websites, such as Matador Travel. Carlye received her training at Northern Arizona University.