How to Kill Ivy Plants


Ivy plants, also known as creeping Charlie, are a common lawn weed in the United States. Ivy plants are extremely hard to remove because they spread via above-ground shoots, which root into the ground to create new plants. This makes it almost impossible to pull ivy out of the ground. Combining herbicidal techniques and promoting a healthy lawn are the best ways to combat ivy plants successfully. Where ivy is thick, it may take a few months to get it completely under control.

Step 1

Look for an herbicide that contains the chemical dicamba. Weed-B-Gon is a great herbicide that contains this chemical, and also contains 2,4-D, which is very successful in treating other weeds. 2,4-D is an aryloxyalkanoic acid that accumulates near the growing points of the roots and shoots of the weed where it inhibits growth. This causes death of the weed.

Step 2

Screw the weed killer bottle on to the end of your garden hose. The bottle will have a female garden hose adapter on it. Line up the male threads of the garden hose with the female garden hose adapter on the bottle. Turn the female garden hose adapter clockwise until it is hand-tight on the garden hose.

Step 3

Turn the water on to the garden hose. Pick up the weed killer bottle and look for the dial on top of the bottle. Grasp the dial and turn it clockwise until it points toward "on". This opens a valve in the bottle which allows the water from the garden hose to mix with the weed killer concentrate. It then dispenses out of the nozzle on the bottle.

Step 4

Spray the weed killer over the entire lawn until all the grass and ivy is thoroughly coated with weed killer. All leaves should be moist and wet.

Step 5

Repeat the application in two weeks if total kill is not achieved.

Tips and Warnings

  • Follow the weed killer directions carefully. If not followed correctly, you may damage your lawn. Do not mow a few days before or a few days after applying the weed killer. The more leaf surface the ivy plant has, the easier it will absorb the weed killer.

Things You'll Need

  • Herbicide containing dicamba
  • Garden hose
  • Water source


  • Barrow County University of Wisconsin Extension: Creeping Charlie Control
  • Greater Madison Healthy Lawn Team: Common Herbicides
  • Pesticide Action Network UK: 2,4-D Fact Sheet
Keywords: kill ivy plants, creeping charlie, garden hose, begin dispensing, late spring, early fall

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.