How to Kill Poison Ivy Organically


Poison ivy is a fairly innocent looking plant, but a single brush against the leaves can result in extreme itching, burning and swelling. Due to the dangers posed by the plant, it's desirable to remove any poison ivy that grows around your home. Chemical herbicides are an effective solution to eliminating poison ivy, but they can also be risky for any animals or humans that come in contact with it. Fortunately, you can control poison ivy with a completely organic method.

Step 1

Cut the vines of the poison ivy with gardening shears about an inch above the ground's surface. Gather the cut vines and discard them in large trash bags. For extra security, place each filled trash bag into another trash bag.

Step 2

Cover the cut stems of the poison ivy vines with at least 3 inches of newspaper or mulch. This will block the sun, which will eventually cause the roots of the poison ivy plants to die.

Step 3

Remove the newspaper or mulch after four weeks.

Step 4

Dig the entire root systems of the plants with a shovel. Even a small piece of the root system can sprout into a new plant, so be sure to remove all of it. Discard the roots in a large trash bag.

Step 5

Cover the area with at least 2 more inches of newspaper or mulch. Leave it there for an additional four to six weeks to make sure any remaining roots completely die off.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not burn poison ivy.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Large trash bags
  • Newspaper or mulch
  • Shovel


  • Poison Ivy Advice: Get Rid of Poison Ivy
  • University of Connecticut: Poison Ivy
Keywords: kill poison ivy, control poison ivy, kill ivy organically

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.