How to Remove Boston Ivy


Boston ivy is also known as Japanese creeper. Although it is not a true ivy, Boston Ivy has many of the same characteristics as an English ivy plant. Like English ivy, it twines around and grows over other plants and has the potential to become invasive. Boston ivy shares another characteristic with true ivy plants: it produces anchoring roots along the vine wherever it attaches to trees, walls or other surfaces. Because of that, if you try to remove live Boston ivy, you can end up seriously damaging trees, walls or anywhere that the plant attaches. Removing Boston ivy is a similar process to removing English ivy.

Step 1

Cut a 2-inch section from the bottom of a Boston ivy where it emerges from the ground.

Step 2

Follow the vine wherever it grows and remove a 2-inch section per every 2 feet of vine.

Step 3

Swab each cut end of the vines with a systemic herbicide containing glysophate to kill the entire vine.

Step 4

Wait for the vine to die. A dead vine will turn brown with brown, brittle leaves.

Step 5

Pull the vine down from its perch. The vine should detach from its roots easily.

Step 6

Dig up the roots of the Boston ivy with a shovel, rake, mattock or grub hoe. If you do not remove the roots of the plant, Boston ivy may produce new vines.

Step 7

Dig up any new roots as the new vines emerge. Treat vines with a systemic herbicide to kill the vines and plant roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not spray the entire vine with a systemic herbicide. This will kill any vegetation that the vine is growing over. Instead, swab the cut ends of the vine on the vegetation.

Things You'll Need

  • Branch loppers
  • Systemic herbicide containing glysophate
  • Sponge applicator
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Mattock
  • Grub hoe


  • North Carolina State Univeristy Extension: Growing Vines
  • North Carolina State Univeristy Extension: English Ivy
  • Clemson University Extension: Ivy
  • North Carolina State Univeristy Extension: Parthenocissus tricuspidata

Who Can Help

  • Mississippi State Univeristy Extension: Tough, unwanted plants can be difficult to battle.
Keywords: remove Boston ivy, remove Japanese creeper, kill Boston ivy, kill Japenese creeper

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."