How to Kill Poison Ivy in Your Lawn


Poison ivy plants can find their way onto properties and grow as a bush, ground cover or climbing vine. The oil of this shiny three-leaved plant causes a painful rash on most people, especially those with sensitive skins. Adopt an organic or chemical method to kill poison ivy plants growing on your property. Although chemical methods kill instantaneously, they cost more and leave residue in the soil for days after application. Any method used can require several applications for successful eradication.

Step 1

Chop the plant down to 4 to 5 inches with a pair of handheld shears. Collect the clippings in a large garbage bag and knot it to prevent any leaves from falling out. Discard the plant appropriately.

Step 2

Pour water in a large pot or long-spouted kettle and bring it to a boil. Use a large pot for several plants or a kettle to target a single plant.

Step 3

Carry the water immediately to the site to prevent it from cooling. Tilt the pot over the plant and douse it with boiling water. If using a kettle, position the spout directly over the top and let the water pour down until it drips off. Also saturate the soil under the plant so it reaches the roots and kills them.

Step 4

Inspect the plant after three days for signs of burning, or pour boiling water over it again. Use a shovel to dig the roots out of the soil, collect it in a bag and dispose of it.

Step 5

Snip off the poison ivy plants at ground level with a sharp pair of handheld shears. Put the foliage in a garbage disposal bag and knot the bag tightly. Inspect the spot for fresh growth, and snip it off as soon as it grows. Continue snipping growing foliage off until it stops sprouting because of lack of resources.

Step 6

Smother the poison ivy so it does not receive essential elements such as water, sunlight and air, and eventually dies. Cut it down as short as possible and spread heavyweight plastic over it. Place bricks over the edges to hold the plastic down. The plant will die in a month. Dig the roots and discard them.

Things You'll Need

  • Handheld shears
  • Garbage bag
  • Large pot
  • Boiling water
  • Shovel
  • Heavyweight plastic sheet


  • Missouri Department of Conservation: Poison Ivy
  • The Police Notebook: Poison Ivy
  • Poison Ivy: Facts About Poison Ivy
  • Dallas News: Poison Ivy--Kill the beast in the Back yard
Keywords: poison ivy, killing poison ivy, eradicating poison ivy

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.