The Best Way to Kill Boston Ivy


Boston ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata, is the ivy of the Ivy League. It effectively and attractively covers masonry with its rich green foliage. Unfortunately, Boston ivy can sometimes get out of control. If not trimmed regularly, it can work its way into woodwork and under siding and roof shingles. The best way to get rid of Boston ivy quickly and permanently is to use a combination of cutting and chemical control. Start this project in spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing.

Step 1

Cut the vines at ground level with hand pruners or lopping shears.

Step 2

Cut the runners from the base of the plant with the pruners or shears and dig up any that have rooted, using a shovel.

Step 3

Apply liquid glyphosate weed killer to the cut ends according to label directions. Glyphosate helps weaken the root system as soon as it is applied.

Step 4

Apply the weed killer to new leaves as they appear during the growing season. Repeat each time the plant rebounds and puts forth new growth to further weaken the root system. It might take a whole season for the plant to completely die.

Step 5

Dig up the stumps with the shovel after they have died and stopped putting out new growth. They will be easier to dig up if you wait until the following spring after the roots have weakened from rot.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand pruners Lopping shears Liquid glyphosate weed killer Shovel


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Weed Management for Tobacco Barns and Other Farm Buildings
  • Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council: Herbicide Advice for Homeowners
Keywords: boston ivy, boston ivy eradication, organic vine control

About this Author

Robert Lewis has been writing do-it-yourself and garden-related articles since 2000. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maryland and has training experience in finance, garden center retailing and teaching English as a second language. Lewis is an antiques dealer specializing in Chinese and Japanese export porcelain.