How to Clean Boston Ivy From Aluminum Siding


Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) is a deciduous vine that is often grown against buildings and houses. The ivy has blue-tinged fruits and bright red foliage in the autumn. It does well in poor soil and doesn't discriminate between sun and shade. If Boston ivy has crept up your aluminum siding and is damaging your home, getting rid of the vine may require some elbow grease as the tendrils or "holdfasts" can be difficult to remove, according to the University of Connecticut Horticulture Department.

Step 1

Snip off the bottom of the Boston ivy, where the plant touches the ground. The goal is to sever the plant so that the vine stops getting the nutrients it needs to survive.

Step 2

Spray weed killer to the roots as you cut. Wait for the roots to die--which can take a few days or a few weeks. As per the instructions on the bottle, re-apply the weed killer after a few days if you're not seeing results. Do not use weed killer right before a rain or you may wash away the chemicals before they have time to saturate the roots.

Step 3

Allow the top of the Boston ivy to dry up, turn brown, and die. It's much easier to remove ivy from aluminum siding once it's dead.

Step 4

Wear garden gloves and rip the ivy off the siding. Climb the ladder to get as high up as possible. Use the pruning shears if necessary to cut away stubborn, tangled pieces of vine.

Step 5

Gently scrub the tendrils that remain off the aluminum siding with a soft-bristle brush. Work in circular motions, dipping the brush into a bucket of mild soap and water. Don't use anything harder than a soft-bristle brush.

Step 6

Throw the Boston ivy in a sealed plastic trash bag and dispose of it.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use a hard brush or something abrasive when scrubbing aluminum siding because you'll damage it.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Weed killer
  • Garden gloves
  • Ladder
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Water
  • Soap
  • Bucket
  • Plastic trash bags


  • Sustainable and Urban Gardening: Parthenocissus tricuspidata
  • This Old House: Overgrown Ivy
  • University of Connecticut Horticulture Department: Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Keywords: boston ivy, remove boston ivy, remove boston ivy from aluminum siding

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.