How to Eliminate English Ivy


There was a time when many gardeners added English ivy to their landscapes as a hardy ornamental ground cover. English ivy establishes itself readily in almost any growing environment and once it starts growing, it will both spread and climb with abandon. As English ivy spreads, however, it quickly takes over your existing landscaping, even climbing trees, other plants and structures to cover these areas completely with its foliage. If you wish to restore your landscape back to its former beauty, eliminate English ivy using one of several options for removing it.

Step 1

Pull the English ivy out of the soil by hand (wearing gardening gloves for protection). This is especially effective if the ground is wet. Pull the foliage above the ground as well as the entire root system beneath the ground and dispose of it in the garbage bag.

Step 2

Use the pruning shears to cut back English ivy that is climbing trees and other structures. Cut as much growth as you can to sever the climbing tendrils (you can leave the tendrils that are out of your reach, if necessary).

Step 3

Mow English ivy that is growing on the ground as a ground cover. Once you remove as much ground cover vegetation as possible, cover the remaining growth with at least 8 inches of mulch to smother the English ivy.

Step 4

Use the pruning shears to cut off English ivy growth as close to the ground level as possible. As you cut each vine, use the paintbrush to apply the liquid Glyphosate to the severed vine. You must apply the Glyphosate within five minutes of severing the vine for best results. Continue cutting vines close to the soil level and painting on the Glyphosate until you have severed as much of the English ivy at the soil level as possible. Wait two days and survey the condition of the ivy. Reapply the Glyphosate if the English ivy does not seem to be visibly withering and dying.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use care when handling the Glyphosate because this chemical can be harmful if it is mishandled. Choose a day that's warmer than 60 degrees F, sunny and calm for best results. Do not splash Glyphosate on your skin or in your eyes. Keep children and pets away from the application area until the Glyphosate dries.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Garbage bag
  • Pruning shears
  • Lawn mower
  • Shredded mulch (leaves or wood chips)
  • Glyphosate (in liquid form)
  • Paintbrush


  • Oregon State Extension: Garden Hints
  • University of Tennessee Extension: English Ivy
Keywords: English ivy, English ivy spreads, eliminate English ivy

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.