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The Best Way to Kill English Ivy

By Damon Hildebrand ; Updated September 21, 2017
Killing English ivy
ivy image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com

A non-native, invasive, aggressive, near-evergreen vine without a natural control mechanism--that's how some gardeners describe English ivy. Yet, others strive to grow English ivy as an addition to landscapes, ground cover, and in other areas around the home and garden as an enhancement. But for those in the first group, the most effective and quickest way to kill English ivy is the only topic of interest when speaking of it.

Remove unwanted ground cover.
ivy image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

Eradicate ground cover by mechanical means when at all possible. Mow the area as close to the ground as necessary, to eliminate the leafy cover, and expose the vines' origins to be rooted up. If ground vines are too numerous or hard to pull up, paint the ends with glyphosate to kill the vine and the roots.

Remove ivy from fences and trees.
ivy on the gate image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Remove English ivy manually from fences and from around trees by hand, by ripping it loose and pulling it away. Pull the vines and roots up from the ground, where they originate. Cut those vines that may be too large to remove by hand, as close to the ground as possible, and paint the cut ends with glyphosate.

Cut very large English ivy vines with an electric saw when they have become too large to completely remove by hand. When vines are growing around a tree or some other structure, cut the vines at waist level, making sure to get all vines found climbing the structure. Cut a second swath about 12 inches above the first, and remove cut pieces to create a 1-foot gap between the two halves. Paint or spray the bottom portion of the newly exposed wood with glyphosate to kill it off. Larger vines and areas may require a second glyphosate treatment in a week or two.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Lawn mower
  • Glyphosate (Round-up)


  • Wear gloves when removing and eliminating English ivy and using hand tools.


  • Be cautious of areas where herbicides are used, so as not to inadvertently kill or injure other plants or ornamental plants.

About the Author


Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.