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How to Kill an Ivy Plant at the Root

That ivy may look good climbing up your walls, but it can get to be a nuisance. Ivy digs into walls, damages them, spreads quickly and smothers other nearby plants. Ivy plants are also quite hardy, which makes them notoriously hard to kill. If you want to kill an ivy plant, make sure the root is dead or it will come back with a vengeance.

Apply herbicide to new leaves when they start to bud in the spring and summer. Mature leaves build up a waxy coating that makes it difficult for herbicide to penetrate, but new leaves absorb herbicide easily, poisoning the ivy plant to the root. If you prefer, use bleach or white vinegar instead of herbicide.

Watch the ivy plant for two weeks for new leaves to appear. When they do, spray them with herbicide to kill the ivy.

Rake over the old leaves of the creeping ivy to cut them to allow herbicide to penetrate if new leaves cease to appear. Then, spray the old leaves with herbicide.

Pour boiling water on the base of the ivy if there are no other plants nearby that you wish to kill. Boiling water is a natural plant killer, and will help ensure that the root is really dead after the herbicide has done its work.

Dig up the ivy. You can wait until you have managed to kill the ivy, or start digging as soon as the plant starts to sicken. Don't worry about getting every last root out, as the herbicide and boiling water should have taken care of them.

Kill Bugs On An Ivy Plant

Your ivy plant is susceptible to little critters, insects that enjoy nibbling on its leaves that can diminish the health of the plant and spread to nearby plants. Spider mites, aphids, scale and mealy bugs are attracted to ivy plants and will chew through the leaves and lay eggs in the soil. Fill an empty water pitcher with cold water, and pour the water directly onto the leaves of the ivy plant. Spider mites live underneath the leaves and lifting them exposes the mites. Mix the soap to create soapy water. Submerge the ivy leaves into the tub, and move them around in the solution to wash off the insects.


Plant something that grows quickly where the ivy used to be. A hardy plant will discourage any creeping ivy that managed to survive from coming back by outcompeting it.

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