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How to Get Rid of Large Areas of English Ivy

By S.F. Heron ; Updated September 21, 2017
A thick patch of English ivy.
ivy image by chrisharvey from Fotolia.com

Gardeners use English ivy as a hardy groundcover to protect areas under trees and to add interesting foliage to the landscape. This creeping vine grows profusely in the home landscape, tolerating a wide range of soil types. Ivy throws off stems that attach to bricks, siding, wood, fences and trees. This plant also can grow to form a thick 6- to 8-inch high mat of foliage featuring wide leaves. Learning how to get rid of large areas of English ivy involves persistence with manual removal methods. Tenacity will ensure that this plant doesn't make a rebound in the landscape after removal.

Set the lawnmower height adjustment to the lowest setting to drop the blade close to the ground. Attach the bag to retrieve clippings when mowing the ivy. Mow the entire area of English ivy as close as possible to the ground. Avoid bumping the lawnmower into tree trunks or roots. Dispose of the chopped up ivy in yard waste bags for removal from your property.

Apply a 6-inch layer of thick shredded mulch to the remaining ivy and extend this area 12 to 18 inches past the edge of the ivy bed. The mulch layer will smother the English ivy by restricting access to light.

Address areas with climbing ivy by clipping every vine at a reasonable height for easy access and to allow enough vine length to easily locate roots growing into the ground. Pull the vine off the wall, fence, siding or trellis and dispose of clippings in yard waste bags.

Dig up all remaining vines using the spade shovel or trowel and dispose of properly. Apply a thick layer of mulch to this area to discourage further growth.

Revisit the site regularly to check the progress of the mulch. Dig up or pull any English ivy sprouting anywhere in the removal site. Apply more mulch to the area if needed.


Things You Will Need

  • Lawnmower
  • Spade shovel
  • Trowel
  • Pruning clippers
  • Mulch
  • Yard waste bags


  • Removing English ivy require perseverance over the course of multiple growing seasons. Constantly monitor the status of the ivy bed to make sure you catch stragglers as soon as possible.
  • Use of a glyphosate-based herbicide can help gardeners deal with intermittent sprouting. Use this product with care to avoid damaging other ornamental plants and trees.