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How to Remove English Ivy From Asbestos Siding

Ivy image by Tomasz Pawlowski from

Although some people encourage English Ivy to grow over the walls of their homes, for others ivy is an unwanted pest. In his book, the "Seven Pillars of Health," Dr. Don Colbert states that plants such as ivy that cover the exterior walls of a home can create dust and pest problems. Removing living ivy from asbestos siding must be done very carefully. The plant has strong roots that dig into the siding and must be killed before any attempt to remove it.

Time your plant removal for early spring when ivy will pull systemic herbicide into its root system and kill the entire plant.

Cut a 2-inch section from the stem near the base of the plant using plant loppers. Wear protective gloves, and paint the exposed stems with a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide.

Move up the stem of the ivy plant approximately 3 feet and remove another 2-inch section of the plant. Paint the exposed cuttings of the stem with herbicide. Repeat this process every 3 feet.

Wait for the ivy to die. The stems and leaves will turn brown and the leaves will become brittle once the plant is dead.

Pull dead ivy stems from the side of the home. The stems should separate from the wall easily. Place the ivy into plastic garbage bags and discard them. Remove the roots from the siding with a metal scraper.

Watch the ground around the home for signs of new ivy vines emerging. Dig into the ground and remove any ivy roots if new growth returns. This is process is called grubbing.

Remove Ivy Suckers From Siding

When you remove ivy that has grown up your siding, you’re usually left with dark stains and tiny suckers all over the wall. Ivy holds itself in place with these suckers, casting tendrils that grab onto and wedge into every crack or space they can. Ivy suckers are tough and anchor themselves even deeper into wood siding, which is naturally more porous than vinyl or aluminum siding. Cut the main stems at the base of the root. This will kill the top part of the ivy plant. Dig out the root or apply a weed killer to the cut surfaces of the stem to kill the roots. Wait until the top growth of the ivy plant dies completely. If you have wood siding, the suckers may seem to embed themselves into the wood, so you’ll need to do a lot more scrubbing. You can also use a pressure washer.


Use a ladder to reach the ivy that has grown higher on your wall.

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