How do you control English ivy?


Quick Answer

The most effective method of controlling English ivy is to pull it up by its roots by hand. Julie Day of Today's Homeowner recommends tackling roots in early spring when the roots are still young and relatively easy to remove.

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Full Answer

Day warns against leaving small sprouts behind while pulling English ivy roots. Such sprouts are likely to lead to even more of the unwanted plant. She notes that those who choose to cut rather than pull ivy should be aware of the tendency of the plant to grow more aggressively once cut, taking root at various points along the ground as it matures. To prevent this from occurring, it is best to remove all traces of the plant from the area in which the ivy is growing.

Herbicides tend to be fairly ineffective against English ivy thanks to the plant's waxy, thick leaves, which prevent it from absorbing chemicals, according to Day. However, those who prefer to attempt to eradicate the plant using herbicides should apply the chemicals to mowed or otherwise trimmed ivy. This allows cut stems to better absorb the solution. It is important to follow herbicide application instructions precisely to avoid poisoning people and pets to ensure that the solution works effectively.

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