Be it English ivy (Hedera helix) or poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans), ivy growing in your hedge can quickly become problematic, spreading out of control and negatively affecting the look of your landscape. Depending on the species, these invasive vines grow throughout U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10 and can pop up in the most unwanted areas. Trying to kill the ivy without harming the hedge can be tricky since it is intertwined into the desirable plant. Thankfully, with a careful combination of manual and chemical methods, you can successfully kill ivy without harming the hedge.
1 Wear work gloves and carefully unravel the ivy from the hedge, trying not to break the vine. Continue unraveling the ivy from the hedge while following the vine to ground level. If you are removing poison ivy, also wear pants, a long-sleeve shirt, safety glasses and a breathing mask. This will protect you from the oils naturally found in poison ivy.
2 Cut the ivy close to ground level with gardening shears. Immediately place the ivy inside a garbage bag.
3 Fill a disposable chemical-resistant container with 1/4 cup of concentrated herbicide containing glyphosate as the active ingredient.
4 Saturate a paintbrush with the undiluted herbicide, and paint the stump with the chemical immediately after cutting the vine.
5 Check the hedges regularly for new ivy growth. Pull newly emerged ivy seedlings out of the ground before they reach 6 inches tall.
Items you will need
- Work gloves
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Safety glasses
- Breathing mask
- Gardening shears
- Garbage bag
- Disposable chemical-resistant container
- Glyphosate herbicide
- Follow the instructions and warnings on the glyphosate herbicide label.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Hedera Helix
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Toxicodendron Radicans
- Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County: Poison Ivy
- Oregon State University Extension Service: English Ivy
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Pests and Diseases
- Oregon State University Extension Service: Fact Sheet on Ivy Removal in a Home Landscape
- Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images