Methods to get rid of ivy ‘for good’ with two home ingredients

Gardening: How to remove ivy from brickwork and trees

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Not only can English ivy cause damage to wall surfaces, it can penetrate cracks or joints which may cause structural damage. Baby plants can be grown in pots and they can also be trained and tied around a wire frame. Due to their aggressive growing nature, the plant should be killed if it is causing problems to a property.

Ivy is recognised by its dense, evergreen foliage, which in its climbing state, has three to five-lobed glossy leaves. It attaches itself to supports by producing aerial roots along the stems.

When the stems are pulled away from the support, such as a wall, they often leave behind unsightly roots, According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Gena Lorainne, gardener at Fantastic Services, explained: “The best way to remove ivy from a wall is to cut through the stem with a sharp saw and then dig out the root.

“Once the foliage has died, you can carefully remove the stuck-on stems with a wire brush. If it covers the ground, dig it up with a mattock or fork and dispose of it elsewhere.

“Alternatively, if the ground does not need to be planted, remove all the top growth, cover it with weed-control fabric, and add some back mulch 10cm to 15cm deep.”

It can also be sprayed with a weed killer containing glyphosate. However, Britons should be careful when using this because it is extremely strong.

The expert said: “It will kill anything it touches. Spray lightly so the weedkiller does not drop off the leaves, or, even better, crush and damage the leaves before spraying so they can absorb more weedkiller.”

There may be a need for several applications so it is important to try and be patient in the process. If you don’t like weed killers, Gena recommended making a homemade solution instead.

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The gardener noted: “Pour 80 percent water and 20 percent vinegar into a container. Ensure that you don’t harm any other plants while spraying the ivy plants.

“Observe the results after a few days. Remove any dead ivy and reapply the same solution as needed.”

White vinegar is an effective herbicide because it contains acetic acid which targets the plant at the root. The solution can also be used to target weeds and get rid of them for good.

Brittany Bailey, gardening expert at Pretty Handy Girl also advised using vinegar, along with a drop of washing up liquid. 

The expert said: “If you want to go natural, you can use one gallon of white vinegar mixed with a teaspoon of dish soap to effectively get rid of ivy forever, just be careful not to get this mixture on any plants or trees you want to keep.”

After a week or so, the ivy should die and it’ll loosen at the ground. At this point gardeners can either pull it up or use a rake to completely dispose of the problem.

Before dealing with the invasive plant, it is essential to wear gloves and protective clothing as it can cause irritation.

Another invasive weed which will need control immediately is Japanese knotweed, an aggressive plant which can grow up to 10cm a day.

Samantha Jones, gardening expert at, shared the warning signs to look for when it comes to Japanese knotweed.

The expert told “Japanese knotweed is a herbaceous perennial that has a similar appearance to bamboo with large green leaves.

“This plant offers a wide range of health benefits, however, it can actually cause significant damage to a property, as it is a very invasive plant, especially in late spring when canes can reach up to three metres high.

“Japanese knotweed can be quite problematic, especially if it has grown significantly.”

Glyphosate-based weed killers can help to target it, but it may need to be seen by a professional for complete eradication.

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