Ivy is notoriously aggressive in its growth. It climbs up walls and structures creating beautiful, magical canopies, however some buildings are at risk of ivy damage. If this is the case, you may need to consider ivy removal. We’ve pulled together a few different options for you to get the job done.
Ivy can take anywhere from a month upwards to clear completely and you can decide to use a classic chemical weed spray to tackle the vines, or go for a more natural, environmentally friendly approach to get the job done. Using a traditional weed killer will clear the ivy quicker, but eco-friendly methods can be just as effective in the long term. If going ahead with the former, first you’ll need to ensure you’ve got the tools for the job. We suggest:
- Garden sheers
- Rubber gloves
- Weed killer of your choice
- Spray bottle
- Pruning saw (if you have any thicker vines)
- Protective clothing (long sleeve top, trousers and boots)
Ivy Removal from walls
- Pull each vine away from the wall very gently to avoid damaging the wall, using a ladder to reach higher vines. Trim vines as you go if they are particularly long.
- Apply weed killer to the ivy’s ground roots. This should prevent any regrowth.
- If clearing a brick wall, using a steel brush to remove any remaining tendrils or rootlets. If the wall or surface is wooded (e.g. a fence), sand this down.
Ivy Removal from trees
- Cut the vines to around waist level with garden sheers, all around the trunk.
- Leave the remainder of the vines. These should dry out and die within a month or so. Do not use any weed killer or pull out the vines before you know they are dead as you will harm and damage the trees bark.
- Remove as much of the ivy roots that you can with your hands from around the base of the trunk, clearing at least a 1 metre radius from the tree trunk. This will allow you to act fast if you see any new vines forming.
- Spray any roots or vines outside the 1 metre radius of the tree trunk with weed killer, straying the cut vines with the chemicals too.
- Repeat every couple of weeks until the Ivy stops growing.
We advise that pregnant women don’t carry out the treatment with chemicals and stay away from the garden after it’s been treated. Most toxins should be filtered out by your lungs and placenta but to eliminate any risk, it’s best avoided.
For non-toxic treatments, you can use:
Fill a spray bottle with a mix of 80% water, 20% white vinegar. Carefully spray the ivy from root to end (ensuring you’re not spraying any surrounding plants). Check on the vines after a couple of days, pulling out and removing any dead ivy and repeating the process where necessary.
Duct tape, table salt and water
To tackle thicker vines, freshly cut each one with your garden sheers and wrap them together with the duct tape, creating a cup-like shape with the tape around the end of the vines. Fill each cup with ¾ table salt and a little water. This will stop the ivy’s vascular system which should lead to the plant drying out in a month or two.