Please help me with my English Ivy problem. I'm at my wits end :(

rivera30067(7b)April 5, 2009

Our backyard is being invade by English Ivy from our neighbor's yard. It is absolutely terrible. One area of the yard looks like nothing but English Ivy. It's climbing over our fence and up the trees. A gentleman at Home Depot told me buy this concentrated bottle that he said was like a generic Roundup. I bought it, mixed it, sprayed it on the ivy, but I don't see any changes. In a few areas a few leaves seem to be turning yellow, but that's about it. It's been over a week and half.

Should I go back and buy a bottle of Concentrated RoundUp? I've heard people mix dish washing detergent into it? What exactly should I mix with it and how much?

I know pulling it up would be best, but there are areas I can't even get to, and quite frankly, I'm scared of what could be hiding in those places.

I would love advice from people who've had a similar problem and were able to get rid of the English Ivy.

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You have to be patient with round up (or its generic)
Also, you need some sun and warm weathey , not to rain for abouy 5 days. With recent cold an rainy weather don't expect Round Up to work overnight.
So, if I were you, I would wait for sunny warm days and check long term forcast , making sure that there wont be rain for at least 5 days, then spray them (avoid other plants/ trees) and wait for couple of weeks to see full results. repeat if necessary.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 7:31AM
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It sounds like this has been a problem for years and, unfortunately, it may take years to bring it back under control.

First I would determine where the ivy should stop (fence, wall, arbitrary wavy line in the lawn) and trench it at that point. Keep this point trimmed thereafter as one would grass from a walk.

Cut a two foot gap in the vines growing up the trees (the dead stuff in the trees will eventually fall off). Mow that which is mowable, weed whack that which is..., and then treat with brushkill or similar...every week for several weeks. The cut ends of the ivy will soak up the herbicide better than the waxy leaves. The dishwashing liquid is used to counteract the waxiness of the leaves and get the roundup to "stick". Repeat every couple of months until you get to your objective.

Be careful about getting english ivy sap on your skin; it has some of the same alkaloids as poison ivy or poison oak, just not in the same concentrations. Get enough of it on you and the difference is minimal, I assure you! Use cheap, old, and/or disposable shoes and wash clothes separately from the rest of your laundry.

This method worked very well for me on an area that had been overtaken by the stuff in Druid Hills. In bad infestations, some of the old dead limbs in trees may only be held up by the ivy; beware hanging limbs!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:34AM
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English Ivy has a waxy coat on mature leaves that prevents roundup from penetrating. If you can, and it isn't an easy task, run over the top of the ivy with a weed eater. Do this just to chop up the leaves and promote new growth, you don't need to hack it to the ground. When the new leaves appear they will be very light green and not have the waxy coating of the mature leaf yet. THEN spray the new leaves with an herbicide. The light green new growth can absorb the herbicide where the old growth will not.

Ortho weed be gone worked best for me on English ivy. With the fence you just have to cut it off, as close to the ground as you can. Let it die on the fence then pull down - it's a lot easier to manage when dead.

I recently moved to a new house where neighbor also has a lawn of English ivy and I haven't figure out a barrier solution. Seems English ivy plans to be my bane for life.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:40AM
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nippersdad - we must have posted at exactly the same time. :)

By the way, I would highly recommend knee high rubber boots when wading into the stuff. You can get them in the men's section of Walmart for $18 or the cement section of Home Depot for about the same. They rock. Steel toed and all.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 12:12PM
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I feel your pain.
I HATE ivy, period.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 9:01PM
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Okay, I feel a bit calmer now with the suggestions. :) My plan is to get more round-up this week in preparation for a warm week. I was hoping this week would be warm, but alas, it will be quite chilly again. I'll mix the concentrated version a bit stronger and add dish washing liquid. The gentleman who mows our grass is probably coming in the next two weeks, so I'll have him mow and use the weedeater for us, and go behind him with the round-up. I think I will at least go outside tomorrow and cut the vines on the fence and on the trees at least to make them die.

The vines are coming from my neighbor's house, so I guess I'll have to always worry about it. I would at least like to grass instead of ivy though.

Thank you for your wonderful tips! :) I should take a before and after picture :P

    Bookmark   April 5, 2009 at 11:04PM
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For the Round Up to be effective, you have to have the leaveS intact. Round Up works through the leaves not stem.
The plant absorbs the chemical (which is a kind of very strong fertilizer, OR COMBINATIO) and sends some of it to the root too. And hopefully dies of thirst. That is why you spray round up when it is DRY, HOT,and SUNNY to get a bang for your buck and efforts. AS you mentioned, make it a bit stronger than recommended. Be watchfull of other plans around. If there are any, cover them or do spraying very surgically, as if you are spray painting the iovies.

If I were you , I wouldn't rush and wait for right time to get results. It is just the start of growth season.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:35AM
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Yes, You should take a before/after picture.

Have you discussed the ivy with your neighbor at all? Perhaps they are not aware of the problems it is causing or they may be wanting to get rid of theirs too.

Just a thought.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 3:40PM
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For the Round Up to be effective, you have to have the leaveS intact. Round Up works through the leaves not stem.

cyrus, I think several folks would not agree with that. English ivy has a very tough coating and nicking the leaves with a weed whackers opens up tissue for absorption.

Here is a link that might be useful: Good link here

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:03PM
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In the midst of all this ivy condemnation, I must offer a lonely word of praise for this maligned evergreen vine. In hindsight, perhaps the first mistake was in letting it get the upper hand to begin with. The moment it stuck its head over the commonly shared fence, a gentle clobbering of its creeping tendrils would have kept the ivy at bay.

I see no virtue in grass, unless it is in the form of clumping or running bamboo. A grass lawn? An ivy lawn?
Go with an ivy lawn to achieve labor reduction.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 4:53PM
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Go with an ivy lawn to achieve labor reduction

Ah, whose labor gets saved? Twice now I have done battle with English ivy and neither time did I plant it. In one case, the ivy outlived the person who planted it decades before. It smothered 11 acres. The work involved to get rid of it was staggering. It killed everything in it's path and the only life it supported was some nasty red centipedes.

Maybe it saved the person who planted it some labor once upon a time but it sure cost me and the forest a hefty price. Old, old trees died. :(

If you don't want to mow your lawn, which I don't, there are lots of alternatives.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:22PM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

I had a positive fight with Ivy. It took about 18 months to do most of the job and some "creative landscaping" (read: small bulldozer) to get rid of it - it's 99% gone.

I used manually extraction - cutting it down off the trees, pulling some of it from the ground, and spraying it with 4-week alternates of Brush-B-Gon and Roundup without any special extras. DO NOT MIX THESE PRODUCTS STRONGER THAN RECOMMENDED ON THE LABEL. This 'supposedly' will make the plant go into shock, and negate the effects of the product.

You won't see any visible results outside of wilted leaves, and this will take 2-3 weeks to show, if I remember correctly.

DO NOT store pre-mixed spray, always mix it fresh.

Spray it on a hot day when there is no rain to come for at least 2-3 days. Although the product says it's OK if applied a few hours prior to rain, I would give it more time than that.

Continue to hit new growth, again, I had to do this for years.

I would also notify your neighbor before starting this process.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2009 at 9:32PM
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Most of our property was covered in ivy when we bought it, close to 3/4 acre, and we cleared almost all of it last year. We did it little by little, a few bags each evening.

We mostly pulled it out by hand -- if you kill with Roundup, you really still need to get the root system out to be able to then plant in that area, at least, that was our thinking.

In some areas, my husband weed-whacked the ivy to the ground and then we sprayed round-up once new growth started. We did that in areas we couldnt pull out for a while, just to keep it at bay. We later went in and pulled those areas by hand, and found it much easier to pull the shorter ivy than the knee-deep stuff (obviously).

Neighbors all around have thick ivy. My husband goes along our property line 1-2 times a year, spraying a line of Round-Up. This seems to keep it back quite well.

Some of our cleared areas now have shrub/flower beds and mulch (i think mulch itself looks a lot nicer than ivy!), and in one area we have grass. Jay, one advantage of a grass lawn vs an ivy lawn for us was that our kids could play on it.

If you weed-whack, any creatures hiding in the ivy will get out of your way! Be careful if you are sensitive to poison ivy though, as it often grows among ivy.

Good luck with it, before and after pictures would be great!

Nippersdad, do you live in Druid Hills now or was that a previous house? I'm only asking as we live there.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 9:42AM
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Mayland: My Grandparents lived there. It is a wonderful neighborhood to grow up in!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:27AM
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Nippersdad, sounds like you are one of the few native Atlantans around! We moved there for the elementary school and are liking it a lot. We have one of the split-level ranches near the train line.

Sorry to hijack your thread, Rivera!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 10:54AM
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Decades ago, someone planted kudzu on our farm, and on thousands of other farms throughout the American South, to combat the erosion that had resulted from generations of improper farming practices. I'm not sure of the exact year kudzu was introduced, probably ca. 1900, or possibly earlier than that. I seem to recall reading that kudzu was a star attraction at the Great 1876 Centennial in Philadelphia. At any rate, we all know that vigorous Oriental vine has swept the South during the following century. The vigor of ivy and wisteria pale in comparison to the vigor of kudzu.

We fight kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, wisteria, and ivy on a yearly basis, but, simultaneously love, enjoy, and respect these exotic vines--akebia, or violet vine, too. Gardening is a never-ending struggle. There are successes; there are failures. _C'est la vie._

Over the years, I've made my peace with these and other vines. At present, I'm allowing kudzu to have its way with the plot of ground that includes our septic tank drainage field. It grows luxuriantly and forms undulating waves of lush, large-leaved greenery for months on end, with beautiful, fragrant wisteria-like racemes of purple blossoms in late summer. This sea of green provides an above-ground canopy for the groundhog, or woodchuck, colony that lives underground in a maze of tunnels. The groundhogs are kudzu connoisseurs (sp.?) who relish the leaves as a dietary staple. A bamboo grove provides a fine backdrop to the kudzu "lawn." No mowing required.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 11:14AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

you sure they planted it on your farm? the stuff spreads like the plague - animals love kudzu 'fruit' and happily spread it everywhere.

once the roots are allowed to properly crown, they'll get as big around as a human leg...and at that point, it's able to easily for miles, even if kept contained in a small area, and almost impossible to eradicate.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 12:44PM
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Yes, I'm pretty sure the kin who owned this farm in the nineteen-tens planted our kudzu. There was a large gulley, created by the erosion that resulted from the improper terracing of the fields, that kudzu was intended to reclaim. The use of kudzu for erosion control was commonplace all over the Southeast.

Providence Canyon in Southwest Georgia is a monumental example of the type of erosion that was once common across our region.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2009 at 4:10PM
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Sigh. I was hoping for a warm week this week, so I could go out there and get started. Looks like I'll have to wait a few more weeks. I can't wait to get out there and attack those vines. I have dreams of planting blackberry bushes, among other plants, having various sitting areas, etc, so the ivy must disappear :P

    Bookmark   April 8, 2009 at 9:05PM
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When I moved into my current house there was a huge patch of English ivy. We used a flame thrower on it and it easily killed it all. On the other side of the yard a neighbor has ivy and I keep it at bay by spraying regular strength Roundup on the new growth twice a year. As someone commented, the new growth doesn't have the waxy coating that the mature leaves do so it more easily absorbs the spray. Come visit my garden blog.
Speaking of kudzu, County Agents and Soil & Water Conservationists were trained that kudzu was a good thing. I have heard several of them get up in front of a crowd and talk about the virtues of kudzu.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bittersweet Gardens

    Bookmark   April 9, 2009 at 8:05PM
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newbiehavinfun(7a - Southern NJ)

One word: Kubota. That's what it took the get rid of our acre of ivy. That was just the stuff on the ground.

To attack the thick vines going up all the way up our mature Norway maple trees, we hacked the thickest part of the vine with a machete, then sprayed RoundUp into the vine. It really does work this way, despite it not being used folicularly. We had woody vines that were almost a foot in diameter, and now they're DEAD! Bwahahaha! (evil laugh)

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 11:39AM
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