Poison ivy vs virginia creeper

quinnfyre(z7 PA)November 13, 2007

I've heard people get these mixed up all the time. I was wondering, does virginia creeper ever look like poison ivy; does it ever have three leaves? Somebody mentioned young virginia creeper having three leaves. I have a sneaking suspicion I actually have both...

I definitely have virginia creeper though, although it was "acquired" from the neighbor, who apparently didn't want it either. It came back though.

I don't mind it actually, but it definitely needs to be controlled. What I don't want is poison ivy. If I think it's poison ivy, how do I safely get rid of it? It's not very big, and is growing in a container of mine, along with my chives, I believe. So much for the chives. Will they be safe to eat next year, if I get rid of the ivy this fall?

Thanks for any advice I receive!

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Virginia creeper does not look like poison ivy ever, in my experience (5 leaf clusters), but I have had more than one yard maintenance person think even the full grown plant was. Really made me question their competence. Even young, poison ivy leaves look like poison ivy. If it is small, you can just yank it out of your pot. If the roots are well established, though, you may have to start over. I really don't know if any of the oil might linger on the surface of the soil, if not the new growth of chives (having discarded the growth present with the poison ivy) should be ok. I am lucky in that I am not sensitive to the plant since the birds plan it regularly in my yard.

Good luck controlling the creeper. It is native here and really tried very hard to take over the whole yard--I would find that it had travelled under mulch and grass up to 30 feet to pop up in a new spot!! I had to eradicate it finally just to reduce the constant chasing after it--and that took the whole summer and lots of brush be gone (which also works on poison ivy)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 11:52AM
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bluebars(7 MD)

Virginia Creeper is lovely growing on the tall stone walls along the highways, bright red in Fall, yielding blue berries for wildlife. In my garden, however, it was too healthy to bloom and ran (creeped) under all my shrubs and tree roots with intentions for world takeover. So I could not dig or pull the roots out. Someone here suggested to insert leaves into a flowerpot or funnel (like a paper plate or shaped aluminum foil) and spray the leaves as they appear. Instead, I used a paintbrush and gloves to apply "Brush B Gone" directly to the leaves because overspray can hit other plants, especially if there is any breeze. This treatment worked quickly and thoroughly for both Va.Creeper and poison ivy. I keep that brush and those gloves with the BBG container so as not to contaminate any garden tools or get the poison ivy oil on me.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2007 at 12:22PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Rather amusingly, I went to take a look at the supposed virginia creeper and well, it's not virginia creeper at all. My roommate had been insistent that it was creeper, and I never saw one before, so I took her word. I think it actually is Boston ivy.

However, I think the poison ivy is still poison ivy. My roommate doesn't think so, as she thinks it's not shiny enough, but she was already mistaken about the creeper, so...

But thanks a bunch for the tips on how to get rid of the poison ivy. Think I might try the Brush B Gone or equivalent, so I can get the whole thing and not just the top. I haven't decided what to do about the Boston ivy though; I'm leaning towards just pruning it back. I've got a concrete yard, so I'm not too worried about it getting anywhere else, but it is taking over my wall and covering a mosaic that someone put there. The roots are also not coming from my yard at all (again, as it is concrete), but the neighbor's. Anyway, it looks nice for now, we'll have to see what the neighbor wants to do about it.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 1:11AM
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