Killing root system of english ivy

daintyjagApril 15, 2010

Hi, :) I recently spent hours upon hours pulling up english ivy from off my house and ground and am almost finished. It had completely covered an area that I want to plant flowers in. The top soil is now just about completely bare of all ivy. I'd like to till the soil before planting, but am afraid I'll be encouraging the ivy to come back full force. Should I till it with a specific weed killer mixed into the soil? Am very open to ideas! I'm a novice gardener with a pretty good green thumb for house plants and want to extend outside...HELP, PLEASE & THANK YOU! :)

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hortster(6a, southcentral KS)

Killing English ivy is a LONG process. this stuff should be illegal. You are on the right track. There is no specific killer for English ivy that will not sterilize the gorund area for a long, long time. To me the best system is to 1) keep pulling, tenaciously, for a full growing season, or 2) every time a new stem emerges, cut it off at the ground and "dap" it with glyphosate. My best experence has been to dig the re-emerging shoot, each time it shows its ugly head. The glyphosate may take the same time frame, but might "feel better." English ivy is not considered (by most) an invasive here in KS but it is to me.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 9:24PM
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I've got pretty much the same problem with Asian jasmine, only I've decided not to pull it up before I kill it. Several applications of regular strength Roundup hasn't fazed it. A guy at the Extension Service tells me that the leaves have a waxy surface that keeps herbicides from penetrating. (I've read that ivy is similar in this regard.) He thought I might have better luck by applying it to new growth. We shall see.

The Roundup you get at HD in the gallon jugs with an attached spray applicator contains 2% glyphosate. I've tried a concentrate with 18%, and I see it is killing some of the new growth. I've read there is a 40% version, and I'll go nuclear if I have to.

If I were you, I might think about going ahead with tilling and planting, if you think you can spray new ivy growth without getting any spray on the plants. Once you till, you might be able to turn up and remove major root clusters with your hoe.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:30AM
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There is nothing you can buy that will really effectively kill Ivy. This plant has, according to several botantist I talked with, the ability to stop "weed" killers from traveling down the stems and to the roots, a self preservation techique that many plants share. The only really effective means of anihilating this "weed" is to keep all top growth from being able to absorb any sunlight so those leaves can not manufacture the foods the roots need to survive. You can spend a lot of money buying stuff to spray or try the much less expensive method of mulches and pruning.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 8:07AM
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I can't post links, but you can access an interesting discussion by googling PCA alien plant working group english ivy. Looks like hortster may have had the right idea about painting the stems. They recommend products other than glyphosate, however. Their discussion about control by mulching is not terribly encouraging. They say the mulch should be left in place for "at least" two growing seasons.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 2:08PM
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Mulches should be left in place forever and replenished often. Mulches help 1) suppress unwanted plant growth ("weeds"), 2) control soil moisture, 3) control soil temperature, and 4) if of a vegetative nature will add necessary organic matter to your soil. There is no down side to mulches.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 9:01AM
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Um, hm, and let's not forget about the cardboard and turkey manure. But I really think we were talking about the most effective way of killing ivy prepatory to planting flowers.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 2:50PM
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I'm using Ortho Brush and Poison Ivy killer and am having good luck. Im also digging and cutting the roots and then spraying it with this stuff. It's a slow process, but it's coming. Just have patience and a good shovel & know you are not alone.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:07PM
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