Poison ivy in spring

Asked April 25, 2018, 3:37 PM EDT

Will spraying the vines of poison ivy in the early spring kill the plant, or prevent the leaves from growing in late spring, early summer?

Genesee County Michigan poison ivy

1 Response

It isn't likely that a single application of herbicide will kill poison ivy, especially if you are trying to kill established plants. Poison ivy is a perennial, and can be very persistent. In the spring, it has lots of stored resources from the roots, so spraying it with a herbicide (like glyphosate) will kill the foliage that comes out, but it will be able to produce more. You will have to make repeated applications as new growth comes out. Be sure to make an application late in the season (August- October- before frost) to weaken the plant further as nutrients are being transported back to the roots. Be sure to protect your skin to prevent accidental contact with any part of the poison ivy plant when you are making the herbicide treatments.