naturally get rid of poison ivy

Asked June 21, 2018, 11:13 AM EDT

I have poison ivy in many spots around my blueberry bush patch and my main garden. I have ripped it out of the ground several times. When I pulled it up, I have carefully unearthed and pulled up as much of the root as possible. A few times I pulled up more than a foot of root. Today, I sprayed a concoction of vinegar, salt, and dish soap on the affected areas. I am skeptical that this will work. In the five years I have been gardening, I have not used any unnatural pesticide or weed killer. My husband is threatening to use round up to get rid of the poison ivy because he is highly allergic. Is there anything else that I can do naturally to keep the poison ivy from returning? If not naturally, what can I do that won't harm the plants or the bees? Thank you!

St. Mary's County Maryland

1 Response

Hand pulling can be very effective with poison ivy. Keep in mind that, even when you remove all of the current vines, birds are always dropping more seeds in landscapes, and so more poison ivy plants come up.

If you feel that the ivy is returning from the same roots, you can use a spray with triclopyr. It kills woody plants. Many products have a foam, so that you can clearly see where it goes and control it so that it does not contact other plants or soil and use as little as possible to only cover poison ivy leaves. It is a systemic.

Likewise, glyphosate is systemic. It, however, is a total vegetation killer. However, you can hold the sprayer very close to the leaves and use a shield of cardboard or plastic to keep the spray from contacting any other plants. That way, you don't need to use much.

Search 'poison ivy' on our website for more info.