poison ivy ID request

Asked July 30, 2018, 11:45 AM EDT

Have about 20' of this in a flower bed with peonies, hostas, a birds nest spruce bush, daffodils, and forsythia. Is it poison ivy? If so, what is the best way to get rid of it without damaging the other plants?

Scott County Kentucky

3 Responses

the middle picture appears to be poison ivy; the third is not and it is hard to identify picture 1.
Eastern poison ivy, frequently called poison ivy, occurs in much of the eastern United States. It is a woody perennial that can grow as a low shrub, trailing vine, or climbing vine. As a climbing vine, it can grow several yards and often reaches into the tops of trees. It will grow in a wide range of habitats.

Poison ivy roots are fibrous from a taproot (the main root that grows vertically downward) and long subterranean rhizomes (rootstalks). Vines are woody and light brown or grayish and frequently have aerial roots on them. Poison ivy’s easiest identifying characteristic is a trifoliate (having three leaves) compound leaf. Leaflets are shiny, typically 2 to 4 inches in length, and pointed at the tip. Leaves turn a bright red or reddish-yellow in the fall and produce greenish to grayish white berries in late summer to early fall. Reproduction is by seeds, rootstalks, and stems that root when they come into contact with the soil. Berries are spread by birds.

All parts of the poison ivy plant, both live and dead, contain urushiol oil and might cause acute dermatitis to humans sensitive to the oil. Fumes from burning poison ivy plants might also transmit the oil. Animals such as cats, dogs, and horses are not sensitive to poison ivy, but can transfer the oil to humans.

While the most effective control is by herbicidal sprays, spraying can be tricking in a flower bed. You can create a "collar" from a empty milk jug or two liter bottle to attach to your sprayer tip with duct tape and place this collar around the poison ivy leaves only and then spray or while wearing gloves you can "paint" your herbicide on individual leaves with a disposable brush. If none of this is feasible, wear protective clothing and gloves to weed it out of your bed. Make sure to launder your gloves and clothes that might have come into contact with the oil as soon as you can. As mentioned above, poison ivy has rhizomes that will be stimulated to grow more plants when broken, so you may need to keep close watch and continue to route out the ivy as new comes up. AS ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU READ THE LABEL OF ANY HERBICIDE BEFORE USE AND FOLLOW THE LABEL'S INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING

Is there any way someone from the co-op office could come to my yard and determine what else I have which is poisonous? Or do you have anyone you recommend to hire to identify and remove anything poisonous?

Hello. Thank you for your question. Please contact the Extension Office to schedule a home visit. I have included the contact information below.

Sharon P Flynt

Extension Agent
phone: (502) 863-0984
fax: (502) 863-2392