Invasive Ivy

Asked June 17, 2019, 2:44 PM EDT

What is the best way to get rid of invasive ivy? It is growing over the vinca that I planted and choking it.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

It can be dug out, but rarely do you get all the roots. Normal mulches will not discourage its return. If it is a possibility, the kind of barrier cloth used commercially can keep it down until it starves out or constant re-digging, pulling, cutting, so that it eventually starves for lack of leaves works but is an awful task for a larger area. It grows in sun or shade. There are herbicides available, but I would use a professional for those.
Here are some hints to try.

  • You can mow ivy groundcover to ground level several times a year to slowly kill the spreading vine.
  • With a pair of thick gardening gloves, pull out any English ivy, making sure to remove all of the roots. A trowel can be used over hand-pulling to help with any stubborn roots.Be sure to avoid skin contact with ivy as much contact can cause a rash.
  • After removal, throw away the removed ivy immediately after removal because new plants can grow from cut/broken stems. Do not compost it, as it will root in your compost pile! It is best to put it into black plastic bags and lay them in the sun to cook the plants. At least it is now summer and we have the heat for that to work pretty well. This plant is a candidate for the landfill, not for recycling.