How to Get Rid of Plant Ivy

Updated February 21, 2017

Ivy can look beautiful in a garden or creeping up a tree. Unfortunately, ivy can kill and destroy the surrounding plants, flowers and trees. Ivy can even destroy the brickwork on homes. There are about five species of ivy--real ivy referring to the evergreen woody plants.The common type of ivy is English Ivy, which can be difficult to get rid of. However, there are two ways to kill the ivy for good.

Pour the vinegar into a stock pot. Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.

Add the salt to the vinegar. The heat of the vinegar will help dissolve the salt.

Add the detergent to the solution.

Pour the solution into a large spray bottle (a funnel can be used to help pour the solution into the bottle).

Spray the solution thoroughly onto the plant. Spray as much as needed to cover all of the vines.

Cut the vines of the ivy with the garden shears. Cut the vines so they are 2 inches above the ground.

Combine a 25 per cent solution of glyphosate with water. Pour this solution directly onto the cross-section of the stems immediately after cutting the stems.

Dump the mulch onto the stems of the vines until they are covered. Or, placing cardboard onto the vines will work as well.

The mulch or cardboard will block the light from getting to the stems, which will help kill the ivy.

Rake up the cut vines and place them into a garbage bag to be thrown away.


When killing the ivy, apply the solution(s) in the spring while the weather is warm. If a second solution is needed, apply it during the winter or late fall while the plant is dormant.


The detergent solution is harmful to other surrounding plants, flowers and trees. Be very careful to apply the solution to only the ivy to prevent killing other vegetation. Glyphosate can be harmful to conifers. Take care when spraying the solution if there are conifers near by.

Things You'll Need

  • Stock pot
  • 1 gallon vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 8 drops liquid detergent
  • or
  • Garden shears
  • Glyphosate
  • Water
  • Cardboard or mulch
  • Rake
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About the Author

Andrea Griffith has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has been published by the "Western Herald," Detroit WDIV, USAToday and other print, broadcast and online publications. Although she writes about a wide range of topics, her areas of expertise include fashion, beauty, technology and education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Western Michigan University.