How to Remove Ivy Ground Cover

Written by stacy morgan
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How to Remove Ivy Ground Cover
Ivy is invasive if you don't control it. (ivy image by allie from

Ground ivy, often referred to as creeping Charlie, grows in a thick mat in shaded, moist areas. The mat-forming nature of ivy can cause it to become invasive, choking out native plant life and creating a safe haven for rats and other unwanted rodents. Herbicides are ineffective at controlling ivy infestations, which means the only effective method for removal is to pull up and destroy ivy plants.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Pruning shears
  • Black plastic bag
  • Tape

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  1. 1

    Grasp the edge of the ivy, holding as many leaves and stems as will fit in each hand. Peel the ivy backward, exposing the roots.

  2. 2

    Hold the pulled-back ivy in place with one hand and use your free hand to grasp the roots firmly at the base. Pull upward until the roots pull free from the ground. Repeat pulling roots until there is slack in the ivy to repeat the folding back. Snip large or stubborn roots with pruning shears.

  3. 3

    Repeat the peeling back and pulling roots, folding the ivy "blanket" over on itself as you go, until the entire ground cover is removed from the soil.

  4. 4

    Place the roll of ivy in a black plastic bag. Fold the top of the bag over and seal in place with tape. Place the bag flat on the ground in a spot that receives full sunlight.

  5. 5

    Turn the bags over every few days until the ivy has gone completely brown. Discard the bag in your regular household garbage pickup.

Tips and warnings

  • Ivy can aggravate sensitive skin, so wear gloves when handling plants.
  • Ivy can cause flare-ups for people with respiratory disorders such as asthma, and should not be handled by people afflicted by asthma or similar disorders.

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