How to Kill Creeping Ivy

Updated February 21, 2017

Creeping ivy, also known as creeping Charlie or Jenny, spreads rapidly over the ground. Once it covers grass or other plants, it stops nutrients, such as water or sunlight, eventually choking the life out of them. The pesky plant-life has long tendrils that spider their way from the ground and up and around house walls. Killing the ivy is only one part of ridding it completely -- you also have to overseed the ground to keep it from growing back as ivy has a difficult time establishing a foothold in thick ground cover.

Pour 1/2 cup warm water into a bucket. Add 284gr. of borax into the water. Stir the solution slowly with a gloved hand until the borax dissolves. Pour in another 2 1/2 gallons of water to further dilute the solution. Pour the borax mixture into a pump sprayer.

Spray the ivy with the borax solution, drenching the leaves. For layers of creeping ivy, push the spray pump nozzle through the top cover of leaves to reach the second layer. Soak the hidden ivy leaves with the borax mixture.

Cut the creeping ivy with pruning shears after it has died. Cut in 3- to 4-foot sections for easier removal. Pull the ivy roots from the ground and bag the dead ivy into large trash bags.

Rake the ground with a garden rake after removing all the creeping ivy. Sprinkle grass seed heavily on the loosened ground cover. Water the ground completely with a watering can. Soak the ground, but avoid leaving it muddy.

Place a loose covering of straw over the fresh seed to keep moisture in the soil and protect the seed from birds.

Things You'll Need

  • Borax
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves
  • Pump sprayer
  • Pruning shears
  • Garbage bags
  • Garden rake
  • Watering can
  • Straw
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About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.