If its taking over your yard and destroying your fence then its time to learn how to control Ivy, or better still eradicate it. English Ivy is the main problem, over the years Ivy has been praised as a climber and has also been cursed as a weed.
It is a plant that serves a purpose as a ground cover or climber, however it can cause problems and does need to be kept under control.
The common English Ivy ( Hedera species) creates a in that it can smother other plants, damage buildings, and can be difficult to eradicate.
If allowed to grow uncontrolled Ivy can eventually kill its supporting plants by smothering then.
On walls, fences, trees and even as a ground cover plant Ivy can spread and climb quickly. So is Ivy a weed, or a useful garden plant?
How do you control Ivy
Ivy can be controlled and eventually be eradicated by digging it out at the roots. However it can be difficult to remove all of the root system so you may need to work on this for a few years.
Ivy in trees and on wall or fences
Ivy in a tree or on a wall can be removed by cutting the plant away so that it has no root system that reached the ground. This will provide immediate relief for the tree. The same process can be used for buildings.
Removal of Ivy on the ground
At ground level the choice is either to dig it up, smother it with plastic, or to use a spray type Glysophate weed killer.
The cut and spray method
If Ivy has been cut back, you can spray or paint the weed killer onto the cut stems. You can also watch for new foliage growth and again spray Glysophate weed killer to this as it emerges.
The problem with using weed killer is that Ivy has very glossy foliage that tends not to absorb the weed killer. Adding some soap (dish washing liquid) can assist with aiding penetration.
When using weed killer the usual issues arise, any surrounding plants need to protected.
How to Control Ivy Using Weed Killer.
- Look for one that is designed to kill Ivy
- Add some washing up liquid to improve the penetration. Some weed killers contain something similar called a surfacant.
- Spray the foliage or paint it on with a brush.
- After the foliage dies back you will need to cut the stems and paint the open stem with weed killer
Why is Ivy a problem
The common English Ivy is Hedera helix, and it is a woody, evergreen climbing plant. It climbs by using aerial roots that find their way into cracks in walls, joints in mortar and any rough surface on a tree. The roots can damage surfaces on buildings, however it is the ability of Ivy to smother other plants that causes problems in the garden.
Although Ivy is used as a ground cover plant is does like to climb. As it climbs the aerial roots come into play, and as it climbs into the light it can grow rapidly. In the canopy of a tree it can quickly spread and eventually smoother the tree.
So Ivy, if left to grow as it wants to really is a weed that need controlling.