English Ivy (Ilex paraguariensis) is one of the most common plants in our gardens. Its leaves are dark green, up to 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. They have four leaflets, each leaflet being covered with tiny hairs called cilia which move at different speeds. These hairs cause the plant to curl or twist in various directions depending on their position relative to other leaves and stems. The tips of these twisted leaves may even resemble little wings!
The name “ivy” comes from the Latin word īvus meaning thorn. English ivy is native to Europe, but it’s been introduced into North America where it thrives in many areas of the country.
It grows well in full sun and prefers moist soil. However, its growth rate decreases if conditions become dry or if there is too much shade. English ivy is not aggressive towards other plants so it doesn’t need to be pruned frequently.
What You Need To Know About Killing English Ivy With Vinegar And Salt:
Vinegar kills all types of plants including ivy, but it works best against ivy because it contains acetic acid which causes the death of the plant cells. Acids such as vinegar are toxic only to living things; they do not harm dead ones like bleach does.
Vinegar has a low mammalian toxicity, meaning that you can drink it without being harmed. However, the smell and taste of it can be unappealing to most people.
How To Kill English Ivy With Vinegar And Salt:
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and add two tablespoons of salt.
Shake the bottle well before use.
Spray the English ivy thoroughly and cover all sides of the plant as this solution is absorbed through both the leaves and the roots.
How To Prevent Spread Of English Ivy:
After killing the plant, be sure to prevent its spread to other areas.
Cut the English ivy away from nearby trees or shrubs. The easiest way to do this is with a shovel or saw.
Dig up the entire root system from the ground and be sure to dispose of it properly. Do not just leave it in a heap somewhere; this could result in re-growth in another area.
Cover the soil where the plant was growing with heavy duty plastic to prevent light from getting through.
Leave the plastic in place for at least six months to a year.
How To Kill English Ivy With Boric Acid:
Boric acid is a white crystalline powder that has a low mammalian toxicity. This means that you can drink it without being harmed, or at least not to a serious extent.
It is also harmful to plants, causing their cells to shrivel up and die. Boric acid is commonly used in pesticide products such as ant killer, roach killer and others.
Boric acid can be purchased at most drug stores and some grocery stores. It is often found near the first aid items such as band-aids and rubbing alcohol.
How To Kill English Ivy With Boric Acid:
Purchase some boric acid from your local drug store.
Sprinkle it around the base of the English ivy, making sure it gets into all parts of the soil.
Leave it in place for at least 48 hours. This allows the acid to kill off the roots of the plant.
Scatter the boric acid if you need to kill ivy that is growing up a nearby tree or other vertical surface. Spread it around the base of the tree or wall and be sure that it gets into all parts of the soil.
Reapply after a heavy rainstorm.
Pre-Treat With Chemicals: Another method of killing English ivy involves using a chemical called 2,4-D. This causes rapid cell division in plants causing them to quickly grow their cells then burst.
This kills the plant within days.
In order to use this method, you will need a mixture of 2,4-D and a moisture source such as water or liquid plant food. The 2,4-D will need to be watered into the soil around the English ivy.
It is a good idea to wear protective gear when handling chemicals as they can be harmful if you inhale or ingest them.
How To Kill English Ivy With 2,4-D:
Purchase some 2,4-D and liquid plant food or water. If you choose the plant food, it should be a kind specifically for indoor plants.
Purchase some protective gear such as gloves, goggles and a mask. This mixture can cause harm if it contacts with your skin or is inhaled.
Boil enough water to fill a bucket.
Add the 2,4-D to the water and stir it until it has completely dissolved.
Allow the mixture to cool.
Using a spray bottle or watering can, apply the mixture to the soil around the English ivy.
Reapply every few days. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy.
Dry soil will stop the chemical from working effectively.
Allow the ivy to die on its own accord. It should start to turn yellow and start dying within days of being pre-treated.
How To Kill English Ivy Without Chemicals:
Soak a rag in vinegar and place it over the soil around the plants. This will prevent any new English ivy seeds from growing in that spot next year.
Pull up any new seedlings as they appear. The seeds of English ivy only last one year, so if you catch them early enough, you should be able to prevent them from growing.
Prevent any birds or animals from eating the berries. If they transport the seeds off your property, it will cause the problem to spread to other areas.
If you wish to keep some of the English ivy in your landscape, you can prune it back hard each spring before it has a chance to flower and produce berries.
Prevent the spread of ivy by staying on the paths that you have previously walked. Each time you step off of a path, you can actually be transporting small pieces of root and dirt from one place to another.
The roots of the English ivy can extend out several feet from the main plant.
Sources & references used in this article:
alker by V Peerless – 2017 – Dorling Kindersley Ltd
TARGET CELLS FOR PATTERN FORMATION DURING ADVENTITION ROOTING IN ENGLISH IVY. by L Walker, EZTR Kinsley – Arbor, 2012 – lakewalker.org
Hedera helix From Bugwoodwiki Jump to: navigation, search by RL Geneve – HortScience, 1990 – journals.ashs.org