How to Control Ivy
Ivy is a creeping/ climbing, evergreen plant, which has distinctive arrow-shaped leaves arising direct from the woody stem in its juvenile form and larger more rounded leaves once it reaches maturity.
Only the mature stems produce flowers in Oct/Nov. producing clusters of round green –black berries at the top of the stems.
It thrives in shady conditions and will act as a ground creeper, putting down adventitious roots as it spreads along the floor, or very often as a climber. It can also be found climbing up trees, fences, walls, and brickwork.
Many ornamental varieties have been bred in variegated forms but all can cause damage to buildings and fencing if left to grow unchecked.
How to Control Ivy?
Best products to spray on ivy: Roundup ProActive 360 , Roundup ProVantage 480g/L and Kurtail Evo with Kurtail Evo having the edge over the straight products.
Ivy is resistant to most herbicides due to the thick, waxy cuticle on the leaf. This makes it difficult to penetrate and liable to run-off by most herbicides so we recommend the addition of adjuvants (below).
The following options are available for using a non-residual, total weedkiller spray such as Roundup or Kurtail Evo. They produce excellent results and at peak treatment times in spring (usually May onwards) will produce results in 2-3 weeks.
Ivy controlled with Kurtail Evo after 21 days
How to kill Ivy with Roundup or Kurtail Evo?: Spray Application
- Best results for English Ivy control will come from a spray applied to young, soft leaf growth in the spring, usually May at the earliest. Over-wintered leaves have tough, thickened wax layers as they are hardened in the cold weather, which are more difficult to penetrate
Spring is the best time to apply an herbicide when 3 to 5 new leaves appear on the ivy vines. This new growth does not yet have the waxy cuticle covering present on the older leaves, which allows for better penetration of herbicides. Alternatively, the English ivy can be mowed or cut back with a strimmer or brush cutter. When new growth appears, herbicides can be sprayed
If treating in late summer/ autumn cut back old growth as far as possible and wait for new leaves to emerge
Apply the highest rate of Roundup Pro Active recommended. In a knapsack this rate is 50 ml per litre of water sprayed to just before run-off
- Add Biosyl or Validate as excellent adjuvants to stick to the ivy, improve the spray mixture and help the penetration of the waxy leaf surface
- A weedwiper with 1 part Roundup ProActive to 2 parts water could also be used where decorative plants are growing intimately with the ivy
- Monitor and retreat the sites as necessary over a period of three years
How to kill Ivy: Cut Stump / Stem Injection Treatment
Where ivy is mature and growing up masonry or trees there may be a woody trunk which can be treated in the dormant season. This method is a very effective method of ivy control.
Ivy must be dormant, this usually occurs between November and February, although in some seasons and in the most northern parts of the country, this could extend until the end of March.
Cut Stump Method
- Chop the woody ivy stem at approx. 10-20cm above ground level. Clear at least 30cm of stem above it
- Rate: 20% solution of Roundup ProActive (ie, 4 parts water: 1 part Roundup)
- Method: application must be made to a fresh cut so that uptake into the phloem is maximised
Use a paintbrush and apply immediately after cutting. (Uptake is almost immediate from a fresh cut and will be rainfast within 10 minutes. Application to a cut that has partially sealed means absorption is slow and rain within 6 hours will wash some of the product off).
Cut Stump Method #2
Use Ecoplug Max as a safe, clean alternative to liquids on woody ivy stems
- Ecoplugs contain granulated glyphosate that dissolves in contact with the tree sap and is carried to the growing points in the stump roots
- Use a drill & Ecoplug drill bit to create a hole (purpose built drillbits use depth gauges) around the outer edge of the (freshly cut) tree stump face or into the sides of the stump.
- Knock in the Ecoplug with a hammer – ensuring the top edge is flush with the stump – this ensures it cannot be removed.
- Rate: 2 mls of neat Roundup ProActive for each 10cm diameter of the stem.
- Method: neat weedkiller is introduced straight into the phloem through a hatchet cut into the bark of the ivy leaving the plant in tact.
A spot gun with a solid stream nozzle is recommended and it is advisable to make a second cut under the first to catch any surplus herbicide. Work out how many hatchet cuts are needed according to the diameter of the trunk and space them round the girth e.g. trunk of 20cm diameter requires 2 x 2mls cuts. Alternatively the concentrate can be introduced through an 8mm drill hole, about 40mm long, aimed slightly downwards and radially towards the centre of the stem.
Unsure of which application method is best for you? Call for FREE technical advice - freephone 0800 032 6262