How to Kill Poison Ivy

Georgia Lund By Georgia Lund, 12th Mar 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Safety

Poison ivy is a hardy plant that takes up to a year to completely kill. This article gives valuable information on the steps needed for killing poison ivy

Hardy Poison Ivy

Poison ivy thrives in shady landscape locations and as the name suggests, it is a poisonous plant. The oils the plant produces is where the itchy rash-inducing poison lies.
Poison ivy is a hardy plant that takes some time, effort and precautions to kill, here’s how to do it.

Start a Year in Advance

If a landscape or garden plan includes using an area of the yard that has poison ivy growing in it, start killing the poison ivy one year prior to beginning the new landscaping or garden project. Poison ivy has deep, hard-to-kill, running vine-like roots that takes two seasons to completely eradicate

Poison Ivy Rash

Take precaution when working in or near poison ivy. Cover all exposed areas of the body. Long sleeves, long pants and gloves are a must. Rubber boots, a face covering and goggles are wise to wear when dealing with a large patch of poison ivy that you may come into direct contact with. Remember, it’s the plant’s oils that are poisonous and when attempting to pull up the tough fibrous plant, the poisonous oils can connect with the face or shoot into the eyes ( an experience no one covets).

Thoroughly wash all appeal and boots worn after being in or near poison ivy. The plant’s oils may be on apparel items and can cause an allergic reaction later when the apparel article is touched. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove the poisonous oils that may be on the skin.

Herbicide and Plastic

Saturate the visible poison ivy plants with a total vegetation killer. Several applications of the herbicide will be needed throughout the year to totally kill the poison ivy.

To expedite the killing process and to make certain that all underground roots and shoots of the poison ivy are killed, cover the area with clear plastic sheeting during the summer to “cook” the pre-emerging poison ivy plants.

Safe for Planting

After the year of herbicide and plastic treatments, the area is safe for planting the flowers or vegetables of choice.

Some lingering poison ivy roots may remain in the ground and need to be pulled up and out by hand or with a garden rake. Keep a watchful eye on the area, and remove any rogue poison ivy plants as soon as they emerge.

Never Burn Poison Ivy

Poison ivy plants should never be burned, even the plants that look dead. The poisonous oils of the plant is carried in the smoke and can be inhaled, causing serious respiratory problems. Removed poison ivy plants need to be double bagged in plastic and discarded of properly.

Land can be reclaimed from the grips of poison ivy and utilized for landscaping or gardening. Start a year in advance to cleanse the soil with herbicide and plastic sheeting. Wear protective apparel when working around poison ivy and discard the removed poison ivy plants properly.


Herbicides, How To Kill Poison Ivy, Ivy, Poison Ivy, Poison Plants

Meet the author

author avatar Georgia Lund
Ms. Lund is a freelance writer who enjoys gardening and sharing her knowledge through the Georgia Master Gardener program. Ms. Lund is a heart attack survivor who has educated herself in a variety of health, wellness and fitness topics. Ms. Lund is a...(more)

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