How to Get Rid of Creeping Ivy

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Creeping ivy goes by a number of names, such as creeping Charlie, ground ivy, gill-on-the-ground or creeping Jenny. Once the creeping ivy starts to grow, it can quickly take over an area. On some creeping ivy, the stems will root wherever they make contact with the ground. It is hard to completely get rid of creeping ivy, but with diligence, their numbers can be decreased.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Black plastic, old carpeting or newspaper
  • Broadleaf herbicide
  • Borax
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Put on garden gloves to protect your hands. Pull the creeping ivy from the ground by hand. This works well in small areas. Throw the creeping ivy into the trash. Do not put the creeping ivy into the compost pile or it will continue to grow.

  • Cover the invaded area with black plastic, old carpeting or newspaper, five or more pages thick. Leave the cover on for one year. The creeping ivy will not receive sunlight or water and will die. If using black plastic, the sun will cook the creeping ivy. Obviously, if newspaper is used, it will have to be replaced from time to time.

  • Spray the area with a broadleaf herbicide made to kill ivy plants. Mix and apply after the first frost in mid- to late autumn according to label directions. A second application may be applied after the plants bloom, in April to June. If the ivy is growing with other plants, carefully read the label or discuss with a professional at a garden supply store or university extension service which herbicide will work best.

  • Spray the area with a mixture of 5 tsp. borax with 1 qt. warm water. Stir until the borax is dissolved. Spray the area every year. For a bigger amount, mix 1/4 cup borax with 5 gallons water. This can be poured into a watering can and distributed onto the weeds. It may take several applications.

Tips & Warnings

  • Research at the University of Wisconsin and Iowa State University has found that borax may not be very effective. If too much is used, it can injure other plants and grass. Borax contains boron, and too much of it is toxic to all plants.

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