Eradicating English Ivy

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English ivy can be eradicated so long as you follow the proper procedure. Eradicate English ivy with help from a landscape designer and horticulture writer in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Growing & Caring for Foliage Plants
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Marci Degman, The Aspiring Gardener, and today we're going to talk about eradicating English Ivy. Now what I want to mention first is to prevent the problem if you're going to plant ivy, know that you do not want to plant the straight Hedera Helix, the green English ivy that you see going up the trees and growing in old houses that's the culprit of invasiveness. The reason is not only does it grow fairly rampantly like most ivies do, but the straight species produces red berries which the birds eat and scatter everywhere. So not only does that ivy go up your tree and all over your foundation but that English ivy plant can be spread for miles. So that's why we have the problem with the invasiveness. If you want to plant English ivy, make sure that you plant a hybrid variety that does not bear fruit and as you can see, mine is planted in a well, so the birds are not going to spread it and it's not going to go anywhere because it's got concrete all around it and all I have to do is keep it trimmed. So if you do want to use ivy, it's okay just get the right one. Now to eradicate ivy, there's no simple spray, there's no simple way to do it because what will happen if you spray ivy is the foliage will fall off but the root will remain and it's very deep and it's very hard to kill. Chances are, you're going to spray and spray for nothing. So really, there is only one way and that is to yank it out. You've got to pull it down. If it's going up a tree, you can always dig the roots and then just cut the vine and then the rest up in the tree will die but you have to get the root by hand and the best way is to yank it out. As you can see, it's way down in here and it is not easy so you might have to take a shovel and dig around under there but you want to make sure that what you pull out has these fine little hairy roots and if you've had a lot of it, you're probably going to have to go back for two or three years and you'll find new starts and you just have to be persistent and you have to keep doing it and eventually you'll eradicate the ivy.

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