Poisonous ivy plant is one that can harm all the other plants in the garden when kept and in general, they are not healthy to grow in the garden.
Poison ivy plants grow in wooded or marshy areas in North America. But there are types of this plant that is not really poisonous.
Basic Characteristics of Poison Ivy
It is also called eastern poison ivy, a poisonous vine or shrub of the cashew family. Almost all parts of the plant have urushiol, an oily mixture of organic compounds with allergenic properties.
Urushiol causes allergic skin rashes upon contact, which is referred to as urushiol-induced contact dermatitis.
The nutritional value of the soil is also reduced as a result. Before blindly using chemicals to kill the plant, it is imperative to know about the entire process and here it goes:
- Identify the Poison Ivy Plant
The first and obvious step to kill the poison ivy plant is to identify them. The poisonous ivy can be recognized through the following ways:
- They grow as a cluster of three leaves.
- Pointy tips.
- The leaf in the middle is bigger in size.
- It’s usually waxy on the topper surface and fuzzy on the bottom.
- Shiny texture.
- White, greenish or tan color fruit.
So always remember “Leave of three? Let them be”.
You can get rid of this plant before it creeps into your lawn. A lot of people would want to know how to kill poison ivy plants to address this issue.
But it is important to identify the type of plant you are looking for. Since you can’t always recognize if it is poison ivy before urushiol reaches your skin, you can refer to the following factors.
- Its leaves grow in many directions, particularly as ground cover near stumps and wooden areas, or as vines along walls or trees.
- The plant is smooth without any thorns, but with pointed tips and fuzzy or hairy-looking roots.
- It changes in color, particularly brown in winter, red in spring, green in summer, and orange in fall.
- It must not be confused with other similar looking poison plants, such as poison oak or poison sumac, which are not found in the same location as other poisonous vines like the Virginia creeper or eastern poison ivy.
- Analyze Various Methods
We should obviously stay away from these pointy three leaves and at the same time know ways to get rid of them safely and effectively.
- There are two ways to kill this poisonous ivy plant which is through natural and chemical. Some people prefer natural and others prefer a chemical one.
- So clearly analyze various methods and choose wisely and pick your poison.
- The Natural Method to Kill Poison Ivy Plant
There are many natural ways to kill ivy plants. The first one is through manual labor. In this method, you have to dig down at least six inches to reach out to its root and pull it out through its roots. This method is most suitable for soft-land which is easier to dig deep towards the root.
- The next method is through boiling water. This method is most suitable when the plant is growing away from other desirable plants. Here one pours boiling water over the poisonous ivy pant which kills them from above the root.
- The next method is smothering, where you trap the poison ivy plant with a plastic or cardboard trap to kill it.
- And the final method is a DIY one. Here one mixes the portion of salt, water, vinegar, and the soap dish. When this mixture is used on plats, it slowly kills them.
You may also consider other natural alternatives if you are looking to kill poison ivy.
- Homemade weed killer – You may use a mixture of salt, dish soap, vinegar, and water to create a weed killer.
- Roots method – Pulling the plant off the ground or wall is also an effective way to remove poison ivy, but this can be used for plants with smaller roots.
- Water method – Boiling water can also drown the roots as well as kill its leaves.
Proper disposal is key to thoroughly get rid of poison ivy. At the same time, if your clothes come in contact with urushiol, you need to clean your gardening clothes thoroughly.
- Chemical Method to Kill the Poison Ivy Plant
Chemical methods are most suitable if you want speedy recovery when you have a backyard full of poison ivy plants and children’s running around.
You may use chemical products in your garden area or yard. Herbicides are available for use as they have active ingredients that can suppress the vine instantly. But the roots can also be a factor that makes it harder to get rid of.
- The most common chemicals which are used to the poison ivy plants are Roundup and Brush-B-Gone. The highly active ingredients in such chemicals are glyphosate or triclopyr.
- When using such chemical make sure you use it on the undesirable plants and also on the leaves of the plant and not on the soil.
- For better results, use the chemicals in good weather. After you have used them, make sure to store them in a proper place where it’s not too hot or too dry.
- Dispose of the Dead
The final step after you have successfully killed the poisonous ivy is to dispose of them in the right way.
- After you have cut or pulled out the poison ivy plant always remember not to put them in compost bag or touch them with the naked hand.
- Also, remember never top burn them as they release poisonous gases.
- So the best way is to bag them in plastic and directly dispose of those in the trash.
- Never forget to remove and wash your gardening clothes and equipment after clearing out the poison ivy plant successfully.