How to destroy an invasive ivy plant ?

Fabulous, the Ivy has an astonishing capacity for development and climbs on its own along walls, on the trunks of trees or any other support. It grows fast… very fast… up to one meter each year, and can therefore be invasive to the point that some people want to control it, or even eradicate it, especially since it suffers from a bad reputation, totally unjustified. , but unfortunately prejudices have a hard tooth. On the other hand, the Ivy is indeed a tough one and its destruction requires method, on the one hand so that it does not push back any more and on the other hand not to damage its support by relentlessly on this vine, in particular if it adorns the facade of the house! Let’s do a check in.

What you need to know about Ivy before destroying it

Ivy (Ivy helix), of the family of Araliaceaeis a vineand more specifically a shrub vine which brings an indisputable charm to the garden, season after season thanks to its evergreen, plain or variegated foliage. Houses whose walls are covered with Ivy have, let’s face it, a incredible cachet. If you don’t give it the chance to climb, never mind: the Ivy begins to crawl and quickly forms a sumptuous ground coverboth protective and aesthetic.

Contrary to what we too often hear said, Ivy absolutely does not damage a wall in perfect condition, and does not condemn to death the trees on which it climbs. It also does not damage the railings, the fence, the pergola or the trellis. However, it should not be allowed to climb on a crumbling, cracked or earthen wall, or built with natural lime, since it could take root there. And we recommend pruning it before it invades the roof because it is not desirable for its tree vines to infiltrate under the tiles.

It has undeniable qualities. it protects its support against the onslaught of frost, constitutes a bulwark against excess humidity and excessive heat, so that it represents an interesting solution in terms of thermal insulation. An ivy-covered house stays cooler in the summer and retains heat in the winter. We also see in forests, for example, that the trunks of trees covered with ivy are often spared from the onslaught of rodents.

So yes, it is home to many insects and small critters of all kinds: ants, spiders, butterflies, bees and many more. But that’s not a defect, quite the contrary, and it suddenly has its place in the ecosystem. However, this can be a disadvantage when it climbs the facade and surrounds the windows of the house.

It is unfortunate that many people want to get rid of it permanently for the wrong reasons. But wanting to destroy a foot of Lierre is a choice that belongs to them. It remains to be done well so as not to create damage on the wall which risks being unfairly blamed on this plant!

Best method to destroy an invading ivy plant

Before embarking on this operation, it is strongly recommended to be well equipped. So we prepare:

  • The garden hose that you connect to the tap,
  • A pickaxe,
  • A shear equipped with a sufficiently long handle,
  • a pruner,
  • A hand hatchet,
  • A pair of good protective gloves.

The hatchet only necessary if the base of the plant is particularly resistant to uprooting. This hand tool must of course be handled with care and held out of the reach of children.

Water the Ivy to be destroyed

First of all, you must start by thoroughly wetting the plant by spraying it generously with the garden hose, starting from the top and ending with the base. Leave the water time to drain well from the foliage and vines to the ground. This has the effect of softening the main stem and roots. This step is essential because it facilitates the uprooting of the ivy.

Cut stems and vines

Take the pruning shears or the shears, and cut the main stem in several places, without forgetting the base. The more difficult the uprooting, the more sections you have to multiply, which you just have to remove one after the other, by hand of course, and after putting on big gardening gloves.

Thereafter, it is advisable to remove the other lianas and secondary stems, always manually, which is quite easy as long as they offer no resistance. Otherwise, it is necessary to use the pruning shears again (or even the long-handled shears if the branches are difficult to reach) or to cut in different places. Under no circumstances should you pull hard on a strong ivy branch as this can damage the wall or tear the bark from the supporting trunk.

brush the wall

When a good part of the ivy is torn off, we can see that tiny parts still remain on the wall. It is small suction cups which must be removed with a brush if you don’t want to see this plant grow back in a jiffy.

Prepare a homemade mixture to kill the roots

We finish with a pickaxe since this tool is used to naturally remove the roots. Admittedly, this requires a bit of elbow grease, but it’s still better than using a commercial chemical weed killer! If however the task seems insurmountable, so that a new Ivy does not grow from the some forgotten or inaccessible roots, we can pour on the ground a homemade preparation which consists in adding in 2.5 liters ofeau 10 cl de White vinegar and 500 g of iodized salt. One treatment should suffice.

Control Ivy rather than eradicate it

It is quite possible to tame this invasive plant certainly, but of which one cannot deny neither its aesthetic advantage, nor its usefulness. Rather than uprooting all of the ivy and relentlessly treating its roots to make them die, the right attitude is to keep a few plants and to prune these plants as soon as they reach the desired size and volume. A pruner is enough to control an Ivy used for example to hide an ugly concrete wall, an equally ugly cement post and other very ugly elements that spoil the beauty and elegance of the garden.

no doubt, Ivy is useful in addition to being decorative. Icing on the cake, it is easy to make cuttings and integrate them into the exterior decoration. It can even be associated with different plant species in pots and suspensions. Whether we let it fall from a pot, climb along a support or run on the ground, we can not let it invade. You just have to know how to use the shears in autumn, which is enough to master it because it is a shame to do without it.

In any case, contrary to popular belief, there is no need to worry if an Ivy completely covers the trunk of a tree since it does not carry it. no harm. Better, it acts as a real ally (unlike mistletoe), protecting the trunk from temperature variations and rodents. It creates no damage on the bark. Note also that it has a superficial root system while the roots of a tree will draw food from deep down. Let us specify again if it is necessary, that the Ivy being a epiphytic plant (just like the Orchid, the Asplenium and the Philodendron among others), it does not draw its food from the tree to which it clings.

Besides, who would have the absurd idea of ‚Äč‚Äčtearing off the thousands of feet of lierres who contribute to the charm of a forest as much as to its balance ? When a tree naturally comes to the end of its existence, the Ivy is able to survive it for tens, even hundreds of years since it can live up to a thousand years in excellent conditions. There is no doubt that it is indestructible and apart from very specific cases such as its undesirable presence on the trunk of a very young tree in full growth for example, we can let it live without any fear.

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