How to kill ivy: Easy salt and vinegar solution to get rid of the plant ‘for good’


English ivy, also known as Hedera Helix for plant fanatics, is a woody, evergreen, perennial vine with dark green unlobed leaves, and is often found climbing up walls, fences, or along the ground. Although some welcome the climbing vine, others find it particularly tiresome, especially when it grows across windows, doors, and swamps other plants. So for those hoping to get rid, the good news is you probably already have the solution in the kitchen cupboard.

Not just a good fish and chips condiment, salt and vinegar are actually proved to be a toxic deterrent for this hardy evergreen.

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which can be found within many weed killers, and salt is a great ingredient to dehydrate plants.

The combination of vinegar, salt, and a generous amount of liquid soap develops a powerful remedy to rid your garden of unwanted weeds.

Ivy grows fast – a little too fast – as it’s known to be able to grow up to nine feet in one year, so it’s best to tackle this vine as soon as you see it starting to grow.

READ MORE: How to get rid of snails from your garden – 6 easy and natural methods

Although it must be noted, that while English ivy is not harmful, this plant should still be handled with care, as its sap can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin.

How to kill ivy

First, it’s important to access whether killing the plant is necessary as it does provide good shelter for wildlife. But, if it’s really too much of a nuisance, follow these steps. 

To make the salt and vinegar solution, eHow suggests combining one gallon of white or apple cider vinegar with around 30ml of liquid soap.

Next, add around one tablespoon of salt and mix it together. This combination will work to dry up the moisture and destroy the plant in its tracks.

Purdue University said: “Even though vinegar is an acid, it breaks down quickly in the soil and, therefore, is not likely to accumulate enough to affect soil pH for more than a few days.”

Salt, however, can remain in the soil and prevent future plant growth if used in high concentrations.

So, it’s important to stick to that one tablespoon of salt when creating the solution.

Can I kill ivy with bleach?

Bleach is an incredibly damaging solution for plants. Its chemical compounds have the power to deeply penetrate plant leaf cells, and enough damaged cells will lead to its demise.

However, this isn’t the most effective method to use to destroy ivy. The bleach won’t penetrate the soil deeply enough to reach its roots, meaning it’ll be able to recover and grow back.

This also might damage nearby plants if reckless with the application, causing them to look unsightly and withered.

If you’d like to use bleach, perhaps tip the solution into a spray bottle and apply it to the plant every two to three weeks. This will weaken the plant, making it easier for you to cut the stems away.

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