Looking for a few all natural methods to help eliminate dangerous poison ivy plants from your lawn, flowerbeds & landscape?
Poison ivy can find its way into all types of landscapes. Although thought by many to be a plant that thrives in more rural areas, poison ivy can and will take hold in residential flowerbeds, lawns – and nearly any other setting imaginable.
No matter where it is found, it can certainly be quite the painful experience for those unlucky enough to be allergic to it’s highly toxic resin.
Poison ivy is a member of the Sumac family of plants. Along with its close relatives poison oak and sumac, the plants are known for the red, itchy and painful rashes they can cause when they come in contact with human skin.
How Poison Ivy Reacts With Humans…
It is not the actual foliage of poison ivy that causes an issue with humans. Instead, it is the resin that lies within the foliage that causes the painful burning and itching that creates serious problems for those who are allergic to it.
Even worse, the resin is not only found in the foliage of the plant, but in its stems and roots as well. That means you can get poison ivy by coming in contact with any and all parts of the plant – and at any time of the year.
Unfortunately, poison ivy can affect more than just a person’s skin layer. It can also cause serious reactions within the respiratory system when the resin in breathed in via smoke. That is exactly why you never want to burn poison ivy.
The result can be a tremendously painful and even in rare cases fatal reaction. All the above reasons are why it is so important to eliminate poison ivy from your yard – and that is exactly what today’s article is all about!
Here is a look at four safe ways to eliminate poison ivy from your yard – with all-natural ingredients!
How To Eliminate Poison Ivy Naturally – 4 Great Methods To Success!
#1 Dig Out Those Roots!
There is no better way to terminate poison ivy than by removing the plant’s root system. For those that are highly allergic, this is often not even a possibility. But for those who can gear up and take it out, it is by far the most effective.
Poison ivy’s roots, although extensive, can usually be pulled or lightly dug from the earth fairly easily. The key is to wear protective gloves and clothing that cover every inch of exposed skin.
Begin by cutting the plant off near the base, setting aside the top foliage out of harms way. Then, pull or dig the roots, being careful to get the entire root structure. Poison Ivy can easily regenerate from a small section of root, so getting all of them out is a must!
Place the roots and foliage in a sealed bag and dispose. Never put ivy remnants in a compost pile as they can re-root and generate new plants quite easily. Finish by carefully removing clothing and washing them with detergent in the hottest setting you can.
#2 Salt & Vinegar Spray – How To Eliminate Poison Ivy Naturally
If pulling the poison by hand is not an option, then it is time to mix up a little homemade spray to do the trick. There are a couple of great options we will cover, the first being a salt and vinegar spray that works well to kill off ivy.
Begin my mixing two cups of salt with 1/2 gallon of water. Next, add in 1/2 of a gallon of store-bought (5%) vinegar. To finish the mix, add a few drops of natural dish soap. This will help the mixture stick to the leaves of the ivy as you spray.
The acid in the vinegar and the caustic power of the salt work together to kill off the ivy when applied to the foliage. To increase effectiveness, apply the mix during the heat of the day when the sun is in full force.
Apply the spray with a hand held sprayer – or for large areas, a large pump or backpack sprayer. Coat the leaves of the ivy thoroughly when spraying. You should begin to see the plant die off within a few days. Large plants may need an extra application or two to completely kill the plant, roots and all.
It is important to note that this spray will kill off any foliage it touches. With that in mind, be careful not to spray the foliage of annuals and perennials nearby. It is safe, however to use on ivy growing up on larger trees. The mix is not strong enough to harm large trees or bushes.
#3 Pure Horticultural Vinegar – How To Eliminate Poison Ivy Naturally
Another great option to kill off poison ivy with an all-natural ingredient is to spray pure horticultural vinegar on the foliage.
Horticultural vinegar is created at a much higher strength than vinegar found on store shelves. Instead of the usual 5% acidity, its acidity is usually in the range of 30 to 45%. At this high strength, the acid quickly kills off the ivy and its roots. (See: How To Use Horticultural Vinegar To Kill Weeds)
Use the vinegar at full strength for maximum effectiveness. Remember that vinegar is an acid, so it is important to always wear protective eye and hand protection. It can burn both the skin and eyes when it comes in contact, so use with caution.
Again, like the salt and vinegar solution above, it will kill off any tender vegetation it comes in contact with. Spray carefully to avoid hitting the foliage of perennials and annuals nearby. Much as with the vinegar-based spray above, it will not cause harm to large trees or shrubs.
#4 Rock Salt On The Roots – How To Eliminate Poison Ivy Naturally
If you are not fond of the spraying option, you can use ordinary rock salt to kill off poison ivy, roots and all.
When it comes to stubborn, deep rooted poison ivy plants, attacking them at the soil level seems to have the most success. And one of the best ways to do that is with rock salt. Rock salt is a mineral that forms as salty water dries out. And when placed around the roots of ivy, it will dry it out, killing it in the process.
To kill of stubborn poison ivy plants, begin by cutting the ivy back to ground level. Next, dig down a few inches to where the roots come out of the ground. Place a quarter cup of rock salt all around the root structure, and then cover with a bit of soil on top.
The salt will leach into the roots and effectively kill the ivy’s roots off in the process. Be sure to only apply the rock salt to the area specifically around the roots, and not close to tender perennial or annual plants nearby.
Here is to eliminating poison ivy from your landscape naturally this year – and to enjoying your outdoor spaces without the worry of ivy plants ruining the day!
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