Can You Kill the Roots of Ivy by Smothering Them With Plastic?

Many varieties of ivy (Hedera spp.) Grow throughout the USA, and a few varieties are thought to be invasive trousers. English ivy (Hedera helix), for example, which is hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, is considered invasive throughout the Pacific Northwest and at other places. Roots and the other parts of unwanted ivy and additional garden weeds can be killed using a plastic covering to smother the plants. More environmentally friendly techniques of smothering ivy exist, however. These procedures ultimately require less labor since they remove the need to reposition the plastic following weather and animals transfer and/or tear it.

Covering Weeds

The easiest way to kill ivy and other unwanted crops will be to cover them with a 12-inch-thick layer of coarse, wood chip mulch. Most covered ivy dies entirely after about three months. Another option is to cover ivy with paper, arranged so it covers the ivy but not plants you want to keep. Then only wet the paper with water in a garden hose, and place wood chips or shredded leaves in addition to the paper. The paper is biodegradable and will not have to be eliminated later. Ripping ivy plants out of the ground and then covering the ground with either mulch or paper and mulch to destroy the ivy roots is an alternative, but you can kill whole ivy plants, such as their roots, by smothering them; pulling the ivy vines out of the dirt first is not essential.

See related