Climbing Ivy – Taking Back Control of Your Garden

Climbing Ivy
Climbing Ivy

With lush, beautiful foliage and a unique appearance, wall-climbing ivy is often used in home garden designs. But since it’s extremely hardy by nature, it’s easy to quickly end up overtaking over areas of your garden that you hadn’t intended. If it does happen to end up going haywire on you, you have to react and make adjustments quickly if you don’t want it to get entirely out of control. There are two options here: You can choose to get it back under control or to simply get rid of it.

Preparing to deal with troublesome climbing ivy

Before you even think about putting on your gardening hat, you should be prepared for climbing ivy problems. Prune your ivy in the early spring or late winter. This will make it much easier on you since you’ll be able to better see where the trimming is needed most. Gather up everything you’re going to need such as your gardening gloves, refuse bag, a scraper, pruning shears, non-selective weed-killer and possibly a ladder. Ready?

Trimming your wall-climbing ivy

I’m assuming here that you like your climbing ivy and want to keep it – you just don’t want it running rampant where ever it wants to go. Take a few minutes to really look at it, so you can get a good idea of where it’s going and decide how much you want to trim off.
Start your trimming in areas where the ivy is fine and trim the fresh tendrils of growth. Once you’re done with those areas, then it’s time to move on to the troublesome areas. Randomly, yet carefully, cut back some of the stems. Be careful not to cut too many in one area as you’re going along though. Don’t worry too much if you mess up and cut too much. Ivy grows fast, so it’ll take care of itself in no time at all. If your ivy has just gotten completely out of hand then you may just want to permanently get rid of it (and maybe start fresh with a new one)…

Permanent ivy removal

If you just don’t want to deal with your climbing ivy anymore, then trim away the majority of it with pruning sheets. Once you have the bulk of it trimmed away, take a scraper to it. If you have a brush with stiff bristles (like a wire brush you’d use on the grill) you can use that, too. Now it should stop growing. Just gather together all the trimmings and toss ‘em in your refuse bag.

Destroying the roots

Now you need to make sure the roots don’t come back to haunt you. For this, use a non-selective weed killer. Cover up any plants you want to protect before you start spraying, as you don’t want to risk killing anything you want to keep. Oh, and of course use gloves so you can protect your hands from the chemicals, too.

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One thought on “Climbing Ivy – Taking Back Control of Your Garden

  1. Good advice, Veronica. The Ivy in our garden was in danger of getting out of hand, and I was tempted to get rid of the whole lot. It's good to understand how to control ivy, by trimming it correctly. It's also good to know I can be quite aggressive with it, as it won't take long to grow back again!

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