Weeds: English ivy – Hedera helix

categories: C-E Weeds

revision date: 2024-06-22 07:52

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English ivy leaves.
English ivy leaves
Photo by: C.R. Foss


English ivy is a low, dark green, fast-growing evergreen vine. It establishes roots at its nodes as it creeps along the ground, or aerial rootlets as it climbs trees and structures. It is widely planted in the West as a ground cover and as a climbing vine for fences and walls. Juvenile leaves are 3- to 5- lobed, between 2 and 4″ long, and usually bear whitish or yellowish green veins. Upon growing vertically for several years, ivy will enter a mature reproductive phase, developing stiff branches with unlobed leaves up to 6″ long. It then bears greenish-white clumps of flowers, followed by small black berry-like fruits. SPECIAL INFORMATION: In WASHINGTON, four cultivars of English ivy are designated as Class ‘C’ noxious weeds: Hedera helix ‘Baltica,’ ‘Pittsburgh,’ and ‘Star’ and Hedera hibernica ‘Hibernica.’ In OREGON, all varieties of Hedera helix and/or Hedera hibernica are designated as Class ‘B’ noxious weeds. They are also on the Oregon noxious weed quarantine list, which prohibits sale, purchase, and transport of plants, seeds, and plant parts. Management may be required by law in your county. Consult your local Noxious Weed Control Board for more information.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Mow it close to the ground, then dig up the roots, removing as many as possible.
  • After top growth is cleared as much as possible, cover with a double layer of landscape fabric, black plastic, or cardboard, covered with bark or mulch.
  • To control ivy growing vertically, cut and pull it down in sections, and dig out the roots.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • When using glyphosate, it is best to cut or mow the ivy back as much as possible, and then paint the injured areas of cambium with the herbicide.
  • NOTE: Some ingredients listed here are only available in combination.
  • Read the label carefully on combination products to make sure the product is suitable for your specific situation.

Landscape areas

  • No products approved for use in landcapes.

Turf areas

  • No products approved for use in turf.

Bare ground areas

  • No products approved for use in bare ground.

Additional Images