Does Vinegar Kill Ivy and How to Properly Use It? - Backyard Boss
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Does Vinegar Kill Ivy and How to Properly Use It?

Your garden shouldn’t only look gorgeous but also be a safe place for humans, pets, and plants. Unfortunately, certain plants are poisonous and invasive. It means they can harm anybody who comes in contact with them and grow by invading and taking over the surrounding area.

One of these plants is English Ivy, or other Ivy types, such as Devil’s Ivy. When you touch them, you can get a painful skin rash, and its vines can climb up the sides of your house, damaging its structure or trees and hurting their health.

Therefore, it is best to remove it when it appears. One of the options in the fight against it is white vinegar. Compared to other methods, white vinegar is nontoxic since it contains acid, which is a perfect weed killer. 

So let’s take a closer look at how exactly white vinegar kills Ivy and how to properly use it. 

How Does White Vinegar Kill Ivy?

White vinegar is an effective herbicide since it contains acetic acid that can fight weeds and invasive plants. Its concentration of acetic acid is just 5 percent, which means it can be not high enough to have a significant impact on strong plants such as ivy. 

If your garden is invaded by a stubborn ivy that has already taken it over, you might want to find a more powerful product that contains a minimum of 20 percent of acetic acid. However, if you are dealing with less stubborn plants that have just appeared in your garden, white vinegar should be good enough to help you get rid of them.  

When you apply it to any plant, it destroys’ its cell membranes. Since it is called a “contact” herbicide, it will get rid only of the part of the plant that it actually comes in contact with it. 

So if you want to get rid of the whole Ivy plant, spraying just leaves might not be sufficient. Make sure you also spray its roots and other parts to be certain that the entire plant is dead.

What You Will Need

  • Garden Sprayer
  • Spray Bottle 
  • Garden Gloves
  • Protective Clothing
  • Trash Can

How To Kill Ivy With White Vinegar

Step One: Prepare The Sprayer

Garden sprayer
Image credits: HappyNati via Canva

Depending on the size of the Ivy you want to get rid of, choosing a proper container for the white vinegar is the first thing to do.

If the plant you fight against is rather small, a simple spray bottle will be sufficient. However, if you are about to deal with a large plant that has already established strong roots and has multiple long vines, you will have to use a garden sprayer.

If you have used the sprayer recently for fertilizing or killing insects, you have to make sure it is clean and doesn’t contain any other substances. Wash it in warm water and flush it at least two to three times. 

Once your sprayer is perfectly clean, you can pour white vinegar into it.

Step Two: Wear Proper Clothing

Gardening Gloves
Image credits: Изображения пользователя Evgeny Karandaev via Canva

Even though white vinegar is non-toxic, it still contains acetic acid that can be harmful to your body. Before spraying it in your garden, wear proper clothing to be protected.

The most crucial pieces of clothing are, of course, gardening gloves. If you do not have them at hand in your garage, buy them at your local store or on the internet and wear them at all times while spraying white vinegar. 

It’s best that the clothes you are wearing cover the rest of your body to keep it out of contact with the white vinegar. We also recommend wearing protective goggles.

Step Three: Spray The Ivy

Ivy / Brick Wall
Image credits: Paul Campbell via Canva

When you are prepared and protected, it is time to get rid of the Ivy. As we mentioned before, white vinegar has a concentration of acetic acid at 5 percent. So to successfully remove it from your garden, you have to spray the plant thoroughly for the best results.

While spraying, make sure that only the Ivy comes in contact with the white vinegar. Also, be careful while spraying, because if you accidentally spray other plants, it can kill them too.

Step Four: Pick Up The Dead Plant

Dead Ivy
Image credits: zmeel via Canva

After one week, go back to your garden and see the results. Any parts of the plants that turned brown are dead, and you can now pick them up and throw them away. Remember to wear gloves since these parts can still contain some white vinegar.

If any parts of the plant are green,  you have to repeat the process. Spray them and wait another week to see if they turn brown. If they do, again, pick them up and throw them away. 

Continue this activity until the whole plant is eventually dead.

To Sum Up

No one wants to deal with invasive and poisonous plants, and once they appear, it’s best to get rid of them as soon as possible. One of these plants is Ivy which can quickly take over your garden and hurt anybody who comes in contact with it. 

In this article, we shared how to remove it with white vinegar. It is a non-toxic method that you should try to fight against it! You can also grow native alternatives to invasive plants to have a safe garden!

Let us know what you think about using white vinegar, and as always, please share!

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