With shiny green leaves, ivy can be a charming feature on your house. However, overgrown ivy can weaken bricks, cause structural damage, and even prevent sunlight from reaching other native plants.
Removing ivy from brickwork and walls can be an arduous job but with the right methods (and a bit of patience) it is possible to get the job done efficiently. Read on and learn how to get rid of ivy from the outside of your home so these wall climbers will be gone forever.
How to get rid of ivy: equipment you'll need
From commercial to homemade and natural solutions, there are many ways to remove ivy from surfaces. Before we explain how to remove ivy, check you have all the supplies you will need to get the job done:
- Garden shears
- Pruning shears
- Wire brush
- Weedkiller of your choice
- White vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Gloves and protective clothes
How to get rid of ivy on walls with white vinegar
The first step to getting rid of ivy is acting quickly. The older the ivy gets, the harder the roots become. Start by following these steps to cut, prune, and scrape away the plant:
- Using the scraper, start by detaching the vine from the surface.
- Pull it out very slowly to avoid damaging the wall.
- Use the pruning shears to cut the vines and leaves.
- Pluck the plant around the steam and pull it gently with your hands (wear gloves!) to remove any residue.
- Use the lawnmower to mow the plant that has been removed. Pass the cutter at least three times for best efficiency.
- Dispose of the cut pieces immediately as ivy sprouts very easily.
After this, you need to apply a substance to the ivy to stop it growing back and kill any remaining roots. We recommend white vinegar for a natural option:
- Add a vinegar solution (80% water and 20% white vinegar) to a spray bottle.
- Apply a generous amount to the vine.
- Wait roughly three days and check the plant for dying ivy. If so, start to carefully remove the plant.
- Repeat the process if necessary.
If the ivy has spread all over the brick wall then you may need a slightly stronger method of removal than the one mentioned above. Read on for specific tips on removing ivy from brickwork without damaging the structure.
How to remove ivy from brickwork after it’s bedded in
The first rule here is to be gentle. Removing ivy from brickwork, especially old ivy, could result in structural damages to the brick wall which could cost you more in the long term.
Be careful and follow the steps below for an ivy-free brick wall:
- Spray the ivy with water. Wet ivy is easier to pull.
- Wearing gloves, pull out as much of the ivy as possible.
- Using the pruning shear, cut away the thick ivy and pull out again. Do not pull too hard as you don't want to pull out the mortar.
- Apply a weedkiller of your choice on the deep-seated roots left on the brick wall.
- Wait roughly two weeks for the weedkiller to sit on the roots.
- Check the spot and scrape away any remaining ivy using the scraper.
- Brush the surface with a wire brush to remove the ivy marks. You can add a surface cleaner such as Cif Outdoor to help clean hard stains.
If you want more tips on washing your brick wall after the ivy is gone, try our tips on cleaning brickwork here.
Tips on how to remove ivy roots for good
You have learned how to remove ivy from walls and brickwork, but do you know how to prevent it from coming back? The answer is in the roots! Knowing how to remove ivy roots is key to eliminating these climbing plants for good.
Here's how you can do it:
- Cut the thicker vines once the roots are exposed.
- Spray white vinegar all over the cut roots.
- Pour boiling water over the stem and roots. Be careful not to scold yourself.
- Make sure to do this in a clear spot to avoid damaging the nearby vegetation.
To dispose of the roots, leave them on a groundsheet until they dry completely. You can also add cut ivy roots to your compost heap but only allow a small amount. Never add living green ivy to your compost heap - as we know they can regrow very fast!
Now, you can sit back and relax knowing that your walls are free from ivy. For more tips on removing unpleasant plant-based visitors from your home, don't miss out our step-by-step guide to remove moss off roof.