A home with ivy growing up the walls brings out the romantic in many of us. We remember childhood fairy tales with ivy covered trees, sweet stories where a hero emerges. Sadly, ivy is not necessarily a friend to homeowners. In fact, frequently ivy is a homeowner’s foe.

As ivy attaches and grows on your home, it’s roots slips into any crevice, breaking down barriers of your home. It’s absolutely a no-no with siding. The ivy slides between the pieces of sliding, invading and rotting your home over time. It does the same on brick homes as the mortar begins to deteriorate. As crevices appear, the roots attach to the deteriorating mortar, breaking it down more.

Ivy rots wood over time, whether it’s your home’s wood siding, a fence or some other wood surface. The roots sink into the wood, tearing it down and destroying it. And, ivy grows up trees, sucking the life from it.

Gardeners and landscapers like using ivy on sloping land as an easy solution. If you have ivy in your landscape beds, make sure you keep the ivy controlled within the boundaries of the beds and away from decks, fences and trees.

If ivy is already taking over your yard, growing up your trees, and covering your fences, decks, and home, hard work is the only way to remove, control, and eliminate it. Here’s some steps to solve the problem:

  • Start at the roots! Dig up the ivy root, apply a product like RoundUp. You’ll need to continuously watch to make sure it doesn’t start growing again. As time passes, you can rid your yard of destructive ivy. But, once the vine is dead, don’t wait – those vines need to be removed within two weeks. Otherwise they’ll rot, bringing more destruction.
  • Remove those vines post haste! Give the vines a gentle tug, with a steady pull. You can use shears to separate it from the roots as necessary.
  • Elbow grease removes the fuzzy hazz of roots! You may see the fuzzy root remains from this removal process, which is unattractive at best. Try several tools to find the one that works best for you on the surface. Suggestions include a variety of brushes, scrapers, pressure washers.

Once you’ve completed the process, check for damage, and make repairs as necessary. Don’t hesitate to call in a professional for damage that you can’t do yourself.

Think twice before you consider installing ivy near your home. It’s beautiful growing in a pot, but so destructive growing without boundaries.

Your home is one of your biggest assets, so protect your investment by keeping it in great shape!