Top 4 Ways To Stop Ivy From Coming Through The Fence

Ivy can be destructive. We explain why and how you can prevent this vine from crashing your favourite fence!

Ivy can be destructive. One can reduce the growth by trimming the plant regularly or get rid of it entirely. The plant can be killed with vinegar, boiling water, and cutting the main stem.

Left to its own devices, ivy can destroy fences and even walls. We cover the four most effective ways of controlling or killing ivy for good.

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The 4 Main Ways To Stop Ivy From Growing Through A Fence

There are several species of ivy that are native to the UK but others are also invasive species that were introduced by humans. Whichever one you are dealing with, there are things you can do if the vine is systematically taking your fence apart. 

You can try any of the following to free your fence:

  1. If the ivy grows on your side of the fence, you can cut it at the stem or pull the plant from the ground.
  2. If the ivy grows on your neighbour’s side, you can trim the vine and also use herbicide.
  3. You can use a vinegar solution to control the plant.
  4. You can also kill the ivy plant with boiling water.

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A Word Of Advice On Neighbours

When you deal with a shared border, things can get hairy when neighbours do not see eye-to-eye. While the ivy might be eating the fence like a demented alien from Mars, your neighbour might not quite see it that way. Instead, they view it as a lovely, quaint decoration. 

Bad blood can quickly develop over what starts as a small disagreement and before you know it, the neighbours and you cannot stand each other. Needless to say, sometimes this situation can get highly draining and even dangerous.

Make sure that you approach the matter with sensitivity and patience if the ivy grows on your neighbour’s side. That being said, there are things you can do if the plant is on their side and you would rather just keep the ivy in check. We will discuss this option shortly.

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Cut The Stem Or Remove The Plant Entirely

Brute force tactics could solve your problem on the same day or with little effort on your behalf. Two of the most effective methods involve cutting the ivy at the stem or pulling the plant, roots and all, from the earth. 

How Do I Cut The Vine So That It Does Not Grow Back?

This option is great if you do not want to spend a lot of time detangling all the vine’s branches from the fence. You simply have to cut the ivy correctly, in one place, and the rest of it will die off. Once the plant is dead, you can easily remove the dried shoots. 

Top 4 Ways To Stop Ivy From Coming Through The Fence

Step 1: Gather sharp garden shears, glyphosate weed-killer, and a way to apply the weed killer (like a rag, sponge, or brush).

Step 2: Cut the ivy roughly 30 centimetres above ground with the garden shears.

Step 3: Apply the glyphosate weed-killer to the stump.

Step 4: Wait for the ivy to die (this will take a few days).

Step 5: Gently untangle the dried vines from your fence.

How Do I Remove Ivy’s Roots?

It might be a good idea to get rid of the roots as well. Some ivy plants are really robust and only needs a root cutting to start growing again. Removing all the roots requires a lot of pulling. You can also use a spade to dig around the stem to see where the roots are. 

Try not to leave anything behind but just in case, keep an eye on the area for some time after you have removed the roots. The moment you notice that a plucky root has stayed behind and sprouted, pull it out immediately. 

Trimming And Herbicide

Let’s have a look at what your options are if the ivy is growing on the other side of the fence and you cannot cut the stem or remove the roots. 

Keep Trimming The Ivy And Use Herbicide

You can cut away sections of the ivy that is on your side. If your neighbour loves the ivy, do not remove the plant entirely or you could face consequences. But you have a right to keep your side of the fence as ivy-free as possible. 

Identify the branches that you can cut off and treat the freshly-cut stems with a proper herbicide. This will prevent the branch from growing again. Take precautions when you use herbicide as it can be toxic to certain people, especially those who have underlying medical conditions and pregnant women. 

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How To Use Vinegar To Get Ivy Under Control

This popular method is effective and cheap. It is also non-toxic, so pregnant ladies – here are the steps!

Step 1: Gather gloves, a spray bottle, white vinegar and water. Make sure that the vinegar is not purchased as a “diluted” product or an imitation of the real thing. It’s essential to use real vinegar.

Step 2: Put on your gloves if you are prone to allergic reactions to ivy.

Step 3: Mix the vinegar and water (eight parts water, 2 parts vinegar).

Step 4: Liberally spray the ivy with the vinegar solution. Really drench the stuff.

Step 5: Wait a few days to a week.

Step 6: You will notice dead branches and leaves (they will appear brown). Remove them.

Step 7: Spray the rest of the ivy again and wait for the results.

Step 8: Repeat until the entire vine is dead.

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Top 4 Ways To Stop Ivy From Coming Through The Fence

The Boiling Water Method

This one is a bit risky so make sure that your kids, pets, and feet are out of the way. Also, do not use this method if there are animals underground like moles. They will suffer terribly if the water goes into their tunnels. Rather use a more animal-friendly option like the vinegar method if you have critters in your garden near the fence.

How To Use The Boiling Water Technique

Alright, let’s say that you do not have homicidal tendencies towards moles and there are no critters anywhere nearby, the boiling water method is a trusted way to get rid of ivy plants. You simply boil the kettle and slowly pour the water out onto the main stem and roots. The ivy will perish within days. 

A Quick Summary On How To Stop Ivy From Coming Through The Fence

  • Ivy can be an exceptionally destructive plant when it grows through a fence or up a wall. 
  • Ivy can also be a health hazard to sensitive individuals.
  • Always make sure to stay on your neighbours’ good side if the vines are growing on their side of the garden.
  • You can keep ivy in check with trimming and herbicides.
  • You can also kill ivy by removing or boiling the roots, spraying the branches with vinegar or cutting it off at the main stem.