How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Naturally?

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Poison Ivy belongs to the Toxicodendron variety of trees and they are known for their allergen nature. The white-colored sap within the tree contains a chemical known as Urushiol which is known to cause contact dermatitis. Poison Ivy is generally considered to be an invasive weed species and you should remove them as soon as possible. But you don’t always have to use strong chemicals and herbicides to kill them.

Let’s take a look at how to kill Poison Ivy naturally as well as how to carry out the methods.

How to Kill Poison Ivy?

Some of the most popular methods for naturally killing Poison Ivy are:

  1. Uprooting the Entire Plant from the Ground
  2. Letting Cattle Munch Over the Plants
  3. Planting Grass Seeds in the area
  4. Spraying the Poison Ivy with Homemade Plant Killer

Let’s take a look at each of these methods in a little more detail.

Uprooting The Entire Plant From The Ground

This is one of the fastest methods for killing and removing Poison Ivy plants. All you need for this method is a spade and in some cases, a plastic bag.

  1. If the Poison Ivy is a small plant, then put the plastic bag over it to further protect your body. If the Poison Ivy is growing as a long vine, it will be more difficult to cover it. In this case you don’t need to cover it.
  2. Using a shovel, loosen up the soil around the Poison Ivy. Once the soil is loose, uproot the plant straight from the ground. If nesseasry you can use a shovel to pry it up.
  3. Use a spade and remove soil up to 8 inches deep and remove all the roots dug up.
  4. Keep a lookout in that area for any new Poison Ivy shoots and periodically remove them as they sprout up.
  5. It is recommended to spray some herbicide in that area to fully kill off any remaining roots but the plant can be killed without using it as well. Alternatively, you can also pour boiling water on the soil to kill off any remaining roots.

Planting Grass Seeds

Another technique that a lot of people use after uprooting the Poison Ivy is to plant grass seeds in that area. There will be no Poison Ivy growth once there is a grass patch or a lawn in that area.

Although this method is not foolproof, a lot of people seem to have found success in this.

You can read more about the best time to plant grass seeds in the linked article.

Spraying a Homemade Plant Killer

If you don’t want to use harmful chemicals or strong herbicides there are some homemade remedies available as well. These concoctions can be made using regular household products and they don’t harm the soil or the environment as much.

The only downside is that you might have to repeat the treatment or killing process a few times to completely kill the plant. It will also take longer time to see the effects.

  1. Mix 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of vinegar.
  2. Heat this mixture to completely dissolve the salt.
  3. Once cooled, add 8-10 tablespoons of liquid dish soap.
  4. Pour this mixture to a spray bottle.
  5. Spray the entire foliage of the Poison Ivy with this mixture and let it completely absorb. Make sure to cover the stems, the leaves and even the roots if they are visible.
  6. Repeat this process a few times to increase its efficiency.

This process is also known as the Foliar Spray Method.

Letting Cattle Munch Over the Plants

Animals such as goats or cows can easily munch over Poison Ivy without it harming them. In some areas, cows regularly consume Poison Ivy as food.

If you do have access to cattle, then this can be a very eco-friendly method of removing Poison Ivy from your property.

Be careful of any wanted plants in that area as the cattle can munch over them as well.

How To Identify Poison Ivy?

Poison Ivy is generally found as small plants or climbing vines. The easiest way to recognize them is through their leaf clusters which are found in groups of 3. Their leaf growth is also an alternate which is another sign you should look for.

The shape of their leaves can vary a lot, ranging from oval-shaped with smooth edges to elliptical with rough edges. The color of their leaves can change depending on the season, from green in summer, red in spring to yellow or orange in the fall.

What Precautions Should You Take Before Dealing With Poison Ivy?

The reaction to Poison Ivy differs from person to person. Some people develop rashes even while standing near the plant, through the chemical being carried by the wind. On the other hand, some people can touch them without feeling anything.

It is very important to cover yourself completely before going near Poison Ivy. Make sure you wear full sleeves, pants, gloves, boots, eye protection, etc.

Breaking the stem or uprooting this plant can release some of the sap in the air which can cause irritation on your skin and eyes.

After dealing with the plant, carefully wash your clothes, otherwise, some of the chemicals can still remain on clothes and cause an allergic reaction later on.

Frequently Asked Question

How To Treat The Skin Rashes Caused By Poison Ivy?

Applying cold compresses should relieve some of the pain caused by Poison Ivy. Other home remedies like Calamine lotion, Hydrocortisone cream should relieve the itching. For more serious cases, visit the doctor as soon as possible.

What Herbicides Are Most Effective On Poison Ivy?

The most effective chemicals for Poison Ivy are Glyphosate and Triclopyr. (Amazon affiliate link) Products like Roundup, Garlon 4 Ultra, Relegate, Forestry Garlon XRT, Aligare Trycloper are good choices, but not available to everyone.

Which Method Should You Use to kill Poison Ivy?

The most effective methods for killing Poison Ivy through herbicides are the Foliar Spray Technique or Cut Surface Treatment.

To kill Poison Ivy Naturally, The best method would be uprooting the tree straight from the ground and digging up all the remaining roots with it.


The most efficient method for killing Poison Ivy naturally is through uprooting the plan from the ground and pouring boiling water into the area. Alternatively, you can also make a homemade plant-killing solution and spray the foliage and the leaves of the tree.

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