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Control of Ivy (Hedera Helix) with Roundup Pro Biactive

Ivy is a creeping/climbing, evergreen plant, which has distinctive arrow-shaped leaves arising directly from the woody stem in its juvenile form and larger more rounded leaves once it reaches maturity. Only the mature stems produce flowers in Oct/November producing clusters of round green–black berries at the top of the stems.

It thrives in shady conditions and will act as a ground creeper, putting down adventitious roots as it spreads or very often as a climber. It can be found climbing up trees, fences, walls, and brickwork.

Many ornamental varieties have been bred, which make useful garden plants, but the wild green form can cause damage to buildings as it takes root hold in mortar and loosens brickwork.

Control with Roundup Pro Biactive

Due to the exceptionally thick waxy cuticle, fairly small leaf area and creeping nature, this weed is usually classed as resistant to glyphosate.

To maximise control in areas where an alternative residual weed control is not possible or where re-cropping of the area is planned it may be necessary to use a non-residual, environmentally acceptable herbicide, the following will optimise control with Roundup Pro Biactive.

Foliar Application

  • Wait until the shoots have some new, soft leaf growth in the spring, usually May at the earliest.  Over-wintered leaves have tough, thickened wax layers as they are hardened in the cold weather, which are more difficult to penetrate.
  • Apply the highest rate of Roundup Pro Biactive recommended
  • Add up to 2% Mixture B or Ethoxylated Tallow Amine wetter to increase penetration of the cuticle.
  • A weedwiper could also be used where decorative plants are growing intimately with the ivy.
  • Monitor and retreat the sites as necessary over a period of three years.

Cut Stump / Stem Injection Treatment

Where ivy is mature and growing up masonry or trees there may be a woody trunk which can be treated as trees in the dormant season. This method is very effective on ivy.


Ivy must be dormant, this usually occurs between November and February, although in  some seasons and in the most northern parts of the country this could extend until the end of March.

Cut Stump Method

Application of Roundup Pro Biactive must be made to a fresh cut so that uptake into the phloem is maximised.

Use a paintbrush and apply immediately after cutting. (Uptake is almost immediate from a fresh cut and will be rainfast within 10 minutes. Application to a cut that has partially sealed means absorption is slow and rain within 6 hours will wash some of the product off.)

Chemical Thinning

Neat Roundup Pro Biactive is introduced straight into the phloem through a hatchet cut into the bark of the ivy leaving the plant in tact. A Spot gun with a solid stream nozzle is recommended and it is advisable to make a second cut under the first to catch any surplus herbicide.  Work out how many hatchet cuts are needed according to the diameter of the trunk and space them round the girth. e.g. trunk of 20cm diameter requires 2 cuts. Alternatively the concentrate can be introduced through an 8mm drill hole, about 40mm long, aimed slightly downwards and radially towards the centre of the stem.

Dose Rate, Timings and Water Volumes

MethodDose Rate of Roundup Pro BiactiveDose Rate of Roundup ProBiactive450Application Advice
Foliar Spray 10l/ha in 100-200l water, in a knapsack 50ml per litre water 8l/ha in 100-200l water, in a knapsack 40ml per litre water Add 2% Mixture B NF or ETA wetter, use droplets on the finer side of medium, spray to just before run-off
Weed Wiper 1 part Roundup Pro Biactive to 2 parts water 1 part Roundup ProBiactive450 to 3 parts water Useful where decorative plants are growing nearby
Cut Stump 20% solution of Roundup Pro Biactive and water 16% solution of Roundup ProBiactive450 and water Use a paintbrush and apply immediately after cutting
Chemical Thinning 2ml of neat Roundup Pro Biactive per 10cm diameter of stem 1.6ml of Roundup ProBiactive450 per 10cm diameter of stem Evenly space the correct number of cuts required around the girth