Gardening: How to remove ivy from brickwork and trees

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The plant can actually climb to 80 feet and can even act as ground cover, spreading horizontally. Although ivy can often make gardens look idyllic, it can be invasive and can even strangle trees. With this in mind, fans of cleaning sensation Mrs Hinch, whose full name is Sophie Hinchliffe, have shared their simple solution for removing ivy from walls.

The cleaning and lifestyle influencer has more than 4.5 million followers on Instagram and often shares her garden and home tips online.

Fans of hers have taken to social media in recent years to share their own hacks for solving common household and gardening problems.

On one such group, Facebook user Linda Davies asked: “Any tips on getting ivy off a stone wall please apart from trying to pull it off. Thanks.”

The post was inundated with responses from Mrs Hinch fans but one of the most common responses was to use a homemade weed killer.

Helen Wright commented: “Not glyphosate or power washing, that’s for sure! Ivy is the favourite habitat of so many small creatures, all have a vital role in healthy ecosystem (i.e. garden!).

“Using, a natural system like lemon, salt etc will enable its inhabitants to have a fighting chance of moving on before you start to disassemble their home.

“There may even be birds nesting although we are getting to the end of the season now.”

Stuart Egerton wrote: “Mix one cup of table salt with boiling water to dissolve when cooled.

“Add [that] to one bottle of distilled white vinegar and the juice of five lemons to one gallon of water.

“Now, you have the perfect solution for organically eradicating annual and problem perennial weeds including ivy.

“Spray the solution on the leaves and give it a good spray aimed at the roots.

“It may need a few applications but make sure it’s as dry a day as possible.

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“Within a few days you should notice the ivy starting to die back.”

Marian James replied: “Pour a large amount of lemon juice on the roots.

“It takes a while to die off and then you can remove the dead branches. We did ours two years ago and it hasn’t returned.”

When weeds are sprayed with vinegar, it breaks down the protective coating on the plant which then causes it to eventually die.

Lemon juice works in a similar way and helps to dry out the plant.

When salt is absorbed by a plant’s root system, it disrupts the water balance in the plant which causes it to eventually wilt and die off.

Salt can take up to 10 days to impact weeds depending on weather conditions and the size of the plant.

Salt, lemon juice and white vinegar can be found in most households making it an affordable and easy hack.

Other suggestions from Mrs Hinch fans included removing the plant by hand, cutting through the base of the ivy, using glyphosate and using a wallpaper scraper.

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Ann Gruber said: “Cut through the base of the ivy, wait until it dies back, and it will come off easily.

“If it’s very thick after dying back it will come off in pieces, like a piece of fence.

“Gloves and face mask needed because the ivy will be full of dust and germs etc.”

Laura Patterson agreed and wrote: “Pulling it off is the easiest way as I’ve just done it myself last week. It takes ages to die and makes more of a mess.”

Adrian Oxendale commented: “If you do decide to pull it from the wall, make sure you wear gloves ivy can cause quite bad irritations and burns.

“Sceptical about remedies or weedkiller on ivy because the leaves have a suit of armour on, covered in a thick wax which I don’t believe will work on leaves alone.

“By all means treat the roots – you will get results with that.”

Kirsty Hyslop suggested: “I was always told to cut the bottom then let it die and it comes off easier. Not sure how true.”

Lynn Hutcheon said: “Definitely gloves and long sleeves. Cut back as much as possible. Spray with glyphosate or paint on. Make sure it doesn’t touch any other plants. Pick up all dropped leaves. It’s a thankless task!”

Barbara Stone replied: “Unless you’re in a hurry, cut off the root, and leave. The top of the plant will dry and be easier to pull off.

“We did this with ivy choking a tall tree, the ivy died off, but some was too high to reach. But over time, as the tree grew, it shrugged off the ivy.”

Kathy Bostwick wrote: “Cut it right down and leave it. Don’t pull it off as it embeds into your stone and pointing as you will damage your wall if you do, causing you to have to repair it.

“I know from experience. It will look unsightly for a year or so but you will have an undamaged wall.”

Carole Blackmur said: “No easy way. Best method I’ve used was a wallpaper scraper carefully on the wall.”

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