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For many years, ivy has been a popular plant for greening walls, fences and house facades or as a ground cover. It is the only native clinging root climber, it spreads quickly and can quickly overgrow beds and house walls with its clinging roots. Over the years, it can cause considerable damage, especially to facades, which can only be repaired with a lot of effort, great effort and corresponding costs.

remove ivy

From house walls

Ivy growth on a wall or house facade undoubtedly has its very own charm and also one or the other advantage in terms of weather protection or heating of the outer walls in summer. Birds also feel very comfortable in it. However, it would have to be trimmed regularly, sometimes even within a few days, in order to keep its urge to spread reasonably under control.

facade damage

But this climbing plant also has a very unsightly side, which many people often only notice when it is already too late and the damage is immense. The strong adhesive roots can penetrate into the smallest cracks, holes or joints in plaster or facade cladding. With increasing growth, plaster or cladding can come loose from the wall in places or over large areas, or they can literally be blown off. A solid masonry usually has no problem with the increasing thickening of the shoots and adhesive roots. Various means and methods can be used to permanently remove ivy mechanically or chemically.

Crack in the house facade

Fight chemically

Due to the ivy's willingness to grow, one or the other may wish for a suitable one spray up to get rid of him. However, ivy cannot be removed effectively or permanently with hardly any spray. Chemically combating ivy in the garden or kitchen garden is not recommended anyway.

There is often talk of round up, a controversial glyphosate harmful to soil and groundwater. In addition, this agent only kills the leaf mass and a small part of the adhesive roots. This poison does not reach the roots lying deep in the ground and the ivy will sprout again. If you still want to use it, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly.

Tip: The use of Roundup on sealed surfaces such as terraces or paved paths is strictly prohibited. Violations can be punished with fines.

Remove ivy mechanically


Mechanical means manual work. If you don't want to get rid of this stubborn climber chemically but permanently and without high costs, you can't avoid manual work. The first step is detaching the vines from the wall.

  • First moisten tendrils intensively with water or wait for heavier downpours
  • Water makes shoots and adhesive roots softer and easier to detach from the wall
  • then pull the tendrils off the house wall piece by piece
  • work from top to bottom
  • Cut off strong branches and tendrils that are too tight
  • Proceed carefully to damage plaster and joints as little as possible
  • cut the trunk down to the ground
  • Mechanically remove the remains of clinging roots on the house wall with a brush
  • Depending on the surface, you may also use a wire brush

Someday they will all root remains removed, the entire surface should be cleaned with suitable cleaning agents. In this way, the wall is freed from the last remains of clinging roots and other ivy residues. In the last and most energy-intensive step, the entire root must be dug up and, if possible, without leaving any root remains in the ground.

Wear gloves for protection

Tip: Gloves should be worn when handling this plant because the flowers, berries and leaves are poisonous. This also applies to the woody parts of the plant, which dogs and cats like to nibble on, which can lead to poisoning.

With salt, soap and water

Salt has long been used to control weeds and is also said to help control ivy. However, this means must not be used without restrictions. It is forbidden on sealed and paved surfaces. First, a suitable spray solution is prepared.

  • four liters of water, 60 ml of liquid curd soap and 1350 g of salt
  • Adding 250 ml vinegar should increase the effect
  • stir until the salt and soap are completely dissolved
  • now pour the mixture into a garden sprayer
  • spray all above-ground parts of the plant intensively with it
  • Repeat the process at short intervals over a longer period of time

This method is extremely tedious and success is not guaranteed. In addition, this method does not save the removal of the remains of the adhesive root and digging up the root.


Another way to get rid of this plant is to starve it. To do this, you cut them down again and again. As soon as new shoots appear, they should be cut. This should ultimately lead to the ivy dying, but this can take a long time and the plant would have to be sprayed with this salt-water solution almost every day.

Persian ivy, Hedera colchica

It is recommended that the stem roots close to the ground and thus also the water and nutrient supply. After that, the climbing plant slowly dies back, so that it can be removed more easily from the respective subsoil about a month later. So that no new shoots can develop from the root, it must also be removed afterwards.


Either you remove the plant mechanically or you flame it. Flaming is an effective but not without risk method. Above all, you should make sure that there are no flammable materials nearby, such as wooden roof shelters, windows, wooden sheds and the like. Caution is also required with hidden insulating materials made of polystyrene, wood wool or other combustible materials. They can start to smolder just from heat development and develop a fire source that is not immediately visible behind the facade cladding and, in the worst case, cause a building fire.

If you still want to try it, you should be able to rule out all possible dangers. For the flaming itself, for example, a commercially available one is suitable gas burner, with which you burn the ivy step by step. The remains can then be removed with a brush and the root dug out.

flaming device

Tip: Burning ivy yourself should be carefully considered because of the high risk of fire. The cost you might save by doing it yourself is nothing compared to losing a home or even personal injury.

high pressure cleaner

High-pressure cleaner to remove the adhesive roots

Of course, ivy tendrils cannot be removed with a high-pressure cleaner, but the annoying remains of the clinging roots on the house wall can. These root residues, which vary in strength, leave their mark on every facade. In order to be able to remove them with a high-pressure cleaner, it depends on the surface condition of the house wall or facade. The rougher and firmer it is, the more difficult it is to remove the remains.

  • It makes sense to use a high-pressure cleaner on plastered and painted walls
  • Wooden wall is not suitable for this
  • the water should be hot
  • add a commercially available cleaning agent or lime-dissolving cleaning agent to the water
  • this can increase the cleaning power
  • smaller remains of ivy remain on the facade
  • they can be loosened with a stiff brush or wire brush
  • alternatively use a suitable grinder or dirt blaster from the high-pressure cleaner
  • Use of both devices depends on the surface conditions
  • do not work with it without a respirator

All that usually leaves behind damage on the facade, for example plaster or paint that has flaked off, so that there is usually no avoiding a renovation or at least a new coat of paint. Smallest remnants of the adhesive roots can be painted over with so-called blocking or insulating primer. Corresponding high-coverage coatings are commercially available.

chipped plaster on the house facade

Tip: With a clinker facade and exposed masonry, it is better to avoid using a high-pressure cleaner to protect the joints. That would not only remove the remains of ivy, but above all destroy the joints.

Special case clinker facade

Clinkers are a special case because the ivy's roots get stuck in their joints. Neither a high-pressure cleaner nor a sandblasting device will help here. If you want to remove the remains of ivy from your bricks without major damage, you should accept the costs and hire a specialist to do it. He can use different methods such as the fog blasting method, in which the joints of the clinker bricks are roughened minimally and imperceptibly, or the dry blasting method. The so-called vacuum blasting method, with which the remains of ivy can be completely removed, is also said to have proven itself.

Of wooden walls

Remove ivy from wooden wall

Manual work is required to remove ivy from a wooden wall. The tendrils are cut off piece by piece. The best way to remove the remaining residue is to use the brush again. It is better not to use a high-pressure cleaner here either, as it could damage the wood and make the wooden wall unsightly. For larger areas, such as a complete wooden facade, it may be advisable to seek the help of professionals. They have the opportunity to use different means and techniques such as dry ice blasting, dry blasting or milling.

Dig up roots in the ground

Once all above-ground parts of the plant have been removed, the roots must be dug up. This should be done as thoroughly as possible to avoid leaving root fragments in the soil. In the worst-case scenario, they could sprout again. How deep the roots reach into the ground depends on the age of the plants. While young plants root only a few centimeters deep, the roots of older specimens can go up to 60 cm deep into the ground. The soil must be excavated correspondingly deep in order to get the last bit of root.

ivy remains

Dispose of leftover ivy properly

Once the facade has been freed from all plant remains, it is important to dispose of them professionally. Ivy can not only overgrow house walls, it can also spread quickly in the garden and become a nuisance. For this reason, you should never dispose of it directly on the compost or simply leave it lying around, because then it could take root again at any time and spread to the next place.

Persian ivy, Hedera colchica

So that it can no longer cause any damage, it is advisable to let it dry out. To do this, spread the chopped up remains on a stony or concrete surface and let them dry in the sun. After a few days, the remains of the plants should have dried up so that they can be disposed of with household waste. As an alternative to laying them out in the sun, you can put them in garbage or plastic bags for several days or weeks and keep them in a dry and cool place until they are completely dead.

Tip: Probably the safest and most effective method is incineration. However, due to the residual moisture contained, it can lead to heavy smoke development, which should be taken into account.

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