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Report an Invasive Species

English Ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy

(Hedera helix)

Priority: -  Control

Tags: Terrestrial

Identification and Reproduction


English Ivy is a semi-woody evergreen groundcover or vine. As a ground cover they can reach a thickness of 1 foot and have a radius from 2 to 10 feet or climb up to 50 feet as a vine.

Juvenile leaves start out a strong yellowish green ovate shaped with three- to five lobed and in adult leaf they become glossy dark green with no lobes. Leaves are alternating.


English Ivy can take years to reach maturity to reproduce, however when it does it will produce black fruits that matures in April. Birds and other wild creatures will consume the seeds and distribute them further.

Broken root parts will also grow new plants

Habitat & Ecology

They are highly tolerable species and be found almost anywhere from full shade to full sun locations.


English Ivy forms a dense enough ground cover to choke out and prevent germination of other species. As a vine they can reduce light levels and weaken trees and surrounding native species, eventually causing death.

The weight of the vines can break tree branches, and the vine suckers can damage tree bark. They can also damage buildings, roads and walls/fences.


Mechanical control: 

The plant can be removed physically by ripping out of the ground. If the vines are growing vertically, it is more effective to cut the base of the plant and let it dry. So, the plant can be removed a lot easier after it weakens. Do not compose; dispose the plant properly at the landfill.

Chemical Control:

Foliar application with glyphosate are effective on cut leaves, however the root structures will remain on tree trunks even after the ivy is dead, and will require physical efforts to remove.


Volunteers clear Stanley Park of invasive English ivy

Invasive Species Council of BC’s English Ivy

English ivy identification and control

OSU Pocket Gardener