How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy

If noxious weeds invade your yard, don’t just fight back, win the battle

Don’t let poison ivy—or any other hazardous weed—get in the way of you enjoying your outdoor space. With its complex root system and rash-inducing oil, poison ivy puts up a good fight, but you can kill poison ivy permanently.


What kills poison ivy?

  • If you want to target poison ivy leaves, on a warm, calm day spray Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products directly on the leaves of the actively growing weed until they are thoroughly wet.
  • If vines are growing up poles, fences, or tree trunks with mature bark, cut vines to a height of 3 to 4 feet and spray vines thoroughly.
  • If vines are climbing shrubs or tree trunks with green bark, cut vines at base and spray regrowth. Shield shrubs and tree trunks from spray drift with a sheet of cardboard or plastic.

What does poison ivy look like?

Poison ivy leaves have smooth sides, a pointy tip, and grow in sets of three, with one large leaf flanked by two smaller leaves, all ranging from ¼ inch to 2 inches long. Each leaf trio has a stem that grows off a main, hairy vine. These vines can grow low, like ground cover, travel upright into bushes and shrubs, or climb trees.

Poison ivy leaves start out red, turn green by summer—possibly accompanied by light green or cream-colored berries—turn shades of red, orange, and yellow in the fall, and drop in the winter. Beware that the leafless vines can still produce rash-causing oil.


Where does poison ivy lurk?

Keep your eye on the wooded edges of your yard because when seasonal weather patterns leave these areas dry, poison ivy creeps in. Look for poison ivy close to the ground, as crawling vines can infiltrate the dark floor of wooded areas. Trees are also common targets, so watch out for it climbing up a healthy trunk or growing around a dead stump. Carefully check for poison ivy hiding in small shrubs, especially in sunny locations.


How should I dispose of poison ivy?

After applying Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products, let the product do its job. You’ll notice visible results in as fast as 6 hours. Some hard-to-kill weeds such as poison ivy may take up to 3-4 weeks for complete kill. Individual results may vary.

Remove the dead weeds from your yard. Wear disposable gloves and clothes that cover your skin completely. Place all the remains in a garbage bag, seal it tightly, then clean your tools and clothes with hot, soapy water.

Never burn poison ivy. Its fumes are dangerous and can cause respiratory problems.


Need to get rid of other harmful weeds or tough brush?

Poison Oak

Another 3-leaved weed, poison oak grows in upright bushes and shrubs, primarily in the Northeast, Midwest, and along the Pacific Coast, and favors sandy, dry soil from sea level to 5,000 feet. Kill poison oak by spraying Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products on the leaves until they’re thoroughly wet. Since poison oak is tough, reapplication may be necessary.


Poison Sumac

With compound leaves sporting 7-10 shiny leaflets, poison sumac can form dense shrubs, sometimes up to 30 feet tall. It’s most common in moist and marsh-like habitats in the southeastern United States, standing water in the Northeast and Midwest, and anywhere with bushes and shrubs in sandy, dry soil. Kill poison sumac by spraying Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products on the leaves until they’re thoroughly wet.



The dark green leaves of kudzu grow in groups of three—each about 3-10 inches long, with hairy undersides—primarily in the southeastern United States along fences, trees, and basically anything stationary, like utility poles. Spray Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products in mid- to late summer, while the kudzu’s vines are mature and actively growing. Since kudzu is persistent, you may need to reapply, but wait a minimum of 28 days before repeating application.


Wild Blackberry

Growing in sets of five oval, toothed-edge leaves, wild blackberry creates dense thickets and can grow up to 10 feet high. Common to the northeastern United States, parts of the Midwest, and widespread in the Pacific Northwest, wild blackberry thrives along streams, ditches, and fence lines. Spray Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 products on the actively growing plant’s leaves. Since blackberry can have deep roots, you may need to reapply. Cut down and remove dead canes.


Resprouting Tree Stumps

Make sure that tree stumps don’t resprout by cutting them as close to the ground as possible, drilling 4-5 holes in the stump, and immediately pouring undiluted Roundup® Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer2 Concentrate into the holes. In a pinch, Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer4 Concentrate can also work.