Poison ivy is a nuisance to many people because it is a highly allergenic plant that can cause a multitude of problems, from itchy, burning rashes to painful blisters. You don’t need this worrisome plant in your garden — you want to be able to enjoy going outside and also know that others aren’t at risk when they come visiting.
Most people don’t want to keep this plant around in their garden and for good reason. This reviews list showcases nine of the best poison ivy killers on the market today, so you can figure out which one is best for your situation. The buyer’s guide also offers considerations to keep in mind when purchasing an herbicide.
|BioAdvanced 704655A |
|Bonide BND506 |
|Brushtox 75260 |
|Southern Ag CROSSBOW32 ||32oz||4.10/5|
The BioAdvanced brush killer is formulated to kill many types of weeds and brushes, such as poison ivy, poison oak, and Kudzu, to name a few. It is a selective herbicide (0.8% Triclopyr) that invades plants through their stems, leaves, and/or roots and then works its way systemically through the plant to kill it. Keep in mind that it is a post-emergent, so you can only kill woody plants and broadleaf weeds that have germinated.
This formula is ready to use, with no mixing required, and uses a battery-powered sprayer that shoots an effective stream of the solution. It is rain-fast within hours, and you will see the plant begin to wilt and die within one to six weeks. You can refill this jug when empty by purchasing a concentrated bottle and mixing it with water. Though this product does work well to kill poison ivy, it will take time and possibly repeated applications for it to be effective.
The best poison ivy killer for the money is Bonide because it is formulated specifically for the offending plant and it is offered at an affordable price. This herbicide comes in a 32-ounce spray bottle that is ready to use — no mixing required. It will kill a wide range of other broadleaf weeds as well, such as thistle and ragweed.
It is rainproof within hours of application, but make sure it dries completely before it rains or watering the area with a sprinkler. It won’t kill your lawn grass, though, because it is a selective herbicide that contains Trimec as the main ingredient. You will notice that the plant will begin to wilt within two to three days, but it will take up to four weeks for it to completely die.
The liquid is a non-staining blue marker dye so you can see where you have sprayed. On the downside, if you have a large amount of poison ivy to spray, this size of bottle may not enough.
The premium choice on our reviews list is the Brushtox Brush Killer, which contains 61.6% Triclopyr as the main ingredient. It is a selective herbicide formulated to kill woody plants, broadleaf weeds, and woody brush, so it will also kill tree stumps when applied. You can cut the poison ivy and apply it directly to the stumps, or you can spray it on the leaves of the plant. Since this is a high concentration of Triclopyr, you need to make sure to follow all safety precautions listed on the bottle.
The 32-ounce bottle is concentrated, and once re-constituted, there is enough formula to treat up to one acre. After applying, it needs two hours to dry before it is rain-fast. It takes up to four weeks to see results once you have treated the weed, but it does a good job of killing it with one application. It is an expensive poison ivy killer, however.
This jug of Roundup is formulated specifically to kill poison ivy. The classic trigger sprayer is easy to use, and each squeeze of the wand treats one weed. Since poison ivy is a wooded brush, it will also kill poison oak, poison sumac, and many invasive vines. To use it correctly, you must spray it directly on the leaves, not on the ground near the brush.
It works very fast and is rainproof within 30 minutes. You will see the weed beginning to wilt within 24 hours. Roundup provides a consumer guarantee on this product. If you aren’t satisfied, they will refund your money if you have proof of purchase.
The main ingredient of this product is glyphosate, and it contains 0.1% of Triclopyr. It kills the leaves of the poison ivy fast, but it takes a significant amount of time and extra applications to kill the root. This is an affordable option if you don’t have a large area to treat, though you will need to be careful because glyphosate kills grasses too.
The Southern AG weed killer has a combination of 2 4-D at 34.4% and Triclopyr at 16.5%. It is formulated to kill most woody brush and trees, as well as annual and perennial broadleaf weeds. It is fine for use on permanent grass pastures, conservation reserve program acres, and fence rows. You can also use it along ditch banks that aren’t used for irrigation and other non-crop areas.
It comes concentrated in a 32-ounce jug, and the coverage area depends upon your sprayer’s calibration, but it should treat at least one acre. It is rain-fast within two hours of application, and you will notice the poison ivy leaves beginning to shrivel and turn yellow within three to six days. For the full plant to die, you must wait two to three weeks to see results. Also, you will have to apply more than one application to fully kill the brush or it will come back in the spring.
This weed killer is formulated for poison ivy and other tough brush and weeds, killing up to 60 different types. The primary ingredient is Triclopyr 8%, which is a decent amount to kill poison ivy over a period of time. We found that this 32-ounce jug of concentrate will make approximately 8 gallons of solution.
It is rainproof within two hours of applying and will typically kill the poison ivy with two applications. On the downside, you have to mix this before you can use it, but it is an affordable option if you don’t need to cover a large area. You can hook it up to a Dial N’ Spray hose-end sprayer, sold separately, or you can use any tank sprayer.
The Ferti-lome contains 8.8% Triclopyr to help control woody plants, vines, and broadleaf weeds around the home and other non-crop areas. It comes concentrated, so to use, you mix 8 ounces to 0.5-1 gallon of water and then spray on the leaves of the plant.
You can apply it directly to stumps within 45 minutes of cutting. Many have found that this works best on the leaves compared to applying it to the stump. It is best to protect other trees and plants when spraying this, since it could kill your good plants too. Overall, the Ferti-lome will kill poison ivy, but it may take a few applications to see results. On the upside, it is a more affordable week killer compared to some.
Image is a weed killer that is formulated to get rid of brush and vines by killing the roots and the stumps once and for all. The primary ingredient is Triclopyr 8%, and it comes in a one-quart container. Once reconstituted, it makes 8 gallons that can cover up to 4,000 square feet. Mix the solution in a pump or a hose-end sprayer to apply.
To use, saturate the poison ivy leaves with the spray. You will notice the leaves begin to wilt and turn brown within one to six weeks. Once the leaves drop off, the plant should be dead at this point. This product works best at killing poison ivy that is not as established, such as younger plants. It kills the older plants, but it takes repeated applications that can become costly over time.
If you need an herbicide that is pet and kid safe, the Eco Garden may be an ideal choice. It is an organic weed killer that is phosphate-free, 100% biodegradable, and made from 100% pure and natural ingredients.
It comes in a 1-gallon jug that is ready to use. The ingredients are 8% Acetic Acid and 5% sodium chloride. It is a non-selective herbicide, which means it will kill anything you spray it on. Pour the formula into a sprayer and completely saturate the leaves. It is best to spray in the morning on bright and sunny days and to avoid spraying if there is a chance of rain.
The Eco Garden weed killer is pricey, and we found that you will need to apply multiple applications to fully kill the poison ivy and it doesn’t take long to go through a gallon of the spray.
It is difficult to get rid of poison ivy because the whole plant has to be killed or it will keep coming back every year. So, make sure to get something that kills the root. Depending on the herbicide formula, it may take two or more applications to accomplish this.
You can try to pull the plant from the ground, but it is difficult to pull it out without breaking off the roots. Chemical treatment is more effective in the long run when you apply it to the leaves, which allows the herbicide to be absorbed into the vein system of the plant.
Let’s look at considerations to keep in mind when looking for the right herbicide, as well as tips that will help you achieve the best results.
The herbicides that contain either glyphosate, triclopyr, or 2 4-D are the best at eliminating poison ivy. Glyphosate kills broadleaf plants and grasses, though it is considered a non-selective herbicide, which means it will kill most plants. Triclopyr is a man-made herbicide that kills broadleaf and woody plants, is selective and won’t harm grasses, and works systemically within the plants so it will go from the leaves down into the roots. 2 4-D is formulated for broadleaf plants and is safe to use on most grasses; it works by affecting the way the plants’ cells grow, essentially causing them to divide and grow without stopping.
Some herbicides are labeled as organic and natural — these usually contain acetic acid, which is what vinegar contains. High concentrations of acetic acid are very potent and corrosive. So, it can be an effective herbicide when used correctly.
You may find an herbicide that contains one or two of these ingredients. Know what ingredients are present so you don’t kill other plants inadvertently.
You will notice that some herbicides can be bought ready to use and others are concentrated and will have to be mixed. If you have a small area to treat, you may want one that is ready to go so you don’t have to deal with mixing and using a separate sprayer. If you have a large amount of poison ivy in your garden, you will want to have plenty of the herbicide. You will most likely have to apply more than once to fully kill the plant.
Herbicides are expensive. Plan to spend money in order to effectively remove poison ivy. It is a tenacious plant, and the herbicide needs to be absorbed systemically in order to kill the roots. If you have a small area to treat and the plant isn’t too large, you won’t have to spend near as much on herbicides.
There are many herbicides available on the market to rid your garden of poison ivy.
Our top pick is the BioAdvanced brush killer, which contains triclopyr and comes in a ready-to-use container with an attached sprayer. If you have a small amount of poison ivy, the Bonide is the best value and comes in a 32-ounce spray bottle that is affordable. Our premium choice is the Brushtox, which is a 32-ounce bottle of concentrate that contains over 60% triclopyr, so you can kill the plant within one application.
We hope our reviews list helps you find the best choice for your garden, so you rid it of poison ivy and fully enjoy it all year long.
Featured image credit: Ortho MAX Poison Ivy And Tough Brush Killer main, Amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!