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How to Remove Ivy From Vinyl Siding on a House

Cody Sorensen

Ivy grows as a ground cover and as a climbing vine. The plant has heart-shaped leaves that stay green year-round. When the plant begins to climb, it puts out tendrils with cup-like pads. These little pads attach to the surfaces of trees, mortar, vinyl, wood and glass.

When controlled on the right surfaces, ivy can enhance a home.

A sort of adhesive oozes out of the pads to hold the vine in place. Ivy must be contained or it can cause severe damage. Vinyl siding is particularly vulnerable, because the ivy vine can grow in between the siding joints. Extra care and a lot of elbow grease are needed to remove ivy from vinyl siding on a house.

  1. Follow each vine of the ivy down to the roots and cut it off with a pair of pruning shears. Use a pair of pruning loppers or a pruning saw to cut through the larger vines. Let the ivy attached to the vinyl siding dry out completely. The more dry and brittle the better. This may take a few weeks. When the leaves of the ivy crumble in your hand, it's probably dry enough to proceed with removal.

  2. Climb a ladder to reach the parts of the vine highest on the wall. Locate the cup-like pads and gently scrape them off the siding with a stiff plastic putty knife. Don't pull out on the vine or you might damage the vinyl. Look for areas where the vines have grown into the joints between the vinyl panels. Cut the vine at these locations with a utility knife. Work your way down the wall until you have removed all of the ivy vines and cup-like pads.

  3. Climb the ladder with a bottle of all-purpose cleaner and spray all of the adhesive residue left on the siding from the ivy's tendrils. Allow the cleaner to thoroughly saturate these areas. Scrub them with a stiff-bristled, nylon brush and then rinse the siding with a garden hose. Rinse from the top of the wall to the bottom. Do not spray the water upward or moisture will get behind the siding.

  4. Tip

    Pace yourself while removing the ivy. The process may take a lot longer than you realize. If you don't want the ivy to grow back, you must kill the root system. Just keep cutting it back until the roots starve to death.


    Always set the ladder up on level ground and never use it during high winds.