What Kills Poison Ivy But Not Grass? [5 Effective Methods]

If you want to kill poison ivy without harming the grass in your yard, avoid products that contain the active ingredient Glyphosate. This ingredient is found in many Roundup products. Instead, use a product containing Triclopyr, which won’t harm grass. Other good choices are products that combine Triclopyr with Dicamba and/or 2,4-D. All these active ingredients are harmless to most grasses. If you don’t wish to use chemicals to kill poison ivy, you can repeatedly cut back ivy vines until they die or dig up and uproot the vines.

What kills poison ivy but not grass?

Does Poison Ivy Killer Also Kill Grass?

Some poison ivy killers harm grass while others are completely grass-safe. As a rule, avoid Roundup brand products. These often contain Glyphosate, which kills grass. Check the label for the active ingredients. If you see Glyphosate included in the ingredient list, the product will kill your grass. On the other hand, products with Dicamba, 2,4-D, and/or Triclopyr are safe for most grass types.

  • Many poison ivy killers harm grass, but some are harmless to grass.
  • Products that contain Glyphosate will kill your grass.
  • The active ingredients Dicamba, 2,4-D, and Triclopyr are safe for grass.
  • A product that won’t kill grass will still kill trees, shrubs, and garden plants in addition to poison ivy.

It’s important to keep in mind that even grass-safe poison ivy killers are not harmless to other plants. Non-grassy desirable plants such as trees, bushes, flowers, and vegetable plants will be killed by any systemic herbicide designed to kill poison ivy plants.

Will Roundup for Poison Ivy Kill Grass?

Roundup Poison Ivy Plus Tough Brush Killer is deadly to grass. This is because it contains the active ingredient Glyphosate. Glyphosate attacks and kills all plants it is sprayed on, including grass. Although Roundup Poison Ivy is much better at killing poison ivy than standard Roundup, both products are harmful to grass.

  • This Roundup product designed to kill poison ivy will also kill grass.
  • Most Roundup products contain Glyphosate, which is harmful to all plants and grasses.
  • Avoid Glyphosate products in order to prevent damage to your lawn.

Roundup products with Glyphosate are best used to control poison ivy in areas where there is no desirable grass. It’s a good weed killer, but it will leave a lot of dead plants behind. If you want to protect your lawn and eradicate poison ivy, poison oak, and other invasive plants, choose a different weed killer.

5 Ways to Kill Poison Ivy Without Killing Grass

The following products and methods are all effective at wiping out poison ivy without damaging any nearby grass. When using a chemical herbicide, follow all label directions to ensure you get the best results. Also, wear protective clothing and gloves when working around poison ivy vines to prevent an allergic reaction and skin rash.

Crossbow Weed Killer

Crossbow is a top-quality herbicide for tough-to-kill plants like poison ivy and brush. The two active ingredients in Crossbow are 2,4-D and Triclopyr, both of which are grass-safe. In a head-to-head comparison of Crossbow vs. Roundup, Crossbow emerges as the clear winner for killing resilient plants without damaging your lawn.

Tough Brush and Weed Killer
Southern Ag | Crossbow Weed & Brush Killer | 2,4-D and Triclopyr
  • Size: 1 Quart.
  • Contains 2-4, D and Triclopyr for control on most unwanted trees and brush.
  • You can use this on non-crop and non-timber areas.
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Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer

Ortho’s poison ivy killer contains Triclopyr as the active ingredient. This is good news because Triclopyr is one of the best commercial herbicides for wiping out poison ivy. Plus, it doesn’t harm grass. You can spray this product onto poison ivy leaves or apply it to the cut stems of poison ivy. Either way, the Triclopyr will infiltrate the ivy to the root and kill it.

Fast Acting Brush and Ivy Killer
Ortho GroundClear | Ivy & Tough Brush Killer
  • Works quickly to kill poison ivy and other unwanted brush.
  • Rainproof within 2 hours of application.
  • Apply directly on weeds in any brush areas.
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Trimec Herbicide

Trimec herbicide contains three grass-safe ingredients that are all effective at killing poison ivy. These three herbicides are Mecoprop, 2,4-D, and Dicamba. In combination, these herbicides work to kill poison ivy down to the root. It is important to note that St. Augustine and Centipede grass can be damaged by Dicamba. Additionally, Centipede grass may be harmed by 2,4-D if herbicide applications are made during summer heat. If your lawn has one of these grasses, consider using a Triclopyr-based product, such as Ortho GroundClear, instead.

Lawn-Safe Weed Killer
Southern Ag | Lawn Weed Killer with Trimec
  • For use on a wide variety of lawn weeds.
  • Includes three grass-safe ingredients for killing weeds.
  • Helps kill weeds and brush down to the roots.
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Repeat Cutting

If poison ivy is growing in your yard, you may be able to kill the entire plant by repeatedly mowing over the ivy or cutting it back to ground level with a string trimmer. This process won’t harm grass but it can take months for the ivy to give up and die. If your ivy is growing in an area that can’t be easily mowed or trimmed, a different removal option is your best bet.


The most all-natural method for getting rid of poison ivy is to dig it up from the roots and remove it by hand. To do remove poisonous plants by hand, follow these steps:

  • Wear long sleeves, pants, heavy gloves, and safety goggles to prevent contact with poison ivy.
  • Cut off the poison ivy vines near ground level.
  • Use a shovel to dig to a depth of 8 inches (20 cm) at the base of the ivy to remove the roots.
  • Remove the vine and poison ivy roots.
  • Discard of the vines safely.
  • Never burn poison ivy—inhaling smoke from burning poisonous plants can cause severe allergic reactions in your lungs and airways.

When uprooting poison ivy, always remain cautious. Contact with the leaves and stems of ivy can result in an itchy rash. This is possible even when the ivy appears dead or dormant. In the event of contact with poison ivy, follow these treatment guidelines from Poison Control or consult your doctor.

How Do You Kill Poison Ivy Without Killing Other Vegetation?

The best methods for killing poison ivy without harming lawn grasses are:

  • Avoid using products that contain Glyphosate—this ingredient kills grass.
  • Spray the ivy with Crossbow herbicide.
  • Use Ortho GroundClear Poison Ivy & Tough Brush Killer on poison ivy plants.
  • Spray the plant with Trimec herbicide.
  • Repeatedly mow or cut poison ivy close to the ground until it dies.
  • Use a shovel to dig out poison ivy roots and remove the plant.

Although several herbicides that kill poison ivy are grass-safe, these products are dangerous to other plants. If you are spraying poison ivy near trees, shrubs, or garden plants, work carefully to protect nearby plants from overspray.

Does Roundup kill poison ivy?

Does Roundup Kill Poison Ivy?

How to get rid of poison ivy without killing other plants

How to Get Rid of Poison Ivy Without Killing Other Plants