How to Remove Ivy from a Brick Wall

ivy growing up a grey brick wall
What You'll Need
Pruning shears
Gardening gloves or work gloves
Connected hose with sprayer
Wire brush
Yard debris bags
Paint scraper
Weed killer

For some homeowners, the look of ivy growing on a brick wall is attractive and not viewed as invasive. For others, it is a nuisance and not aesthetically pleasing at all. If you fit into the latter category and want to get rid of the ivy growing on your brick wall, follow some of the suggestions below.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Remove Ivy

In addition to low visual appeal, you also may want to get rid of the ivy if it is causing structural damage. This is a costly problem that can be difficult to solve. Ivy has been known to creep under shingles and woodwork, into gutters and other places it does not belong. It causes destruction along the way.

Ivy is also a nesting ground for insects and small creatures that can cause further damage. The closer to the wall the ivy is and the longer it has been growing, the worse the problem of insects can be. Certainly some insects are harmless, but an abundance of insects can cause harm. You also don’t want to become a breeding ground for rats, bacteria, or mold.

Step 1 - Start from the Top

ivy leaves

Begin with a light spraying of water from the hose. The water will make the ivy easier to pull. If possible, start the removal process from the top and go down. Ivy is more likely to have stronger roots at the bottom of the wall, so the top will be easier to remove.

Step 2 - Start Simple

Start by putting on some work or garden gloves to protect your skin from scratches or sensitivities. Then begin pulling out as much of the ivy as possible. Only pull the ivy that comes easily. Don’t pull too hard, or you may pull the mortar out from the bricks and create the need for further repair.

Step 3 - Bring Out the Tools

Try using the pruning shears to cut away the ivy, particularly if it is thick. Clip in several spots and pull. Again, be sure not to pull too hard. You don’t want the mortar coming out with the ivy.

Step 4 - Use the Weed Killer

variegated ivy leaves

When you only have the ingrained roots left, spray on your chosen weed killer. This may be a commercially manufactured product or a natural killer made of detergents. Whatever you decide to use, allow it to sit on the roots for two weeks.

Step 5 - Scrape It Off

After sufficient time, come back to the spots where the rootlets were left. Use your scraper to remove the dead ivy. This step will leave discolored spots that you will need to clean.

Step 6 - Finish Up

Use a detergent-and-water mixture or another product that is not too harsh to begin cleaning the mortar. Use the wire brush to remove as much of the staining as possible.

Take note of any repairs you need to make to correct damage the ivy has caused. Clean up the debris with a trash can or bags. You will need to maintain the new look annually.