G. Bush Reads the Grumpy Gardener.

May 1, 2008 | By | Comments (2)

Q: Hi, I would love to know if there is anything I can do to completely get reid of Ivy? The previous homeowners, had planted ivy all around trees and shurbs. Please, I need help! Thanks, Gloria

A:Wow, I was excited! Getting an email from “G. Bush” could only mean one thing. I was being recruited by the President himself to go deep under cover to eliminate an enemy of our country who goes by the code name of “Ivy.” Lock and load, Mr. President!

Then I saw the “G” stands for “Gloria.” I wasn’t aware that the President ever refers to himself as “Gloria.” So I guess I’ll just have to accept that my CIA days are behind me.

OK, to your question, Gloria — how do you kill English ivy (Hedera helix)? First, wait until it sends out a flush of bright green, new leaves in spring. At that point, spray with either Roundup, Weed-B-Gon or Brush-B-Gon according to label directions. It’s very important to spray before the leaves turn deep green, because then they develop a waxy coating that resists herbicide. Don’t spray any of these products on any plants you don’t want to kill.

Good luck — and God bless America!


  1. Grumpy

    Flowers of French hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla)turn blue or pink depending on the pH of the soil. Acid soil (pH lower than 7) produces blue and alkaline soil (pH higher than 7) produces pink. Adding lime to the soil makes it more alkaline and will turn flowers pink over time. But the change won’t happen immediately, so you’ll have to reapply the liquid lime periodically.
    Climbing roses usually fail to bloom for one of two reasons. One — not enough sun. Two — cutting them back at the wrong time. They should only be cut back immediately after they finish blooming in spring. Cutting them back in summer or fall removes most of the flowers for next spring. Grumpy

    May 21, 2008 at 11:03 am
  2. joyce willis

    what kind of fertilizer should I use to turn my hydranges pink. I tried liquid lime, but it did not work. Also I have a climing rose that does not bloom. why?

    May 20, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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