Devil’s Ivy: The Little-Known Weed That Can Kill You

Devil’s ivy is a poisonous vine that is so insidious, it has been nicknamed the “invisible pandemic.” It is estimated that up to 20 million people in the U.S. live in homes with this invasive vine. That’s because devil’s ivy thrives in humid, warm environments like the ones found in coastal areas and southern states, where it can grow from house siding and vines to cover entire walls and trees. This weed can be identified by its reddish-purple berries and small green leaves no bigger than your fingernail. It also grows near windows, so you can see it peeping through if you look closely enough. If left unchecked, devil’s ivy will quickly take over any property that it invades as its stems grow rapidly reaching lengths of up to 150 feet long at a rate of 1 foot per day. At maturity, it produces berries that are eaten by birds who then spread its seeds to other locations where they sprout easily due to its aggressive root system which penetrates concrete and makes it almost impossible for extermination unless caught early on. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent an invasion from taking place before weeds have an opportunity to get out of control…

What is Devil’s Ivy?

Devil’s ivy is a climbing vine that is native to the southeastern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. It is also known as five-leaved ivy and broad-leaved ivy. This plant has dark green leaves that grow larger than 2 inches in length. The leaves have five lobes, with the middle lobe being the largest. The Devil’s ivy vine is a perennial that can grow up to 10 feet tall. It grows in a vine-like manner, wrapping around and climbing on nearby trees, fences, and structures. The Devil’s ivy vine blooms from late spring to early summer with white, five-petaled flowers. These flowers will develop into small, red berries by late summer. The berries are the source of the plant’s toxicity.

How to Identify Devil’s Ivy

One of the easiest ways to identify devil’s ivy is by its leaves, which are dark green with five distinct lobes. If you notice purple berries growing from vines growing on your home, you should be suspicious that these are devil’s ivy vines. The vines will climb up walls and wrap around trees, shrubs, and other vegetation, so it is important to keep an eye out for them. In the fall, the vines will turn a bright red, which makes them easier to see during the growing season. If you see vines growing on your home or have vines growing near an overgrown garden, you should check them for devil’s ivy.

How to Get Rid of Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s ivy is one of the most difficult weeds to remove. It has deep roots that are difficult to reach and poison ivy vines, including devil’s ivy, are notoriously resilient and hard to kill. When removing the plants, you will want to protect yourself from contact with the poisonous sap because it can cause a rash and leave your skin scarred. There are a few options for protecting yourself from the rash, such as wearing gloves, long sleeves, and long pants. You may also want to consider wearing a face mask to keep the poisonous sap from coming into contact with your skin, eyes, and mouth. Using a chemical herbicide is another option for ridding your yard of devil’s ivy. Be sure to follow all directions on the product’s label and wear protective clothing when using herbicides.

How to Prevent an Invasion of Devil’s Ivy

If you have vines growing in your yard, you will want to take steps to prevent them from becoming devil’s ivy vines. First, you will want to remove the vines from your yard. You can do this by pulling the vines up by their roots, cutting the vines off with a sharp knife, or using a weed killer designed for vines. Next, you will want to make sure you do not let any fallen leaves or berries remain in your yard. You can use a rake or a broom to sweep fallen leaves and berries into a nearby trash can. You can also use a vacuum to remove fallen leaves and berries. Finally, you will want to make sure you do not cut any trees or shrubs in your yard with a lawn mower. Lawn mowers are capable of spreading the vines, so you will want to use a weed whacker instead.


Devil’s ivy is a sneaky and menacing plant that can quickly take over an area if left unchecked. This invasive weed thrives in warm, humid conditions, making it especially dangerous for coastal areas. If left unchecked, this vine will climb up walls and wrap around trees, covering entire structures and outgrowing any other vegetation in its path. In order to prevent an invasion, it is important to remove vines growing in your yard and to carefully inspect any vines growing on your home.


1: Effect of Herbicides on Plant Diseases


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