Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Help! Poison Ivy in My Mint Patch

Can you help  me with a natural way to get rid of poison ivy in my mint garden?
Twenty seven years ago when we moved into our house, I planted one lone little sprig of mint in the ground behind my deck. Within 3 years, it spread into a beautiful lush 10X4 herbal garden of mint.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed my mint patch. It is a perennial herb so it popped its head through the hard cold ground every March and would hang on, still producing meekly, until mid November!  The picture above is last season's patch in full bloom in June!

I found so many ways to enjoy that mint.

I added fresh mint to all my salads, omelettes, fruit salads, etc.
I dried the mint and added it to my cooking
I made minted drinks like mint tea, mint lemonade, and mojitoes
I made mint pestos and added dried mint to my veggies
I cut fresh mint to keep in a vase in my kitchen
I enjoyed the beautiful aroma of the mint when the wind was blowing

A bunch of fresh mint from my mint garden last summer
Over the years we and our friends and neighbors have enjoyed the fruits of that plentiful patch of mint that grew literally like weeds and was invincible. It was invincible until this spring.

Here's what happened. As usual, in the early early spring, I started to search for the little mint plants to break through the soil. I wasn't disappointed. The aromatic greens survived the harsh winter and returned in full force.

Unfortunately, they weren't the only plants to arrive this year. The mint was now sharing the patch with a very healthy batch of poison ivy plants. Lots and lots of them throughout the entire minted area.

I couldn't believe it, but it's true. I'm not even sure what to do .
I know I have to get rid of the poison ivy or it will probably spread all around my yard.

Unless one of my readers has a solution, I don't know how to get rid of the poison ivy without destroying the mint.

Here's what I did so far: I covered myself  in plastic and tried to physically pull out the plants, but there were too many of them and some were very small. I doubt it was even effective because I couldn't get the root of those darn things.

Do you think my mint garden is doomed? gone forever?
Can I even get rid of the poison ivy?
I'm no farmer- I would appreciate your 2 cents- any suggestions for how to rid the poison ivy naturally?

When I researched Natural Solutions I found 
1. Spray leaves with vinegar and salt solution
2. Pour boiling water on the plants
3. Pull out the plants ( very carefully) - don't burn them ( the fumes are toxic to the lungs) - bag them in plastic and tie well before discarding.

Any suggestions how to salvage my mint or do I have to forget it and start over again in another spot?

Some of My Previous Recipes Using Fresh Mint

                                   Frozen Kiwi Mojito with Mint  ( virgin and alcohol version)

Beet Salad with Mint, lemon, and celery

Cold Yogurt Cucumber Soup with Fresh Mint

Jicama Mint Salad 

How to grow herbs on your windowsill or deck ( how to dry mint) 

I need recipe testers : are you willing to test a recipe ( or two or three) and answer a few questions.?
contact me at or leave a comment at the end of the post. thanks
1. rate the recipe 1-10 on taste
2. Were the instructions clear?
3. Did the recipe turn out well ?
4. Any adaptations you would suggest?
5. Rate the recipe on ease? 1-10
6. Any comments?

This post will  be shared on some of 
My blog carnival list


  • If you are new to my blog and would like me to email you my recipes when I post them,  scroll to the top of my blog and look for my subscribe box in the right top column of the blog. Type in your email, click and check your emails for a confirmation and you need to confirm .

    Good food is my passion. I am gluten intolerant, busy. and strive for a healthy balanced lifestyle. It has taken me many years to develop and discover easy healthy recipes that meet gluten free, vegetarian/vegan and real food standards. On my blog I share my journey, my struggles, my discoveries, and my new recipes. I hope you find ideas, resources, and recipes that will be helpful to you. Come Back soon.
  • Don't miss a recipe - type your email in the subscription box on the upper right of the blog. I publish about one or two recipes a week.  ( you can unsubscribe at any time)

  • Pin It Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by. Scroll down to the end of the post and click on comments.


    1. I wouldn't use salt since if salt gets in the dirt, nothing will grow. Buy some HORTICULTURAL vinegar. It's stronger than grocery store vinegar.

    2. Hi Judee,
      My what a dilemna! These are great solutions! I am delighted that you shared your natural way to get rid of poison ivy post with us on the Plant-based Potluck Party. I appreciate it. I'm pinning and sharing.

    3. Oh gosh - I wish I had an answer! This happened at a previous house I lived in, and I couldn't figure out what to do at all. For poison ivy, boiling water (watch contact with the resulting steam, though - you'll wind up with a nasty mist of poison ivy oil!) and hiring a friend who seems to be immune to the stuff to pull it up works, but neither works AND saves the plants it's hiding among. Maybe the easiest answer is just to take cuttings of the mint (carefully), and pot them and then raze the whole mess and let it spend a year under a tarp killing everything off so you can start over next year. At least mint grows fast! I'd love it if you'd share this post with this week's Awesome Life Friday.

    4. I appreciate your feedback and I think your idea of leaving it covered for a year is probably the best suggestion. Even the mint that did not directly touch the ivy, I'm still afraid to use it.

    5. I came across your post because I made some tea out of a handful of mint that I threw in a pot without inspecting it closely. I got violently ill and am still recovering. Come to find out there was poison ivy in the bunch I pulled up. I hope this didn't happen to you. So sad if you had to lose your mint patch, but it's not worth the pain, let me tell ya.

      1. Oh I am so sorry for you. I know , who would expect to see poison ivy growing in the mint. Probably best that I destroyed the patch. Been 2 years now.. boo hoo- loved that mint.
        Thanks for your comment

    6. What an interesting post. Did you eradicate the poison ivy? Did you cover the patch, and is that what did the trick?

      I was hoping to plant mint in the hopes that it would out-compete some poison ivy in my yard, but your experience makes me think that's not the answer...


    Your comments are appreciated. I love knowing who is stopping by to read my posts! Have a great day.