English Ivy

Eurasia, North Africa

General description

Evergreen, perennial, root-climbing liana. Stems are woody when mature. Leaves are usually palmate with three to five lobes, < 20 x 3 cm, and differ between juvenile and adult foliage. Flowers are yellow/green and borne in spherical umbels in August – December. Berries are deep purple/black and borne in March – May.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2022:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell English ivy within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant English ivy within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any English ivy on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.
Auckland Council will manage English ivy in buffer areas of parks where English ivy is being managed. However, if you wish to help protect your local parkland, you are encouraged to control or remove any English ivy on your land and plant a better alternative instead.

View a map of park buffers.

To find out more about how we’re protecting Auckland’s parkland from pest plants, visit our pest plant buffer pages.

Roadsides, riparian areas, cliffs, forest.

Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from stem fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of garden waste and deliberate plantings.

Forms dense mats, preventing regeneration of other vegetation. Potential to alter decomposition dynamics and nutrient cycling. Can cause contact dermatitis.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Compost stems and roots in a composting weed bag or remove to greenwaste or landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 2g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMP status

Parkland with Significant Ecological Areas (Site-led)
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
English ivy - Main species image