Thursday, May 7, 2015

Vinegar Experiment, part 2

Remember last year when I tried to kill poison ivy with vinegar? Here's the original post:

Well, it didn't exactly work 100%.  A lot of it died, but some came back this spring. As you can see below, here are nice new red leaves on that plant.

And about 10 days later, the leaves turned green. Worse yet, there were more of them.

I think I'm going let it grow for a little bit  to see how many of the leaves really do come back. Then I'll spray with more vinegar and see what happens. The real test will be if it comes back again.

The thing with poison ivy (or any other plant for that matter) is that they must have foliage to make their food; you know, photosynthesis. When I killed off the leaves last fall, the plant still had some energy stored in its roots. Therefore, it could make more leaves. But, it stands to reason if I kill the leaves enough times, eventually the plant will run out of energy and actually will die. I'm going to try that and see what happens.

Of course, though, I might have another use for the plant. Last year I had this test plant in a pot. It was growing nicely and was very happy in the pot. I went away on vacation and my neighbor would not water it, so I came home and it was dead. (I can't say as I blame her for not watering it. She didn't want to take care of the scorpions I was babysitting from work a few years ago, either.)

The plant that died never grew back. I'm telling you that the surefire way to kill poison ivy is to just stick it in a pot.Works every time for me.

I'll keep you updated on what happens with the next round of vinegar.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's back...

Spring has finally arrived in Ohio, and although it took a few weeks, the poison ivy is back again. There's usually a few weeks of plants coming back to life before it shows up, but it always shows up sooner or later.

This vine is already well established on a tree, but is growing new leaves. These are shiny and waxy, but remember that not all poison ivy has shiny/waxy leaves. That's not necessarily a clear method of identification.

The plant below is getting ready to bloom. Yes, you heard right... poison ivy does bloom.

So, is the pollen toxic? The research I've done has given mixed reviews. Some sources say yes, while others say no. For the ones who say yes, they generally agree that you need a fair bit of it to cause a problem. In my mind, no one in their right mind it going to get that close on purpose and start sniffing at a poison ivy plant... or at least I'd hope not!

I'll post some flowers once it blooms. It's actually rather pretty!