top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gonzales

Poison Ivy In The Garden

Why am I talking about poison ivy in the garden? Because of birds!

Poison oak contains waxy green or white berries that birds love! Since birds can spread these berries, there is always a chance of new sprouts of poison ivy popping up in your garden, so it's best to know what you're looking for.

Because of our humid climate and plenty of sunlight, poison ivy grows throughout Texas. You can find poison ivy in two varieties (ivy and sumac). The leaves can take on three forms. The leaves will be either smooth, deeply lobed, or with toothed edges. The color can also vary from bright red or purplish to a dull or glossy green.

Poison Ivy Poison Oak Poison Sumac

When trying to identify poison ivy or oak, you will want to keep an eye out for leaf stalks, with three leaflets growing on each stalk that produces stems in a reddish color. Poison ivy can be found as a single sprout, a low shrub, or a thick vine that climbs trees.

Don't be fooled by size; even the smallest plant can produce enough poison to provide a nasty rash and harm your four-legged kiddos! Dead vines, as well as dried-up plants, are still equally as poisonous as fresh plants.

How to Remove Poison Ivy From Your Garden

If you find an infant plant, here are some precautions I recommend when removing the plant from your garden.

  1. Wear old garden gloves (ones that can be disposed of) or disposable heavy-duty gloves. I recommend a couple of layers of gloves regardless of whether you use disposable or old ones, but mainly if you use old garden gloves.

  2. Wrap a heavy-duty plastic bag around the glove (inside out) that you will be using to pull the plant out.

  3. Pull out the new seedling, wrap it in the bag, seal it, and dispose of it. I recommend disposing of this in your organic waste bin and labeling the bag. For it to be harmless, it has to be completely decomposed. DO NOT BURN the plants! This is extremely important. The oil can be inhaled as smoke, and the same blistering rash that affects your skin can affect your respiratory tract causing severe harm and hospitalization.

  4. When removing your gloves to dispose of them, pull them off inside-out to avoid contact. I suggest putting these in a heavy-duty bag for disposal, being sure to label the bag.

  5. Wash your clothes several times in the hottest water possible or discard your clothing.

  6. Wash with soap and cool water. Warm water opens up your pores, and if you have some of the poison anywhere on your skin, it can cause more of this poison to be absorbed.

Allergic reactions from poison ivy, oak, or sumac vary between individuals. Everyone has their sensitivity. You could get a few itchy bumps or a blistering rash, or you may have a severe reaction that could cause hospitalization. The amount of poison you have been exposed to also dictates your reaction level.

Let's just be safe than sorry when dealing with the poison oak family!

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page