Climbing vines such as ivy and honeysuckle often grow on the exterior of buildings. While many homeowners like the appearance of these vines, the vines can also damage the exterior of a home over time. For this reason, sometimes the vines are removed and the exterior of the building cleaned.
While using a herbicide to kill the climbing vines is an option, often cutting the plants off at the base and removing the roots is just as effective. Not only is this solution environmentally friendly, but it also saves you the expense of purchasing the proper herbicide.
Step 1: Cut the vines off at the base of the ground using pruning shears [Our Pruner Pick]. Make sure you cut all of the vines that are traveling up the house.
Step 2: Use a spade to remove the roots of the vines to prevent regrowth. Collect the roots and dispose of them.
Step 3: Allow the vines to dry on the sides of the house. Wait until they turn brown and are brittle to the touch before continuing. Depending on the time of year and weather, this step could take two to three weeks.
Step 4: Cut the climbing vines that are hanging onto the stucco into small sections.
TIP: Each section should be about 18 inches long. Keep in mind that the vine may branch out, require multiple cuts in many directions to create manageable pieces for removal.
Step 5: Carefully pull off the small sections of climbing vines from the stucco. If there is any resistance, carefully cut down that section into smaller pieces, and then pull off each individual section.
TIP: Collect the vines in bags for composting or proper disposal. Try to avoid shaking the vines: some may have seeds that will become dislodged and grow next to the house.
Step 6: Continue removing sections of the climbing vines from the stucco until the exterior of your house is completely clear of vines.
Step 7: Rinse the stucco with a garden hose fitted with a spray attachment to remove as much dirt and grime from the surface of the building as possible.
Step 8: Clean the exterior stucco using warm, soapy water and a soft bristled nylon scrub brush. Don’t scrub too hard, just enough to dislodge any shoots clinging to the stucco and remove any lingering dirt.
Step 9: Rinse the stucco one final time with the garden hose.