Can anyone recommend a non-glyphosate weed killer that's effective against Swedish Ivy? I have a lot invading from next door, and I can't keep up with pulling it out anymore.

I'm pretty sure this ivy is Plectranthus coleoides. Photo:

swedish ivy

  • 1
    When you say 'Swedish Ivy', which plant do you mean exactly? Swedish ivy can refer to three different varieties of Plectranthus, usually grown as a houseplant. If you're not sure, can you add a photo?
    – Bamboo
    May 19, 2018 at 0:43
  • The trouble is, I don't know what herbicides are available where you are, and to be fair, all herbicides are not great for people or the environment, so you might have to just use glyphosate. Buy the glyphosate concentrate and mix it up yourself, add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to the mix, and use that - its Roundup that should be avoided at all costs.
    – Bamboo
    May 19, 2018 at 13:46
  • youtube.com/watch?v=wMrpSutWWU0&feature=youtu.be Hope this works. Use a barrier of metal or plastic 8" to 1' deep on your side of the fence.
    – stormy
    May 19, 2018 at 23:12
  • Wait, Bamboo, what do you mean 'It is Roundup that should be avoided..'? Roundup is just a brand name for glyphsate, right? What else is in this formula?
    – stormy
    May 19, 2018 at 23:14
  • Just took a peek and there are Roundup PLUS formulations with preemergence herbicide included. THAT one does not want.
    – stormy
    May 19, 2018 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


So, having gotten no suggestions here, I tried the next best thing, which was to drop $90 at the hardware store and buy all the non-glyphosate weed killers they had. Here's how that worked out:

  • Fatty Acid-based Weed Killers: this includes Safer and Scythe. Completely ineffective; might as well have been using water for all the effect they had on the Swedish Ivy. Did work on dandelions, though.
  • Exotic Oil-based: WeedZap and EcoSmart. Completely ineffective, didn't even kill young dandelions. These are essentially scam products.
  • Citric-Acid-based: BurnOut and Avenger: effective with heavy/multiple applications. BurnOut slightly better because of combination chemicals, I think.
  • Industrial Vinegar: very effective. However, requires using gloves and being very careful not to drip.

Based on my tests, I'm using BurnOut to control the ivy.

  • 1
    So why not use glyphosate? Used properly it's a safe, effective herbicide.
    – Peter4075
    May 24, 2018 at 20:23
  • Opinions differ on that. There are quite a few serious studies linking glyphosate to groundwater contamination and other environmental issues. Example: toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/glyphosate02.html
    – FuzzyChef
    May 24, 2018 at 20:28
  • Beyond this, glyphosate (and RoundUp) are controversial. I don't get why people are so surprised when folks ask for alternatives.
    – FuzzyChef
    May 24, 2018 at 21:06
  • Controversial in the sense that, yes, you can find people online claiming glyphosate (the active ingredient of "Roundup") is dangerous. Not controversial in the sense that the European Chemicals Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, national authorities outside the EU (e.g. Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand) and more concluded there is no evidence to link glyphosate to cancer in humans and that glyphosate should not be classified as a substance that causes genetic damage (mutagen) or disrupts reproduction.
    – Peter4075
    May 25, 2018 at 9:57
  • Peter: I'm really not interested in debating the merits of glyphosate. I'm not clear on why you are.
    – FuzzyChef
    May 31, 2018 at 19:12

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