We have a patch of raspberries. Mixed in is one or more poison ivy plants. We know for sure because they're easy to tell apart when the berries are present. We currently do not harvest the raspberries due to the ivy.

Is it worth the effort trying to save the raspberries or should I eliminate both plant out of caution?

2 Answers 2


First a word of caution - if you are sensitive to poison ivy, or even unsure, then leave well alone. It's not worth it for a few raspberries.

Poison ivy and raspberries are strongly surface rooted plants and exposure to the sap in cut ivy roots will trigger sensitivity. Roots spread widely and may be present even where there appears to be no top growth. So an attempt to dig out raspberries in what appears to be a clear patch might or might not expose ivy roots.

Fortunately it is easy to distinguish ivy roots from raspberry roots. The ivy will be smoothly woody sending up occasional shoots to become above ground stems. The raspberries will be mainly in tight crowns sending up bristly shoots to become canes. If you cannot distinguish them in an immature stage then best leave it alone.

Poison ivy likes to grow among other plants, so it is not surprising to find it alongside raspberries. It grows low unless the vining variety, and likes shaded to partly shaded areas like forest edges. However the presence of ivy also means the raspberries are in the wrong place; they will do a lot better in a more open sunny location.

If the raspberries are the black, tip rooting type then it is easy to get more plants from the raspberries without digging. Then plant the offshoots in a sunnier location.

Regulations regarding the chemical elimination of pests such as poison ivy vary locally, so check with your farm/garden supplier to see what options are available to you in your area. Personally I am not (so far) sensitive and have found that frequent mowing provides good control. A longer term non-chemical approach would be to eliminate the shade, suppressing the ivy and encouraging the raspberries.

When in doubt leave poison ivy alone and warn your guests of the presence.


I would put few plants of raspberry in a pot (or maybe I would think to buy new, if you think your would like more an other variety), and then exterminate all other plants.

The problem is that you need to remove many plants during winter, but also during the season. Confusing them to poison ivy is too easy (but also being in knee to do this job).

But now you have the problem: how to get rid of poison ivy. If you go chemically, check that the product could be used also on crops/vegetable gardens (so not persistent). Nobody would like to overdo it, and than plant food plant.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.