The many faces of poison ivy as seen here in the south. I know I am going to blow that old myth away about “leaves of 3 let it be” and other tips for spotting poison ivy. Believe me when I say I know firsthand what it is to touch the wrong plant. I am highly allergic to poison ivy and from trial and error I have learned that poison ivy is not always 3 leaves!
Please do not think I am saying ignore the “leaves of 3 let it be” but I am adding some more tips for you especially if you are walking in the woods here in the south (and I would love to hear from anyone else from other parts of the country). Here are some pics in this post of variations of poison ivy in my area here in SE Virginia.
“LEAVES OF 3 LET IT BE; IF YOU SEE 4 IT IS BEST TO IGNORE” this is what I follow
I have found by unhappy accident that Virginia Creeper hides poison ivy many times. It is awful to start pulling what you think is an innocent vine to uncover the 3 or 4 leaves of poison ivy. Poison ivy has many forms and I hope that if you are like me and allergic to it that this post helps you stay clear of this nasty but beneficial vine in nature.
Poison ivy does not always have small serrated leaves you see in all these posts! Look at the above picture and do you see how big those leaves are and how the poison ivy is very woody and grows straight out from the vine.
“Leaves of 3 let it be; if you see 4 it is best to ignore”
Oh yes poison ivy can have 4 leaves and vine up a tree mixing in with Virginia Creeper disguising itself. I have learned never to just pull out vines and if you must I suggest wearing long sleeves, pants, gloves, and trying to cover as much of your exposed skin as you can. Go in and immediately throw you clothes in the washer and take a shower. You can get poison ivy by contact with your clothes and your pets! So handle with care and washing withn 15 minutes of exposure works to minimize contact.
Now I am going to give you another hint that I have done when I am no where near home and I come in contact with poison ivy. I carry hand sanitizer with me and I rub that on any exposed skin. I have also used window cleaner when I was at a friend’s house and sprayed it on my skin and wiped off. I knew I had to wash my skin because I walked right into a patch (the poison ivy was wrapped in an area of English ivy).
I have had Poison Ivy every year for as long as I can remember and a couple years ago I discovered a product at Walgreens that works to help alleviate itching and the spread. I have tried the homemade recipes but never any relief. IVAREST medicated poison ivy cleansing foam is the product and I do not quite follow the directions exactly- I use it a couple times a day lathering and scrubbing with my scrunchie to relieve the itching and breaking open the blisters to dry them up faster. In 40 years of getting poison ivy, I find this to help the best (this is my own personal experience).
If you ever find yourself walking along a wooded area, in a park, or even in your own yard just remember this “LEAVES OF 3 LET IT BE AND IF YOU SEE 4 IT IS BEST TO IGNORE”. Thanks for stopping by and if you ever have any questions, just ask and I will help you the best I can.
Creating. Inspiring. Gardening without the rules!
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