Managing Poison Ivy in the Spring

Posted on April 2, 2024 at 8:54 AM by Tom Swegle

A young poison ivy plant with red and green leaves.

Spring has sprung, and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds are starting to spend more time outside. You may not be thinking about poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac this early in the season, but there’s still a chance you could encounter these plants. Read on to learn how to identify them at this stage and protect yourself.

Identifying Poison Ivy in the Spring

A young poison ivy plant can look very different from the mature plant you’re used to. In the spring, poison ivy can have dark red leaves, or leaves that are a mixture of red and green. You might also see small green flower buds that will eventually blossom into white flowers. Poison ivy can grow as both a shrub and a vine, extending across the ground or climbing trees, fenceposts, and telephone poles.

Watch What You Wear

Even as the weather warms up, continuing to wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, and boots helps prevent contact with poison ivy. Additionally, wear gloves if you’re gardening or handling plant matter. This is especially important as new growth emerges, as it may be harder to identify in this stage.

Clean Your Tools

If you’re doing yard work and think your tools may have come into contact with poison ivy, make sure to clean them thoroughly with soap and water. Urushiol, the compound in poison ivy responsible for an itchy, painful reaction, can remain on surfaces for years. Wear gloves while cleaning, and after cleaning your tools, wash anything you wore while cleaning them.

Year-Round Poison Ivy Protection

Whether you’re an avid gardener or hitting the hiking trails, use Outdoor Joe’s Poison Ivy Pro® to protect yourself from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac this spring. Order your bottle of Outdoor Joe’s® today!