How to Identify Poison Ivy

Posted on June 3, 2024 at 11:00 AM by Tom Swegle

Outdoor Joe holding a bottle of Outdoor Joe's rhus tox solution in front of a background of poison ivy plants.

As summer begins and more people spend their days outdoors, the risk of coming into contact with poison ivy increases. By understanding how to identify and avoid this plant, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from a painful and itchy rash.

Where Does Poison Ivy Grow?

Poison ivy is found across North America, and can survive and thrive in a variety of climates. It can also be found in a range of settings from wooded areas and fields to suburban neighborhoods.

What Does Poison Ivy Look Like?

Everyone has heard the old saying ‘leaves of three, let it be.’ It’s a good rule of thumb, but poison ivy can have more than three leaves and look different depending on the location it’s growing in or the season, so it’s good to have other ways to identify this plant.

Poison ivy typically has broad leaves with a scattered, slightly jagged edge. The leaves are compound and grow to a length of two to eight inches. Poison ivy leaves can be green or red depending on the season, or may not be found on the plant at all.

Poison ivy can look like a vine, growing across the ground or up trees and other vertical structures. It can also look like a bush or a shrub.

Protecting Yourself from Poison Ivy

If you can’t identify a plant with certainty, it’s best to leave it alone and keep children and pets away from it. To avoid coming into contact with poison ivy, wear long sleeves and pants if you’re spending time outdoors, and make sure to wash your clothes and any tools if they come into contact with poison ivy. You can also take a homeopathic treatment like Outdoor Joe’s Poison Ivy Pro®. Outdoor Joe’s® is a rhus tox oral solution that helps your body build a resistance to poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Get your bottle of Outdoor Joe’s® today!