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Guard Yourself Against Contact With Poison Ivy

Making It Grow Minute
SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow.  Recently   I noticed a red spot on my wrist which I attributed to an insect bite. Sadly, that was a misdiagnosis – turns out that in my summer mission to get unwanted vines and such out of established beds, I mistook a poison ivy vine for Virginia creeper and ended up with a bad outbreak on my arms. Both these native vines have hairy stems when mature and climbing on trees. The hairs are different – poison ivy has aerial roots while Virginia creeper has modified tendrils, but they look a lot alike when you are on your hands and knees  in a thicket of magnolia stems. Now I’ll wear a long sleeved shirt buttoned tight and good gardening gloves, all will go in the washing machine when I come inside along with my pants, socks,   shoes and a good dose of detergent. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.