From:Myrtle Beach, SC Region: Southeast Topic: Vines Title: How to get rid of invasive wild bean vine Answered by: Nan Hampton
An invasive vine has taken over our beds, mostly wherever we have asiatic jasmine ground cover. We seem to be the only people nearby with this problem, and the volunteers with our local master gardener's group had trouble identifying the speciman I brought them. The closest guess seems to be wild bean vine, and that seems to match their pictures -- three leaves, small pink/purple flower in spring, insignificant little bean-like things here and there, and a tuber shaped like a fat carrot. Digging the tubers (nearly impossible to dig through the groundcover to do so) and pulling the vines only seems to encourage it. I have cleared entire areas, turned over soil and disposed of every tuber, but thousands of vines come back with renewed vigor, rise above the good groundcover, twine around each other, then fall to create a mat if they don't find any vertical surface to climb. "Painting" all those tentacles with insecticide would be an impossible task. Any suggestions, other than destroying all the groundcover beds and replacing with concrete?
You aren't going to want to hear this, but I think short of digging up the entire area and starting over, you are going to have to try to dig them up or cut them off at the base and paint the area that has been cut or broken with an herbicide (being very careful not to get it on your other desirable plants). Painting each of the "tentacles" wouldn't be as effective as getting to the base of them and painting the part that is attached to the roots. Visit a reputable plant nursery and ask for their advice on which herbicide to use. Read the instructions on using the chemical and the safety warnings carefully before using and then follow them.
This isn't going to be easy—but if you are vigilant and persistent, you should eventually conquer this pest.
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