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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - May 16, 2009

From: Jacksonville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Thorny vine growing through hedge
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

In my hedge, a vine grows that has a bulbous root. It has large thorns up and down the vine. The leaves are shiny and grow all along the vine that is exposed to the sun. the vine grows up thru hedges and puts on leaves only after it is above the hedge. What can I use to kill it. I have scraped the outer layer off the stem/trunk and brushed on stump killer with little effect..I need help

ANSWER:

This sounds like Smilax bona-nox (saw greenbrier).  Your best for getting rid of it is to cut the vine near ground-level and paint the cut stem with concentrated herbicide such as Roundup.  You have to be very careful doing this, however, and not get the herbicide on any part of the hedge.  Also, please carefully read and follow the safety instructions on the herbicide container.

Smilax bona-nox

Smilax bona-nox

 

 

 

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