En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Control of invasive vine in North Carolina

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Wednesday - November 18, 2009

From: Winston-Salem, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Vines
Title: Control of invasive vine in North Carolina
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I live in Piedmont NC, have vines that twine around my shrubbery and are impossible to pull out of the ground w/o breaking because they are so thin/delicate. The leaves are maple-like (3 lobes), and in the summer berries appear and turn purple-black. In the fall the leaves turn yellow. When I pull the vines away from the shrubs, berries fly everywhere. The vines are multiplying each year. Help! Thanks so much.

ANSWER:

From only your description I can't identify your vine and whether it is native or introduced.  If you want us to identify it, please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos.  With photos of your vine, we will do our very best to identify it. 

It hardly matters, however, what the vine is since it is being very invasive and, from your description, it doesn't sound as if it's going to be an easy job to get rid of it.  You obviously can't spray it with herbicide unless you want to lose your shrubs as well.  This means you are going to have to deal with it piece by piece.  The best thing you can do is to be vigilant and keep the vine from producing fruit by removing it before it flowers and sets the fruit.  This will keep you from spreading the seeds when you pull it out of the shrubs.  This will require pulling it out of the shrub early and, if possible, digging it up by the roots.  Simply pulling out the roots is probably not going to work since you say it breaks easily so you're going to have to dig.  If you have to remove vines with the fruit still on them, cut and gather the fruit BEFORE you pull out the vines.  Put the berries into a plastic bag, seal it and put the bag in your trash.  

An alternative to digging the roots of the vines out of the ground is to cut them at or near ground level and paint the surface of the cut with a 15-25% solution of glyphosate herbicide (available at most plant nurseries—one brand name is Roundup).  This allows you to target the vine without (if you are very careful) getting the herbicide on your shrubbery or other desirable plants.  This works best in summer and fall for deciduous plants and year round for evergreen ones. We urge you to read and follow safety/environmental instructions on all herbicide labels.

North Carolina Botanical Garden has an excellent booklet, Controlling Invasive Plants, with descriptions and photos of invasive non-native plants common in North Carolina and methods to control them.  This booklet is available on-line in PDF format.

Vigilance and persistence are the keys to getting rid of this pest.  Best of luck! 

 

More Vines Questions

Sources for plants from Abingdon MD
August 02, 2012 - What stores or nursuries in Harford County sell already grown Coral honeysuckle, Purple passion flower, trumpet creeper, and crossvine?
view the full question and answer

A privacy hedge for a shady spot in Austin, TX
July 02, 2012 - What is a good choice for a privacy hedge in west Austin in a predominantly shady area? I'd like it to be 8-12 feet, along the fence, so as to obstruct the view of the neighbor's yard.
view the full question and answer

Why won't my Campsis cultivar flower in Lowell MA
February 08, 2010 - I bought a Campsis trumpet vine cultivar in 2006 and planted near my fence in my yard hoping to cover the fence with the vine. Well 4 seasons later the vine has grown about 5 ft. in area but has yet ...
view the full question and answer

Climbing vines that are deer resistant
July 12, 2013 - Please find plants that are climbing vines and are deer resistant
view the full question and answer

Native plants with little sun and northern exposure for New York
April 26, 2006 - I live in a co-op and want to fix up the backyard. The backyard area has a west area to plant with a northern exposure and little sun and I am looking to plant something to cover the area. I would lik...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center