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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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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Tuesday - August 04, 2015

From: Oklahoma City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Vines
Title: Controlling Cocculus carolinus vines
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Oklahoma City and want to rid my yard and flowerbeds of Cocculus Carolinus vines, I already have a infestation, I cant count the number of vines that were already established before I found out what the vine was.,,. I have tried brush killer and even that doesn't seem to work.. I don't know what else to try..

ANSWER:

The roots of Cocculus carolinus (Carolina snailseed) are shallow and sucker easily thus making the vine difficult to eliminate.  I know that you said you have used brush killer (e.g., Roundup or equivalent glyphosate herbicide) but I suspect that you sprayed it on the plant.  The Carolina snailseed leaves and stems are relatively tough and may not readily absorb the herbicide.  Instead of spraying, here is another suggestion. 

  1.  Cut the vines very near the ground, and
  2.  Immediately after cutting each vine, use a cheap foam brush and paint the surface of the cut stem left in the ground with an appropriate herbicide.  The reason for the immediate painting is that many plants rapidly seal cells at the site of an injury to protect themselves and the sealing would inhibit the uptake of the herbicide.

When using chemical control please use caution and follow the safety instructions given with the chemicals to protect yourself, other plants you want to keep, and the environment.

 

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